A week in… The Isle of Wight – July 2012


Branch Summer Expedition: 21st to 28th July 2012

This is a family friendly week-long branch expedition (holiday) to the Isle of Wight.

We have in the past run a number of these weeks, based in Weymouth and Lyme Regis. This year I am planning to organise the week based in and around Shanklin IOW. 

While this a diving expedition, the island offers other non-diving opportunities for a great family holiday and we hope to have a number of families who will be doing lots of other activities.


The current plan is to take Endeavour over and moor it on the island hopefully in Bembridge harbour. There are lots of wrecks and reefs mostly unexplored by Oxford Branch members. Diving will be varied including dives suitable for all qualifications.

As well as diving from the hard boat, we may (if there is a demand) also look into taking a second boat and also do some shore diving and as we are there for the whole week, maybe some night dives.

Looking at the tides, we are coming off springs at the start of the week and ending on neaps, so I expect some of the deeper diving to take place towards the end of the week.

Volunteers for Dive Managers with ideas of what they want to do for each day is welcomed. 

ActivityMove Endeavour from Weymouth Snorkelling and possible shalow water dives.Move Endeavour back to Weymouth
Dive Mgr

 Debbie White

Andy Pickering


Costs for diving are expected to be £30 per person per day on the boat (£5 extra to cover visitor mooring costs).




Our initial plans to rent a house have been changed. What we are now planning is to base ourselves at Lower Hyde Holiday Park, on the outskirts of Shanklin.

This is a holiday park, run by Park Resorts, who offer various types of accommodation, suitable I hope to all requirements and pockets.


silverplusStatic Caravans

I have booked two static caravans, these can sleep between 6 and 8 people and cost in the region of £20 per person per night if we can fill them.

Unit 1NameNights
DoubleJohn & Gill Waterhouse?
2 x TwinJames Waterhouse
2 x Bunks
2 x Sofa


Unit 2NameNights
DoubleHoward & Carole Thomas
2 x Twin
2 x Bunks
2 x Sofa



Touring Caravan Pitches

For those who want to take their own caravan (that’s us by the way), Lower Hyde offer both electric hookup and basic pitches costing £289 or £245 for the week.

The Pickering Family2+3Yes
The Stevens Family2+17Yes 


redfunnelGetting there


OK, we are going to be “abroad”, well you will need to get from the mainland to the island. There are a number of ferry routes from Lymington, Portsmouth and Southampton, which I’m sure you can investigate.

We have (and I’m not suggesting that this is the best or cheapest) in the past used Red Funnel from Southampton to Cowes. This currently costs around £120 for the return trip, this is for a single vehicle with between 1 and 6 people, check the website as this may go up closer to the date.


So, what is the bottom line? 

Example A – One Diver diving for 7 days based in static caravan

Diving = 7 x £30 = £210
Acc = 7 x £20 = £140
Ferry = £125
Total = £475

Example B – Family of 4 staying for 7 days in the static caravan with one diver diving for 5 days 

Diving = 5 x £30 = £150
Acc = 4 x 7 x £20 = £560 
Ferry = £125
Total = £835

Example C – Family of 4 camping in tent for a week with one diver diving for 4 days 

Diving = 4 x £30 = £120
Acc = £245
Ferry = £125
Total = £490

Obviously there are many other possible combinations with people sharing the ferry costs and coming for differing lengths of stay, there is no commitment to come over for the whole week, and the ferry can be cheaper midweek!

What to do now?

Whatever we want to do, we need to start making plans, I will need some sort of (financial) commitment from people who are wanting to come along so that we can go ahead and book the accommodation. We will also need to start planning where to dive, who is willing to run individual days diving (as Dive Manager), who is planning to skipper the boat(s). So I need you to let me know as soon as possible if you are interested.

We do have a “person on the inside”, an ex-member, Tom Fitzpatrick, who is currently investigating such things as air filling stations, moorings, best dive sites, contacts with local BSAC Branches etc. He will be a very valuable contact. Thanks for doing all this Tom.

This page will be updated on a rolling basis over the next months, so keep watching.

Andy P.