The format was changed this year possibly due to how busy it had been with swimmers in 2017 so Wednesday was for divers and swimmers and a separate event was held for the swimmers competition. This for me worked better as it was much easier to get in the water and the car park and facilities weren't as crowded. Only three hardy souls ventured out for the last late night Wayne, John Pearson and myself.
This years trip to the Red Sea was on board the MV Emperor Echo out of Hurghada, and titled the Big 5. Our group were Neil (organiser), Evelyn, Mike, Lynda, Wayne, Elaine, Steve, Hilary, Nic, Alan, Pete, Brian, Paul, Ronnie, Lisa, Ken from SubC and Kurt & Jen from America. We were joined on the boat by 5 other divers. It started well, we breezed through security at Terminal 1, sampled a few gins in the duty free, hit the bar, and the flight left on time.
Miriam, John and I arrived at Capernwray at 10.05 am so Miriam could do two Sports Diver training dives before the night dives started. John, our chauffeur, was there eagerly anticipating Alan’s arrival in the afternoon so that he could do a SD training dive followed by the ‘experience’ night dive. Neil, Evelyn, Hannah, Lisa, Tom and two little pooches were also there as Neil and Evelyn were taking Hannah in for Ocean Diver training. Fortunately the November day stayed dry and not too cold.
On 28th October, I embarked on my second trip to Capernwray Diving Centre, this time as a trainee Ocean Diver. I had first visited the centre on Good Friday earlier this year, when I had been for a look around. This time I was going to dive in open water.
The day began with Alan (my instructor) picking me up from home, and once we’d loaded all of my gear into his car boot (there was quite a lot) we hit the road.
Nine divers, three non-divers enjoyed a day out to Trefor Beach / Pier. First sea dive for John and Miriam. Lobsters, crabs, flat fish, jelly fish, nudibranchs. Visibility 6 metres (ish). Barbecue in the sunshine, butties, quiz, game of rounders on the beach followed by more relaxing in the sun. Thanks to Elaine for organising the day.
A great day out on the Julianne with members from Middleton SAC to dive the wreck of the SS Derbent which, considering the length of time it's been down there, is still in fairly good condition. Kitting up in a swell is not the best but with help from each other managed to all get in at slack water. This definitely needs to be dived in the right conditions as it's quite far out. The wreck lies on it's starboard side and, when we dropped down about mid-ships, first thought we'd landed on the seabed.
Busy night. Sweltering heat. Six trainees with 5 Instructors (two doing dry suit training), try diver, new junior snorkeller, others just practising skills. Also a Sports Diver lecture. Get together afterwards at the Trackside Bar for a quick drink and a natter about training and trips, sitting outside at the tables on the station platform. Good sociable atmosphere.
Capernwray on a wet Good Friday doesn't sound very appealing, but add an underwater Treasure Hunt, hot pot, apple pie with cream, raffle prizes and Easter eggs for treasure hunt winners into the mix, followed by a trip to the pub, and the disappointment of the weather fades away. 17 of our club members, that's nearly half of the diving members, took part. Some went for the Treasure Hunt, whilst others did training dives.
Joint award for SubC SAC and Bury SAC for their joint expedition to Northern Ireland in 2015. This is awarded annually for an expedition that promotes the true spirit of adventurous diving, taking into account the satisfaction of having completed the aims of the expedition safely, successfully and more importantly know that those participating enjoyed the experience. It is brought to the attention of the BSAC Expeditions Officer by first submitting an Expedition Report and completing the relevant application forms.
Alan Brown, Bury SAC 601 Diving Officer was presented with an award for Best Candidate out of 27 on the Advanced Instructor Course 2016. Well done and many congratulations to Alan in the recognition for all the hard work and commitment that he's put in this year - it is well deserved.