Alien Encounters in Cornwall

This Easter 2015 we headed down to cornwall to dive the beautiful wrecks and reefs there in clear (but cold) water. Nart, Stuart, Kerrie, Chris, Steve, Alex, Nick and Ritchie dived from the beach in Porthkerris, from the hardboat Celtic Kitten and from OUUEG’s RIB ‘Seahorse’. On one dive on the Volnay we found something a bit strange – Aliens infest our marine heritage !

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The Great Oxford Heap of Scrap Challenge

1st January 2015: Hinksey Lake, Lake Street, Oxford, 10 am

For years the good (and sometime bad) people of olde Oxford Towne have been disposing of their ferrous, and non ferrous waste by dumping it into the old reservoir of Hinksey Lake. Here at Oxford BSAC we regard it as a sacred duty to recover all that unique historic trash and save it from piling up so deep that the lake become a swamp. We think we’ve got rather good at recovering old scrap bicycles, motorbikes and the occasional pedalo from our lake and thus our challenge.

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The Big Oxford Dive Training Easter Holiday Boot Camp

29th March – 1st April

What is it ? : This year we hope to get everyone who’s currently taking the ocean diver course qualified to dive as early as possible – this way everyone then gets a whole year’s dive season to enjoy the water. We’re planning to spend the whole of the Easter bank holiday working everyone who can make it through their open water exercises and signing them off with a few experience dives to boot.

Where is it ? : The short answer is Weymouth. We’ll use the clubs amazing new boat and run shuttle dives out of Castletown harbour. This is a convenient location next to the aqua sports hotel, its cafe and the scimitar diving air station. Some dives may be run off the beach at Chesil cove but this is weather dependent and not essential.

What will happen ? : The plan is for everyone to assemble there each day and for Endeavour to pick up groups of instructors and their trainees to head out to the classic training dives of the area including the wrecks of the countess of Erne, the Old Dredger and the Blackhawk. If conditions allow we’ll keep diving all day and maybe even try for a night dive a few times. We’ll try to make sure everyone knows what is happening each day , who’s diving with who and what they’re doing, which boat wave they’re on and what they will need.

Where will we stay ? : Weymouth and Portland are holiday destinations and really very well provided with accommodation indeed. I’m going to be caravaning in the east fleet farm campsite. If you want a more luxurious accommodation there are many bed and breakfast places, hotels or at the other end of the spectrum there are a couple of bunk houses. Come see me if you’re wanting to know more or check out the ‘Oxford guide to Weymouth’ on the website.

Want to know more ?

Ask Chris ([email protected]) or Anjali ([email protected])

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Alex van Opstal survey, 3rd and 4th December 2011

Alex van Opstal Survey Divewierd pressure vessel

I’m planning (weather-permitting) to run a survey dive on the Alex on the weekend of the 3rd & 4th December. Plan is to use the ‘new’ RIB out of Casteltown to shuttle to the dive site.

Dive plan (provisional):

Saturday 3rd

Dive 1
  • 0830hrs launch RIB and begin loading kit.
  • 0915 hrs all aboard , ropes off.
  • 0945hrs – arrive at Alex and deploy shot
  • 1010hrs divers in – start of slack – tide running SW 0.4 knots
  • 1100hrs divers up – second wave in
  • 1150hrs all divers recovered, pull shot and return to casteltown
  • 1230hrs lunch at castletown, air fills etc
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Accelerated Decompression Techniques Course

The spec for the BSAC course is

Longer, safer bottom times and optimum decompression using rich mixes

Building on the foundation of Nitrox knowledge contained within Ocean Diver and Sports Diver training, the course develops this knowledge and in particular highlights the benefits that can be gained from using high oxygen mixtures to improve the efficiency of off gassing during decompression stops. This course takes your diving to a higher level.

Entry requirement

Entry level is BSAC Sports Diver who has completed the 2007 syllabus (with nitrox content) and has been endorsed as a Nitrox Diver, plus 20 additional dives including depth experience to 30 metres.

Alternatively, applicants must hold an acceptable diving and nitrox qualification with another agency which equates to the above standards. All students must hold gold standard buoyancy from the Buoyancy and Trim BSAC workshop.

