Issue 19                                                                                                                                          October  2009


                                                      (Web Version)



Congratulations to Sophie and Tim on their marriage

and best wishes for the future

Special point of interest:

                     Bad Tamel - The Final Cut




The beach where we would stay looked tasty and so did the beach huts. Hastily we threw all our bits into our  new digs and hurried to the nearest  beer shop.  Empty fridges cry out for drinks you see and empty spaces in them are not environmentally friendly.  That sorted we set about emptying them again.  With plenty of places to eat and cheap, things were looking good.  They got even better when someone found smoking things (not Aggi) that repelled mozzies and a spray called 'off' which did just that.  Thunderstorms stayed on the horizon and the sea was on the doorstep.  At night we could sit outside without getting soaked or eaten.

No doubt you can imagine how wrecked we were after the days travelling.  So bed was earlier than normal.  It was very, very warm, luckily for us, the huts were furnished with air conditioning.  Unluckily for those who cannot sleep for England the fans were four times as big and four times as noisy as the last place.  The logic behind this being that if a tsunami were to happen at short notice, then the air conditioning could be switched to max and the fan would hold everything down and prevent people and things from being washed away. With the light reflecting on the water in the bay and the tranquillity being only interrupted by a rumble of distant thunder and aircon,  I could, well have been dreaming.  So reluctantly I closed the curtains and soon was.

Diving in our new location was quite different.  After breakfast at the residential bar/restaurant, (which was toast and tea, yeah, I know, bit of a comedown) five minutes of walking put us at the dive shop.  We were then escorted to our ship.  I use the term loosely.  At the pointy end were distinct markings, 31/12/52.  Logic suggested that the date was the last time the old tub had seen a coat of paint.  It was obviously considerably older.  Diving off something in worse condition than most wrecks on which I have dived did not fill me with confidence.  Rich did say the diving was close to shore and boy were we glad.  Sadly though it was less spectacular than Koh Lanta, although not exactly “snow pigs”,the boat  women were not page 3 material.  Hence the withdrawal of Chris's medication.

All of the sites had obviously received a lot of diving attention for quite a while.  The sea was littered with damn boats.  Despite the fact that we encountered some huge Groupers and Trevaly Jacks it was plain to see that our sheer numbers had driven a lot of the larger species of fish further afield.  Plenty of smaller stuff and very pretty too you understand but no big, bad toothy type dudes.  Amazingly enough, some “sharp sh-t” had a theory which would change our luck and put us amongst the shark fish. Hooray!

We needed to be the only crowd out there.  I suggested we sink the other boats, simple. A perfect plan with only one flaw.  Our boat was likely to sink at any time anyway and we might need rescuing. “Lets get up early and do a sunrise dive” our dive guides enthused,.  How early? Don't ask please.  We dived at dawn.  The idea of us being the only ones up worked well.  Too**!!*!! well! The fish were not up either!  Alcohol was needed and that right hastily.  Nice and cool it was too out of various fridges but we were cooking.  Beverages had to be drunk in the sea.  Purely by chance, not 50 metres from our huts, was waiting the ideal place.  “Babbington Rock” on the eastern side of “Paul's Pinnacle” might well have been made for divers to sit on submerged to the waist whilst drinking beer.  A young Chinese girl was moved to take photo's of our intrepid boozers.  Until, that is, she noticed me sitting on a beach chair, submerged to the neck, half empty bottle in hand.  “He is the best” she cried.  If only I had a pound for every time woman has said that about me.  No joking, I would have ------ well I'd have a pound I suppose.  Don't be surprised dudes if the Golden Lion on bottles of Singha isn't replaced with a Golden Tamel.  Speaking of which, during a moment of missing “real ale”, someone had this marvellous idea.  Gin and Tonic with lime, Why not? With ice already!

Every shop in the area had been systematically registered by Ali and Cheryl (between bouts of frying on the beach) so the whereabouts of all necessary ingredients was never going to be a problem.  Our concoction turned out to be a popular winner.  Particularly with Fay, who's alcohol balance had been upset by the biting creature the previous week and needed re-establishing.  Now as you can imagine, keeping track of things under such circumstances can be a trifle iffy , but three pints of gin went missing in as many hours.  Looking back, this  was probably the point at which our members started to slip into “adventurous mode”.  People were hiring quad bikes (some with brakes even) others trying foods guaranteed to hurt.  Cheryl was determined to find a Thai red curry that she could  eat.  The truth of the matter is, she struggled to find one that wouldn't eat its way through the dish it was in.  Mild ones were like Phals and radiation burns were a distinct problem with the hot ones. Green curries were the obvious answer as they had eaten their way into Paul’s heart and he was living on them.  Cheryl could not be swayed.

