Diving Plymouth on Venture

By , Wednesday 22nd August 2007 8:00 pm

A sneaky mid-week dive trip to Plymouth diving off Venture. As most of my trips these days it was organised through YD. Bizarrely, I was diving without Old Man Taylor, but Cat managed to keep me out of trouble in the water instead…It’s been awhile since I’ve used my little car to go diving, and the amount of gear I carry has increased in that time too. So I loaded my cylinders and equipment into the back and went to pick up Cat. By the time all the gear was in the back was riding pretty low :( But anyway we headed off at lunchtime to try and miss the traffic. A pretty uneventful 3 hours later we arrived in Plymouth. In fact the only vaguely interesting thing that happened is that we almost got overtaken by a truck on a hill, my car sounding like a tractor trying to keep ahead!

Anyway, we booked into the Mount Batten Centre, and true to form headed for the nearest pub. The bar in the MBC was shut so we headed around to the Mount Batten Hotel around the corner. Result for Lloyd is that they’ve got Doom Bar there, so I was happy to set up camp there for the evening :D Eventually the other guys from YD arrived and we did the introductions and grabbed some food. We later headed back to the MBC bar (and a chat with the lovely barmaid ;)) for a few more before retiring to our rooms.

View from the Window

We awoke to this stunning view in the morning from the room window, sea flat calm, things were looking good for the dives :) General faffing took place, ropes off, and we were heading to sea. Cat and I went through each others gear quickly so where we knew where everything was and quickly discussed our normal diving practises (such as how I can use my torch to hammer nails into wood!).

Anyway, onto the diving, first dive was on the The Persier, funny that really, every time I’m in Plymouth I tell you! Anyway, Cat had said she wasn’t a huge fan of wrecks so I was determined to find her some nice life on the wreck. Lots of swimming around only really threw up one lobster, not huge, and no point grabbing him today. Apparently I missed the conger at the start of the dive but at least ‘we’ found one :) Was hoping to see the John Dory that’s been hanging around on the wreck for the last few weeks, but we didn’t see it, others did :( 30 minutes on 32% saw us dipping into deco so we shot off a dsmb and up we went.

Next dive was a *sigh* reef, hehe! Jumped in and did Hillsea Rocks. Nice dive, but a fair bit of water movement going on down there. Lots of fish, although apart from one big edible crab not much in the way of exciting stuff. Bit of a leak in my drysuit, got pretty cold but we did about an hour in the end.

Arriving back at the MBC we dropped the cylinders in at inDeep diving, changed ready to go straight out for some more Doom Bar ;) Later on we caught the Water Ferry over to the Barbican for a nice meal, alcohol, and talking bollocks.

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Back on board for another day of diving, I had a chance for a chat with Pete the skipper, friendly guy, knowledgable, and knows how to drop a shot ;) It was decided we’d do this wreck as a deco dive so Cat could tick some boxes for something BSAC related. Personally I think my crazyness was starting to rub off on her ;) First dive of the day was on the Rosehill. Lots of congers on this wreck, including a huge bugger pointed out by Cat. Found a nice little hole to scramble into, managed to get through to the otherside. Noticed Cat wasn’t coming so I slipped over the top of the wreck and jumped her from behind while she was still looking for me in the hole :D So we did about 36minutes on the bottom which gave us about 15 minutes of deco (according to the Suuntos) but no deco to do if you look at the tables, so wasn’t really a ‘proper’ deco dive!

Next dive was on the good old James Eagan Layne, now I say good old, I’ve only done it once before this dive so I can’t really call it that can I? Anyway, we went down on the stern line and had a nice little dive basically heading into the superstructure and working our way along to the front. Unfortunately my pride and joy torch developed a fault in the umbillical cable, mildly annoying, and it meant that I didn’t go into as many deep dark holes as I usually would :( Definately need a better backup torch! Thinking about it while I was down there I should of gone for a hunt for my old dive knife, but it wasn’t to be! Still getting to the bow we worked our way up each ‘layer’ doing a nice slow ascent. Up the line to do a hang at 5m(ish) with the current starting to pick up.

Headed off for another pint of Doom Bar before saying goodbye to the guys and heading back to the ‘diff. All in all nice couple of days diving. The viz was awesome all weekend, on a couple of dives we left the line a good 10m off the wreck and drifted down. I also know where I’m going for beers next time I’m down in Plymouth ;) As a bonus Cat didn’t explode when she used nitrox, or went over 30m’s……result!

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