Happy New Year!
BSAC 406 got back in the water on Friday, diving the Victoria Star, although this did seem doubtful for a while as the sea gods seemed to be conspiring against us. To begin with a tyre on the new trailer was flat. Geoff attempted to inflate it but this succeeded only in breaking off the valve so a wheel had to be changed before we could go anywhere. We then discovered the boat batteries had gone flat due to me neglecting to turn them off after bringing the boat back from Joff’s yard a couple of weeks ago. So the second task (for Mike) was a battery swap with SP 125. In the end we were an hour late leaving the club.
The good news is that the new boat trailer tows very nicely (thanks Joff). The bad news was that in all the excitement we had neglected to take the blue folder with us. This contains the boat registration card which is an essential document if the coastguard was to let us go to sea. Mike volunteered to go back and fetch it which he did but in the meantime another half hour disappeared. The sea turned out to be flat calm although the wind has a nip to it at this time of year.
The sea temperature is now about 23 degrees at the surface so wet-suits are now mandatory. Cathy was clearly out of practice, needing several attempts to get into the garment. The first attempt (inside out) was followed by the second attempt (twisted out of recognition) and finally the third attempt (successful).
The viz was extremely average but we didn’t do a lot of exploring on this visit. The anchor had landed at the bow and we finned along the vessel up to the bridge which we found covered in nets. This is nothing if not a challenge and we spent most of the dives hacking them off. We didn’t completely succeed but it’s now a lot clearer was it was before. Geoff and Brian Larkin managed a trip to the engine room and we all did a bit of exploring, but this turned into mainly a working trip.
The sea gods hadn’t finished with us yet. Mike lost his new torch which may necessitate another trip to the Vic Star in the not too far distant future to try and find it. As for me, a fin strap broke as I was carving some nets apart. Efforts to fin one-footed only had me swimming in circles, so I had to haul my way from the bridge to the bow using my hands.
After that it was back to the club a bit later than normal for some refreshments. Despite the hurdles, it was a good start to the new year.
Ian Hussey and Dive Club writers.