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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Weymouth Weekend June 29th and 30th

The sea is getting warmer. The visibility is improving. Summer is here and the sun is almost certain to shine. With these thoughts in mind, a diving weekend was planned for the last weekend in June targeting dives on the Aeolian Sky and the submarine wreck of HMS Sidon.

By the end of the weekend, and having switched to plan C, we had dived on 4 sites; Ringstead Bay Reef, the Aeolian Sky, the Countess of Erne and a drift along White Nothe Reef. The sea temperature has increased to 14°C and visibility was around 4 to 5m.

Saturday began with a dive on Ringstead Bay Reef which is a rocky reef in about 10 meters of water. The shallower parts are covered in kelp with the deeper parts and surrounding seabed clear of seaweed and home to fan worms, anemones and the odd spider crab. This was followed by a dive on the Aeolian Sky which is a large wreck in parts standing 13m above a 30m seabed. Plenty of tompot blennies and jewel anemones were seen as well as the shadowy forms of many larger fish swimming about on the edge of the 4m visibility. Barring a bit of seasickness, this was a very successful and enjoyable day.

Sunday started with heavy fog and we decided to dive within Portland harbour while the fog remained. For us, this meant a dive on the Countess of Erne. While this wreck is well known to many there is always plenty of life to see such as the Nudibranch below photographed by Alex Gibson.

The fog began to clear after we surfaced so we moved on to another rocky reef near White Nothe for the second dive. Here a current was running which carried divers east over a rocky and sandy seabed where spider crabs, dogfish, cuckoo wrasse, the odd scallop and even a stingray were encountered.

In all a very enjoyable weekend!

Many thanks to all who came and especially skippers Stuart Allen and Paul Minto and dive manager, Alex Gibson.

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We’ve won the Heinke Trophy!!

Oxford BSAC Chairman Andy White receiving the Heinke Trophy at the BSAC Diving Conference

It is official – Oxford BSAC have won BSAC’s award for the branch of the club which has done the most to further the interests of its members and the BSAC as a whole, The Heinke Trophy.

The judges singled out some major achievements during the year: the purchase of our new hardboat; replacement of our HP compressor; integration of a vibrant snorkelling division; our try-dive programme.

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Heinke Trophy 2012 – Oxford’s Entry

OxfordBSAC-Heinke-Trophy-2012Oxford BSAC put forward a submission detailing all the work done in the best interests of both branch members and BSAC overall. It was a busy year and so the submission ran to some 88 pages! The file can be downloaded by anyone using this link (ignore the warning about Google not being able to scan it for viruses – the file is fine): 
Click the “Download” button found on the following page:
(It is a quite large file – 32mb, so people need to be patient while it downloads if they don’t have a fast connection).
You can find out more about the Heinke Trophy here:
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