Report by Stevo Spurgin Pictures by Steve Burgess
The misty morning started at 8 am in the local café, Steve, Mark and I tucked into a Full English. I was then launched as the newbie diver into the ogin near the pier for my first UK sea drysuit weight check. This being completed we swam under and around the pier and I was shown a pipefish and how to harvest dive equipment (snorkel and weights) deposited by new divers. In this case, the early birds caught the kit. We all dived on air, the viz on this dive was 3-4 meters, sea Temp 16c and it lasted for 50 mins.
After lunch, it was RO at 12.30, it was bright sunshine and a slight swell with white cliff views all the way there and back. We found we had the platinum ticket with only us three on the boat. We arrived at the permanently buoyed tanks within about 30 minutes of leaving Swanage. Pete (Diversdown) put us slightly up tide to enable us to float right on top of the mooring line for the Valentine tanks. Down we went to 15m there was a slight tide running before the slack kicked in. I made the novice mistake of not digging in next to the tank and paid for it in air. The first tank had shoals of bib flitting about above the tank turret. I was shown the two resident conger eels who inhabit the tank wheels by torchlight. We then took the 70m of rope that connects this tank to its brother. This tank differs from the first as the remains of the turret lie 2m or so from the main vehicle. The marine life was varied and Steve took an amazing photograph of a John Dory. We all dived on air, the viz on this dive was a clear 8 meters, sea Temp 16c and it lasted for 58 mins.