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2020 - how was your diving year?

Discussion in 'General Scuba Diving' started by Wibble, Oct 30, 2020.

  1. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    It's probably fair to call 2020 a bit memorable. Not since our grandparents generation has the county been so universally messed up with a single threat. Only the next 5 years will tell how it turns out, with the next 50 years to pay for it.

    Thankfully, we've had our hobby to keep us occupied during our bouts of collective depression. The start of the season was pretty much as normal (that's for the people who's season starts on the 1st January). Some puddles to play in, a couple of early season boat dives. Then boom... along comes lockdown.

    At least April was a fine month from the drudgery of the incessant wet winter rain. No diving except for some cheeky shore dives as all marinas were locked up.

    How was your diving year this year? Any highlights? Low points? Any training? How many dives did you get in compared with a normal year? Plans for next year?
     
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  2. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    Just had confirmation that this weekend's dives are now off. So that's my sea diving over for the season unless there's an unlikely lull in the storms.

    Despite diving as much as I could from July onwards, I only managed 52 dives thus far for the whole year totalling 62 hours according to Shearwater's logs. Of these 52 dives, 27 were boat dives, some shore dives and the others quarries (several were the MOD1 course) and a couple of pool dives. Looking at the diary, I've had 17 boat dives booked but cancelled due to the weather, mostly in Q3. Interestingly, according to the log, I did a mere 61 dives over 73 hours last year including two Scapa trips

    Highlight for me was finally moving on to the wonderful world of rebreathers following on from the surprise sale of my sailing boat. Quite pleased to not have that commitment every year to pay for moorings, do all the maintenence, all for a couple of sails.

    Had a couple of exceptional dives. The Cuvier east of Dover in a shipping lane (and strangely not marked on Wrecksite) was utterly amazing. Terrific visibility and an amazing wreck, a passenger ship that went down in 1900 and is very much intact, possibly due to its position. Still loads of crockery in it's hold.

    The other was unusual; the Mira is a WW1 tanker that is a well-known recreational site that's nothing special. However, discovering a hole in the hull meant it was a brilliant cave dive! So much life in the tank. Really enjoyed that one.

    Had several others which were good too. The Dover dives do seem to be really good with some very intact wrecks and lots of 'stuff' hanging around. Good place for submarines too.

    Low point was finding a thigh-bone on a wreck with a shin bone nearby. Old with barnacles. Brings home that our pleasure was brought about through complete tragedy.

    Will be diving some puddles over winter as I work though some skills with another friend who's joined the silent side. Definitely want to get the rebreather underground too. Will be great to not have gas anxiety (bailout planning essential!) and not constantly disturb the ceiling with bubbles. Should be lighter too.

    Next year's more wreck diving. I doubt very much that there'll be any diving abroad. Thinking about getting a camper van to be able to do weekends away; would love to dive some of the coasts, or drive up to Scotland (if we're allowed to pass the border guards checking visas) to dive some of those excellent Lochs. Where is Lock Down anyway?
     
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  3. Vanny

    Vanny Well-Known Member

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    Good question. Kinda different , but Surprisingly managed to clock more dives than I’d have thought. Can’t put numbers on that without work so I won’t bother.
    Sitting on the other side of training , I kicked off with a couple of “warmup dives in a muddy puddle. February was ccr theory month, into March and 2 weekends at Ndac see 2 new inspo mod1 divers , completed the weekend before complete lockdown! So glad we got it finished.

    fast forward 3 or so months and we crept out of the moth balls to visit the Mecca of Stoney. During lockdown my son acquired twin 12’s , progressing on from using the wife’s twin 7’s. Also we’d sorted a second hand neoprene otter for him. So good few days were spent at Stoney sorting bouyancy and working those valves.

    Due to the covid our holiday plans moved from the south of France to surfing in Devon and then up and across to Portland for , diving ! Luckily my club keep our rib there so during the amazing weather and flat seas we kicked the arse out of nice easy dive days.

    We had an amazing experience diving the countess of Erne , we were joined by the local dolphin who took great fun in making my ccr dive bloody hard work.
    The joy of the rib mean’t we went out in the evening for a shallow pootle , lovely dive surfacing as it got dark. The dolphin was around again and my son stayed in playing around for a good 20 mins.
    Can’t say how gutted we were to read the dolphin died this week , real shame.

    Topped it off with a couple of days hard boat diving , did a wreck in Lyme bay , the Moidart amazing amount crayfish , not really seen many before but apparently there making a come back.

    Had a weekend back in Weymouth this month, BSAC “expedition” I use the term lightly but it was fun and high lighted the benefits of ccr versus Open circuit. We kinda found some stuff and had fun in the process.

    Then down to Plymouth, son come with me , dived the Scylla , James Egan and hands deep. Few swim throughs on the syclla and found some ammo on the JEL which made my son very happy even if he was a bit over zealous in collecting them. Nothing like your 16 year old going back to school with an anti air craft shell in his bag!

    Expect we’ll do some quarry stuff before the end of the year but I’m too scared to book stuff for next year , the disappoint is too much.
     
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  4. splinter

    splinter Active Member

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    Bugger all!

    It's been just about a year since my heart op to correct the atrial fibrillation I was having early last year. Due to the nature of the op, theres a risk that its left a hole between the left and right atria, effectively a similar situation to a PFO.

    I was due to go in for a checkup to see if all is well on april 1st and hopefully should have been given the all clear to resume diving. This involves a general anaesthetic and an ultrasound down my throat, so lockdown put paid to that and a couple of weeks ago I was told they'll be starting up appointments again soon. However now south Yorkshire is tier 3 and the hospitals back on high alert, who knows?

    The good thing is theres been no recurrence of the AF attacks, so it seems to have been a success.

