On the 21st-22nd April a few of us headed down to Plymouth for what ended up being some fantastic diving! The weather reports were not looking all that great, but we ended up having sunshine all the way, and the vis was pretty great.
We picked up a van at about 4pm on Friday, and then headed to get Sam’s boat for the adventure. Bringing the boat back to stores we spent the evening getting all the kit together. There was a lot to do, so this went on late.
We headed down to Plymouth on Saturday morning to avoid the cost of one of the nights accomodation. There were just 4 of us on Saturday, with two more people joining by train on Sunday. Because of the train times this mean a late start on Sunday, which made the trip end late. I would never do this again, you need to get everyone for the whole trip, or if they are coming to join they need to come the day before.
The diving was great, we started off with a trip to the Glen Strath, having a bit of a faff shotting it. But we got there in the end. Having some engine troubles, we had to leave the shot to head back to shore, though some other divers offered to get it for use and bring it back, which was very nice. We then went over for a dive on the JEL. This was glorious!!
At the end of the day we moored up and offloaded the gear. Sending on driver to drop one of our group off at the train station we were just two of us unloading. This was hard work – we found it is actually easier to recover the boat onto the trailer with all the gear on it and then unload direct into cars.
After we finally got back for the evening we did not feel like venturing far, and just ended up in spoons for a quick pint and some food.
The second day was another dive on the JEL, plus one on the Scilla. Both great dives we were blessed with more sunshine and flat seas.
Rocco managed to get some great video of what we did:
On this trip we dived the following wrecks
To dive this wreck you will need coordinates. The boilers stick up a bit so are not too bad to find, but you need boat handlers and GPS operators who know what they are doing if you are going to find the boilers
Easy to find as it is quite a big wreck. Very regularly dived, so there are often other peoples shots on this one.
Again, this one sticks up a long way – seabed is about 25m and the top of the wreck is about 15
We got our gas fills from Indeep who are based by the mountbatten centre where we were launching. They are not very cheep, but we could not be bothered to drive all the way around to other fill stations. It is worth checking when they will be open. One major advantage of indeep is that they bank 32% nitrox so you do not need O2 clean cylinders to get nitrox fills.
We stayed at the Plymouth backpackers hotel. This is on Union street and has free parking. Provides basic amenities and the price is OK – but it is a pain to have to drive all the way around every day which takes at least 15 minutes. We found that the mount batten centre actually have accommodation which is cheaper than this outside of peak season.
We launched from the east slip at the mount batten centre. This is free to use and is nice and shallow so very easy.
You can pay to park in the mount batten parking, or the car park across the road is free. If they make that car park cost money in the summer you can park on the road for free (even with the trailer)
We hired a van from the end of Friday through to first thing on Monday. This was a bit stressful as we then travelled down early on the Saturday morning. Everyone was too tired from doing this.
Note that if you are towing with a hired van the excess is stupid (£1,000 in our case). You can however buy excess insurance from other providers which brings this down a lot!
(these are the totals and would be for 6 divers)
- Van hire/insurance: £218.86
- Van fuel: £57.89
- Boat fuel/oil: £73.64
- Accomodation: £20 pp
- Boat mooring: £27.50
- Car fuel: £30
- Cylinder fills: £40 (we brought as many with us as we could)