Dive Trip to Weymouth – August 2020

Our second Rib Diving Trip post Covid lockdown. The 30 degree heatwave was over and we had overcast, grey skies but very calm sea conditions  – ideal for diving.  Sea temperatures were a toasty 18 degrees.   A few of us were lucky to start the weekend early with a Friday afternoon dive on the Aeolian Sky with vis around 8m. It seemed rude not to make the most of the conditions and we had it all to ourselves !

We tried out a new “pop-up” farm campsite at Bincombe Bumps overlooking rolling Dorset countryside and Weymouth Bay.   Great views on the few occasions when the mist cleared and an amazing amount of other “pop-up’ campsites, as a sign of the times ! We had BBQ’s and socialising during the evenings whilst enjoying the views of the lit up cruise ships and Weymouth Bay.  Again it was fantastic to have newer members come and enjoy diving with the club.

There was Shore diving at Chesil cove on the Saturday for some of the group including our two Ocean diver trainees.  A post dive comment of “That was awesome” , says it all ! 

The Rib diving contingent dived the Black Hawk. Amazement and delight when we found that the shot-line we were unable to retrieve the last trip was actually still attached to the wreck !  There was the usual tons of life on it, including conger eels, sand eels, cuttlefish, lobster, huge bass, shoals of bib and pink seafans.   A quick lunch stop at Lulworth cove and then a dive at Durdle door in the calm conditions.   Nosed into the archway we dived through the arch and then drifted along the coast almost back to Lulworth.

On our way back to harbour we stopped for an up close look at the beautiful Queen Mary 2  – standing out amongst the other 7 liners moored up.  

We finished the weekend off with a dive on the Lulworth Scallop banks drifting over the ledges, spotting anemones. queenie scallops and ross coral.

First post lockdown Diving Trip Weymouth July 2020

There was extreme excitement for our first club diving trip post Covid lockdown. Our usual convenient campsite at Martleaves farm had been booked a couple of weeks prior to the weekend and we’d been keeping our fingers crossed the scheduled lifting of restrictions were on track.  For many of us it was the first time out of Northamptonshire and by the seaside in 2020.
As some of us were lucky to arrive Thursday evening we’d made special arrangements with the very accommodating George at the boatyard to launch the Rib on the Friday for it’s first 2020 outing. With 3 households on the boat it was easy to maintain the 1m Social distancing guidelines and we also had masks, shields and hand sanitiser available. The investment in the ladder last year really paid off as everyone is able to get themselves back on board, avoiding close contact and the usual man handling back over the tubes.
We headed to the Black Hawk, a good depth for shake down dives and to give the boat a nice long run out on such a beautiful sunny day. We passed the 9 cruise ships anchored in the bay and wondered when they will set sail again.   The vis was a reasonable 5m or so and the usual suspects spotted on the wreck including tompot blennies, sand eels, lobster and a Brill well camouflaged in the sand.


It was great to have two of our newest members on board and on a club trip you really get to know other club members.   What goes on tour stays on tour but that particular Rib trip will remain imprinted in the memories of those on board and everyone certainly got to know each other !    When we came to pull the shot line up it remained very firmly stuck inside the wreck, so we waved goodbye to it as we headed back to overnight in Portland marina.
With two additional members joining us on Friday evening we enjoyed BBQs and had a lot of laughs as we discussed the days events.  With clear skies we spotted the International Space station that passed  over us twice and most amazing of all we had great views of Comet Neowise.
The wind had picked up overnight, so we all took the opportunity to have a relaxed day and do some easy shore diving at the very sheltered Newton’s Cove.  A maximum 3 metres depth, the waters looked almost tropical.  There were lots corkwing wrasse guarding their nests and we also spotted a bobtail squid and decorator crab. Some of us saw a shoaling juvenile fish bait ball and intriguing mollusc and worm trails in the sand.  A site worth exploring and would be good for some training/progression dives too.   Beware you will need coins to pay for the £8 per day car park at the end of the road  – something we don’t often have to hand in these cashless days.
Our final dive on the Sunday was a drift over the Lulworth Banks picking up some much longed for scallops. Back in plenty of time to wash the boat down and get back home early enough to have scallops for dinner.