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Bristol Channel Divers

Club News Archive

Christmas 'Do' Booked

This event is now booked for Saturday 21 January in the Loch Fyne Restaurant. Members - please check your e-mails to see if you are booked for the meal. If you still want to come along please contact Fiona as soon as possible.
Added 28 Dec 2005

(Post) Christmas 'Do'

We're canvassing opinions for a night out in January to celebrate the passing of the festive season. The three options are:

The dates we are thinking about are Saturday 14 or Saturday 21 January 2006.

Can you please tell Fiona what you would like to do by replying to her e-mail.
Added 29 Nov 2005

Great Ocean Adventure

Are you watching Monty Halls's series on Channel 5 (Thursdays, 19.15)? You may remember that Monty gave a talk to the club last winter on his exploits. Each programme sees Monty going from rock islands and palm-fringed beaches to dramatic coastlines and underwater caverns in search of an epic encounter with his weekly "must see" species. This week we saw Monty exploring the caves and islands around Belize hoping to swim with the Caribbean Reef Shark. He also dived into the famous Blue Hole.
Added 10 Nov 2005

MCS Tackles Supermarket Fish Sales

Click here to read Divernet's report on the Marine Conservation Society's latest initiative. For a further report try The Scotsman's article here.
Added 9 Nov 2005

Sail the Island!

In May 2006 the Parkinson's Disease Society is running a 3 day adventure sailing weekend. Join the trip and you will learn how to crew a 40' yacht and take part in a special challenge to sail around the Island. Want to know more? Click here.
Added 1 Nov 2005

BSAC Launches 'Project Neptune'

BSAC has embarked on the replacement of its ageing membership database. For more information, click here.
Added 30 Oct 2005

Seas around Western Europe 'Healthy'

Amidst the usual doom and gloom about disappearing marine life, a ray of hope comes with evidence suggesting that seas off Western Europe remain a healthy rearing ground for dolphins and whales.
Click here for the full story from Divernet.
Added 30 Oct 2005

Mary Rose Latest

Possibly the last portion of the great Tudor warship Mary Rose was raised on 11 October from the bottom of the Solent. Click here for Divernet's coverage or here for the Daily Telegraph's report. The Mary Rose Trust has its own web site - click here to take a look.
Added 30 Oct 2005

Lundy Wreck Identified

Ilfracombe and North Devon SAC have finally identified the wreck situated 10 miles east of Lundy as the 'South Australian'. Click here for the full story.
Added 30 Oct 2005

On-line Case Store
A Bristol company has recently launched an on-line shop selling Peli's full range of underwater
cases and submersible torches at discount prices. Need a case for your underwater camera? This company may be able to help. For further information click on the link: http://www.casemarket.co.uk
Added 9 Oct 2005, Updated 18 Oct 2005

Marine Conservation And Research Expedition In The Seychelles
Fancy putting your diving skills towards a good cause? Visit this link to find out more.
Added 9 Oct 2005

Whale Shark Secrets Discovered
Click here to see an article from BBC news about the largest fish in the sea.
Added 25 Sep 2005

MCS Basking Shark Survey
Have you seen a Basking Shark this year? If you have, then the MCS (Marine Conservation Society) are keen to have details. Visit their web site and complete the form.
Added 22 Sep 2005

Ioan & Anwen's Wedding

Anwen & Ioan were married yesterday in Portishead.
Added 29 Aug 2005

Win Tickets to Dive 2005

Once again we are running a competition (members only) to win 2 tickets to Dive 2005. All you have to do is email the webmaster the answer to the following question:-

To what depth did freediver Patrick Musimu dive to set the new world record?

Entries must be received by 15th October.
Added 29 Aug 2005

TV Stars Line Up For Dive 2005

This year’s Dive Show at the NEC in Birmingham will be packed full of familiar faces more usually seen on our TV screens. Heading up the exciting two-day programme of talks and presentations at the show on 29 and 30 October is one of TV’s most engaging natural history specialists, Nigel Marven. He is being joined by Miranda Krestovnikoff, who is starring in the current BBC series Coast, and Monty Halls, whose Swimming with Giants tour will shortly be shown on Channel 5.

