Manacles, Lizard, Devon 2002
2nd-3rd June 2002
This trip replaced the planned expedition to the Farne Islands, over the Queen's Jubilee Weekend from 1st to 4th June. The feeling was generally that the Farnes were just too far to go for a long weekend.
Five of us took Bath Tub down, camping and launching from Porthkerris.
There were lots of boats on the Mohegan when we arrived. We found and dived Vases Reef, which had slack water and viz of 10 to 15m, and had to share it with only 2 other boats. An excellent dive - lots of colour. We managed a second dive, this time in a slight current over the Mohegan, though this was short as we needed to get back to Porthkerris in time to be recovered over the beach by the tractor.
It rained overnight, confirming the DO's opinion that only idiots dive and camp.
This time we dived Raglan Reef, again in slack water with only one other boat for company, whilst there were hoards of dive boats jostling over the Mohegan. Again wonderful colour, this time with a large shoal of horse mackerel in one gulley.
Fi and Ian managed a second dive on Raglan, though the current was increasing by the end of their dive. However, just before they surfaced, the boat cover noticed 2 apparently unattended divers on the surface nearby. They declined help at first, but after floating for 20 minutes or so, agreed to be recovered. They said they were also diving Raglan, but with no sign of their RIB, we called Falmouth Coastguard. They asked us to return them to Porthkerris, but as we were ploughing through the water with 7 on board, we transferred them to one of the big local commercial RIBS, and managed a short dive on the Mohegan. When we returned to shore, we discovered that their boat was on Vases, ½ mile away, and did not seem to have missed them!
As a postscript to the story, one member of the club went to the Bristol Scuba Centre a couple of weeks later, and recounted this story. The bloke serving said that one of the 2 divers involved had just come in and bought an air whistle.……
Overall, a good 2 days. Weather was overcast in the mornings and sunny in the afternoons. Porthkerris was generally hospitable, but…….. We felt that there were some unwelcome sides to it. The toilets in the campsite were full, and there was no drinking water there. The showers didn't work. Launch and recovery ceases notionally at 5, which is a bit early - particularly if you have had to travel down in the morning. The café was fine….until they couldn't find us, and forgot part of the order anyway. Lastly, there seemed to be charges for everything - the £10 cards for air fills at £3 a time seemed particularly irritating. I think we'll try Porthoustock next time.