Saturday 19th December 2009 As we started to arrive for Diving Dreams first ever Christmas party the weather was doing its best to set the mood, with sounds of I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas playing in our heads, we got ready to party. After meeting for pre dinner champers, it was time to make our way down to party venue, looking, if I can say, pretty damn smart. The wine flowed and the laughter increased as the 20 party goers relaxed over their 3 course meal and coffee. Dinner done, it was time for the crew to hit the dance floor and show the rest of the guests how to really party. With the Abba tribute band playing, the Diving Dreams dancing kings and queens strutted their moves. The dancing queen hat made its way around and some rather interesting pictures were taken. With Taff's glasses doing a break dance on more than one occasion the floor started to rock, or was it that I had had one too many lemonades. Before we knew it the night was coming to an end and we were the only ones left on the dance floor. We waived off those who had not booked rooms, ensuring that the nominated drivers took extra care in the snowy conditions. Those of us residing made our way back to the lounge bar to relax and reflect over a few more sherbets, still laughing about the evenings activities. I would like to thank everyone for making Diving Dreams inaugural christmas party such a great evening and enquiries are already being made for the 2010 event. See Diving Dreams on Facebook for photos of the evening.
Sunday 6 December 2009 It was a rainy morning, Derek got the teas in and Melv looked at his twinset and wondered what he was letting himself in for. After sorting out final checks we set out on our first dive, we swam from the right hand jetty and headed in a anti clockwise direction. We made it around to about the half way point, then turned left and made our way across the lake. A good old cuppa was required to warm us up - the water was a balmy 9 degrees but it at least cleared our heads. Dives 2 and 3 were equally chilly but just as much fun, but we could handle it because we're roughty toughty
twin set divers. HA HA HA.
15th - 18th November 2009 A massive WELL DONE to Melvin and Taff on becoming Padi Staff Instructors. The course was completed at Aquanauts dive centre, Kingston and taught by Paul Toomer. It was one of the first of the new staff courses to be taught in the world.
Tuesday 6th-13th October 2009 Lanzarote was our destination and if one thing was true, we would have fun along the way. Over the next 7 days we would be looked after by Pete and his team at Calipso diving in Costa Teguise.
Every morning, like a well oiled machine we arrived at the dive centre, loaded our kit and cylinders into the 2 vans allocated to our party and set out for the day's adventures. The dives were mainly shore based from Puerto del Carmen and varied from gentle shallow dives along the old harbour wall where fish life was in abundance including octopus, cuttlefish, shoals of barracuda and fish balls to deep drop off dives where you stop at 40m and the sea bottom doesn't. Here a very large grouper came to say hello.
We dived both old and new wrecks during the trip - on a dive on the old harbour wrecks we were graced by a Atlantic stingray about 2.5m in size. This dive is dramatic with views over numerous wrecks in different states decay. Follow the wall around and you'll even find a skeleton of a dolphin. The new wrecks were also wonderful with vizability at around 25m. Well done to Amanda, Dave, Gavin and Karin who completed their wreck specialty courses. A night dive was also successfully completed and a big well done to Christine on her first night dive.
And then came Mala! This site is truly eye opening in more ways than one - the diving is a combination of great lava caves, stunning topography and amazing drop offs combined with teaming fish life, oh and I almost forgot, it's also a nudist area so watch what you do with those bubbles. Between us we managed to see three different types of ray in one dive here.
This was Diving Dreams first trip to Lanzarote but certainly not our last. I would like to thank everyone who came and made it a laugh from start to finish. I would also like to send a big thank you to Pete, James and the rest of the Calipso diving crew for looking after us in such a professional but fun manner. See you soon.
Keep an eye out on the gallery and face book for pictures and video footage.
Saturday/Sunday 26th/27th September 2009 Congratulations to Melvin on becoming a Master Scuba Diver Trainer .
Well done to Terasa on completing her Open water Diver Course and to Jackie for completing her Padi scuba diver course at Wraysbury with Craig.