This trio of TV stars will be talking each day to visitors at the UK’s annual diving extravaganza at the NEC. Each year over 300 companies exhibit and over 17,000 experienced and wannabe divers visit the show to buy the latest kit, book their holidays and listen to the experts giving presentations in the free seminar theatres.

Freediving and cave diving are also on the bill at Dive 2005, and are sure to be big crowd pullers. One of the world’s top cave-divers and author of the cavers’ bible ‘The Darkness Beckons’, Martyn Farr, is constantly travelling to unexpected parts of the world and returning with stirring tales of his adventures. Martyn will be showing film footage and will be discussing his exploits in his daily presentation.

Patrick Misumu, the current holder of the freediving world record, will be taking a deep breath and speaking for an hour about his recent record breaking dive. Wreck specialists Leigh Bishop and Teresa Telus will be giving divers a virtual underwater tour of famous wrecks such as the Lusitania and the Britannic and Richard Lundgren will be speaking about Project Oland Wreck Survey, which is revealing wreck after wreck in amazing states of preservation in the Swedish Baltic Sea.

The hustle and bustle of the exhibition halls is sure to get the pulses racing amongst visitors who are looking for kit to buy, holidays to book and new leisurewear to don when they are not in the water. And, for visitors new to the sport of diving, there is a Try-Dive pool where they can do a spot of ‘bubble blowing’ to get used to breathing and swimming under water.

Tickets to this year’s Dive Show cost £7.50 if booked in advance or £10.50 on the door). Visit www.diveshows.co.uk to book online or call the ticket hotline on 020 8977 9878. Tickets bought in advance for eight people or more will automatically be entered into a free draw to win a £5,000 Red Sea holiday from leading tour operator Regaldive. And, every visitor to the show can enter the grand prize draw to win a fabulous two-week holiday to the island of Dominica – the nature island of the Caribbean.

For more information about Dive 2005 visit www.diveshows.co.uk or call 020 8943 4288.
Added 29 Aug 2005

Fin Whale Siting

The BBC has reported the siting of Fin Whales in the Irish Sea, observed on a trip organised by Steve Lewis of Pembrokeshire Dive Charters, whose company we use when we dive in Pembrokeshire. Click here to see the full article and a picture of Steve looking miserable!
Added 22 Aug 2005

Swanage - 21 August
Carol has posted some additional information about this diving weekend, detailing the dives we will be undertaking. Please contact Carol to book a place on this trip.
Added 9 Jun 2005

Operation Zembe 2
Following the success of “Operation Zembe” Monty Halls, a full time dive journalist and expedition leader will once again collaborate with maritime archaeologist, Dr Bruno Werz of the South African Institute of Marine Archaeology (SAIMA), to lead a second expedition from 2-22 October 2005 to Cape Town to further the story behind one of the most exciting archaeological discoveries in decades. This expedition is being organised by the Scientific Exploration Society who are seeking enthusiastic divers and underwater cameramen to join the team. No previous experience of underwater surveying is required, training will be given. For further information click here.
Added 9 May 2005

AGM Results
The AGM was held last night, attended by 20 members. The new committee is:

The club passed a vote of thanks to Phil Harrison and Ioan Howells for the work they have undertaken as Diving Officer and Rob Parsons as Training Officer in the past year. Anwen Evans was also thanked for her two year stint as Secretary.

In recognition of their part in establishing the branch in 1999, John Francis, Becky & Phil Harrison, Carren & Mark Holden, Berny O'Reilly and Andy Wright were all made Honorary Life Members of the club.

The club agreed that it would change its meeting venue to the Hole in the Wall pub, near Queen's Square on the FIRST and THIRD Monday of every month.

Branch subscriptions were set at a reduced level of £40 for existing members.
Added 22 Mar 2005

More Dive Trips
Thanks to Martin and Carol, we now have additional diving dates in the diary for Falmouth and Swanage.

The Falmouth trip is for the weekend of 11th & 12th June and is hardboat diving with Bay Marine, click here for further information. Please contact Martin if you are interested and to book a place on the trip.

