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  1. #1
    TDF Member IainC's Avatar
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    Cheers us up with your best dives!

    As an antidote to the general grimness of the world right now, cheer me up with tales of your best dives, recent or otherwise!

    I'll go first..

    1998 - First time I dived the Hispania in the sound of Mull, a proper ship shaped shipwreck, utterly covered in soft coral, with a club instructor who lead me through all the little spaces from end to end. Glorious

    2009 - Maldives - clinging onto a rock in a shallow Kandu with my then girlfriend (now wife) in a roaring current watching a parade of Manta Rays loop the loop over our heads for 20minutes or more feeding on plankton

    2017 - pretty much every dive I did in Truk.

    2021 - Northern Ireland, the Castle Eden, 30m+ visibility, sunshine and blue water teeming with fish.

    Happy Days are underwater days!

  2. #2
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    My last dive this saturday - first sea dive of the year.

    had to go out and scrape ice off the car to get there.

    met a great bunch of mates who i've not dived with since last year.

    got in got wet had 3-5m vis on a local brighton reef.

    it isnt all about what you see but also who you are with.

    Here is hoping a better years diving than the last two.

  3. #3
    Coastal Member dwhitlow's Avatar
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    Not the best but the most recent.... Early start on Sunday and found a strange deposit obscuring my view



    With that gone I drove over 2 miles drive to park near the sea.

    Conditions looked pretty good



    After a hearty breakfast in we went...









    and there was plenty to be seen











    and then coffee, cake, and home for lunch.
    Last edited by dwhitlow; 04-04-2022 at 02:49 PM.

  4. #4
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    This is one of those posts that I will still be thinking about weeks later as I remember another dive that should have been on the list! But in no particular order:

    1 - Loch Ness, red water, lots of whisky bottles and a pair of clogs, 5m felt like 50m and beyond 30m was like the surface of the moon in a blizzard for the most part. 80m and the vis improves to a point, a little exploration and despite telling myself I have a scientific mind and don't believe in fairy tales, at one point I clipped a ledge with my fin and the adrenaline hit was memorable as for a fraction of a second I was convinced Nessie had got me.
    2 - Dorothea - a beautiful, vast, underwater museum, first 100m dive although depth was a by product not the aim, in fact it felt FAR deeper 4 years before when I went to 50m for the first time, a real demonstration of the benefit of experience and the final nail in the coffin for my OC activities. I wanted to do those dives every weekend and didn't fancy spending several hundreds on gas each time.
    3 - Dinas Silica - first 'cave' dive and first 'cave' dive with my wife, haven't been back since due to 4...
    4 - Cambrian - first new 'cave' dive after diving Dinas to pieces whilst practicing skills and drills. It showed me all the things that are missing from Dinas and started a full time obsession
    5 - Croesor - because I am not sure there is a better diving site in the UK to be honest. So much so that it was the only place I dived for an entire year (when covid restrictions were in place) as I wanted to get the biggest bang for my buck. If you like the vast chambers from the mines of Moria in the Lord of the Rings series then this is the place for you!


    Great idea by the way, Matt

  5. #5
    Nicotine, valium, vicodin... notdeadyet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by M-J-J View Post
    1 - Loch Ness, red water, lots of whisky bottles and a pair of clogs, 5m felt like 50m and beyond 30m was like the surface of the moon in a blizzard for the most part. 80m and the vis improves to a point, a little exploration and despite telling myself I have a scientific mind and don't believe in fairy tales, at one point I clipped a ledge with my fin and the adrenaline hit was memorable as for a fraction of a second I was convinced Nessie had got me.
    I shit myself in Loch Ness doing the same sort of thing. I was diving the wall off the beach at the back of the SYHA. An old tree trunk came looming out of the gloom at about 20m. My light just flashed a bit of it and for a moment I had a glimpse of something long, black, twisted and sinewy.

