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Get Wrecked – October 2012

MV Mistral was going to be our home for the duration of the holiday and as we were the first two to board it by some hours we had a good look round. Comfortable with a good sized dive deck and dedicated camera area. Cabins with on suite bathrooms and the usual hot tub and spacious sun deck.

This boat comes in at 35m and is a sleek looking vessel. She is a far cry from our very first Red Sea trip when we were on board ‘Angelina II’ that had one on suite cabin and the rest with shared bathrooms (and only a measly 22m). At the time we thought it was sheer luxury!

Back to this trip – and eventually we were joined by the rest of the gang after a long delay due to their Maybe Flight being delayed. I think we sat down to eat at about midnight, consequently the next day our first dive was delayed by an hour or three. On the shake down dive on the Emperor Fraser at Beacon Rock we all sorted out ourselves and our gear and had a pleasant little splash, seeing the resident moray eel and a few sleeping lionfish.

The wreck has been down for three years now and is rotting well. We were meant to be deploying SMB’s but as the current had decided to pick up we abandoned the idea and strung ourselves out like washing on the line, waiting to climb back up the ladders.


After lunch we were on the sun deck, moored at Abu Nahas, when we noticed a crowded rib coming our way. Not laden with divers but with pirates! They boarded us and stormed up to the bar demanding beer. It turned out to be a group of rather merry Polish divers having some fun.  They were dressed in pirate gear and their leader had even got one leg to make a convincing pirate captain.

Our second dive was on the Carnatic, which was reached after a rather a bumpy ride out as there was a brisk wind blowing. Bright sun, cloudless sky and warm as well. This is a very pretty wreck and always with plenty of little things to see. The bow section is home to masses of glass fish that swoop and swirl everywhere.

The next day dawned bright and fair and with less wind so the rib ride to the Chrisola K was much smoother. This is a lovely wreck to explore and swim up, over, through and round. There is so much to see with plenty of fish life. Blue spotted ray, pipe fish, lion fish, a huge parrot fish, bat fish and banner fish and plenty of little ‘Nemos’.

Deco stop on the Kaimon M

The Kaimon M or tile wreck is one of my favourites and I was not disappointed this time either. We started off at the stern and buddy Elf spotted tiny octopus in a hole so we spent a good few minutes looking for more, but to no avail. A swim through the whole wreck was quite atmospheric and as we headed to the bow a gold spotted flat worm was seen swimming free. Other life spotted on the dive was a banded puffer fish, a blue spotted box fish, a tiny scorpion fish and a very large school of bat fish.

Dive number three was a visit to the Giannis D and with the Elf leading me we set off for the bow section. Direction is not a strong point for elves and after heading aft she realised her mistake! This was a very gentle ‘let’s look for little things’ dive and we were well rewarded.

A return to the Chrisola K the next day was our first dive at 6:30 am. Again it was a lovely dive with little or no current and plenty of life. On the rib ride back we saw two dolphins much to our delight.

Blue Spotted Ray

We then had a rather lumpy ride over to Gobal Island and a dive on the Ulysses .Although this wreck is fairly broken up it still has lots to offer especially the sergeant majors that patrol the mid-section. Our next dive was on the Barge which is still home to the infamous George and Mildred.

The Barge is becoming more and more broken up and soon won’t be recognisable as a wreck. However it is still home to many and varied sea creatures and the night dive which followed this one revealed even more. It is a good site for photography.
Day four saw two/three? dives on the Rosalie Muller. Although this is a deep wreck it still is worth the effort and is very atmospheric. We explored the bomb damage and then swam to the stern where the rudder showed clearly at 45m. Growling lionfish patrol that area and are majestic as they prowl around. Glassy sweepers on the bow and then always tuna rushing through causing everything to scatter.

The next day saw us having a splash on the Kingston. This is one of my favourite wrecks. It is possible to observe surgeon fish attacking divers fins or ‘herds’ of brightly coloured goat fish on the reef, pyjama slugs and shy wrasse, antheas by the hundred and much more. This is always a gentle dive and time can be spent playing with the fish before a gentle drift along the reef to observe pristine table corals.

Zoe on the Kingston

Puffer Fish

No visit to this area of the Red Sea is complete without diving on the Thistlegorm, and we managed four this time, including a night dive. Exploring the wreck is a joy and I even discovered a hole down through somewhere that I had never been through before! The best dive was the last one. The visibility was amazing so we dropped off to the loco on the starboard side. Looking back at the wreck she seemed to be ‘whole’ and as though she was steaming across the sand. Breathtakingly awesome.

The penultimate dive of the week was on the Dunraven at Sha’ab Mahmud. At one stage as we swam up inside from stern to bow there were so many glass fish it was like swimming through treacle. On the drift back I saw a stone fish and a very long puffer fish.

The last dive was at Ras Mohammad on Shark and Yolanda Reef. A bit of current was running but not enough to spoil anything at all. Sameh and Abdullah were our guides for the week and were the best. The final evening was spent back at the Naval Base Marina and we celebrated a successful week’s diving with a ‘pirate party’ with everyone dressing up and festooning the boat with ‘pirate’ décor.

