Issue 9                                                                                                     August 2007


                                                      (Web Version)


Welcome to the ninth issue of our newsletter.


Special point of interest:

Profile:-  John Searle

Welcome to new members Rosie Reeves, Chris Frear and Julia Clark


Going SCUBA diving had always been an ambition of mine, and in 1994 when Hello there! Al Noakes suggested a ‘try dive’, I jumped at the chance – and made up my mind to take up the sport before the ‘try’.  I was sure that I would be alright – they would not let idiots into a sport like this!  I am now a little older and wiser, having attained the grades of Advanced Diver, Open Water Instructor and have the BSAC ‘Seamanship Specialist’ Award, (The only one in the branch as far as I know).  During my years as a member of Prima, I have, with the support (and patience) of my fellow divers, taken the club boat to The Tudwell Islands, The Farne Islands John searleand various other places.  My most prestigious adventure was in June 2000 as a member of the BSAC expedition to St Kilda in, an Island 50 mile off the British Mainland, we travelled there by RIB, no bigger than the branch boat!  The organiser Greame Bruce accepted the BSAC expeditions Trophy for this in 2006.  It was very well deserved Greame put a tremendous amount of effort into the organisation and planning of a trip that was for me a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
My most memorable adventure was my first trip to St Abbs with the Club Boat, diving the Glanmire, Ebb Carrs and Burnmouth Harbour.  We also ate fresh paella (myself and Dave eyed this cautiously as Paul Sherlock cooked it, seeming to throw it together on a wood–fired barbeque) it was wonderful!  (OK the prawns were from Safeway but who cares.)
Taking the club dive boat out to sea has probably been the most rewarding experience, ‘Making it Happen’ as they say. I would be the first to agree that towing such a boat to the sea is a most idiotic thing to do, but the rewards are worth it.
Towing the club boat is out of my reach now, but I look forward to shore diving in the UK.  The Menai Straight, Trefor Pier, St Abbs, Hope Cove and Lees Foot Beach all offer superb shore diving.

My advice to my fellow Divers? – Don’t Feed Me Doughnuts!



Mull - June Trip a Club Visitors thoughts

Items for Sale:

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

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

Whilst pottering around Cannock Scuba and deciding what dive equipment to spend our money on next, three of us spotted a flyer advertising a trip to dive the sound of Mull.  We contacted Lin from the club and were duly on our way to sunny Scotland.
We had a fantastic two days.  The diving was some of the best we have done and definitely the best UK diving to date for all of us.  The visibility was 20 metres plus and the wrecks were really good, especially the Rhondo, which is quite a sight as you drop down some 45metres plus!
The group we dived with from the club were more than welcoming.  Not only did they help us with any dive problems and questions we had, but they fed and watered us and pretty much made us feel part of the family.  The only down side was that we stayed for just two days, had we managed the full week we may have been lucky enough to see some of the dolphins and basking sharks the rest of the group managed to see.
All round it was an ace couple of days and we enjoyed ourselves loads.
Thanks to all that looked after us.

Rosie Reeves.



What we did on our Holidays. - Mull & Harris June

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 28th August.

Hope you enjoyed this issue.

This is nice init, one minute you’re DO of the worlds best dive club, the next you're reduced to "Roger the cabin boy" on board a boa……. Not that kind of Roger you dirty minded heathens. I was about to say reduced to menial tasks on the "Peregrine" and writing this wretched newsletter.  Of course I didn't want to but our beloved leader politely asked me to.  I suggested he tried piddling up a rope.  Not to be deterred he then explained how I might end up polishing the rear quarters of a certain four legged brass creature, which already has my name on, forever!  Against such a convincing argument I could only reply "at once your underwaterness".

Well, here goes. This incidentally is a true account of the two Scottish trips. No, I have not engaged "lie mode" yet.

As normal when arriving at Lochaline, the first priority was to empty "Starbug 2" of its valuable cargo, i.e. enough scran to feed an army and you will not believe this, a barrel of knee trembler bitter care of Rich.  Oh, you will believe it, fair enough.  The siting of this precious container was in Sue and Richards room and soon "his maltiness" was furnishing thirsty divers with the mandatory "neck oil".  Good Stuff Dudes. - Speaking of which I am writing this without a drink. Don't go away!

That's better, Ard something or other, tastes alright though.  What about what?  Oh the diving, I was coming to that.

Al Noakes, Sorry Lord Al NoakesFirst dive saw us with four guests.  No it wasn't Mr. Tamel, that was latter.  The guests were Rosie, Chris, Grant and Mike, all eager to sample the delights of the Thesis.  They were not disappointed.  Lin invariably sees conger eels on this wreck, so Aggy and I were determined to stick to her like snot to a cinder.  Dispite her appalling failure, the dive was sweet. Tea waiting on the boat, doesn't get much better.  Needless to say Alan, bless him, took us to areas which we have come to know like old friends, Rondo, Shuna, Hispania and Thesis still retain their charm.  Good to be back or what?

It was a shame that Rosie, Chris and Grant had to leave after the weekend due to work commitments.  However, Rosie and Chris have joined our ranks.  No they were not drunk at the time!  Give a dog a bad name!

