Diving Officers Communication (Sep 2000)

The year is nearly over and I am back to form, this being both Septembers and Octobers DO’s report. Tim has been badgering me to get it done and I take full blame for not doing it. Perhaps I’m getting a bit lazy? September has seen 3 trips that have added to this year’s total of logged dives. We have still managed to dive every month and I hope this will continue to the end of the season and beyond.

Although the weather has slowly turned to what we normally expect of it, we have still managed to do some diving. There has been the end of season trip to North Wales, organised by Mike Down, which had all available places soon snapped up. Although I have not seen the dive logs for this trip yet, the reports back from those that went are very encouraging. Another trip to West Wales had to be cancelled due to the fuel crisis, which gave us an opportunity to do some more work on the boat shed and those jobs that were outstanding. It was nice to see the turn out of members to help, but it was a shame that it was the same faces. If I did not know better I would think that the membership consisted of these people only. IF YOU HAVE NOT ATTENDED A WORKING PARTY THIS YEAR; PLEASE MAKE THE EFFORT AND ATTEND THE NEXT ONE. We have discovered that many hands do make light work of the jobs and we are getting the boat shed to a much tidier and usable state. For instance, it is now the norm to hold our lectures there.

Mid-month saw a few intrepid members (they may have been mad) taking to the air and flying to Sardinia for a photographic workshop. Not knowing what to expect, feelings and expectations were mixed. Our fears were confirmed when the first dive on offer was in the 30m+ range. This was declined and a more reasonable depth requested so that kit and cameras could be checked out. The trip was organised by Alan James who owns a Photography business in Patchway and has had some of his work appearing in quite a few dive magazines. (see the, ‘Sea & Sea’ adverts). He has also produced some books on underwater photography and run these types of trips to many destinations throughout the world. Due to no fault of Alan’s, things did not go to plan and some of the workshops just did not happen. Even after this some of us did learn something from the week and in the slide competition one the final day a second place was secured by one of our newly fledged underwater paparazzi (autographs by appointment only). [Tim adds, “Very well done Harry”]

The month ended with a trip to Plymouth and a Marine Life Identification Course being undertaken by seven members. I have been told that this is an excellent course and all those that attended came away with a different outlook of the underwater environment. It was very enlightening regarding the diverse life forms to be found and some of the damage that we are causing to it. One of the group actually found a specimen of a mollusc that was not recorded in the area. He told me that some of those running the course were excited as they had never actually seen one before!

This was an excellent end to a month of mixed events and I hope enough members are infected with the enthusiasm of those that took this course, we have to protect out environment because no one else will.


The current training program for all grades has been completed and the Dive Leader knowledge was taken by two of those on the course. The others will be able to take theirs at a later date. For those that require ‘catch-up’ lectures, I am holding them on pre-arranged nights. If you need one and I know those that do, please make the effort to contact me so that we can arrange a mutually agreeable date for you to have them. I am sure that there is only one lecture that is required to be rerun. For all the new starts that have joined over the past weeks, a new Club Diver program has been drawn up and will start in early November, soon after the AGM. Hopefully the majority of open water drills will be carried out over the next few months, so keep and eye and ear open for information on forthcoming trips. To be fair to those that do not have email/web access, I have asked those organising trips to ensure that a notice is placed in the club folder and/or notice board on a Wednesday night before it is published over the internet.


The diving this month has added 89 dives to the total number of 697 for the year to date; Carol Sheppard looks to be holding her lead and should finish top of the dive table at year end. She can only be overtaken if someone breaks both her legs, locks her away in a dark room and throws away the key, but I do not know any one brave or stupid enough to try. (Perhaps I do?)



General (cont)

The insurance company has been in contact and given the go ahead to have the Mercury engine repaired. This will now take place and we should have a good engine for exchanging later on. As the season will soon be finishing there will be a few jobs that will need to be done to winterise the boats.

As of writing this report we have not heard anything back about the lottery grant, so I hope that no news is good news. Hopefully we may have some feedback before the AGM and the membership can be informed at this time.

There are still some tasks that require working parties at the boat shed, as the nights are drawing in and the weather is changing slowly toward winter, we can hopefully get them done without to much trouble. Both Tim and Bob have been going up there to do jobs on their own, I am not happy with one person working up there on their own as if something was to go wrong it may have dire consequences. As previously stated in many reports, this is our equipment and should be maintained by us all and not just a selected few. If we do not start looking after it now, what will happen if/when we get our grant and buy all this new equipment? How long will it last if we do nothing to maintain it? So come on let’s start now. For those that did not know, we are now members of the Marine Conservation Society. As members we are sent a quarterly magazine. I will attempt to make this available at the boat shed for the membership. If you borrow this magazine, please ensure that it is returned for others to see.

Lecture Program for 2000

  • Club Diver lectures – (New program to start as soon as possible for new starts.)
  • Sports Diver lectures – New program to be planned when asked for.
  • Dive Leader lectures – Theory Review ongoing, Catch-up lectures being arranged

Dates for your diary

October 21st – Chinese meal Cafe’ Rendezvous, King Street (See Carol Sheppard for details)

Postponed – 2nd Hard Hat dive at Portland Harbour

November 8th – AGM – Room 4 BAWA


Carol Sheppard has organising the Christmas meal and is collecting deposits for the night. This year it is at the Ship, Thornbury. Secure your place by stumping up a deposit to Carol ASAP. I have heard that the accommodation is relatively cheap and you do not have to vacate the room too early. (Mike & Sheila details)

DO’s thought for the month


Came second.

Harry Ryalls



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