The weather forecast made some faint-hearted club members pull out of this trip but Mark & Charlie went ahead. Here is Mark’s report (29-30 June 2016):
Despite the weathers best attempts to spoil things, Charlie and I headed west on Wednesday morning. The plan had been 2-3 days diving with Skin Deep dive charters in Portland. Unfortunately the day before we left, they contacted Charlie to tell him that the first day was cancelled, the second possible and the third day unlikely!
We decided to take a chance and go to Vobster for the first day, then go on to Portland and hope the weather improved for the others.
We had two 50 minute dives at Vobster. The water temperature went from 14 degrees near the surface to 8 degrees at 20 metres. Later we headed to Portland. We were booked in to stay at The Bunker which is part of the Skin Deep set up. I thought that the place was ideal for a diving trip. It was close to the marina, £26 for b & b, easy to find and with a good pub nearby. Charlie received a phone call on arrival saying that the next day’s diving was on although they weren’t sure where. We then went to have a look around the marina and while there we had dinner in The Boat That Rocks pub.
In the morning we arrived at the marina for 9 to be told the weather had improved and we would be going to the M2 wreck, an experimental aircraft carrying submarine that had sunk with all its crew in 1932. We were on the Skin Deeper boat skippered by Len with five other divers. It took about an hour to get there. The sea wasn’t too bad. At the site a shot line was dropped and then placed by the first pair of divers.
We descended the line and at around 20 metres the conning tower came into view. Visibility was 4/5 metres. We had a look around the hangar and the plane launching track. Then the conning tower and towards the stern at a depth of 30 metres. We saw large cod, lobsters, conger eels and shoals of bib. We then headed back past the shot in front of the hangar and towards the bow. Finally we returned to the shot and ascended. Our dive time was 30 minutes and the water temperature 14 degrees.
Back on the boat the skipper decided to head for the sheltered side of Portland Bill for our next dive. After some lunch and an air fill we had a gentle drift dive from Grove Point towards the marina. The depth was around 20 metres and visibility 4 metres. Dive time was 40 minutes.
That evening we had a good meal in The Cove Inn pub. Unfortunately our last day was blown out, so after a cooked breakfast that morning, we headed home.