Dates: March 2009,
Last weekend saw the second (?) OUUEG dive trip of 2009, with myself, Brian, Muhan, Craig, Luke and Steve Grigg (braving his first dives in UK waters) venturing off to Portland to dive with Fathom and Blues.
Buoyed by the prospect of diving in some decent sunny weather (e.g not snow) and with a newly (albeit hastily and slightly drunkenly) fixed dry suit, I left Oxford in good spirits – However, discovering fathom and blues had mysteriously moved we got a little confused and met up with the others late missing the vital pint/food bit of the evening. It took us a while to find the bunkhouse and so we got to the next pub to find it had just closed. Luckily, back at the bunkhouse Brian produced the weekend’s supply of whisky which we (heroic effort from Craig) saw off immediately with some stolen microchips, guinness and micropizza from the communal kitchen. Luke then arrived with the reinforcements (4 bottles of leffe).
Saturday we actually managed to get up and do some diving, and what’s more it was a beautiful day – a dive just off the bay and a drift dive for Scallops in pretty good visibility. Brian and Steve trying out drysuits; Craig and Luke with their twinsets; And myself trying out the DIY neck seal. Muhan had minor leaks, and notably, Steve had major leak in 8C water (welcome to the UK!). I was toasty warm (thanks for neck seal Luke!). The planned night dive was abandoned in favour of beer and rugby (Irish grand-slam for Brian).
That evening we tried to locate the leak in Muhan’s suit (conclusion kind of everywhere). Steve’s was coming in at the neck, so the next day we took action.
After discussing possible options; 1. Gaffer/cable tie up. 2. Wear a wet suit underneath. 3. Strap up with my knife strap we decided on option 3. Unfortunately option 3 proved to be quite successful, so without his suit half full of water he was over buoyant so we weren’t able to quickly descend to hit the James fennel which we had been dropped off on. We spent the dive swimming in circles looking for the wreck to discover when we popped up we had drifted about half a mile from it to the bemusement of the skipper. However, there were some nice rocks, a Wrasse or two, sponges and a dogfish so all was not wasted. The final dive was a quicker drift dive in some slightly deeper water. Here I was impressed with Muhan’s hunting skills (obviously developed on the Isle of Mann), and we all went home happy with scallops and suntans. Thanks to Brian for organising the trip, Luke for lending out bits of his kit, Muhan for a good Scallop recipe, and see some of you in Cornwall next Month for hopefully some more of the same