Plymouth Hard Boat
Dive planning check list,
- Book great Weather – COMPLETE!
- Have a great group of divers on the trip – COMPLETE!
Diving in the UK in March offers numerous opportunities for failure and trip cancellations. We did however manage to hit a window of really good weather and couldn’t have asked for a flatter sea. Suntans were topped up and foul weather gear was not required. Being able to sit in the sun between UK dives is highly underrated.
The tides allowed for a Saturday morning late start with ropes off at 10:30. The first dive was on the wreck Le Poulmic. With the wreck sitting just south of the breakwater and in 20m of water, hopes were high of decent visibility. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be, a decent current and rain the previous week meant a whole load of everything being washed down through Plymouth sound and out past the breakwater, resulting in visibility being down to a few meters. We did get wet though and everyone’s kit checked out ok so onto the second dive of the day.
Hopes were not high of visibility on Tinkers Shoal being much better as its less than a mile from Le Poulmic. Thankfully mother nature threw a curve ball and what a change. Visibility increased, current decreased and it seemed like most of the sea life in the area popped out to say hello. Conger eels, crab, shrimp and shy fish smiled at us from crags and crevices while one very large spider crab stood out in the open, bold as brass, and dared me to come closer. My air was getting low though so I had to move on……
Day one diving ended in time to catch the 2nd half of England doing their best to lose against Wales followed by hearty meal in the Hotel Mountbatten and a couple of Lager Shandies to wash it down with.
Day two started early but again, the sun was out and the sea was a millpond that a summers day would have been proud of. A slightly longer transit out to the James Egan Lane allowed a fairly relaxed kit up and a few divers were able to catch up on their beauty sleep and practice their catalogue poses.
Although heavily broken up, the JEL still has a large amount of structure in place and the hull ribs were a sight to behold with the light shining down from the surface.
And then onto the final dive of the weekend, HMS Scylla. Much more than just one of Her Majesties war canoes sat on the sea bed, HMS Scylla is pretty much intact and with holes cut in the side to enable divers to view her inside, this is a dive I personally didn’t want to end. The skipper dropped the shot right onto the bridge and we dropped directly onto the infrastructure so didn’t even have to go looking for her. With the bridge at 12m and the sea bed at 26, it really was a divers choice on what to go look for. Covered in sea live and with all the openings, its took a good 40-minute dive to move from the bridge, round the stern and get back to the bridge again. A cracking dive to finish of the weekend.
And then the weekend was over and we had to go home and get back to our day jobs 🙁
Thanks to everyone who attended for making it a thoroughly enjoyable weekend and special thanks to mother nature for pulling out all the stops for us.
I am looking at planning another trip later this year so if anyone is interested in finding out what the survey says Scott’s ideal job was or how you tell the time early in the morning…. then book early to avoid disappointment.
Safe Diving, Ian.
Thanks to Shaun, Ian, Nick, Baxter and Connor for the photos.