    5 - Croesor - because I am not sure there is a better diving site in the UK to be honest. So much so that it was the only place I dived for an entire year (when covid restrictions were in place) as I wanted to get the biggest bang for my buck. If you like the vast chambers from the mines of Moria in the Lord of the Rings series then this is the place for you!
    I can fully understand that, it's a stunning place. I got a bit obsessed with Croesor about 8 or 9 years ago which started out as planning the through trip to Rhosydd (which I never got round to) and then looking at diving when I found out there were sumps in it worth looking at. I was put off by reading some old reports that they'd dumped the insulating oil from the transformers into the water when it was decommissioned and that it was high in PCB's. I came across a dive report from maybe the 1990's (might have been CDG, can't remember) where the diver mentioned there was still an oil layer in the water that he was covered in when he surfaced. Didn't fancy it after that.

    I'd totally forgotten about Croesor, that's got me thinking about the through trip again
    Caliph Hamish Aw-Michty Ay-Ya-Bastard, Spiritual leader of Scottish State in England

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by notdeadyet View Post
    I shit myself in Loch Ness doing the same sort of thing. I was diving the wall off the beach at the back of the SYHA. An old tree trunk came looming out of the gloom at about 20m. My light just flashed a bit of it and for a moment I had a glimpse of something long, black, twisted and sinewy.



    I can fully understand that, it's a stunning place. I got a bit obsessed with Croesor about 8 or 9 years ago which started out as planning the through trip to Rhosydd (which I never got round to) and then looking at diving when I found out there were sumps in it worth looking at. I was put off by reading some old reports that they'd dumped the insulating oil from the transformers into the water when it was decommissioned and that it was high in PCB's. I came across a dive report from maybe the 1990's (might have been CDG, can't remember) where the diver mentioned there was still an oil layer in the water that he was covered in when he surfaced. Didn't fancy it after that.

    I'd totally forgotten about Croesor, that's got me thinking about the through trip again
    You are spot on with Croesor, the place usually stinks of diesel, the top layer of the water burns your skin and tastes of diesel as well. There are all sorts of boxes/chemicals containers amongst the collapsed areas, I have read the CDG report and I would say it is still pretty accurate. The chemical 'cloud' that looks like a halocline some have referred to I believe is actually ultra fine silt from when the upper levels are dived which over the course of a couple of days finds it's way to the lower levels, as sometimes it is there and sometimes not - there is certainly a layer on the surface though.

    I use a balaclava hood under my main one to keep my lips and cheeks as protected as possible and dive the unit in there - wouldn't fancy regular OC work in there without expecting some longer term health issues, I have already picked up two ear infections from diving it which were no joke. There are a couple of entrances which are better than the main 'room' for entry but finding them and getting kit to them is a whole different undertaking. I have over 70 hours in there now so I figure I am already screwed and may as well carry on regardless

    That said, I have found another one a couple of hours away which is bigger still - not quite the step from Cambrian to Croesor but still a decent step up on Croesor. Water quality is great but accessibility is the primary issue, so much so that I got myself a drone to assist with finding a better route...any excuse for a new toy!

  7. #7
    Nicotine, valium, vicodin... notdeadyet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by M-J-J View Post
    I have over 70 hours in there now so I figure I am already screwed and may as well carry on regardless
    Yeah, after pissing about in Millclose Mine in the early 2000's I dread to think how much lead I ingested before finding out it was one of the most contaminated pieces of land in the country outside of nuclear sites. Should really check these things out first
    Caliph Hamish Aw-Michty Ay-Ya-Bastard, Spiritual leader of Scottish State in England

  8. #8
    Nicotine, valium, vicodin... notdeadyet's Avatar
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    My first shore dive at Gortein Point on Loch Fyne. Beautiful and became one of my favourite sites. The old quarry by the shore at Furnace on the other side of the loch too.

    HMS Pathfinder when I realised this was what all the hassle of diving a rebreather was for.

    Doing the bottom of Dorothea the day before my wedding. It was suggested afterwards that it was a badly thought out idea. Clearly such incompatibility of basic principles was doomed to fail I take a lot of satisfaction in knowing my relationship with my rebreather has lasted longer.

