DOING IT WEEKEND – “NEW” PORTHKERRIS – MAY 6TH / 7TH 2007
22 May Tuesday, 12:06 PM


           Here we are with the first of the brand new style club scuba dives, in Porthkerris, Cornwall.  The ever popular “Doing It …” format has now evolved into its next stage, full “Doing It …” weekends, along with our more regular “Doing It …” days, once a month. So now we’ve got the chance to get off shore and log some really great UK hard boat diving.  So with out further ado, let me tell you all about our great weekends diving in Porthkerris, an area truly renowned for some of the UK’s best diving.

              Myself and my fellow “Doingiter’s” all met up after a leisurely start (gathered on the shore for 9.30am), on this sunny Sunday morning, for what was to be two great days of UK diving. Our weekend was to be split, with Sunday shore diving from the house reef at Porthkerris, and the Monday (Mmmmmm No work !!!!!!) hard boat diving with Mike from Porthkerris Divers. 

With us all eagerly gathered Dave gave the site briefing for our first of the days shore dives and told all of us where the best places to go were, and what to look for when we got there.  This included the very elusive “Crack of Life” (Which apart from Dave and his Buddy nobody found!). The first dive ended with lots of happy smiling faces coming out of the water, with the usual stories of what had been seen.  After the bacon sarnies and some further advice as to where to find the “Crack of Life”, it was back in the water for the second dive of the day.

 

Afterwards, the general consensus was that the crack of life was a figment of Dave the Solihull Store Manager’s imagination (obviously from working so hard in the shop the previous day – yes he did pay me to add that little bit !

             The basic brief for the following day was to be kitted up on the shore and ready to roll by 8.30am. 

             To ensure we caught the tide right, with an added note from our skipper Mike that anyone or any kit that was late would be left behind. 

              The rest of the night was spent swapping stories, discussing many diving topics and generally having a beer or two (Ooooo and still no work tomorrow !!!!). Ahh, now for our first small hiccup of the weekend, well besides the odd beer induced one from the previous evening. Monday saw 40 mph winds and a very choppy sea, not to mention a few green looks on my fellow Doing It’ers faces, even despite their patches and sea-sickness tablets! Skipper Mike gave a great dive brief on the boat about the first dive site “Vase reef” on “The Manacles”. 

                 All though that wasn’t that much use to the 4th and 5th (All Green) Telletubbies, Gary and Jason, aka Pukey-Pukey and Chuck-Chuck. The reef itself is wedding cake shaped and provides various depths to suit both the recreational and technical divers (the Reef stretches from 10-42M).  The shot line was sent down to around the 20M mark and the task of getting all 12 divers into the water was nothing but an art in itself. Of course as professional “Doing It’ers” everyone managed to get in and down the shot line with no problems despite the testing conditions.  

                 Once in we were all totally amazed by the sheer volume of life, even I couldn’t fail to get a good photo or fifty here. With Anemone; Wrasse; Lobsters; Eels; John Dory; Blennies; Fan Worms; Pollock and more as far as the eye could see. In very simple terms, this was absolutely and unequivocally Abso-Fant-As-Tica-Stupend-Es-Ly Midblowing !! At the end of the dive, the buddy pairs deployed their SMB’s and were picked up by the boat, using its lift.  It was then a quick trip into a sheltered bay for some much needed refreshments.   

              After the surface interval it was off to the 2nd dive site: “The Volnay”.  This wreck sunk in 21m of water after hitting a contact mine in 1917, whilst returning to Canada carrying luxury goods and anti-personnel shells. If you look hard enough these treasures can still be found around the wreck, if you dig for them. 

                  We all headed down the shot line to the massive boilers, located a mid-ships. We then split, with half the group heading towards the bow, and half towards the stern to look for Congers. After a good look around the bow and stern we were all drawn, like sheep, to the debris area to look for our treasures. Our skipper did however suggest that bringing Core-dite (The stuff bombs are made from !!) back onto the boat would not really be a very good idea. Oh and that it was a long swim back to Porthkerris with no boat. 

So as quick as it all started, it was over, and time for us to head back home after a really great inaugural “Doing It … Weekend” at Porthkerris !



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