The Swanage trip is a single day's diving with Swanage Boat Charters on Sunday 21st August. Please contact Carol Dale for further information and to book a place.
Added 26 Feb 2005

Competition Winner!
Congratulations to Mark Siggins who correctly identified Mike Rutzen as the Great White Shark expert leading a seminar at the London International Dive Show, being held at ExCeL in London, 5th & 6th March. Mark has won a pair of tickets for the show, courtesy of BSAC HQ.
Added 25 Feb 2005

2004 Diving Incidents Report
As you may be aware, BSAC produce a report every year detailing diving-related incidents that have been reported to them. It contains details of UK diving incidents occurring to divers of all affiliations, plus incidents occurring world-wide involving BSAC members. Key conclusions are:-

Click here to see the full report
Added 7 Feb 2005


A change this month - I will now be publishing a link to the latest version of BSAC Talk rather than scanning in the paper copy received. Click here for the latest version which includes:-

To see previous versions of BSAC Talk click here for an index.
Added 7 Feb 2005

Seasearch Observer Course

On Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th April the Marine Conservation Society are running the above course in Plymouth. It consists of classroom teaching on the Saturday to teach you how to identify marine life properly and 2 dives on the Sunday to allow you to put your newly acquired skills into practice. The course will be held at Deep Blue dive centre at Mount Batten - participants need to be there by 09.45am for a prompt 10.00am start.

The price will be around £20 for the course pack (payable to MCS). A £15 deposit will be required along with a completed booking form to secure your place. There is an additional charge of £25 for the dives (payable to the dive centre); kit hire and air fills can be arranged at special discounted price for course participants, thanks to Deep Blue.

Divers need to hold a recreational diving qualification of at least BSAC SPorts Diver, PADI Advanced Open Water or equivalent, have dived within the last 6 months and have completed 20 dives, at least 10 of which are in temperate waters.

Chris Wood, national Seasearch Coordinator, will be in Plymouth to teach this course. You need to complete 2 dives with a Seasearch Tutor (such as Chris Wood) present, then 3 more normal Seasearch dives - (held every Wednesday evening in Plymouth) to complete the qualification.

Email Amy Bugg (Seasearch Coordinator for Plymouth) if you are interested or would like more details.
Added 4 Feb 2005

MCS Campaign

The MCS (Marine Conservation Society) are running a campaign urging national and regional governments "...to ensure that the UK's marine environment is managed in an integrated and sustainable manner, and that our wonderful marine species and habitats are given the protection they deserve." Click here to read more information and to sign the petition electronically.

Have you ever thought about joining the MCS? Click here for information about the work they do and how to join.
Added 3 Feb 2005

Competition Time!
We have FREE tickets to LIDS (the London International Dive Show) to be held on 5th & 6th March. To win a pair of tickets, simply find out the name of the Great White Shark expert who is leading a seminar at the event. Email this name to Simon at his personal email address - you know you have it! Entries sent to any bristolchanneldivers.org address may not be considered. Closing date is Sunday 20th February. Competition is open to club members only. The winners will be announced at the Club Night on Monday 21st February.
Added 18 Jan 2005

UK Marine Life In Crisis
Did you hear the on BBC's Today programme with WWF senior policy officer, Jan Brown? She outlined some worrying points about the state of our underwater environment. You might be able to listen to this piece again by following this link and selecting the piece timed at 06:55. You can also read about the issue here which also has links to related sites.
Added 18 Jan 2005

Shore Diving in April
The weekend for this event has been set for 9th & 10th April - see Diary for information.
Added 18 Jan 2005

Fish on Line
The Marine Conservation Society has launched a new web site that aims to inform consumers about the fish they buy and how choices they make can help to achieve a sustainable future for our fishing industry. Have a look at the site here. It contains a lot of interesting information that will make you think more carefully about ordering your cod and chips......
Added 18 Jan 2005

