Author: Rona Costello
Holger’s deeper diving weekend was planned as a Plymouth trip for those keen to get some deeper diving experience, especially if they’ve not done much deep diving in the UK before. Unfortunately for Holger, Rona, Becca, Sally, Penny, Ryan and Rocco though, the wind gods were not in their favour and the more ambitious plans had to be reined in somewhat. Despite the winds though, and a fair amount of faffing, they still had four successful dives over the weekend.
Saturday saw the worst of the winds with force 6 winds blowing from the south west and diving limited to sheltered patches close to shore. The day therefore started very leisurely (for a dive trip) with much standing around looking at the sea. Deciding that it looked okay enough to get the boat out, they headed out to have a couple of nice gentle dives near Cawsand Bay. Highlights here included Becca running into a huge lobster out in the open, Rona and Penny finally having a dive together after more than two years in the same dive club, and Sally and Holger seeing three cuttlefish! The cuttles took quite a bit of interest in the divers, with one of them even seeming to mimic Sally by propping itself up on the seabed like she was doing.
The weather was more kind to the divers’ on Sunday, and they were able to get out to the wreck of the SS Persier for some deeper diving. After surviving a rather bumpy boat journey out to the wreck and managing to successfully shot the wreck (on the boilers no less!), the divers headed down to 30 metres to explore. Despite having a very short amount of bottom time (most of us were diving on just a single cylinder of air) there were some definite highlights from this dive. As well as exploring the wreck these included: fields of pink sea fans, conger eels, nudibranchs galore, spotting a monk fish and a Tompot Blenny.
All feeling very sated with our deeper diving experience, the divers headed back towards Plymouth Sound to fill up their tanks, grab some lunch and have a final dive on the breakwater fort. Here Rona and Holger came across oodles of nudibranchs and even manged to spot another couple of cuttlefish!
All in all, a very successful weekend of diving. And like all good diving weekends, no one wanted it to end. It was just as well then that the battery of our hire car had run flat during the day on Sunday and there was plenty of extra faff before we could leave Plymouth. :)