Sunday 6th September 2009 Well done to TG on completing her Advanced Open water course at Vobster Quay.
August Bank Holiday 2009 After arriving at the camp site, fighting with the elements and performing various cases of tent first aid due to a slight breeze (or what seemed the back end of a hurricane) we settled down to an uneasy night.
We all woke bright and early, well at least early, on Saturday morning, loaded the van and headed down to Ilfracombe Quay. With skipper Andy and first mate Ian not quite ready for us to board, we decided to head for the cafe, after all GG and Taff where still two cups of coffee and tea short of their required kick start. Back at the quay Obssession 2 was now ready to welcome all of her excited guests. Like a well trained force of ants all the gear was loaded and stowed and the ropes untied. We were off on our adventures. The crossing to Lundy was a little lumpy, but once again everyone took it in their stride. Land ho, there was Lundy, appearing through the sea mist like a huge floating rock. The excitement gained when Andy the skipper said that we would be diving the wreck of the Robert for our first dive, Suddenly came a shout of "DOLPHIN" and there they were, not just 1 but at least 12 of these majestic creatures and they wanted to play. Everybody kitted up in super quick time and entered the water. With the dolphins
doing fly pasts, we all descended down the shot line. The wreck of the Robert is great and lying on the side, she's covered in fish life and is very much intact. Within what seemed like moments, our time was up - Dave performed a perfect demo of SMB and spool deployment and it was time to go. Cam, Claire and GG waved goodbye and ascended. Amanda, Craig and Dave had a great finish when dolphins circled them on their safety stop. Once everyone was back aboard we moved in to Gannet Rock Bay After eating our customary school style pack lunches while being spied on by seals, it was time to kit up and go play - my did they play. Everyone was investigated from fin to leg nibbling, some even had the fronts of their cameras looked at in greater detail. This was a truly wonderful experience to end a great days diving. Unfortunately all good things must come to an end and so it was time for us to return to Ilfracombe. Back at the camp site, bbqing and slow cooked chilli was the order of the evening and with Derek honing his boy scout skills, everything was kept under control. There was even a birthday cake for Taff's birthday however the wind ensured that he had help blowing out his candles!
The next day we made our way down to the quayside for our next adventure. Despite the bay looking calm, once we reached the open seas it was another story. As we bounced across the huge waves and a revised forecast was received of a force 6, even some of the rufty tufty divers began to feel a little queasy. However, the rough seas were not going to phase us and we continued to embrace the conditions with a smile and plenty of ginger nut biscuits. We reached the dive site, Knowle Pins and the seas became considerably calmer. This was TG's first boat dive and quite a baptism of fire. Amanda, GG and TG dropped down to do the deep dive of TG's Advanced Open water course. Taff and Melv went in search of treasure whilst Malcom and John went in search of Lundy's coral. This was a very scenic dive, starting from the base of the pins, with the ascent spiralling around the pins. Once again the surface interval was spent laughing and munching our way through our school lunches with a spot of singing and dancing to the Macarena included. No wonder the shipmates on Obsession I moored next to us looked perplexed! In no time at all it was time to get back in the water, this time in hunt of more seals, Craig was taking Christine for her first meeting with these lovely creatures and she wasn't going to be disappointed. In this bay they were like submarines cruising around - they were huge. GG was happy because he had found parts of a wreck on the far end of the bay and survived unarmed combat with John on the way back to Obsession 2. To round off a fantastic days diving it was sing along time to cheesy music as we headed back to Ilfracombe harbour, we even got the 4 people we picked up from Lundy to join in doing the Mexican Wave around the boat. The return journey was a lot smoother than the outgoing passage and soon we were saying our goodbyes to everyone with some starting their long journey home. I would like to personally thank everyone on this trip, whether diver or non diver, for making this such an enjoyable and truly unforgettable weekend. We have booked both of the Obsession boats next August Bank Holiday, so please let us know as soon as possible if you are interested as numbers are limited. Cheers Panda for organising a brilliant weekend - aaarrrggghhh.
