There were flat seas and blue skies as we made our way out to the Skerryvore, a wreck lying on the seabed in 41m. Sadly, like much of this year, the viz wasn't great. It wasn't terrible, or black, but there were a lot of bits in the water, so only about 3m. Sunday was much better when we went out to dive the pair of wrecks known as The Twins. I spent the whole dive on the larger of the two wrecks, the Irisbrook. The viz was much better at about 8m and it was one of the best dives of the season.
I'd never dived out of Salcombe, just Plymouth, so I thought I'd give it a try. I booked Top Gun, which is normally based in Plymouth, for the weekend. There aren't any dive shops in Salcombe, so everyone needed to bring all their gas for the weekend. Most people were on rebreathers, so it wasn't really an issue for them, but I brought two twinsets and a stage. Accommodation also isn't cheap there, but I camped at Alston Campsite which kept the price down to under £20 for the two nights.
After having all three of my Weymouth trips cancelled due to the weather last year, the forecast for the first one of 2014 was encouraging. And the forecast proved to be correct. We had flat seas and the sunshine both days. So naturally the viz wasn't very good. After all, you never have all three in the UK.
I finally made in into the sea in the UK this weekend. It was a bit blowy, so we ended up in Portland Harbour. The viz was predictably not that great. We had about 1-2m on the Landing Craft and the Countess. Still, it had apparently been far worse a couple of weeks earlier, so it is getting better. The temperature was 10C, which is warm for this time of year. Lets hope it improves quickly.
I've also booked Topgun for 21/22 June. Normally the boat goes out of Plymouth, but we're going to go out of Salcombe so that we can do the Riversdale and probably the Skaala. They're both in 45m. Getting gas isn't easy in Salcombe, so it would be best if you can bring all the gas you need for the weekend with you.
I've finalised the dates for my 2014 trips out of Weymouth. They are:
April 12/13 (35m)
July 5/6 (60m max)
August 30/31 (60m max)
Hopefully the weather will be kinder next year. All three 2013 trips were cancelled.
I'd been diving in Teignmouth a couple of week's before. The sun was out. The sky was blue and the sea was flat. Unfortunately, diving the Bretagne, the first 14m of water were clear, but then you hit the plankton bloom taking the viz down to about a metre. Last weekend, I finally experienced that rare combination of good weather, flat seas and good viz.
I've just got back from a long weekend doing trimix dives in Spain. I flew over with BA and they've made an interesting change to their baggage policy. Hand luggage is now allowed to weigh up to 23kgs as long as you can lift it unaided into the overhead lockers. So with that and my 23kgs of hold luggage, I was able to take out four sets of regs, a drysuit, a stainless steel backplate and all the rest of my dive kit. I even had room for non-essential items such as clothes. So definitely a good option and of course food and drinks are included onboard.
Well it took until May 19th, but I finally got in the sea in the UK in 2013. I went out of Swanage and did the Kyarra. It's only a 15 minute boat ride and is a big wreck in 30m. The viz was OK at around 4m, but it still hasn't warmed up much. My computer registered a chilly 11C. It should be warmer than that by now. The second dive was a drift over the Old Mussel Beds. We were travelling quite fast, but there wasn't much to see other than rocks. I saw one edible crab and one under sized scallop. It wasn't the most fascinating of dives, but at least all my kit worked.