CSAC on Tour – Plymouth 2012

Our annual trip to Plymouth has just finished and its quite a let down after three days great diving out of Plymouth.  This year 6 of us attempted  a four day diving trip from Thursday – Sunday, with the rest of the group arriving Thursday night and Friday to fit in with work commitments. In total we had 20 divers across two hard boats.

As per usual, we had the luxury boat/accommodation and the rufty/tufty alternative, group A and B for arguments sake..

Group #A –  stayed at the Mountbatten Centre and dived with Seeker.

Group #B –  stayed at the Borrington Arms and dived off Maid Maggie.

In Group #1 we had a number of divers who were having their first dive in UK waters ( outside Wraysbury/Chepstow) so depths had to be no greater than 20m for them on the days they were joining us. Group #2 had no limits but eventually almost dived the same things as us bar one wreck.

We did:

Thursday  – Glen Strathallen (14m) and the Coronation Wreck  (18m)

Friday – Persier ( 32m) and the Mewstone (16m)

Saturday – James Egan Layne (23m) and the Scylla (21m top deck)

Sunday – BLOWN OUT… Well after three flat calm days diving we couldn’t be asked to brave the F5-6 and the rain… wimps…

I think the other group did similar dives with the exception that they did the Rosehill  (30m).

Sea state Thursday and Friday was pretty calm, light wind on Friday afternoon but really ideal diving conditions, water temp was 14 degrees at depth and 17 topside. Visibility was mixed, generally east of the sound going towards the Persier and Salcombe was ok. On the Persier we had 6-7m vis and possible the same on the Glen Strathallen which made them both delightful dives.  But West of Plymouth, the vis on the Coronation was ~2m with alot of material in the water…. Likewise the Scylla and JEL were a little cloudy compared to previous years, certainly didn’t see the dolphin this year… oh well next year perhaps…

Saturday was a little ruffer with a few white horses appearing outside the breakwater but the Sun came out and helped with the vis on the dives. Always nice to have the sun shining through as you ascend to your stops.

Accomodation was clean, simple and good value but must remember to book an ensuite room next year, likewise the boat ( Seeker) was spot on, safe and functional. There was talk of the owners selling it but I hope not as its capable boat with  good deck size for divers.

As per every dive trip, the “Apres dive” activities make the trip and this year we excelled ourselves with three very nice meals in the evening, I can definitely recommend:-

The Bridge at Mountbatten, good food and smart surroundings, just walk along the path from the Mountbatten Centre to the marina.

The Clovelly Bay Inn in Turnchapel, just walk past the Bridge along the coastal path, up and down the hill for another 10mins…

The Barbican Kitchen in the Plymouth Gin factory, this is a cocktail bar ( Gin based obviously) and an adjoining restaurant which serves very nice food. For this you need to take the small ferry over to Plymouth town centre ( last rtn at 11.15pm).

You need to book all of these in advance to get a change of eating there!

Divers were: Adele, Andy H, Bob J, Chris M, Chris R, David T, Dominic H, Garrie T, Hazel, John O, Len T, Mark T, Mike W, Miles S, Natalie H, Paul F, Paul Q, Richard G, Sally T plus Adam and Dean.

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