Finally, we’re actually planning a real dive in the real sea – Saturday 25th July under Swanage Pier. The weather forecast could be sunnier, but several members are heading off for the coast in beautiful Swanage, with two types of face mask, new risk assessment, socially distanced buddy checks and great eagerness and anticipation to have a look at the life below the pier.
July 2020, a regular Thursday evening gathering on zoom, and we were transported back in time by a video of a sunny day out on the club boats diving the Mixon Hole in 2002. Mike talked through the action, from launching the boats down the Bracklesham slipway, testing the engines, motoring to site, kitting up, buddy checks and rolling back into the water. This sparked a discussion about what extras a new diver should remember to take out on the boat – woolly hat, sun cream, lunch, hot drink, tools, spares . . . . . .
Normally we’d be out diving at this time of year, but this is not a normal year, so we were doing the next best thing and preparing for when we can dust off our kit and our boats and get into the water – learning the ins and outs of planning dives. We’ve gone through tides and slack water and were working our way into locating wrecks when Mike had to deal with a house alarm! We reconvened the following week and finished off a really instructive session.
Francis showed us all a range of marine life most of us recognise but don’t necessarily know by name. A really good evening of fantastic photos and videos, reminding us what is out there in the sea off the south coast, while we sit at home look longingly at our clean and dry diving kit still stacked in its winter quarters.