Maritime Archaeological Field School
ADMAT (The Anglo-Danish Maritime Archaeological Team) are organising two expeditions to Maricaban Island (approximately three hours south of Manila) in April and May. The courses will include an archaeological training program to teach people how to survey for shipwrecks. The team will be using the skills taught in the training program to solve a local mystery as to why 16th century Chinese pottery shards are being found. Training will be given on the use of depth sounder, sidescan sonar, magnetometer and dredges and traditional survey techniques. All archaeological training will be given, including ADMAT’s own Underwater Survey Diver course Pt 1&2 and various relevant BSAC skill development courses. For further information click here and follow the link under the News section.
Added 12 Jan 2005

First Branch Wedding
Breaking news.... Despite the miles now separating them, Anwen and Ioan got engaged on New Year's Eve. We wish them every happiness for the future.
Added 3 Jan 2005

New Training Courses
Lectures for Sports Diver course are due to start in January and Advanced Diver in February. Please contact Phil Harrison if you wish to enrol.
Added 2 Jan 2005

Your webmaster would like to wish you all a Happy New Year!
Added 1 Jan 2005

BBC Coastal Weather
The BBC have brought together a range of weather pages suitable for planning trips to the coast for diving and sailing. Have a look here.
Added 7 Dec 2004

EGM News
We held our EGM last night where we discussed the future direction of the club. Phil Harrison has agreed to take on the role of Diving Officer until the AGM as Ioan is now working full-time in Libya. Phil will be reviewing the current training requirements and together with John Prince and Brian Tilton will be setting up training sessions for those members who have expressed an interest in furthering their qualifications.

We also agreed to reduce club fees to £40 per annum and refund a proportion of 2004 subscriptions. Simon will be reviewing how to administer this in an equitable manner. A more comprehensive briefing will be sent to members in the next few days.
Added 3 Dec 2004

Munitions Dumped at Sea
An interesting article has been published by the BBC about the dangers of 1st and 2nd World War munitions dumped at sea. Click here to read.
Added 29 Nov 2004

Seasearch Dives
Click here to read a report of the dive Fiona & Simon did last Sunday in Plymouth.

If you are interested in joining the future dives then please contact Amy Bugg, the Plymouth Seasearch Coordinator who is organising dives most weekends over the winter to continue monitoring four sites, the eel grass beds in Jennycliff Bay, Drakes Island and Cawsand. Every fourth week there is a dive on Plymouth's new wreck Scylla. If you want to join the Marine Conservation Society, have a look on their web site.

The next dive is on Saturday 6 November on the Scylla - see diary page.
Added 2 Nov 2004

Rob Parsons - Update
Latest news from our former Training Officer Rob, now based in Sharm, is that it's getting a bit cold, water temperature down to 28 degrees so he has to use a full 3mm wet suit now and the viz is only 12m. We're not sure we really wanted to know that! He has completed his videographer training and is now putting these skills to practice.
Added 2 Nov 2004

Click here to download the latest version of BSAC talk (October 2004). This includes:

Added 4 October 2004

RIB Decision Day at next Club Night

As our members will know, we have issued a questionnaire asking for opinions and offers of loans to fund the purchase of a RIB for the club. We will hold an informal meeting after the try dive sessions on Monday 4 October. This will be at The Hole in the Wall pub, NOT at Happy Landings. Click here for a map.

PLEASE - If you have not yet returned your questionnaire do so this week.

PLEASE - If you have a strong opinion about the club owning a RIB come to the meeting and express it!
Added 27 Sep 2004 Updated 1 Oct 2004

Try Dive Sessions

As in previous years we are taking part in BSAC's try-dive campaign and the sessions will be taking place at St Mary Redcliffe and Temple School pool on the 4th Oct from 6:45 till 9pm. We have 18 people to run through try dives and all instructors, assistant instructors and club members are requested to contact Rob to confirm they will be able to assist and in which capacity. Here is the promised link to a map. The school is located off Somerset Square. Details of local parking will be added as soon as your webmaster has discovered what these are!
Added 27 Sep 2004 Updated 28 Sep 2004

Rob Parsons
Rob, our training officer, has decided to take a career break and use his PADI and BSAC Instructor qualifications to go and work at Sharm el Sheikh training divers. He leaves us in October. This leaves a huge gap in the management of the branch and we're looking for a volunteer to fill the void. If you are interested, please speak to Phil. In the meantime we wish Rob every success over the next year and we'd like to thank him for all his efforts in progressing training within the club. There's a leaving 'do' for Rob on 2 October.
Added 12 September 2004