It had been a fabulous week with excellent company. In fact the group flying to Gatwick liked it so much they stayed on for an extra day!! (Actually the Maybe flight decided not to turn up at all)

Report: Sue Roberts

Sharm El Sheikh – February 2012

It was early Feb, and 5 intrepid SBSAClubbies, 2 non members, 1 wife, Zippy and Spankey Monkey set off for a week’s R&R and of course a bit of diving thrown in, to Egypt, Sharm el Sheik. A trip organised by our Mike, with the diving organised by Elf! Squeezy jet were a little late getting us there, but not a bad flight altogether, although it was noted during flight that the clouds down below looked very brown, almost like a dust storm over Egypt! Surely NOT!!!!! After a very smooth (yes believe it or not) transition from the plane, passport control, visa buying and luggage pick up, to the waiting transport to whisk us to our 5* hotel 20 mins from the airport. As it was an evening arrival, it was a quick unpack and meet in the bar for a drink food and bed!

An early wakeup call had Jo and I peering out of our window to witness a howling wind with almost horizontal palm trees amid a lovely shade of murky brownness. Not to be dampened by a little breeze we all managed a hearty breakfast to see us on our way for pick up at 07.45, by Colona Divers, Sue (Mike’s wife, non diver) waved us off at the gate with a very smiley gate keeper who asked if Mike was her dad!

We arrived at the dive centre within half hour to fill out our diving life history, etc, etc then off to Travco Jetty with our dive guide for the week, Moneer, and to meet our boat Verdi.

Day 1. First trip out was to stay local, due to weather conditions in the Straits of Tiran. Fiddle garden was dive one with a pleasant meander around lush corals and the usual pretty fish, with the exception of a large Napoleon Wrasse swimming by to say Hi! Second dive of the day was Far garden, with a few Nudibranch’s and Pyjama slugs chucked in for good measure!

However we were all a little chilly to say the least, due to surface interval x fresh wind x NO SUN, a trend which seemed to last the rest of the diving week! Still, we had a lovely lunch and cake cooked for us by the excellent crew. Lots of silly fun was had by us all waiting to see who was going to end up with Spankey Moneky for the next 24 hours!! (Spankey award went to Jo, for forgetting her weight belt).



Day 2 on Verdi took us to a new dive site, which none of us have dived before, Marsa Bareaker Canyon. A shallow drop to around 9 metres and then down into a rock canyon gently going to a depth of around 30 metres, ending with a nice swim through an Arch, the dive continued over sandy plateaus and pinnacles where a small torpedo ray was seen free swimming. This was a lovely dive enjoyed by us all! Zippy also managed to go ‘Tech diving’ to 50 meters with May, (he is so brave)! Dive 2 was Shark and Yolander, Viz was a bit disappointing and a fair bit of current across the ‘saddle’ making life a bit difficult, and also the swell on the wreck itself did not make this the greatest dive had on here! A lot of ‘Mudgers’ were seen on this dive! A lovely comment came at the end of the dive “did I just see a loo down there” from Sarah, who had not dived this site this before, bless her.

Day 3 saw us staying Local once again as still no improvement in the weather! Ras Bob and Ras Nasrani, both dives enjoyed, but a lot of teeth were chattering on second dive due to severe Hypothermia setting in during surface interval!

The “why didn’t we bring our Dry suits” was mentioned quite a lot today!



Day 4 took us into Ras Mohamed national park and to Jackfish Alley. A shallow start took us through some caves, then a descent down to around 26 meters, where a shoal of Barracuda were milling about looking for lunch no doubt! A large Moray was nestled in some corals having a bit of dentistry by some plucky little fish? Sorry no idea what it! Also saw one lonely cleaner Shrimp on a cleaner station, and a Turtle graced us with his presence! Dive 2 was to be the Dunraven, The Viz was not the best we have seen on here, but it was a very nice anyway with the usual drift along the hull and the down the stern by the propeller and into the bowels of the ship. Back out and a drift along the reef wall, allowed us to look for the Large Napolean who lives around that neck of the woods. Only his lady friend was out today, doing the shopping for his dinner, I dare say! Another great day of diving was enjoyed by all, but those ‘Dry suit’ words were heard yet again!

Day 5 saw us again at Travco jetty, where among the mass of day boats, one called ‘Flying Angelfish’ had sunk overnight, exciting stuff for us!!! Venturing out to Ras Mohammed, we were accompanied by a pod of Beluga Dolphins, Magical!! And SUNSHINE. Yes, that big ball of fire decided to show its face and let the wind drop! Yippy Skippy, at last! We had asked if we could dive the Canyon at Marsa Bareaker again for our last day, which was granted duly! But first we were allowed to dive the ‘Lighthouse’ which was a little disappointing, but the two Scandinavian’s who made up our group made it a bit more interesting with their rude manners and bad diving of pushing and shoving us out of the way! Still it ended all too quick for them as they used all their air and were taken back up to the boat and we were left in peace to enjoy the last bit of a not very interesting dive, apart from seeing a Turtle at the beginning and end of the dive!


