Diving Officers Communication (May 2001)

I must apologise for not reporting to the membership with my usual regularity, but I have had lots of problems with my PC not wanting to do anything. At one point I thought I would be sending it to that great dive site in the sky. I was going to throw it in the sea, but then I thought about the pollution hazards. I did not know what the virus was and could not take the chance. I have now wiped and reformatted my hard drive and am in the process of retrieving all the information that I think I need. If by chance you have sent me ANYTHING THIS YEAR CAN YOU PLEASE SEND ME ANOTHER COPY? Thank you.

The past few months since my last report have seen a fair bit of diving being carried out. We have seen various trips happening, but the weather and the visibility have been the down side to some. Some of the sites visited over the past months are Brixham, Horsea Island, the Maldives, Salcombe and recently Portland. The Brixham trip saw very poor visibility, but this was put to good use by doing navigation skills. Even this did not deter those who turned up and feedback was very good. Late February saw a group of us having to put ourselves through lots of hardship, so that a visit to that unpopular dive destination of the Maldives could be carried out. For those that have not seen the photos of the Manta Rays there are copies of some on the Club Web site along with a report from various members of the party that went. All I can say about this is ‘WHEN ARE WE GOING BACK?’ Thanks to Julie Ryalls for coordinating this trip and for getting us the extra baggage allowance from Air2000. Back in Blighty and Horsea Island being visited, we had a surprise when we arrived, there were so many divers trying to get in that it took the best part of an hour before we were pulling into the car park. This was a very popular day; maybe partly due the poor conditions at the various dive sites on the coast and partly due to the report of the last trip here. This day was one of mainly training, with a few additional members doing some warm-up dives before the season gets underway. I must thank Stewart Butterfield for organising this day and I can now say that I was there and enjoyed all that was on offer, especially as I have missed the last few visits due to other commitments. Even the weather was kind and the sun shone on us for the majority of the day. April and Easter soon was looming on us, so it was out with the Caravans and a visit to Salcombe for our Club’s first away weekend. A slight change from normal was that we were trying out another campsite closer to Hope Cove. This site named ‘Karrageen’, turned out to be a very good choice, as the facilities here were a bit better than we normally found at our previous site. To cap it all was there was a very pretty view out over Thurlestone Sands. Another good thing about the trip was the attendance of some of our new recruits and their introduction to our away trip Barbeque. Thankfully these were well received as the diving turned out to be unsuitable for them. I did manage to make them look foolish though by getting them to practice navigation techniques on the beach. There were some very odd looks from passers-by as they saw our Club Divers walking around with towels or blankets over the heads, arms outstretched, pretending to members of the living dead. But congratulations to them all for doing a very good job and completing square, triangular and out & back again drills. By the time they had completed these drills the sea was making it presence known by crashing on to the shore, ideal for the next group of trainees and their ‘Dive Leader rescue scenarios’. One of the group of three taking part had no forewarning of this drill, but all three did very well with the scenarios that were sprung on them. My thanks to Cyril Hucker for organising the away weekend and for being the ‘casualty’ and to the Club Divers for helping with some of the roles for these drills. Our thanks also go to Dave Winter for bringing the boat down and to Bob Abbott for making ‘A day trip’ to the site to tow the boat back. He’s far too good to us. The year was soon charging on and before I knew it, May Day was just around the corner. We had decided to revisit an old dive site that was popular with the club until it went into private hands. So the relevant licences were purchased to allow us to dive in Portland Harbour and the wrecks within this site. Due to the weather and ‘The Foot and Mouth’ outbreak that has been plaguing the country we found it difficult to find a campsite to take us, but thanks to Julie Ryalls again for finding and booking one just outside Fleet. This long weekend trip was another one that saw a good turnout of members and I was left with the problem of organising the diving and ensuring we all ‘got wet’. Our only problem was that we could find no one to bring the boat down with them, so it was left to me to do the double. One trip to get the boat down, one trip to get my Caravan down, thankfully it was a very nice day with brilliant sunshine to accompany me on the way. My day started at 6.30am when I went to get the boat. I arrived at the site, wife in tow and caravan on the back at 3.45pm to my first drink of the trip. We were the first to arrive at the site and as tradition has it, a cold beer was waiting for all those that turned up later in the day. The weather was fairly kind to us and our plans to dive in the harbour were only affected by the dives sites open to us. Thankfully ‘The Countess of Erne’ was our chosen wreck and we dived it every day. Some of those attending carried out their first boat dive, first wreck dive and first low visibility dive, but this did not dampen their enthusiasm and they were back the next day to do it all again.