Red Sea Missing Divers
Here's a link to the news story about the 12 missing divers that broke over the weekend. First read the BBC's version then have a look at Diver magazine's more informed story!
Added 9 August 2004

Well done LESLEY GUNTER-REES for completing the final qualifying dives to become Ocean Diver. We are looking forward to you accompanying us on future club dives for some "proper" diving!
Added 2 August 2004

Click here to download the latest version of BSAC talk (August 2004). This includes:

Added 2 August 2004

Well done MARK SIGGINS for completing the final qualifying dives to become Ocean Diver. We look forward to you joining us on dives without drills!
Added 28 July 2004

Phil Harrison
Phil has reluctantly decided to step down from the committee as one of our training officers. Phil has found that his current work and family commitments no longer allow him to devote time to this role. The committee would like to express their sincere appreciation for the help and advice Phil has provided the club since he helped form the club in 1999. Phil intends remaining as an Instructor with the club and will continue to be our link with the regional coaching team.
Added 28 July 2004

Diving in Pembrokeshire
There is a possibility of a further trip to Pembrokeshire with Pembrokeshire Dive Charters over the weekend of 21st and 22nd August. Contact Simon if you are interested in this trip.
Added 21 July 2004

Click here to download the latest version of BSAC talk (July 2004). This includes:

Added 12 July 2004

Diving trip to Mull
Stroud BSAC have organised a 3 day boat diving trip from 26th - 28th June around Mull (that's Scotland for those of you who are geographically challenged!) and there are a number of places remaining.

The cost is £82.50 per person. Extra costs are:-

Contact Paul Spence 01453 835981 to get further information or to book a space.
Added 23 June 2004

2005 Diary
Well, we've started to book diving trips for 2005 with two trips to Pembroke - see the diary page. If there are any specific trips you'd like to see on the programme for next year please have a chat with Phil.
Added 15 June 2004

Cardiff Hyperbaric Centre
We have been advised that this centre opened in May 2004. Here is the information from their email advising us of the opening:-

"Cardiff Hyperbaric Centre is now open with full approval from care standards CISW [sic].

If you use Hyperbaric treatment for any patient that requires HBO please contact Dr Mark Lavis Hyperbaric Doctor Office hours 08700 920920 or in a emergency Pager Number 07693 312 568 24 hours emergencies for hyperbaric advice.

Please visit our website for more information www.cardiffhyperbariccentre.com

Dr Mark Lavis
Hyperbaric Doctor"
Added 15 June 2004

Click here to download the latest version of BSAC talk (June 2004). This includes:

Added 3 June 2004

Chinese Evening
Thanks go to John Prince who organised our visit to Cathay Rendezvous in King Street. Just under a quarter of the club attended and we had a very good evening, though the pre and post dinner drinks in the Llandogger Trow were affected by the FA Cup Final - drinks were served in plastic glasses in case the Milwall supporters invaded! The food was fantastic, though Rob couldn't leave the Lazy Susan alone, either spinning it enthusiastically or stopping it when other were trying to rotate it. Mike wanted a motor installed for the device with individual buttons. Those of us who understand these things tried to insist that it was only rotated clockwise, but this largely fell on deaf ears! Great evening, thanks John!
Added 23 May 2004

Diving in Pembrokeshire
We have just returned from a very enjoyable trip to Pembrokeshire organised by Fiona and Simon. A party of 12 divers from the club dived a couple of wrecks (or at least wreckage) near to Tenby on the Saturday and then it was out to the Smalls and Skomer Island on Sunday. The weather was perfect for diving - sunny with calm seas - but the water was a little cool between 10 and 11 degrees C. It was lobster city at the Smalls and Martin managed to bag one, only to return it to the sea when he found it was carrying eggs. All divers returned to Bristol with broad smiles on their faces having enjoyed themselves so much.

Thanks to Fiona and Simon for organising the trip, Anwen who booked the evening meal and of course to Steve Lewis of Pembrokeshire Dive Charters for looking after us so well.

