Swanage 5th-7th August
This weekend a group of us went down to Swanage to do a series of different dives such as drift and wrecks from a hard boat. Our weekend trips usually leave on a Friday evening to allow us to get to the dive sites early on the following day.
Saturday morning started out with a 6 in the morning get up (Though with an optional lie for an hour to two) in order to beat the queue. We began with a shore dive beneath the pier, which had plenty of marine life including crabs and a few lobsters. Water temperatures were relatively warm, reaching about 16 degrees which made for a relatively pleasant dive with dry suits. After a short break, we got onto a small hard boat for 2 drift dives. The first was off to the Peveril Ledges, and after a quick break for lunch we returned to the boat to dive the Scallop Drift. While water speeds were quite low and required some swimming by us in the first drift, the Scallop Drift had much more ideal speeds, which had some of us travelling 1 and a half miles in just over a 30 minute dive. As expected with the name, we saw plenty of scallops, and some were even collected to take back with us to cook before dinner.
Sunday started with the same early wake, however it featured a much more cold and cloudy morning. We did not have plans for a shore dive in the morning, instead going straight onto another hard boat to the lighthouse Drift. This time the seas were much rougher, which resulted in a very bumpy ride and a few people beginning to get seasick. Despite the large waves, the they weren't deemed bad enough to change the dive which had plenty of fish of impressive sizes for us to see. We had a quick break afterwards, giving enough time for lunch and to refill our cylinders to go on our final dive, the Clan Macvey. This wreck is from a British vessel that was sunk in 1918, and now appears as large metal plates protruding from the seabed. These provided excellent areas to find all sorts of crabs and lobsters, different kinds to what we saw under the pier. Being 40 minutes away, accompanied by very rough seas made it an uncomfortable ride for some unfortunately, however after the dive on our return journey most people seemed to enjoy the ride back to the pier.
Afterwards we simply had to pack the vans and head back home, and with no problems during the whole weekend it was clear everybody had a great time.