During the week before, the wet June weather gradually started to improve, but the forecast for Thursday and Friday was strong easterly winds. What was going on with our summer, would it never settle down? On Thursday evening we set off for the long journey down to Plymouth and the weather looked perfect. But as we got closer we noticed the wind picking up - this could be a real problem. The skipper said that diving out of the harbour was a maybe but we could definately get wet in the harbour. So we checked into our hotel for a pre-bedtime beer.
Friday morning dawned breezey to say the least. It was too rough to bring the boat alongside the jetty at the Mount Batten Centre so we loaded up in the Marina. We headed out to sea to see if the Glen Strathallan was divable. When we arrived opinion was mixed but in the end we decided to play cautious and headed back for the harbour. So the first dive was to be the Fort. Apparantly there is a diver trail around some of the underwater 'attractions' all linked toegher by orange rope - we never found the rope. We dropped in to 12 m and headed east around the fort, with the current, towards the start of the trail. But by the time we were going due south we were fighting a strong northerly current, so turned around to come back. Once we were going due south again on the other side - same current. Neither my buddy nor I like to swim against a current so we turned around again. After playing this game a few times and 40 minutes later, we surfaced. The second dive was off Bovisand Beach. Lots of kep and sand in shallow water. Plenty of life, but not the most exciting dive.
Saturday dawned and we might as well have been in a different country. The sun was shining, the wind had gone and the sea was flat calm. Perfect conditions for Eddystone Reef and Hand Deeps, so off we went. The plan was to do Eddystone Reef first followed by Hand Deeps on slack water. Both dives were fantastic. Visability was a good 10 m and the life was staggering. Although we were both using stages to accelerate decompression, my buddy did not have a gas switching computer so we had to do the full decompression. Twenty minutes of decompression gives plenty of time to practise photographing jellyfish!
Sunday was almost as nice as Saturday although there was more cloud and the wind was getting up again. The skipper reckoned the Rosehill would be a better dive than the Persier and we think he was right. It was another beautiful dive with good visibility and lots to see. Then we finished off with a dive on the James Eagan Lane and all to soon we were heading back to harbour, tired but exhilerated.
Many thanks to Bob & Liz for organising the trip and also to Indeep Diving Centre for the accomodation, boat & local knowledge. Already looking forward to a return trip...