Issue 13                                                                                           February 2008


                                                      (Web Version)



Welcome to the February edition of our newsletter.


Special point of interest:

Profile of an ocean diver (Ashley Munday)





Items for Sale:

10 litre Cylinder. In test
£50 contact: Richard Mace
0121 232 6007

Poseidon Cyclone regulator & Octopus (requires service) £50. 

Also Poseidon Cyclone regulator & long hose (requires service) £50. see John Searle   07776 411406

If you have any items for sale please let us know.


Ashley Munday

(My best buddy, the bad Tamal)

 Why did I take up diving?  What ever my mum did, I had to do better.  Really though, curiosity about the life under there - what was all the fuss about?  Was it really any different to a fish tank, apart from the depth? 

First impressions – my god its cold!  6 degrees in a semi-dry in Scotland – not the best intro, but great to look down at the 90 metre wall at the Kyle of Lochalsh and think  one day I’ll be travelling down there.

 My favourite diving so far is the Rhondo – my buddy Lin took me on the deepest dive so far, looking at dead mans fingers. 

Had a shock when Mad Lin picked up this huge crab and tried to give it to me - I gave her the bag as well as the crab and thought “I don’t think so!”

Mind you, we ate well that night!


A year later, I got a dry suit, the boat sank, and I got lost with George, Vicky and Kat - lucky for George we didn’t we get a brass ass for that one!



Animal of the Month - Lumpfish

If anybody has any ideas about what they would like to see in the newsletter, please talk to us – or email if you prefer – just remember it’s read by the family!

Editors Corner

Thank you to everyone who has contributed to this months issue, and apologies for any mistakes.

Any further articles for next months edition would be appreciated, (any gossip, scandals, etc that’s printable) so let us know by 24th February.

Hope you enjoyed this issue.

Description: Lumpfish. A marine fish with a green or grey humped back and knobbly skin. It grows to about 60 cm (2 ft) and is found in the North Atlantic and Baltic. The male is oily but can be poached and the female is caught for its roe.  the lump-suckers have the ventral fins united into a circular concave disk, which, acting as a sucker, enables them to attach themselves firmly to rocks or stones. The body (properly so called) is short and thick, with a thick and scaleless skin, covered with rough tubercles, the larger of which are arranged in four series along each side of the body. The first dorsal fin is almost entirely concealed by the skin, appearing merely as a lump on the back. The lumpsucker inhabits the coasts of both sides of the North Atlantic; it is not rare on the British coasts, but becomes more common farther north. It is so sluggish in its habits that individuals have been caught with sea-weed growing on their backs. In the spring the fish approaches the shores to spawn, clearing out a hollow on a stony bottom in which it deposits an immense quantity of pink-coloured ova. Fishermen assert that the male watches the spawn until the young are hatched, a statement which receives confirmation from the fact that the allied gobies, or at least some of them, take similar care of their progeny. The vernacular name, "cock and hen paddle," given to the lumpfish on some parts of the coast, is probably expressive of the difference between the two sexes in their outward appearance, the male being only half or one-third the size of the female, and assuming during the spawning season a bright blue coloration, with red on the lower parts. This fish is generally not esteemed as food, but Franz Faber (Fische Islands, p. 53) states that the Icelanders consider the flesh of the male as a delicacy.' The bones are so soft, and contain so little inorganic matter, that the old ichthyologists placed the lump-sucker among the cartilaginous fishes.

Latin: Cyclopterus lumpus
Language: English
Better known as: lumpfish
Also known as: cock paddle, sea owl


Shipwrecks of North Wales, part 3.


 Throughout the latter half of the 1800s, the Board of Trade kept records of UK ship losses. Steamer ships became common. By 1822, the Albion paddle steamer maintained a regular service between Liverpool and Bangor in the Menai Straits. The Albion wrecked near Rhyl in 1846. In 1831, the Menai Straits was the scene of a disaster - The Rothsay Castle


The Rothsay Castle was a paddle steamer which was wrecked on the Traeth Lafan (Lavan Sands) at the eastern end of the Menai Straits, north Wales, in 1831, with the loss of 130 lives.

The Rothsay Castle was built in 1816 for service on the River Clyde, Scotland, and was later transferred to Liverpool, England, where she was used for trips along the coast of North Wales. At around mid day on August 17, 1831, she left Liverpool carrying 150 passengers. She had been intended to leave at 10 a.m. but was delayed by the weather and the late arrival of a passenger.

On leaving the Mersey estuary, she encountered a strong NNW wind and a rough sea. One of the passengers went to see the captain, Captain Atkinson, to ask him to return to port, but he found Atkinson drunk and unwilling to consider turning back. By 10 p.m. the ship had still only reached the Great Orme and the ship was found to have two feet of water in the stokehold. The pumps were found not to work, there was not even a bucket available for bailing, and the single lifeboat had a hole in the bottom and had no oars. At around 1 a.m. on August 18 the Rothsay Castle ran aground on Dutchman's Bank and after a while broke up, the captain and the two mates being swept to their death when the funnel collapsed. A total of 23 passengers were rescued in the morning.

Bodies were washed up over a wide area of Anglesey and the mainland. An inquest was held at Beaumaris and the jury concluded:

had the Rothsay Castle been a seaworthy vessel and properly manned, this awful calamity might have been averted. They therefore cannot disguise their indignation at the conduct of those who could place such a vessel on this station ....

As a result of this disaster, a lifeboat was established at Penmon on the SE tip of Anglesey in 1832 and a lighthouse built there in 1837.


Typical! The girls couldn't find a wreck this month, so

Did you know........

· Whales can’t swim backwards.

· An octopus has three hearts.

· An average British family uses 2 miles of toilet paper a year.

· On average, we all contain 2 molecules of Julius Caesar’s last breath.

· A snail can have about 25,000 teeth.

· Sailors used to wear a gold earring so that they could always afford a proper burial when they died.

· For Wendy's interest — each time you crack a whip, the end of it has to travel at speed of sound.

· Blonde beards grow faster than dark ones  -  we’ll be looking!  Could this be the next competition?

· Dolphins sleep with one eye open ...useful on Prima trips.

· Every pint of water taken from the Red Sea contains 4 ounces of salt.



Thanks to the Editors: Sue Mace, Wendy Munday, Phillipa Cresswell, Lin Noakes                                                                                            Back