Diving Officers Communication (Aug 1999)

My thanks must first go to the weather as it has stayed fine and we have again enjoyed another month of diving. This has made some of us very happy as we have managed to do some excellent dives.

Two expeditions have happened that has seen an additional 62 dives logged this month, bringing the yearly total to 487 logged dives.

The first trip was to Hallsands, South Devon, where we were able to take over the whole hotel with the number of people who attended. We were able to take both club boats away with us on this trip, which made the organisation of the diving that much easier. The Friday night saw a hardy few (or mad) divers doing a night dive from the beach. For some of them this was their first night dive and their 30-minute dive was enjoyed to the full. On the Saturday morning we tried to dive on the wreck of the Newholme, just off Start Point, but were unable to secure the wreck site with the shot. This dive turned into a drift dive with those in the water using the shot as an SMB. The Saturday also saw us diving off Beesands later in the day, where 14 divers took part, this was a good finish to our second day at this site. Saturday night turned into a joint birthday party for Samantha and Julie Ryalls, where Carol Knight, proprietor of the Hallsand Hotel, presented them with a birthday cake, all those that managed to get a piece enjoyed this treat. The fun continued well into the night and you need to see the Mike Oats video to believe what went on. The partying did not finish until the very small hours of Sunday morning (I heard that it was after 5.00am before the last person gave up). The Sunday saw a change in the wind direction and the hardy few that wished to dive, drove to Thurleston beach and had a shore dive on the Louie Shied. This was a very enjoyable dive as the weather conditions at this site were excellent, with visibility well in excess of 10 meters and brilliant sunshine throughout the day. When we returned to Hallsands, we had the task of recovering all the boats that had been launched to look forward to, I wish to thank the Dive Club that loaned us their rolled matting for this task, it was made easier with them. If you have ever recovered boats from this beach you will know what I mean. Some of us stayed the Sunday night and had a very pleasant and restful evening. My thanks go to Carol, Alan, Sandy, Ian (the Chief) and all her staff for their efforts in making our stay so enjoyable. We hope to repeat this next year.

The second expedition was a day trip to Horsea Lake, Horsea Island, where we hoped to complete a lot of training dives. 18 divers attended this very enjoyable day and we managed to do a lot of disciplines for those that required them. Again the weather was very good and the sun shone all day, the tan is coming along very nicely thank you.

My thanks go to Jeff Gallimore, who showed us the new rebreathers that they are using down there, this rounded off a very productive day. My thanks also go to Stewart Butterfield, Cyril Hucker and David Williams, who with me supplied the transport for everyone for the day,

If there is anyone willing to organise a days diving or an expedition that is not yet publicised, please let me know as soon as possible and add it to the planner on the notice board.


A new program for Club Diver has now been started, CI’s and ACI’s take note and check lecture dates allocated to you. The theory lessons commenced on Wednesday 7th July and will continue every fortnight until 29th September, see the Training program for details. The confined water drills will start as soon as possible. The open water dives that are required by the other trainees are progressing well due to the good weather. We hope to complete as many disciplines as possible before the season ends if the weather holds.

The Sports Diver and Dive Leader drills are also being completed and there are only a few disciplines outstanding now, we managed to do some of these at Horsea Lake. For those members that still need these disciplines, they need to think about doing these drills when the time is available, or it may be to late for them to complete these drills under the present training umbrella.

Congratulations to all those of those who have completed their required disciplines and achieved their next diving grade.


We are now offering the two new courses for non-members.

The first ‘Snorkelling for Beginners’ is due to requests that Andy and myself have received from various sources. We have drawn up a schedule, both theory and practical for snorkellers, which will be run over one week. At the end of this course, the new snorkeller will have the basic understanding and skills to take the first step into the discovery of the underwater world.

The second course is a new initiative that the BSAC has been promoting for divers that may not have dived for sometime and wish to familiarise themselves with their kit and practise drill in a safe environment.

A program called ‘ScubaWISE’ has been created that assess and highlights the requirements of these divers, so that they can be practised safely.

If anyone is interested in either of these courses, they can contact Andy or myself and we will be glad to help them.

There was a boat working party the Tuesday before Hallsands expedition and my thanks go to Bob Abbott, Mary & Tony Hartigan, Tim Clouter and Dave Winter, who alone with myself made the effort to attend. We managed to complete what was needed to do to the Dunlop boat and when Bob Abbott and Co. had completed the repairs to the Mercury engine, it was finally refitted to the boat that same night. This allowed both boats to be available for that expedition. The Johnson engine is still waiting for the kill switch, but it has finally turned up and will be fitted A.S.A.P.

Please note that these boats will be used at the forthcoming Harbour Regatta

There are still things that require working parties and these will be on a couple of evenings. Please let Bob Abbott (Boat Care Officer), know if you are available and he will let you know the dates.

Note: Volunteers are still being sought to fulfil the post of Entertainment’s Officer, due to the recent resignation by Julie Ryalls.

Dates for your diary

Dive Leader lectures – See me for any lectures you may require.

(There is no date for the end of this qualification as yet.)

24th – 25th July – North Wales

29th July (Social Night) – Visit to Smiles Brewery (buffet included in the price)

(See Harry Ryalls for information)

14th – 28th August – Oban, Scotland (Club’s annual UK expedition)

(and beyond)


The Tryout Nite planned for July was cancelled at the last minute again, August is now full with three sessions booked. Please look at the rota that has been drawn up to see when you are needed. I will not be available for the last two of these dates. I hope to get a stand-in arranged.

DO’s thought for the month


Harry Ryalls



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