Sunday 23rd August 2009 A big thank you to every one who came along to the club BBQ - it was great to see some new faces too. 10 hours of solid fun and laughter - the photos should prove very interesting and reflect some of the madness of the day. The evening finished with a toast to Dave and Karin and best wishes for their Bonaire wedding.
Tuesday 18th August 2009 Congratulations to Christine and Derek for successfully completing their Oxygen provider courses with Melv.
Saturday/Sunday 15th /16th August 2009
There we all stood on Swanage pier looking down at the charter boat we were going to dive from and we weren't disappointed, Skua (the mighty) was wonderful. After all of our kit was stowed aboard and pre-dive photos taken by our resident in-house papparazi, aka Derek, it was time for skipper Dave to untie the ropes and set sail on our adventures. Our destination was the Kyarra and as the sea was not exactly flat, there would have to be a lot of horizon watching on the way. In the shake of a lobsters tail there we were over the wreck getting ready with the help of mid shipman Melvin. The current was still running as we entered the water and made our way down the shot line. We were met by the Kyarra in all her glory in at least 20m of visibility - a truly spectacular sight. Fish were shoaling everywhere, lobsters playing hide and seek - at times it was hard to believe that we were in British waters. Soon it was time for us to say our goodbyes and head for the surface. Once on board and the kit was all packed away, we made for the shore. The second dive of the day was a gentle drift, Taff practiced his flute playing with half a snorkel we found on the sea bed, Dave and Craig decided to have a go at underwater macrame. Then back to the campsite to round the day off with a big bbq (logistics had been busy whilst we were playing) and hot chocolate under the stars (hardcore livng).
After sausage and bacon baps we were back on the pier ready for the next adventure. With kit once again stowed, skipper Dave set sail, this time we would be diving the Aeolion Sky. The seas were kinder which was great as this was Cam's first proper wreck dive in the sea and Claire would be celebrating her 100th dive. All kitted up everyone entered the water and made their way down the shot line to the wreck - we all thought the previous diving had good vis but this was even better; the wreck was just stunning. Cam and GG settled at 21m whilst the others carried on down to the bottom. With viz at about 25m the sight of everyone swimming around below Cam and GG was something else. The wreck was teaming with aquatic life. All good things have to come to an end, our time was up and it was time to start for the surface. Back on board, our dive experiences were exchanged over hot chocolate (notice a pattern emerging), After eating our school style packed lunches it was time for our final dive, Claire unveiled her 100th dive outfit (man what an outfit it was) and we were diving Warborough Point at Kimmeridge. This was a very scenic dive - Claire and Vicky went off to show the aquatic world the designer swim wear, Dave and Craig were ray spotting and GG and Cam finally found a scallop to catch. All this coupled with some great diving under the pier where Rise and Cherry once again came up trumps with some wonderful pictures. This was simply a GREAT weekend's diving with a fantastic group of people. Thank you to everyone who came and once again congratulations to Claire on completing her 100th dive.Keep an eye out for photos of the weekend.
Thursday 6th August 2009 A huge job well done to Cameron for becoming a Junior Advanced Open water diver. The day rocked with this junior depth junky taking his 20m deep dive in his stride, hey Mr Toomer watch out the mini techie is on his way.
Sunday 26th July 2009 Dave Edgar gets a big congratulations on adding the Wreck Specialty Course to his skills.
Saturday 25th July 2009 Well done to Cameron on successfully completing his Adventure Diver Course.
Wednesday 22nd July 2009 Congratulations goes to Adrian on completing his Dry Suit Specialty course at Wraysbury with Melvin, well done.