We've got another trip booked in Pembrokeshire on 17 and 18 July. The first 12 spaces have now been booked, but the good news is that Steve can let us have another RIB that will take a further 4 divers. If you are interested please speak to Simon or Fiona as soon as possible as these spaces may go quickly as well.
Added 17 May 2004

Click here to download the latest version of BSAC talk (May 2004). This includes:

We'll be collecting signatures for the excess baggage allowance petition at the next club night - 17 May.
Added 7 May 2004

More Diving Trips!
As promised, we have arranged further diving trips this year:-

These are RIB diving and both trips will be run from Portland and should cost under £20 per day - the actual costs will be shared between the number of divers on the boat. Air will be extra. Divers will need 2 tanks. These trips will be for diving and training, though if you want to come for training you MUST get in touch with Rob or Ioan to check Instructor availability.

Contact Ioan to book a place on these trips.
Added 7 May 2004. Updated 26 May 2004

Malta in Autumn?
Ioan is investigating the possibility of a week's trip to Malta in the Autumn. Cost would be around £269 for a 12 dive package with accommodation in a 4 Star hotel. Please contact Ioan as soon as possible to register your interest.
Added 7 May 2004

Diving and Open Water Training - new date
Our new Diving Officer, Ioan Howells is organising a shore diving and Ocean Diver/Dive Leader open water training session on Sunday 9 May on Chesil Beach. We can get to depths of 15m from the shore here, so this would be an excellent opportunity for those of you who haven't got wet yet this year to do so! Rob is assisting Ioan. Please contact either Ioan or Rob to register your interest and availability - especially instructors.
Added 30 Apr 2004

Chris & Kris Grey have successfully completed their Ocean Diver course. We wish them well in their future diving careers with the club. On to Sports Diver next?
Added 30 Apr 2004

Red Sea Diving Opportunity
Neptune Diving from Gloucester are running a week's trip to Ocean College, Sharm El Sheikh, Red Sea in October. For further information and to register an interest please contact Terry on 01452 313605 or visit Neptune Diving's website where details will appear soon.
Added 30 Apr 2004

Vobster Quay
We had a very good session at Vobster Quay on Sunday, organised by John Prince. We had 4 Ocean Diver Trainees and 3 Dive Leader Trainees who were all put through their paces. Yes, it was cold, yes, it was murky, but we DID have a good time - at least the weather was perfect! The Dive Leader trainees had to put up with their "Novice" divers misbehaving, the Ocean Divers just had to cope with the new open-water environment, but they all did extremely well and we're sure they will move on to complete their courses. Thanks to John Prince and Rob Parsons for instructing; Carol Dale & Fiona Hampton-Matthews (and me!) for being the "naughty novices".
Added 26 Apr 2004

Diving Spaces Available
Douglas Lanfear of Blue Turtle Dive Charters in Lyme Regis has let us know about spaces available on one of his trips:-

To book, please contact Doug direct on 01297 34892 or 07970 856822
Added 17 Apr 2004

Club RIB Update
The RIB sub-committee met for the first time on 7 April to decide how we are going to approach the project. Responsibilities were split as follows:

If any member has any suggestions, please contact the person nominated above. We are particularly interested to hear if you know of a company who would be interested in sponsoring the purchase of the RIB!
Added 14 Apr 2004

Is there a Doctor in the House?

Dr Carren Holden, PhD Well, not in the house but we do have a new Doctor in the branch! One of our Instructors, Carren Holden, has just completed her PhD in Mechanical Engineering. Those of you who have spoken to Carren will know the amount of work that has gone into this qualification and it is well-deserved. Congratulations, Carren, from all of us and we promise not to crack too many jokes about medical doctors!
Added 6 Apr 2004

HMS Scylla
A group of members watched the scuttling of this former Naval frigate last Saturday. Click here to see the pictures.
Added 31 Mar 2004

Club AGM Report
The AGM was held last night, attended by 24 members. The new committee is:

The club passed a vote of thanks to John Prince for the work he has undertaken as Diving Officer for the past three years.

