PEMBROKESHIRE DIVE TRIP
The Club Chartered the Predator from Pembrokeshire Diving UK for two days diving. The 10 Divers who elected to go left a wet Cambridgeshire for an even wetter Wales in six cars. Total journey time (290 miles) with stops was average 6 hours. Most got to the hotel by 5pm, although some were a little later. The hotel – The Ferry Bridge – was top notch. Twin rooms were order of the day and each was en-suite. We ate that night in the hotel and the food was very good and plentiful.
After a very good breakfast everyone set off for the Marina to load up the boat. The exercise of loading was swift because of the abundance of trolleys available. Once settled on the boat and everyone allocated a slot, it was time for ‘off ropes’ and away. The weather on the first day was overcast but for the most, dry. Because of the wind it was the skippers decision to select some sites that were sheltered from the worst of the weather.
The first dive site was Watic Reef. maximum depth was in the region of 15m and the reef had lots of kelp and other aquatic growth. There was an abundance of crustaceans, all of a fair size. Some lobster pots with occupants and generally lots to root around and find. Surfacing was under DSMB and the average dive time was around 45 minutes.
The second site was Dog Fish Alley. Yes there were dog fish and the resident photographer Gareth managed to get the best shots. This was a much shallower depth around 10m to 12m, broken shell and small stones. Again lots of crabs, but the others possibly saw some more exotic critters.
Again the dive time was around 40 minutes with ascents under DSMB. Lots of practice for those just getting used to having them
Following these two dives it was back up the river to the Marina and back to the Hotel for a clean up. There is a lot of great walking along from the hotel so Anna and Robin headed off for a couple of miles hike.The evening was spent at the Sailors Inn where we had a fantastic meal. It was so impressive that I had to treat myself to an ice cream dessert.
End of Day
Again the day started with a cracking breakfast. Cars loaded, bills paid, and all gear checked present and correct. At the Marina the job of loading was easier as most of the kit was still on the Predator. Overnight all cylinders had been filled and were moved down the ramp to the boat. Ropes off again by 9am. The weather was so much better than the day before, blue skies, a light wind and flat seas.
The run down the river took the party past the Gas Loading pontoons of Milford Haven in Pembrokeshire to the first dive site.
Day 2 – Dive 1
Dive Site one was the ‘Dakotian’, a 6426-ton British steamer some 400ft long and 52ft wide, was one of the first to fall victim to a parachuted magnetic mine dropped by a German Heinkel 111H bomber during the closing stages of WWII.
Day 2 – Dive 2
Because the weather had improved the skipper decided to risk a short bumpy ride across to Skormer. It was a bit lumpy but no one was worse for wear. The dive was at High Point which was a shallow wall leading to a sandy bottom at 18. to 20m. Nice rock gullies and plenty of life. visibility was around 10m so a pleasant dive. Maximum depth 20m and average dive times 45 minutes.
John and the Seagull
Just off Skormer Island John prepared to eat his sandwich. The Seagull (see Photo’s below) had other ideas and decided to take the sandwich and consequently John finger tip. Result one pissed off John and one fat seagull.
The Pembrokeshire Participants
Thanks to all those who took part and contributed by their enthusiasm to a great dive weekend. The weather in Pembrokeshire was not as expected but the group really made up for it in attitude and effort.
Bezz Williams / Gareth Layshon / Jon Chitty / John Holmes / Suraj Menon / Anna Rudd / Leigh-Anne MacDuffus / Nicholas Levy / Josh Reyner-Brown / Robin Norman and the Seagull.