Saturday/Sunday 4th/5th July 2009 Saturday morning started in the way it ended - on a high. Cherry, Dave E, GG, Melv and Rise were diving the wreck of the Black Hawk. What made this that bit more special was not only was this Cherry and Rise's first UK sea dive, but it was also their first time on a rib. With all the kit placed on the dive boat and briefings complete, we were off. With pretty flat seas the journey across the bay was smooth. With the skipper maneuvering over the wreck the shot line was dropped with perfection - dead centre of the Black Hawk. We kitted up and prepared to roll back off the rib, both novices doing so with perfection. As we descended down the shot line she was easily seen in almost 15m of vizability. Shoals of bib and pollock hung in clouds around the structures. Giant wrasse cruised passed with real attitude. One of my highlights was spotting a scorpion fish on part of the wreck and after a while we decided to fire up smb's and drift away from the wreck. Within minutes the first nudibranch was spotted followed by another and then another. It was like nudibranch city down there with Dave E soon loosing count of the critters. Finally it was time to go. Up on the surface our rib novices took getting back on the boat in their stride and we were off back to the jetty. After a relaxing surface interval we loaded the boat and travelled to the outer breakwater to drift over the Bridge Beetles. This was the first time any of us had visited this site. Well with shoals of fish, lobsters and edible crab it was another great dive. As we held our safety stop, Cherry spotted a beautiful jelly fish. Meanwhile Melv and Dave were still at 16m when a huge ship came out of the harbour, giving them quite a shock. All back on board the rib with Ribena and chocolate consumed, we were off back to Fathom and Blues.
The evening was spent bbq-ing and playing our own version of 20/20 cricket until bad light stopped play. At this point we frequented the public house for a nightcap.
After a great night's sleep we woke ready to dive Chesil beach, but the weather had other ideas - the wind had got up and the waves were crashing on the beach. What could we do? Ice creams on the beach were suggested and 5 minutes later there we were standing in the glorious sunshine with our various flavours to try - some with slightly bigger portions that others!! Thanks to all for making this a great weekend and keep an eye on the gallery for forthcoming pictures of the trips.
A massive congratulations to Craig for becoming a Specialty Instructor and to Taff for becoming a Master Scuba Diver Trainer. Well done lads from all at Diving Dreams.
Monday 29th June 2009 A great big congratulations to Dave and Derek on completing their Enriched Air nitrox Courses, great job lads, looks like longer bottom times for the both of you from now on.
Saturday/Sunday 27th/28th June 2009 It all started in such a tranquil manner on Saturday. After checking the knowledge reviews and completing the exam, we were off to the pool to perfect our David Hasslehoff impressions. The afternoon pool session was an absolute scream, with David (the Hoff) Nicholds rescuing dive masters with all sorts of problems. On Sunday it was lights, camera, action with David being put though all sorts of scenarios. Whatever was thrown at this action hero would not trouble him, rescuing dive masters in various situations from areas of Wraysbury lake. By late afternoon the final scenes had been completed and David Nicholds had become a Rescue Diver. Congratulations and well done over a challenging weekend.
Saturday 27th June 2009 Massive congratulations to Craig Larmer on becoming an Open Water Scuba Instructor from all at Diving Dreams. A pint or two will be on the bar waiting for you at club night. Well done mate.
Thursday 18th June 2009 Not only was this the first of many Diving Dreams ladies night, but also the day our niece, Ellena Victoria was born so double celebrations were in order. Given the circumstances, we did manage to behave and I think The Grill at the Village Hotel will be happy to accept us again. The 2 courses plus 2 glasses of wine for 2 people at £25.00 proved to be good value for money with four people ordering starters (the flat breads easily went around the 8 of us) and the remaining four ordering puddings which were again shared (the chocolate trio special was a massive hit) so that we each had a 3 course meal. Wine was aplenty, with soft drinks for those driving and we even moved into the pub for another bottle of wine when the meal was finished. Thank you ladies for a very enjoyable evening and for sharing my personal celebration. TG
Wednesday 17th June 2009 Another fun evening in the pool - David was finishing his rescue pool work and Teresa started her Open water course. The evening finished with the usual debriefing at the Princess Royal.