    Sneak diving the Source de Beze in France after a substantial 5 course meal, a bottle of wine and the best cheese board I have ever had. It's an ornamental pond right in the centre of the town, there really was no chance of doing it stealthily so seemed reasonable to have a good final meal before we got nicked. Turned out to be one of the best cave dives I've ever done, huge passage, gin clear water, lovely scenery. No sign of the plod when we came out so was a bit of an anticlimax, just a dog walker. Real shame it's a closed site, it's one of the best caves in France.

    A road trip round the caves of eastern France with one of my best friends where I'd first thought about writing a guidebook. We'd both just split up with our girlfriends and it turned into one of the best weeks I've ever had. Incredible cave diving, excessive drinking and extracurricular adventures.

    Or the opposite end of the scale, getting stuck in a caravan in France on a dive trip with a member of this parish while it pissed it down for what felt like years (I think it was two days). I felt like I was living out Withnail & I for real, it turned into Crow Crag. Thank god we had beer and wine or it could have been much worse

    My real favourites aren't the best dives though, if that makes any sense. I really love the Type 2 fun kind, i.e. the ones that are miserable during it and it's only afterwards they make you smile. I've had a couple of cave dives where I genuinely thought the chance of not making it out was reasonably high, absolutely horrendous experiences but I would not trade them for anything else as stupid as that sounds. Another time was three days of training at Loch Long in the middle of winter. Snowing, windy, weather was horrendous the whole time. I was just constantly cold, tired, wet and continually being told "do it again but better". Awful. A real sufferfest but when I think about it now it was one of the most enjoyable things I've done. It's stuff like that that I really remember more than anything. Being cold & miserable, boat trips where I puked almost without end, carrying kit up a mountain in 35deg, the diving may have been nothing to write home about but the days were absolutely memorable.
    Last edited by notdeadyet; 04-04-2022 at 09:47 PM.
    Caliph Hamish Aw-Michty Ay-Ya-Bastard, Spiritual leader of Scottish State in England

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by notdeadyet View Post

    My real favourites aren't the best dives though, if that makes any sense. I really love the Type 2 fun kind, i.e. the ones that are miserable during it and it's only afterwards they make you smile. I've had a couple of cave dives where I genuinely thought the chance of not making it out was reasonably high, absolutely horrendous experiences but I would not trade them for anything else as stupid as that sounds. Another time was three days of training at Loch Long in the middle of winter. Snowing, windy, weather was horrendous the whole time. I was just constantly cold, tired, wet and continually being told "do it again but better". Awful. A real sufferfest but when I think about it now it was one of the most enjoyable things I've done. It's stuff like that that I really remember more than anything. Being cold & miserable, boat trips where I puked almost without end, carrying kit up a mountain in 35deg, the diving may have been nothing to write home about but the days were absolutely memorable.
    This is spot on - three nightmare dives spring to mind, I laugh about them now but they accelerated my diving faster than 100s of 'good' ones combined. Maybe we need a 'nightmare' dives section as well?

  10. #10
    Established TDF Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by notdeadyet View Post
    My first shore dive at Gortein Point on Loch Fyne. Beautiful and became one of my favourite sites. The old quarry by the shore at Furnace on the other side of the loch too.
    Interesting - that is probably one of my least favourite sites given the nature of the rock and one I choose to miss out when it is suggested. I ended up slipping and putting my knee and back out for a week as it was damp and slippy as hell.

    Favourite dives I can narrow down to three:
    1) My first ever dive - was at Beadnell (near Seahouses). Great first dive and plenty of fish and lobsters to see.
    2) First dive on the Thistlegorm - we were lucky and managed to dive it on the 75th anniversary of the sinking. Amazing to see some of the cargo so well preserved and had a brilliant night dive on it with some great mates.
    3) Red sea again - drift dive where we were just about at the end of it and about to do our stops under the boat. Just as we made it back, three oceanic whitetips swam up to the boat and proceeded to swim about under the boat. We managed to extend the stops for about 10 minutes with the sharks just swimming back and forward around us. Amazing to have them swimming about 3m away.


 
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