Notice how quiet the “Black Russians” have been? No evil potions.  Some put it down to the fact that Wendy was out of the equation, or the absence of a blender.  Others simply observed the fact that within minutes of hitting dry land, Phillipa, Sue and Lin were  all tucking into whatever drinks were the order of the day.  Wisdom of Solomon.

I can never thank Sue and Rich enough for sharing their paradise islands and diving with us.  Not to mention Lin and Sue's hard work and correspondence. The company, places and experiences will stay with me forever.  Just when we had everything sorted  a nasty man in an even nastier hovercraft turned up to put us on the road to misery.

The road to misery you understand was the journey home.  All 29 hours of it.  So traumatic it was that my memory banks have self erased that part of my life. I'm told that we dodged the Bangkok and arrived home safely. What was the first thing “The Bad Tamel” did when he got home.  Did he unpack? Did he make a cup of tea? Did he b----cks.  He drank a pint of Abbot. Oh joy! Oh bliss! Oh rats! What do you want now minstrel? Is it in good taste and not too risqué?  Seeing as I'm in a good and not too sober mood


There is a moral to this tale,

Despite ignoring all expenses,

It took a pint of Abbot Ale,

To bring the bugger to his senses.

Bad Tamel, Bad Tamel,

He dives both far and near,

Bad Tamel, Bad Tamel,

Is never far from beer,

Bad Tamel, Bad Tamel,

Is like a rare old wine,

Bad Tamel,  Bad Tamel,

Gets better all the time.


Kawp cum krap, mon brave, kawp cum bloody krap.

 The End


Creature of the month - Sea Turtles

Don’t forget to book your meals for the Prima Dinner Dance, Saturday November 28th.  Prices frozen from last year, £18.50 per person.  See Lil for details.


Sea turtles are large, air-breathing reptiles that inhabit tropical and subtropical seas throughout the world. Their shells consist of an upper part (carapace) and a lower section (plastron).  Hard scales (or scutes) cover all but the leatherback, and the number and arrangement of these scutes can be used to determine the species.

Sea turtles come in many different sizes, shapes and colours. The
olive ridley is usually less than 100 pounds, while the leatherback typically ranges from 650 to 1,300 pounds!  The upper shell, or carapace, of each sea turtle species ranges in length, colour, shape and arrangement of scales.

Sea turtles do not have teeth, but their jaws have modified "beaks" suited to their particular diet. They do not have visible ears but have eardrums covered by skin. They hear best at low frequencies, and their sense of smell is excellent. Their vision underwater is good, but they are nearsighted out of water. Their streamlined bodies and large flippers make them remarkably adapted to life at sea.  However, sea turtles maintain close ties to land.

Females must come ashore to lay their eggs in the sand; therefore, all sea turtles begin their lives as tiny hatchlings on land. Research on marine turtles has uncovered many facts about these ancient creatures.  Most of this research has been focused on nesting females and hatchlings emerging from the nest, largely because they are the easiest to find and study.

Thousands of sea turtles around the world have been tagged to help collect information about their growth rates, reproductive cycles and migration routes.  After decades of studying sea turtles, much has been learned. However, many mysteries still remain.


Status of the Species

The earliest known sea turtle fossils are about 150 million years old. In groups too numerous to count, they once navigated throughout the world's oceans. But in just the past 100 years, demand for turtle meat, eggs, skin and colourful shells has dwindled their populations.  Destruction of feeding and nesting habitats and pollution of the world's oceans are all taking a serious toll on remaining sea turtle populations.  Many breeding populations have already become extinct, and entire species are being wiped out. There could be a time in the near future when sea turtles are just an oddity found only in aquariums and natural history museums — unless action is taken today.




Wreck of the Month

Items for Sale:



If you have any items for sale please let us know


The M 2  (Lat / Long : 50 ° 34 ' 35 '' North - 2 ° 33' 46'' West)


The 'M' class of submarine were truly remarkable. They were based on the unhappy 'K' class, one of the most accidents prone of all submarines. These vessels were steam driven and had to retract their funnels before they could dive.