Tuesday 15th June 2009 Congratulation to Dave Hall on completing his EFR refresher- it was a fun evening with Cam being the stand in dummy!! My sides have only just recovered from all that laughter.
Saturday 14th June 2009 The Mulberrys again but what a difference a week makes - the sun was shining and the sea was calm. Melvin and Craig took Howard and James Holloway for their first ever taste of UK diving. It seemed that every creature wanted to see these 4 visitors. The fish crowded around, the lobsters wandered over and the nudibranchs...., well what ever nudibranchs do at a slow speed. It was like an aquarium. Finally the intrepid explorers had to wave farewell to their new friends and get back on the boat home. Howard and James first experience in UK waters showed its potential to amaze. Well done to all.
Saturday 6th June 2009 It was going to be a poignant dive on the Mulberrys on the anniversary of D-Day, but this time it was the weather that was our enemy. With the wind attacking us from the east we retreated to the west side of the Bill. There it was a little calmer and we were going to dive a nice gentle reef. The boat was loaded and Alpha squad set out on their covert mission to see what they could find, leaving behind Delta squad to check out the surrounding land (which basically meant drinking tea and eating cakes). In testing conditions Alpha squad managed to locate an alliance of fish and crustations to check they were safe, all done in vizibility that was none too good. Once the mission was complete Alpha squad headed back. By this time the enemy wind had started to attack from the south. Alpha and Delta squad joined forces on the beach and decided to abort the next mission and retreat back to safe ground, i.e the cake shop and pub to debrief and laugh. A big thank you to all squadron members for their gallant efforts. Mulberrys - we will be back.
Tuesday 2nd June 2009 Many thanks to all those people that turned up to another great club night. It was nice to see some new faces too. Apart from the normal jollities and laughter, new trips were launched to Weymouth in July and an overseas trip to Lanzarote in October, to mention just a couple. The ladies seemed to be happy when TG unveiled the Ladies Night Out - I'm thinking that could be a messy one, especially as the men have been nominated as taxi drivers!. Again a big thanks to all.
Sunday 24th May 2009
Another early start to get down to Vobster Quay, the sun was shining and fun was to be had by all. A very big well done to David, Debbie, Derek and Craig on completing the SMB workshop. A big well done also goes to Cam and Christine for continuing their UK dive experiences in challenging conditions. Tracey started her Advanced Openwater course with Melv. Another good job by David on the chocolate muffins, they were great. We are all now looking forward to a fun day's diving on the Mulberrys on the 6th June.
Thursday 21st May 2009 Well, its bandages and splints time, a congratulations to David on completing his Emergency First Responder course. A great evening was had by all - congratulations to Tanya for teaching her first course which was superb. Thanks Tanya and well done David.
Wednesday 20th May 2009 A big well done to Melissa for conquering her fears and completing her first ever Discover Scuba Diving Experience, not to bad considering she was on vacation from Atlanta, USA. Taff was doing water skills on the open water course. Well done to all.
Wednesday 13th May 2009 It was another fun time in the pool, Taff was progressing with his openwater course, Craig and Melv honing their skill circuits to perfection and I had the pleassure of introducing Raj to scuba diving. Considering that she hadn't even snorkelled before and was extremely nervous, Raj was a natural with great buoyancy. A big well done to all.
Remember the pool is available every Wednesday evening between 8 and 9 pm, followed by a swift half at the Princess Royal. GG
STOP PRESS - SMB workshop at vobster quay/club dive Sunday 24th May - contact me for details.
Saturday 11th April 2009
Well we left at stupid o'clock in the morning to go down to Vobster Quay for the first club trip of the season . The viz was excellent. Clare was mapping the rear section of the plane in what is to be described as her Picasso era. Amanda and Craig went off in search of somewhere she could leave her car when she's finished with it whilst Melv and I dropped down to 34m to check out the darkness. Dave, many thanks for chocolate cake, superb as usual. Many thanks to all that turned up, it was a blast.