Just to put the icing on the cake one or two of us managed to catch a few crabs.  Why have you gone into "giggle mode".  Crabs and scallops to eat, dammit.  The D.O. had the fertiliser scarred out of him whilst stalking an octopus with Paul.  Unseen hands descended on "his submersibleness" making him think for a second, that something had got him.  Who but a "Bad Tamel" would pull such a stroke.

Quickly moving on, before I push my luck to far, we come to the second half of the adventure. Having never dived Harris before you can imagine our excitement.  Only one problem or rather two, ninety miles of water and a force 8 gale. So we were delayed for 24 hours.  Would the beer travel?  Well what was left of it did.  Guess where we installed it?  You got it.  At the foot of Richards bed.  He mentioned that he always wanted Father Christmas to leave him one as a kid.  Well there you go.  Prima, where dreams come true!

Diving was good, exploring the Stassa and some nice sceanics as well.  Unfortunately the other occupants of the house were less than impressed with our seafood delicacies or more likely the mess and other evil smelling gastronomic experiments.  Things came to a head when a very, very large crab caught by Sue and myself declared the fridge a no go area.  Just out of interest the house had a wetting room, where nearly dry suits, clothing etc., could be turned into a saturated, soaking mess overnight.  I am sure there must be a use for such an establishment but I struggle to think of one at present.

On the subject of wet stuff, we only had a mere inch of rain and in view of the fact that those at home had four, I could resist going into "smug mode", but not for long.

Graddich is one of those dives that can be stunning or rubbish.  Lin and I once could see every ripple on the surface at over 40m.  This time however, viz was down and life was less abundant. Sue had promised profusely not to bring back anymore large creatures except me.  The current tried to catch us out on ascent but we outclevered it and did 3 minutes of unnecessary stops, just to be good.  We were ready for a much needed cup of tea.

Suddenly I started to feel a bit iffy.  Sue was OK.  Having signs of DCI, I asked Phil for O2. Things became a bit of a blur then.  Probably because Sue Mace kept feeding me water to the disgust of "his dry hoppiness" her husband.  "Drink, breath, breath, drink" she kept shouting.  I started to get mixed up, I swear I was breathing water and drinking oxygen, at one point.  After half an hour or so I was back to abnormal but still she kept on at me.  I could feel the stuff sloshing around inside me with the roll of the boat.  It could have been my imagination but I swear I heard the casting of lots for kit and talk of a burial at sea, when low and behold a passing helicopter offered Sue and me a lift to Oban.  How could we resist. The thought of shopping was too much for Sue and …, pardon.  Oh you recognise "lie mode", smart asses.

Poor Sue, 500 foot up she got a shoulder pain and was put on oxygen with me.  "Minding my own business, being good", she said "and the bu..ers take me up in a helicopter and bend me".Up, Up & Away....... Any road up for our, alright my sins, we spent 5 hours in a recompression chamber.  What!  Of course we were bored you dozy Arabs.  Half way through I was trying to stroke a cockyroach and Sue was on first name terms with all the spiders.  As if that wasn't bad enough they accused us of not breathing.  " Hey! How many f's in oxygen", reply "there is no f's in oxygen". "Correct, that’s why we're not breathing, there is no f…ing oxygen!"  A real comfort it was when they turned it back on.  Can you turn my air on please? I thing not.  Was that the end?  Oh no.  Off to the local hospital. I had visions of being put in the geriatric ward the way my luck was running but no a private ward.  "Would you like a cup of tea and some toast darling?"  Asked sister Carol, "would I, not many".  The night staff were angels, the tea spot on.  By now I was totally bushed.  The thought of getting my brain (what was left of it) off the planet was the only thing that interested me.  Just as my vision was fading, in walked a doctor to do tests.  And so it was all night.  I was worried as they took my blood.  Well I gave it once, but they had to tilt the recipient and pour it in slowly.  Frothing at the mouth was common.  I digress. So every hour all night, I and Sue apparently were woken for one reason or another.  Still, better than one hospital I was in years ago.  They woke me up to give me sleeping tablets.  Had they realised I was blind drunk at the time, I doubt they would have bothered.  Back to the story, noon was to be chucking out time.  More waiting.  Then the killer blow.  The doctors verdict "you can't dive for 3 months".  What do you mean he never could, cheeky ****! I was gutted.  I've gone into "sulk mode" now just thinking of it.  Better have another whiskey.

We managed to blag our way out early to freedom, caught two ferries and a bus back to Lochaline to team up with everyone.  Lin threw here arms around me sobbing and …. Your getting good at spotting "lie mode" now aren’t you.  The swine's had seen the barrel off but had saved me a can.  I was crying in my beer but swore to all I would be back "Oh faeces" was the reply but not in so many words.

Tell you what, I'm glad Alan wasn't flying the helicopter. Seriously though I owe the crew, hyperbaric Dudes and Doctors big, along with the hospital staff.  Lin and I cannot thank them enough.  What do you mean, "why did they bother".  And I would like to know who put the DNR sticker on me.

Anyway I'm being threatened with food, so you will have to wait for the second half of this crock, I mean saga:  As they say watch this space.



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