The M 2 is in within the range of most sports divers and is a very popular dive. She was completely different from the M 1 in the fact that she had no gun but carried a seaplane in a deck hanger. The seaplane called the 'Parnall Peto' had folding wings so that it could fit inside and was launched by means of a catapult.


Launching the Seaplane The aircraft was supposed to be used for reconnaissance purposes but the tactical disadvantages are obvious. The submarine had to remain on the surface for extended periods during the launch and recovery of the seaplane and this made her extremely vulnerable to enemy attack. In the end the experiment was a disastrous mistake. On the 26 January 1932 the M 2 was exercising in West Bay just off the Dorset coast, when she was seen to dive stern first by the captain of a freighter, which was passing by. She never resurfaced and it took the Navy nearly 8 days to find her lying on the bottom in 106 feet of water.  An inspection of the wreck revealed that her hanger door was wide open and so was the hatch leading to the control room. It would seem that the hanger door was open before she had properly surfaced and attained full buoyancy. Whatever the reason her 60 officers and men all perished.

The M 2 is lying upright on a rock and silt bottom in about 106 feet of water. Since the submarine is 296 feet long with a beam of nearly 25 feet there is a lot to see. The hull is in quite good condition and has appeared to withstand the ravages of time pretty well except for the deck plates, which has great holes in it. Towards the bows you can see the remains of either the catapult or the anchor winches, and the bow anchors are nice and secure in their hawseholes, with the forward hydroplanes still intact.  On her sides, the hull is covered with a thin weed, deadmans fingers and plumose anemones. As you work your way towards the conning tower you soon see the gaping hole of the aircraft hanger. You can still go inside but it is quite silted up with quite a lot of steel plate scattered all around. The conning tower rears up very impressively with the remains of the periscope still pointing in vain towards the surface. Swimming down towards the stern the deck plates still look in poor condition, and since there was some salvage done on the wreck in 1932-33 it comes as no surprise to see that the twin propellers are missing, but the rudder is still intact and you can swim right underneath the propeller shafts and it makes you realise that the M 2 was a big boat, roughly the size of a frigate. Back up to the conning tower to play Captain, and a final look into the hangar and that's the end of the dive.



August Bank Holiday  - Weymouth

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 20th December 2009.


If anyone would like to write a profile of their diving career, please let us know.


Hope you enjoyed this issue.


Thought for the month

; Did Noah have woodpeckers on the ark?;



Traffic and motorways is always bad,  but it was made even worse by the man who listened to Paul and jumped off  the Avonmouth bridge. Weather was sunny but a force 4 -5 from the west was making the diving a little dodgy – so a beer or two was needed to start the trip.  Good digs at the bunker, which were easy to find and  comfortable  (if you can put up with the snoring in the bunk beds), with plenty of hot water for showers too.


Down to Weymouth harbour for a first view of Skin Deeper, a nice big Cat and plenty of space for 12 divers with full kit and, as there were only 10 on this trip,  stacks of space.

Armed with sandwiches for a packed lunch, we set off for the eastern side of the Bill for more sheltered diving. Ethel at 36m, well-broken WW2 wreck - lots of recognisable bits.  This was followed by a trip for lunch at Lulworth Cove, where the sun was shining.


The second  dive of the day was a scolly bash/drift on the banks.  On this we found a 2ft thorn- backed ray,  then a bag full of scollies for tea ... well Saturdays starter.

Night was a three-course feast cooked up by Margaret and  the presence of  a dish washer meant that a few broadsides in the cove were called for.


Morning came and diving was only for those of sterner stuff, blowing force 5 and with a 2m swell.  It was OK however once we were 14 miles offshore for the Ionian  at 40m - well worth the effort of being bounced around for an hour's dive.  Even the best of us were not up for a 2nd after being bounced around but a lobby for the pot and an upbeat view for better weather looked good. The scollies in ginger, garlic and spring onion tasted good too. 


Day 3, wind was slack and sun shining. Perfect apart from the tides the wrong way round – so we headed off to Portland harbour for a scolly bash for 20 minutes.   There were lots there including crabs and cuttlefish, while Prima showed the resourcefulness of a production line for 200 scollies being filleted in 40 mins of the surface break.  This was all before setting off to the Sky.  We were first on the site so had the shot and slack.  At 30m the Aolean Sky is big, too big for 1 dive really, but with sunshine and slack what a fab dive for the trip to end on  - and a crab for the skipper.


Photo's of the weekend are on the website.  It is a recommended  trip for sports divers and above, but great as it is possible to dive from Weymouth in all but the worst of weather. 



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