Bath 33 Scillies Trip 2005
Bath Club were lucky enough to get a cancellation week with Tim Allsop of Scilly Diving. 11 divers and 2 guests took over Rock Cottage and the Dive Flat for the week of Sept 3rd for a week of hard boat diving, with another guest Chas who had a re-breather.
Catering was organised by 2 house mothers- Janet and Pete- and everyone chipped in with a mixture of home cooking and walks to the pub or Arthurs' cafe for fish and chips night. Amazingly the dive flat lasted 5 days before cracking and buying treacle tart from the St Martins bakery but it went downhill from then.
The diving was slightly limited by the Spring tides with low water mid day- making getting home a challenge- and we had south easterly winds, with worse forecast. However Tim found excellent sites all week and apart from one early mishap when we got in too soon and divers were swooshed all over Trenamene, we hit slack tides and the exact spot every time.
For those on repeat visits, we also had at least 4 new sites, including the fabulous protected historic wreck site of a 70 gun ship of the line by Bishopstone Lighthouse. The new Jo's reef was a mass of colour. We visited the favourites Flat ledge, High ridge and the seals at Menawethan and we even managed to find a new area on the old favourite, the Hathor and Plympton (well, I got lost anyway). Ian B managed his 40m dive for advanced to inspect the quadrant with Pete, and Sue and Ian Stratton ('Harry") got to grips with their new dry suits.
Tim was keen to video Janet and Dave and record their dive times to wind up the increasing number of technical dive guests - just to prove that a 10 litre cylinder is all you need as a veteran. Dave gave us all a laugh, deaf to underwater shouts of 'its behind you' as he dragged a seal by its teeth through the kelp. Heavy kelp in Scilly. Bryan had a less fortunate experience with a seal- it tore and he had a forced day off but made an excellent 'ships cat' and a great cup of tea despite his disappointment. He also dived with a suit full of water once he had repaired it (or thought he had).
Although the low water meant a bit of a hike with bottles a couple of days, we got back early and had good siestas or joined the non divers (or 'dive slaves') for hikes around St Martins. We also helped the water shortage by arranging a bbq - luckily the drying area houses 16 people in comfort and the woolly bears were no worse for a bit of smoke.
The group impressed Tim and also ' Voyager' with their enthusiasm and organisation in kit loading , bottle changing and getting on with the dive. The weather was mostly good and we had lots of pink faces. All in all, the biggest disappointment was that next year is full up, but we bagged a space for 2007 and I can't wait to get back.