Diving conditions off of the English coast on a par with more exotic locations! Report by Dave Dunn
During the recent weekend dive out of Littlehampton condition were at times "near perfect" comments one of the clubs more experienced divers....
On Saturday the group dived Kingsmere reef in the morning and then after recovering from the physical effort of man handling the boat over the sand bank at the mouth of Littlehampton estuary at low tide, some, but not all (due to an altercation with a large metal marker buoy) explored a mulberry unit off of the Sussex coast. Highlights of the day were Gil getting kitted up and finding he'd left his fins in the car and Helen G learning that if you put the batteries in your torch the wrong way around, the torch won't work (thanks for the info Helen H).
Sunday was another good day, after heading out very early to ensure we were over our first dive location, The Shirala, at slack water, we spent the next 50 minutes deciding whether the water was slack enough to dive, or not!
One or two of the more experienced divers could be heard muttering such things as "Yeah, the guy at the marina said slack water here was 1.5 hours before Plymouth, I checked", "he's normally quite good with his information" and " I know I asked because I've written it down, look!!"
Eventually we went in and explored the treasures that this old ocean liner had to offer. As a new ocean diver I was eager to help Helen H excavate an old Magnum sized bottle from the sea bed. I was however a little disappointed to find that once we surface the full size Magnum we laboured over, had shrunk to a quarter of its original under water size! I do seem to remember something about water magnification in the lectures and if nothing else it has made me feel a little easier about the giant spider crab I saw during my first ocean dive off of Portland Bill!
No sand bank to contend with on this day though! Just a 30 minute wait in the boat whilst we watched the water level gently rise up the legs of the old man fishing in the water less than 20 meters away from us, again with uttering's of " slack water should have been 1.5 hours before Plymouth". Full credit to Graeme for eventually navigating the sandy channel back to the marina.
In the afternoon we dived the Waldrens, which was a nice easy dive, with good vis and despite some confusion over what direction we were supposed to head in (were we dropped north of the site and should drift south, or south of it to drift north?) everyone returned to the boat happy. Thanks to Karen for the Brownies a welcome treat and commiserations to Graeme for not bagging a lobster!