I participated in a try dive with the Oxford University Underwater Exploration Group (OUUEG) on Saturday 29th of October, where I, for the very first time, took my first breaths underwater! The afternoon began with a small group of us, most of us complete beginners, who gathered outside the kit hut at Iffley Sports Centre. We were met by our instructors for the day and after quick introductions we got right into learning what we would be doing and all the equipment we would be needing. We took some time finding the right fins and masks before learning how to use a BCD (Buoyancy Control Device – a kind of jacket that can be filled with air). We also got to grips with how to use regulators and how to check our air supply. We then moved all our equipment – including some heavy air cylinders – to the pool side and we were ready to get in. The instructors were always friendly and happy to answer all of the many questions I had.
On 13-14 August I went on my first expedition with OUUEG. Kirill and I went to dive in Norfolk to see two wrecks of steam ships, sunk at the beginning of the 20th century: SS Vera and SS Rosalie (my favourite!). We also did two drift dives from the shore, and made lots of underwater friends (mostly crabs and lobsters). Altogether, a fantastic little adventure in a jolly good company!
The North Sea can be calm, warm (22°C !!!), and welcoming!
A group of ten divers went to Lymington on the Saturday for two dives off the Wight Spirit. We first went on a drift dive at around 16 meters, and then the wreck of the Clan Mackay torpedoed in World War 1. Visibility was poor at 2-4 meters, but the dive involved catshark, congor eels, and edible crab sightings.
We went down to Plymouth for a week of diving! A few members from OUUEG, a few members from Hellfins, but fun was had by all
Seahorse, our club boat, stayed out of action for one and a half years for obvious reasons. Before she can go for any sea trips, she and her trailer had to be thoroughly cleaned and inspected. It may not have been a diving day, but we had a pleasure of a little river cruise. No ducks were harmed!
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