    Plans for next year? Well, it's been 18 months since my last dive, so assuming a good outcome from the checkup, a steady build up back to where I was. Hopefully get out with the club from Scarborough as much as possible, there'll be a few trips to scotland, I want to get up to Scapa after having to cancel a trip there last year and squeeze MOD 1 in there somewhere too.



    Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk
     
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  5. Doomanic

    Doomanic Dinosaur Wrangler
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    Same as 2019; I haven't missed a single dive. :D

    But also the same as 2019; I haven't managed to get back in the water either.
     
  6. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    How was your mountain biking? Any highlights? Any other notable passtimes for this year that you got up to?
     
  7. Iain Denham

    Iain Denham Active Member

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    A Bit Meh!

    What with Covid & my Dad I've generally been quite depressed, need a lift for next years diving, I cant be bothered to go again this year even if the weather is good.

    No abroad for me this year,

    I normally manage 35 to 45 sea dives in the UK, managed 10 this year but have had a bad year generally and just want it to end if I`m honest.
     
  8. Doomanic

    Doomanic Dinosaur Wrangler
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    The mountainbiking has been my saviour this year to be honest. It has been my outlet and escape during lockdown V1.0 and no doubt will be again during V2.0 Highlights are pretty much like diving really; weekends away with like-minded mates, riding, crashing, drinking and shooting the shit.
    Lockdown also allowed me to get fit and a lose a shedload of weight and I joined a gym as soon as I was able and started lifting again. I'm in the best shape I've ever been and I'm planning on staying that way.

    I just fancied a dip this summer and it all went to shit. :(
     
  9. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    Longshot: a mate and I are off to Wraysbury on Weds to beat the lockdown and have what may well be our last dive of the year. I've a twinset full of air and regs, BP/H, torches, etc. if you fancied coming along.
     
  10. Doomanic

    Doomanic Dinosaur Wrangler
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    Thanks, but I have work and no holibobs left. :(
     
  11. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    NP, I said it was a longshot! I'm busy due to Lockdown, but do need to get a token last dive of the year. Never thought I was looking forwards to diving in Wraysbury!
     
  12. Doomanic

    Doomanic Dinosaur Wrangler
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    I've never had the pleasure.
     
  13. snowman

    snowman Active Member

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    In terms of raw numbers, it's been a bad year.

    I got a few Wraysbury dives in before Lockdown 1, but then had 3 months with no dives, which probably would have been pretty busy with inland and shuttles.

    In June, I finally got back in the water with some shore diving in Weymouth and Swanage and a trip to Wraysbury.

    July, August and September were 'OK', with 20 dives over the 3 months and another 5 in October.

    I encouraged some fellow club mates to get down to Wraysbury on Sunday, before we heard of the lockdown, but it looks like that might be it for 2020, a total of 38 dives.

    On the positive side, there were some highlights.

    We had a stellar dive on the HMT Arfon in July and 3 fantastic dives on the Kyarra in July and August.

    We were joined by Danny the Dolphin on a dive on the Countess of Erne (Tragically he was killed by a boat last week) and there were some exciting dives on new wrecks to me out of Weymouth in October.

    Two attempts to get out to Cyprus to dive the Zenobia (in March and then September) were stymied - My flights are now arranged for next May, but I'm not counting any chickens yet!

    Overall, it could have been a lot worse, but it wasn't a great year for anything, really, was it?

    I've seen no live acts in 2020, my daughter's wedding was cancelled in June, but we've all stayed healthy, so I guess that's a plus, although my Mum's best friend was a casualty of COVID back in March (to be fair, though, she had been seriously ill for a long time before).

    I'm hopeful 2021 will offer us more positive experiences than 2020 has, but I can't really complain too much.

    M
     
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  14. Dave Whitlow

    Dave Whitlow Super Moderator
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    In my usual diving year I have done between 60 and 110 dives, mostly in the sea. In recent years (last 5) a lot of this has been deepish wrecks with food gathering on Lulworth Banks as the lazy alternative, largely from the same boat.

    In comparison this year has been shit. My total number of dives is 28, with only 32 hours underwater, deepest dive was 55m and longest dive 2 hours.

    My diving year started in Vobster with a scooter demo (BlackTip and Piranha) which was written up and published in Scuba (BSAC) magazine. Worth a read! (you probably need a scooter too)

    Then the weather didn't play nice so, with plague and political incompetence, it wasn't until May I ventured out on the syndicate boat.

    With Chesil on the doorstep I did a few local dives because I could (and those who live far away couldn't!).

    In July, the big downer of the year was the realisation those I dived with deemed social distancing as optional and that translated to 6 people huddled together in the cabin of an Offshore 105. For my sins I was educated in science, my friends include medics and microbiologists, and I appreciate getting the plague might affect the rest of my life. Therefore, I elected to reduce my risk of exposure to the virus. As the mindset on the boat could leave me exposed to the the risk posture of the dumbest person in the group I left the syndicate. I gather I missed a lot of good dives. I can live with that as I've also avoided the plague (so far).

    Since leaving I've taken whatever local spaces come up (with some exceptions) so I've dived from seven different dive boats, including one RIB dive.

    So the summary of my year is
    - 10 dives on Chesil, 6 being in a wetsuit!
    - 18 CCR dives
    - 11 wreck dives
    - 1 puddle dive and a few drifts

    As the sea seems to be settling at the moment I might yet get a few more dives in.
     
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  15. Suffolkmatireland

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    I actually had one of my best ever dives this year. Off the Norfolk coast, nothing too deep or amazing, but conditions all round were perfect, with a great bunch of friends and we had such an enjoyable dive i had a massive grin on my face all the way home. To me it is what diving is all about
     
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