What you’ll learn

The Accelerated Decompression Procedures course has a mix of classroom-based and practical lessons, teaching you:

• Knowledge of safe diving using Nitrox and accelerated decompression techniques

• Use of gas mixes up to 80% oxygen

• New concepts and skills

• Dive planning

Learning materials

Your course pack includes all the learning materials you need for the course. The pack includes: ‘Ox-Stop decompression tables’ (plus ‘Nitrox tables’ unless already BSAC Advanced Nitrox Diver), the ADP course manual and a Qualification Card application.

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Pembrokeshire 19th-21st August

pembrokeshire-august-1Diving from Isis out of Dale.

A quick weekend’s diving from the Western tip of South Wales. Plan is to dive from Dale just next to Haverfordwest. Trips out with 6 divers and 2 crew.

At time of writing, the B&B at Meadow Rue has 7 spaces for that weekend at £25 per night. They need £30 deposit per person for bookings. Otherwise for the hardy there’s camping. Rose, Kerrie and I will be staying in the Mongolian Yurt !

Their contact details are:

email: [email protected], telephone: 01437 783706, website:

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2009 – 10 Annual Report

This year the DO is challenging the club to make 1000 dives before the next Dinner Dance (in early 2011).

Things got off to a good start in Weymouth at the beginning of the year with 71 dives and after the Anglesey trip we were over 10% of the way there at 121. Then we had three more great weekends in Weymouth on Gemini II taking us up to 174 thanks to the lots of work by skippers and divers. The week in Weymouth was a bit of a disaster weather wise, but still 83 dives got done and with the Pirate event river clearance a few more took us up once more to 301. After some more Weymouth diving and the Isle of Mann trip we were at 410 – over 1/3 of the way there!Three days later a training weekend in Weymouth added another 16 to the total taking it to 426.

The September training event at Burton Bradstock added 21 to the total and the sports sign off day on Gemini II another 15 taking us up to 462. The Alex project weekend added another 27 dives to raise it to a monster score of 490 – more than 3 of the previous 4 years. But…. this isn’t the end of the season! A dive expedition to Scapa Flow generated 67 more dives Raising the total to 557 – more even than the previous record year and the mass dive at Swanage Pier in October clocked up an impressive 33 dives to a total of 590. A trip to NDAC, a prop recovery dive in Weymouth and a last minute club trip to the Red Sea pushed us up to 616.

Come the New year 3 hardy soles dived in Hinksey lake getting us to 619 and then the Red Sea reef cleanup expedition clocked up 70 more bringing us up to 689. 4 bold souls risked the chilly depths of Vobster Quay to make 8 more taking us to 697 nearly up to 700…..

Finally in March a hardy bunch headed off to Cromhall Quarry to do some dive leader rescue exercises and racked up another 12 dives taking us over the barrier to 709.  Not bad at all!




Breakdown so far:

DatePlace# divesTotal
11th-12th AprilWeymouth, Training44 dives44
3rd MayWeymouth23 dives67
16th MayDive Fest (Pentewan)4 dives71
23rd-25th MayAnglesey50 dives121
31st MayWeymouth22 dives143
13th-14th JuneWeymouth17 dives160
4th-5th JulyWeymouth14 dives174
11th-12th JulyWeymouth, Training34 dives208
19th JulyNDAC Chepstow6 dives214
25th JulyPirate Event4 dives218
25th-31st JulyExpedition Weymouth83 dives301
6th AugustStoney16 dives317
9th AugustStoney18 dives335
13th-14th AugustIsle of Man75 dives410
22nd-23rd AugustTraining weekend16 dives426
12th-13th SeptemberBurton Bradstock36 dives462
25th-26th SeptemberAlex Project28 dives490
3rd-10th OctoberScapa Expedition67 dives557
18th OctoberSwanage Pier33 dives590
28th NovemberSharm el Sheikh10 dives600
5th DecemberNDAC Chepstow12 Dives612
12th December Weymouth prop recovery4 dives616
1st January 2010New Year’s Day3 dives619
8th-15th January 2010Redsea Reef cleanup70 dives689
18th February 2010Vobster Quay8 dives697
7th March 2010Cromhall quarry12 dives709


Graph showing number of sives done through the year

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