Getting a campsite for a busy bank holiday weekend was a challenge – even the pop up campsite we used last time was fully booked. However, perseverance by the Diving Officer eventually found a great little farm campsite at Rodden, 15 minutes away from the boatyard. Surrounded by photogenic Rhea, friendly Alpacas, rare breed sheep that were giving birth to lambs as we watched and chickens and guinea fowl running around, it was perfect and not too busy. The facilities even had a box of earplugs to help with the cockerel’s early morning wake up call ! As the thunderstorm passed and the rainbow appeared we decided to walk to the pub at Portesham. Possibly not the best idea we’ve had – up and over the fields of cows and back along the road in the the rain. It does very nice food though!
Typical of a Bank holiday weekend it was pretty breezy on the Saturday, so we prepped the boat for an early launch on the Sunday and checked out Chesil as an alternative. With the waves breaking on the shore and a reported vis of a couple of meters, Quiddles cafe was definitely more inviting. We followed this up by a mooch round Weymouth harbour, sampling seafood, oysters and a beer at the Brewers yard. There are worst ways to spend a sunny Saturday but it managed to wear out the Diving Officer !
The rest of the group arrived Saturday evening and we ate our dinner watching a beautiful sunset.
With a North westerly wind, there was a choppy sea as we left Portland on Sunday and headed for the shelter of the coast line. The Black Hawk again made a good sheltered dive site not reliant on slack water times. It was nice to see conger on the wreck peeking out of the wreckage. After a brief stop at the tropical-looking Lulworth Cove for lunch the sea conditions had improved and we set off to dive the wreck of the Binnendijk. We were lucky enough to see Dolphins spinning and leaping out of the water on the way. Not so lucky on the dive which ended up being on HMS Seabed – but hey! it happens !
The Bank Holiday Monday was glorious, with calm seas and sunshine. We made the most of it with an early start to dive the Aeolian Sky, followed by a drift dive on ledges on the way back to the harbour. We saw lots of jewel anemones, white anemones (actinothoe sphyrodeta) and a squat lobster amongst the twisted metal and pipework with what looked like valves along it.