Newark Sub Aqua Club

Past Trips & Events

We are an active club with members enjoying both UK and foreign diving.  Most of our club diving is in the UK, but over the last few years, club members have travelled to exotic places such as Cuba, Thailand, the Red Sed, Palau and the Mediterranean.  Short summaries of our UK club trips and events are below:

2010

October 2011 – Sipidan Island, Malaysia.

September 2011 – Weymouth with Dive Time (www.divetime.info – 0pens in a new window) – sadly blown out – return trip in 2012 planned!

July 2011 – Farne Islands with Farne Islands Diving Charters (www.farne-islands-diving.co.uk. Opens in a new window).

June 2011 – Plymouth with Mountbatten Dive Charter (www.scyllareefdivecharter.co.uk).

March 2011 – Best of the Wrecks, Red Sea Liveboard, Egypt (www.blueotwo.com).

2010

September 2010 – Farne Islands with Farne Islands Diving Charters (www.farne-islands-diving.co.uk. Opens in a new window).

Last trip of the season with Graeme and Moby of Farne Islands Diving.  We are starting to become regulars with Graeme now; this was our third trip with him.  After a summer of great visibility and decent weather, the week before our trip brought Force 9 storms and lumpy seas. With some trepidation, we headed North on Friday with the promise of calming winds and subsiding seas.  By Saturday morning, the Farnes were divable and we left Beadnell heading out through a 3m swell; as we know from previous trips, this is no problem for Moby and we arrived safely at the outer Farnes for about 8:30 a.m.  As always, Graeme treated us to a great weekend of diving, his expert knowledge being invaluable when the seas are less than perfect.  A great time was had by all; we’ll be back in 2o11!

August 2010 – Weymouth with Dive Time (www.divetime.info – 0pens in a new window)

Top tip for 2010; if you plan to visit Weymouth get there in plenty of time!  Weywouth is the official venue of the 2012 Olympic sailing event and as a result, the entire road system is being reworked.  The roads resemble the M25 on a Friday evening and even the locals can’t keep up with the constant changes.

Eleven of us travelled to Weymouth and once we had mastered the roadworks had a great weekend’s diving.  We met skipper Paul at 09:00 on the Saturday morning in order to make the 10:00 bridge opening.  This was the first time we had been on Divetime and what a fantastic boat; fast stable and more room than you could wish for.  Paul and his ‘First Officer’ John provided a service more akin to Red Sea liveaboards than UK day boats. 

The first dive of  the day was on the Black Hawk, which sits at about 20m and has been reasonably well broken-up by the combination of tides and the clearance activities of the MOD.  Nevertheless, there are still large sections of wreck that were teaming with sea life.  Being on spring tides, a reasonable current was running, so after spending time on the wreck, a number of us duly deployed our SMBs and drifted with the current until it was time to return to the surface.  On surfacing we were all treated to one of Paul’s legendary home-made soups, boxes of sandwiches and endless cups of tea from John.  The second dive was planned for Lulworth Banks with the hope of catching our dinner.  Visibility to 15m was great, but sadly this plummeted to almost zero as we descended to the sea bed at 20m.  Not the best dive and it was not clear why the visibility was so poor; perhaps a dredger had been in the area.  However, our spirits were lifted as we headed back to Weymouth with hot doughnuts and yet more cups of tea.

Given the long drive ahead of us on Sunday afternoon, we met Paul at 07:3o on Sunday morning in order to catch the 08:00 bridge.  We returned to the Black Hawk, diving another section followed by another drift with the current.  Our second dive was on the inner regions of Lulworth Banks, where a number of us were able to catch our dinner.  Excellent.

This was a great weekend and many thanks to Paul and John for looking after us so well.  A return trip for 2011 is already in the pipeline when we hope to dive some of Weymouth’s deeper wrecks.

