14th – 16th August, 2014 : Lundy beckoned and so we (Bob, Geoff, Mary & myself) gathered on the quay by the lock at the end of the Cumberland Basin on Friday evening 14 August, and unloaded all of our kit on to the quayside. The Pride of Bristol duly arrived and tied up at the quay, and we loaded a huge pile of equipment and baggage onboard. There is no compressor on this ship so you need all the tanks you can get hold of.
Having stowed all of the tanks into the hold, we set off under Merchants Bridge and into the Cunberland Basin, then into the second lock. The Plimsoll Bridge was then swung for us to pass out into the River Avon, and along the Avon Gorge. Having passed out into the Bristol Channel, dinner of sausages and mash was served, washed down with whatever you brought; they supply the grub, we supply the liquids.
The journey to Lundy is about 96 miles so is done through Friday night so you get there early Saturday morning.
The journey, well we were fairly well into our slumbers when it started getting a tad choppy, then a bit more. On a personal note, I am normally OK with boat movement, however when the you actualy leave the bunk when the ship goes down and then hit it on the way up proved too much for me, and after a couple of very urgent trips to the heads, I decided to stay up. And was up all night with repeat trips every 20 minutes or so. That’s enough detail about my night. We arrived at Lundy about an hour late at 6am and I crawled back to my bunk and missed the first dive.
By the second dive I was OK and starting to eat anything within arms reach.
There were 4 dives on offer, one of which was a seals dive (Gannet Bay), usually done on a nearly used tank because its shallow.
All dives are normally done from the rib which is carried on board and launched by crane.
The first dive was somewhere near Knoll Pins (Tibbetts Point) ; this had lobster, seals, urchins, starfish and snakelocks anemones, and kelp.
The second dive was on Knoll Pins; crabs with yellow sponge on shells, jewell anemones looking rather sad because of a covering of silt, and a large chimney sponge covering an area of about half a metre diameter.
The third dive should have been on Brazen Ward but we missed. Dive was very silty and gloomy.
I should say that the diving on Lundy can be excellent, last time we saw many jewell anemonies and nudibranches; but this time it was too stirred up because of the recent storm. We didn’t even get ashore because it was rather choppy.
By contrast, the journey back up the Severn Estuary was superb, weather calm and sunny, sea was like a mirror for the entire 96 miles.
If only it had been the other way round !