This now brings my diving report up to date, so if I have not mentioned one you have been on, the chances are that I did not know about it in the first place.

Chris Barker, our Advanced Diver Representative is looking to provide information about adventurous diving for all skill groups able to take part in the forthcoming months. What he has presented to me looks very exciting and I hope we will all be giving him our support for anything that he organises for the club. I know that I will. The first of these being a series of planned dives on the club wreck. If you are interested get your name on the reserve list pronto. For other planned dives, have a look at the club dive schedule on our web site.


The Club Diver knowledge review was carried out early this month, with all eight trainees’ turning up to do it. The open water dives are now being carried out for those able to do them. For those still waiting for drills please let me know and I will attempt to get them done as soon as possible. The Sports diver lecture program has also been completed with the last lecture completed within the last few weeks. I will inform all involved of the date for the knowledge review. The required open water work will also be done as soon as conditions allow. There is a request for Dive Leader lectures already and a program will soon be drawn up for those interested. The current lecture program is by now complete, with the last person receiving the outstanding lecture over the May Bank Holiday. The knowledge review for those on this program will take place next month on a date to be agreed.

Congratulations to all members below for completing their next skill levels.

  • Julie Ryalls – Dive Leader, welcome to the ‘Orange Top’ brigade Julie, I’m sure you will be on the poolside very soon.
  • Lee Perry – Dive Leader (Lee it’s amazing what the army will do to get rid of you for a few days)
  • Jo Partington – Sports Diver (just before she jets off to sunnier climes)
  • Carol Sheppard – Sports Diver.

In addition congratulations to both Carol Sheppard and Lee Perry on completing their Assistant Club Instructors course. They are now included within the Club Instructors training staff pool. Keep an eye on the lecture program, your names will appear soon.


If you have not heard the news let me be the last to tell you. The club has placed an order for a new boat, yes a new boat – a 4.8-meter rib from RibCraft at Yeovil no less, and we should be in possession of it later in the year.  I know this has taken a long time to happen, but due to our 2 failed attempts for a lottery grant we have had to see if we can fund this from within the club. Thankfully so long as things progress as they are we can, just about, but we should not be complacent and should be looking for ways to raise additional funding to purchase the extras that we will need. One thing that we must do is sell one of our current boats to allow us to proceed. Which one will have to be decided in the coming months and before the final payment is due in September. Let’s hope everything goes according to plan and there are no hick-ups. So please do you absolute best to support the club in any fund raising activities.

Lecture Program for 2001

  • Club Diver- Lecture program completed. Open Water progressing.
  • Sports Diver – Current program ongoing. Open Water dives to be planned.
  • Dive Leader – Lectures finally complete. Review to be announced.

See our Web Site for relevant information on dates for lecture programs

Dates for your diary

25th  – 28th May 2001   –           Plymouth Weekend (Staying at Riverside- see Cyril if interested)

10th June 2001              –           Plymouth Sound Marine Survey (see Tim if interested)

16th  – 18th June 2001   –           Lyme Regis (Staying at Shrubbery camp site as normal)

14th  – 17th July.2000    –           Hallsands (New camp site venue planned)

August 2001                  –           North Wales (see Mike Down if interested)

3rd – 6th August 2001    –           Harbour Regatta

August Bank Hol 2001  –           Club annual trip away (Possible venue is Kennack Sands)

See our Web Site for relevant information on these and other diving expedition dates.


Our new Entertainment Officers are trying to organise another cuisine night in the Bristol area. They are looking for a different nationality from the one’s already visited. Any thoughts to either Julie or Mary please. Other than this, very little is happening. One of our members is off on a short holiday to the Far East and will be keeping in touch via Hot Mail. There should be quite a few as she is of for six months. Good luck goes to Jo on her travels, watch out for those creepy crawly things that you tend to find in these countries, also watch out for all the insects as well.

DO’s thought for the month


It just takes a little longer especially if you have to do it yourselves.

Harry Ryalls



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