June 2010 – Anglesey with SBS RIB Charters (www.sbsribcharter.co.uk Opens in a new window)

Twelve of us headed to Anglesey to dive the wrecks and reefs around Trearddur Bay under the expert guidance of Aubrey Diggle, Skipper of SBS RIB Charter’s Liparis.  After a long Friday evening drive, a number of us were wondering why we sign up for these things, but we were rewarded with a beautiful Saturday morning.  Aubrey whisked us off to our first dive site off Rhoscolyn Head, which features a scenic cave as seen on SBS’s website gallery.  After returning for Trearddur Bay for lunch and a swap of cylinders we then headed out to the wreck of the Hermine, which Aubrey described as a ‘scenic wreck drift dive’; we enjoyed two of the three as we struggled to find the drift!  The weather was a little more inclement on the Sunday where we dived the wreck of the Missouri in the morning.  In the afternoon we headed out into a typically June squall to Englishman’s Rock.  Our last dive started as a slightly dark scenic dive, but the sun came out, the visibility was transformed and the site abundant with sea life.  We left Wales having had a great trip that made the Friday evening drive seem entirely worthwhile.  Many thanks to Aubrey for his excellent skippering.

May 2010 – Farne Islands

A small group of us had an impromptu trip to the Farne Islands diving off a club member’s RIB.  The weather was good, the seas kind and a good time was had by all.

March 2010 – Annual Club Dinner and Award Ceremony

Nineteen of us had an excellent evening at the Ruen Thai in Newark where we looked back at the highlights of the 2009 diving season and looked forward to the 2010 season.  Certificates were presented to club members gaining new diving qualifications; two Ocean Divers and five Sports Divers.  2010 already promises to be another busy year for training, with three new members in the process of crossing over from another diving agency and six existing members going through the Dive Leader training programme.  Congratulations to those winning awards this year; Lisa (Chairman’s Award), Simon (Diving Officer’s Award) Martin (Ocean Diver Award) and Wayne (for his innovative, and partially successful, repair to a dry suit neck seal whilst diving off the Farne Islands).

2009

September 2009 – Farne Islands with Moby (Farne Islands Diving Charters; www.farne-islands-diving.co.uk/)

Our last trip of the season and a return visit to the Farnes with Graeme.  This time we had carefully planned neap tides and gorgeous autumn weather.  When we met in the car park on the Saturday morning, Graeme told us we would get the best diving in the Farnes; he wasn’t wrong.  We dived the Hopper and the Knifestone (including the SS Abessinia) on both days and were treated to stunning visibility and plentiful marine life.  The good weather even seemed to make the seals extra playful.  We’ll be back in 2010.  

July 2009 – Farne Islands with Moby (Farne Islands Diving Charters; www.farne-islands-diving.co.uk)

Moby is a unique boat, part hard-boat, part RIB with a serious Honda engine.  Graeme is a unique skipper and knows the Farnes like the back of his hand.  We organised the trip at short notice so we did not have the best tides (just coming off springs) and the weather had been very windy for a few days beforehand.  We powered through the waves on Saturday morning into a strong North Easterly riding a 3 metre swell and arrived at the Farnes only to find one other boat out there (all of the hard boats had been confined to harbour).  Graeme expertly found calm waters for diving on both days; we had a great time diving through gullies whilst being chased by the resident seals.  We vowed to return when the conditions were a little easier!

May 2009 – Plymouth with Excalibur (Mount Batten Diving; www.mountbattendiving.co.uk)

We were greeted on Saturday morning with clear blue skies but a strong South Easterly breeze, which was quite strong out at sea and had created a reasonable swell.  Many of the classic Plymouth dive sites were out of reach, so we headed East and had a couple of lovely scenic dives off the “Fairyland” reef and to the west of Mewstone, a mountain-shaped rock that shelves down to the sea bed.  Lunch in the sunshine in lea of the wind was very civilised.  Sunday was a complete contrast; blue skies, no wind, flat calm sea, clear visibility and a complete lack of other dive boats.  We had stunning dives on HMS Elk and the James Egan Layne; both of which we had to ourselves.