On the RIB were Julian, Tim, Paul, Simon, myself and Richard. This was to be Richards first dry suit dive so he buddied with Julian, Paul and Simon and Tim and I also were buddy pairs.
We met in Ma’s café for breakfast then set off to prepare the RIB and ourselves for the dive. I drove part way to the site then handed over to Paul because my back was becoming painful with the bouncing of the boat. We were first boat on site so we tied to the shot line and Tim and I kitted up and dropped in. Tim mentioned that he wanted to see if he could retrieve the lead shot weight belt he had previously seen and I was testing my new camera case so was happy to let him lead.
We found the visibility to be about 2m when we reached the seabed with the current running a little. The dive was very pleasant, I had previously only dived the mulberries as a trainee so this time I took my time to have a really good look around and Tim lead me on a swim through which ended with us lying still and quiet while a shoal of largish fish gradually drifted toward us, it was a lovely experience. We continued to explore the site and Tim pointed out a large conger eel hidden well back in a hole then swam over the edge of the ledge we were on. I followed him after a slight delay and a very large conger swam under me just as I came over the edge of the ledge, it’s tail flicked across my chest before it disappeared into the tangle of concrete and metal beside me. My closest encounter and nobody saw it and my camera case was empty!
We returned to the shot and started a short distance along the line laid to the cuckoo or barge but Tim decided we would be better returning to the surface so that Julian and Richard could have some of the slack time too.
We returned to the surface and Julian and Richard kitted up and dropped in. Paul and Simon returned to the RIB shortly after and then when Julian and Richard returned we headed for home with Simon driving back. The tide was out and Simon handed over to Tim for entry to the river and mooring for chips. Another successful day. (JM)