A sub-committee has been formed to plan the purchase of a club RIB. Members are John Prince, Simon H-M, Chris & Kris Gray. They hope to report back to the members in a few months at a special general meeting - watch here for news.

The club also agreed that it would change its meeting frequency to the FIRST and THIRD Monday of every month, with immediate effect. The diary page now shows these dates.
Added 23 Mar 2004

BCD Embroidered Clothing
We are able to supply a wide range of good quality t-shirts, sweatshirts etc embroidered with the club logo. Contact Simon to view the catalogue. Prices from £10.50.
Added 14 Mar 2004

Skill Development Courses
You can now see the complete list of these courses on this web site. From the main page click Training then follow the link to SDCs and then the link to the list. Alternatively, click here.
Added 14 Mar 2004

Filwood Pool
The swimming pool we use for training is currently closed; we understand it is undergoing essential electrical refurbishment works. We are currently investigating alternative arrangements - watch this space for updates!
Added 12 Mar 2004

Marine Life Identification Course
The Plymouth Group of the Marine Conservation Society is running a weekend (17 & 18 April) of presentations on how to identify marine life. There will be a session of "rockpooling" (that will bring back happy childhood memories for some!) followed by putting names to what has been seen. The course is based at the Marine Biological Association Laboratory and includes lectures by Dr Keith Hiscock, Peter Messenger and Dr Frances Dipper. Also included is a visit to the National Marine Aquarium to hone your ID skills. For further information see the MBA web site or contact the MCS Plymouth local group direct tel: 07971 551256 (Rose) or email: mcsplymouthlocalgroup@hotmail.com
Added 8 Mar 2004

Click here to download the latest version of BSAC talk (March 2004). This includes the list of skill development courses being run by the BSAC regions in April. (Only the local SDCs are listed in our diary.)
Added 8 Mar 2004

Diving Spaces Available
Douglas Lanfear of Blue Turtle Dive Charters in Lyme Regis has let us know about spaces available on some of his trips:-

To book, please contact Doug direct on 01297 34892 or 07970 856822
Added 5 Mar 2004

Nitrox and 'A' Clamps
We have just discovered a change of legislation that will impact all equipment used for Nitrox. We are investigating further and this article will be updated when we find detailed information. In essence, in a few year's time we will only be able to put Nitrox in cylinders fitted with DIN fittings. The cylinder valve will be a different size to the current valve, but the new valves are not yet available. It will not be possible to use Nitrox with 'A' clamp first stages. The message is clear - be wary about switching to Nitrox until the new equipment becomes available.
Added 28 Feb 2004

Seasearch Course
Four members of the club, along with members from Clifton SAC and UWE SAC, attended this very interesting session run by the Marine Conservation Society on Sunday 22nd February. We learnt about Seasearch - its aims, history and achievements; a basic introduction to the variety of marine life in UK waters; recognising and classifying marine habitats; position fixing and how to fill in the Observation Form. The day concluded with a 'video dive' and an opportunity to fill in a form without even getting wet! We now need to practice our new-found skill on some real dives!

Seasearch is a national project for volunteer sports divers who have an interest in what they're seeing underwater, want to learn more and want to help protect the marine environment.
The main aim is to map out the various types of seabed found in the near-shore zone, up to about 5 miles off the coast or 30m depth around the whole of the British Isles. In addition they record what lives in each area, establishing the richest sites for marine life, the sites where there are problems and the sites which need protection.

If you are interested look at the Seasearch website as courses are run around the country on a regular basis. If there are sufficient numbers we could arrange another course. Please contact Phil to register interest.
Added 22 Feb 2004

Club Boat
We've now sold the club's old boat so are now planning the acquisition of a RIB. If you have any thoughts or ideas on what we should buy and how we should fund the purchase, please contact John.
Added 16 Feb 2004

As a new service, you will now be able to view the latest version of BSAC talk from the club website. Click here to download the February edition.
Added 16 Feb 2004

Caption Competition
Click for larger imageThere will be a prize awarded at the AGM for the member submitting the best caption for this picture taken of Chris & Kris Gray on recent training trip at Vobster Quay. Click the picture to get a bigger view. Send your entries to the Webmaster, whose decision is final! For more pictures of this open-water training session, click here.

