Diving Officers Communication (Sep 1999)

We must be doing something right as the weather has stayed fine for yet another month and we have managed to get wet again and enjoy ourselves.

This month has seen a few expeditions happening, some of which I am still waiting information from. The total number of dives completed this month is not yet known so I can not report on the yearly total to date.

The North Wales expedition took part late in July, so was not included in last month’s report. This venue had some divers returning to it yet again, so it just goes to show how good it must be. My thanks must go to Mike Down (DL) for organising what is fast becoming an annual event, the available places being snapped up very quickly, and to Tim Clouter (AD) for overseeing the diving. Although the visibility was not as good as in previous years, they still enjoyed their dives with the seals. The main difference from other years was that the seals did not want to play with the divers this year and left their dive equipment alone. For some, this was their first experience of seals and broad smiles were seen on faces when the colony was first seen. The dive logs for each day states that everyone had enjoyed themselves to the full, the average logged dive time being in excess of 50 mins, the longest being 72 mins. The total number of dives logged for this expedition was 22 for the 5 divers that attended (1 person pulled out at the last minute and no available replacement was found in the short time left)

The first dive of August was an evening dive, with a small group visiting Brixham Breakwater to do some dive disciplines. A first open water dive for a Club Diver and a night dive as a Dive Leader discipline. Tim Clouter (CI) was the organiser of this event with Simone Turner and Racheal Mappledoram making up the rest of the party. Well done to Sim, for completing the required disciplines on her first sea dive and for returning with a beaming smile to shore afterwards and to Racheal for finding the beach after her dive.

The reigns for overseeing club diving was passed over to Andy Wilson, Training Officer, around mid August. A group of us were going to Oban, West Scotland, for a short 14 days break, where we hoped to visit the wreck of the Breda – a cargo ship sunk in the Second World War. Thankfully we were able to do this in the 2nd week of the break. The wreck still holds countless item’s waiting to be uncovered, but care must be taken as visibility can drop to zero very quickly. On one dive we penetrated the wreck towards the stern and exited close to the bows, (this exit being a bit tight for me). On route we had a good delve around as it is rumoured that there is still treasure to be found, but no one knows the location of if as yet. Sadly we did not find any sign of it either. Is it a myth or something?

On returning to shore after one dive I was met by a gentleman who asked if we could give him a dive. When asked about his qualifications and experience, he introduced himself as Bob Baird and showed us his latest book – Shipwrecks of the West of Scotland – many of which he has dived at some time or other. Thankfully we were able to grant his wish and he acted as a guide for one of our dive pairs when we visited the wreck again. I hope to write to him in the near future to obtain a copy of his books. (Signed I hope). All too soon our time at this beautiful and peaceful part of the country was over, but we returned with good memories of the Single Malts that we were forced to sample and of the dives that we completed. (Approx. 44 logged dives, but I still have to finalise these logs as some stayed on for the Bank Holiday)

At one time this month there were no less than four club events taking place on the same day!

  • The Oban Expedition.
  • Training dives at Chesil Cove
  • Advanced level dives at Pulpit Rock, Portland
  • An expedition to West Wales.

It’s comforting to know that this can happen within the club and goes to reflect on the state of the membership. I will report on these events in next month communication after details become available.

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 I’ll add it to the planner in the Club’s notice board folder and on the Web site.


The new lecture program for Club Diver is well underway with nearly half of them completed. The confined water drills will start as soon as the medicals have been obtained. As earlier stated, the weather this month has allowed the open water dives that were required for different disciplines to be completed as and when those that required them made the effort to attend the dives.

The Sports Diver and Dive Leader drills are still ongoing. It is nice to see that some of the membership is making an effort to complete their skill when the opportunity arises. For those others within the training program, there are only a few disciplines outstanding and I hope these can be completed as soon as possible. To be able to do this you need to attend any of the forthcoming expedition or day trips. If you still need a discipline, why not think about doing them when the dives are available, or you may be too late to complete these drills under this present training umbrella.

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


We are offering the following two courses for non-members.

‘Snorkelling for Beginners’

We have drawn up a schedule for both theory and practical lessons for snorkellers, which will be run over one week. At the end of this course, the new snorkeller will have the basic understanding and skill to take the first step into the discovery of the underwater world.


This program has been designed for divers who have not dived for some time and want to practice their skills in a safe environment. It has been created to assess and highlight any areas that may require further practise, then allows the diver to perfect and hone them. This is performed under instructor supervision.

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

The Harbour Regatta took place over the weekend 31st July and 1st August. Some of our club members took part and supplied surface safety cover for the games and other events that took place and generally looked out for those that might want to cool off in the water as the weather reached 30+ Deg.C. over the weekend (the hottest for some time). Some of us stayed down at the docks for the whole weekend and had our compulsory barbecues in the evening.

Our trip to Smiles Brewery was a well-supported event, with all available places soon being snapped up. Chris, who was our guide, told us all about the Brewery from conception to present day and made the trip down through the different levels very informative. We soon found ourselves in the lower levels where we were to sample the wares on offer and once Chris had explained the various ale’s, their strengths and flavours, it was down to the real hard task of sampling them. This is a very good evening, especially as the majority of the expense is donated toward children charities, a fact that we all drank to on more than one occasion that night.

As no one had a camera with him or her this will not be reported on the web – thankfully.

If you belong to a different club or group, this is a very good event to think about doing and is good value as an evening out, especially as it helps Bristol Children Charities. My thanks go to Chris who made this event such fun, it was that good that I went back the following Thursday for a rerun with a group from work.

There are still things in the boat shed that require working parties and hopefully these will be organised on a couple of evenings in the coming months. 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

Standing down 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.)

19th Oct. – 2nd Nov. – Kayo Largo, Cuba (Club expedition 6 members now going)

17th Dec. (Social Night) – Annual Dinner Dance at Cadbury House

(Get your deposits in to guarantee your place A.S.A.P.)

As can be seen there are no planned trips for September yet, but keep an eye on the club folder for late happenings. A possible return trip to Horsea Island is being talked about.


The Tryout nights have come to an end for the time being and there are no more planned for the rest of the year as yet. My thanks to all of those who have given their time to help out in the pool on these nights.


There are a few people who need congratulating at this time. Laura Winter, for reaching her 18th birthday and Nikki & Neil Hatherall, who are expecting additions to their family early next year. To all of these the membership and myself extend our warmest thoughts.

DO’s thought for the month


Harry Ryalls



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