Added 4 Feb 2004

Neil "Scriv" Scriven has just completed his Dive Leader qualification. Well done Scriv - when are you starting Advanced Diver?
Added 4 Feb 2004

Training News!
Training dates have been updated.

Our next entry-level course will combine the pool training and lectures for Ocean and Sports Diver Qualifications, allowing trainees to progress to this higher level more quickly. Open water training for this intake will be phased to allow sufficient time to build experience between award of the qualifications. This will provide our new trainees with a more appropriate qualification for UK diving and allow greater flexibility for skills practice.
Added 4 Feb 2004

Club AGM Arrangements
The AGM will be held on Monday 22nd March 2004, starting at 7.30pm. Venue is the offices of Hyder Consulting Ltd, 70 Redcliff Street, Bristol, BS1 6AL. Click here for a map. Nominations for committee posts to Anwen please. Also let Anwen know if you are attending (which you should!) so we can arrange the correct numbers for a small buffet before the main business of the night.
Added 4 Feb 2004. Updated 18 Feb 2004

Lundy & Scillies Trip
Martin is organising a trip to the Scillies and Lundy aboard the Pride of Bristol from the evening of Friday 13 August to Saturday 21 August (may return Friday 20 August, depending on the tides). We will sail from Bristol Harbour down the Avon Gorge and Bristol Channel taking in the North Devon and North Cornwall coastline as we go. The cost will be around £560 inclusive. Please contact Martin to book a place. Spaces are restricted to a maximum of 12 so please book now to avoid disappointment!
Added 27 Jan 2004, updated 29 Jan 2004 & 6 Apr 2004

Club Meal
About a third of the club got together last Saturday at a new-ish restaurant called Bon Viveur which is opposite St Mary Redcliffe church. Anwen did an excellent job of organising the evening, though Simon was a little suspicious to discover that Fiona was on first-names terms with the proprietor! The food was wonderful with spot-on service. I've no doubt some of us will return for other special occasions!
Added 26 Jan 2004

No Water in Pool!
Apologies to all members who were hoping to use the pool on Monday 12 January. As there was no water in the pool, due to overrunning maintenance work, we felt we had little choice but to cancel the session! We believe that all will be well for next Monday's session (19/1).
Added 13 Jan 2004

Red Sea Liveaboard
Our friends at Neptune Diving in Gloucester are running a trip to the Northern Red Sea aboard Cyclone with Tony Backhurst Travel. Depart Gatwick Sunday 16th May, return Sunday 23rd May. Cost is £775 all inclusive (except alcohol!). For further information and to book, call Terry at Neptune Diving on 01452 313605. Only 2 places remaining!
Added 6 Jan 2004 Updated 28 Feb 2004

Kingsmill Kit for Clubs
We have registered with Kingsmill Bread in their Kit for Clubs promotion. By saving vouchers from their bread bags we can get some free diving kit. Look out for Kingsmill bread and keep the tokens. Hand them to Simon or Fiona who are coordinating this venture.
Added 18 Dec 2003

Lundy Mid Week Trip?
Pembrokeshire Dive Charters are running mid-week liveaboard trips to Lundy in 2004. Up to 3 nights on board with 2 days diving. It would cost £150 per person and they need 6 divers to make the trip worthwhile. If anyone is interested let Simon know.
Added 15 Dec 2003

Well done to Ray and Karen Cox who recently completed their Ocean Diver qualifications. Happy future diving to you both.
Added 10 Nov 2003

Curry Evening
13 people attended the club Curry evening at the Raj Doot, on the 11th of October. The food and company were excellent and thanks to Simon for organising the event.
Added 20 Oct 2003

Foreign Medical Requirements
Information regarding medical declarations when diving abroad is reproduced here.
Added 1 Sep 2003

Free Kit Hire!
Full members of the club are now able to borrow dive equipment free of charge, subject to availability. We expect you to look after it as your own and to re-fill any cylinders used. Contact Martin to check availability.
Added 1 Sep 2003

Respect Our Wrecks!