Surface interval caused a lot more debate that dry suits should have been stuffed within our meagre luggage allowance, as the sun had disappeared by this time! So dive 2, which was the canyon, you could hear a lot of teeth chattering echoing around its rocky walls. A beautiful stone fish, in glorious colour was resting on a ledge and lots of glass fish made it all worthwhile though! Sadly this was our last day of diving so we were all a little subdued on trip back. To sum up our weeks holiday with a ‘bit of diving thrown’ in, a great time was had with lots of fun, laughter, Great diving, Fab Day boat (Verdi) she did us proud, great dive guide and dive boat crew, good company, good food and some funny evenings playing cards! Sue was a star for putting up with us going off diving every day and leaving her with no SUN, sorry Sue! Would I do it again?? YES!!!!

Sangat Island – Philippines – November 2011

Sangat Island is alongside the North boundary of Coron Bay and is one of 90 islands that make up the Calamian Islands in the Calawan Province, between the Sulu and South China Sea.

6 club members made up our party, Malcolm, Carol, Graham, Sue, Keith and Tony. Tony Backhurst from Scuba Travel accompanied us on the trip.

Following a long journey via Doha, Manila, Coron, Wednesday 23rd saw us boarding the boat for the final stage to Sangat.

The island is best described as paradise, 10 cottages nestled in palm trees and edged by a white sand beachfront and coral reef.


Jewel Anemones

Boat diving was from The Trident, a 10M modern GRP version of the traditional craft used in the Islands, no ladders to struggle up but a staircase straight into the sea!.

Our dive guide for the 8 days was Maloy, an experienced diver who knew all these wrecks inside out.

Our diving was centered around the Japanese WW2 wrecks, sunk at anchor on 24th September 1944 after an airborne attack from the carrier USS Lexington



Sangat Island – Dive Sites


Lusong and Sangat Gun Boats

Both 19M dives up against the reef, plenty of marine life


Olympia Maru

160M cargo ship, good deep (29M) penetration dive



140M cargo ship, laying on its side, good deep swim
through the prop tunnel



200M refrigeration ship, deep penetration dive (38M)
into the engine room


Kugko Maru

180M cargo ship, 30M dive, bulldozer in hold



A navy sea plane tender in 32M, gun on stern as well as 
crane derricks


Okikawa Maru

A navy auxiliary vessel with a broken bow, 
excellent dive in 26M


Nanshin Maru

A 45M civilian tanker laying against the reef, plenty of
marine life on this wreck at Black Island

SBSAC Whirlwind – October 2011

The countdown started weeks before, reminded me of the last few weeks before the end of term. Anticipation was at an all time high. At last the day arrived, plans were laid to meet up at the Airport to observe the rituals, you know, full English (mind you some went a bit poncy, and had smoked salmon and eggs), duty free shopping and testing the aftershave bottles.

As usual someone in Euro land was on strike, this time the Greek Air Traffic Controllers so amidst loud moans we accepted the delay with a shrug. Prior to boarding we all had a good stretch before we spent the next five and half hours with our knees under our chin; (if you have travelled to Egypt cattle class you will know what I mean). Bing Bong, our flight was called, and then we saw them, there are at least two on every flight; 25 stone at least; we were all thinking,” no not next to me please,” Jo was the unlucky one, she had both!

After several bottles of Monarchs finest Red, something was served, not sure what but they called it lunch! Five and half hours later and with Rigor Mortis setting in we landed to the usual Middle East autocracy we had our passports stamped; then a man checked that the man who stamped them did, then another man checked that the man who checked the passports checked the man who man checked the man who checked, well you get the gist, we were there.

I cannot begin to describe my first sight of the boat, beautiful, felt like Roman Abromovitch going onto his yacht. Four decks, on suite rooms, bar, Jacuzzi, all inclusive 5 star liveaboard, that’s the way to go diving. Did not realise that Keith bought his mate Zippy along, (see pictures on the website), a little worried about this as the relationship was a bit strange to say the least, took him everywhere, diving, dinner, and yes to bed as well. Spent most of the dives taking pictures of him in compromising positions.

The Diving was superb, wrecks, wrecks, and more wrecks. Simon our Chairman, had a great idea that the person who made the worst boo boo of the day would wear a hat emblazoned with the word,” Monkey” and carry a stuffed one on the next days dive. Many tried to hide their indiscretions, but eyes were everywhere, as an example, one member put on the wrong wetsuit, another their boots on the wrong feet, but the best of all was our “ Elfie”. Has anyone I wonder, following a nightdive climbed or attempted to climb the boat ladder upside down and the wrong way round! Looked like Spiderman hanging off a building.

Then disaster, I started a cold, two days off diving, then two days( and the following week) of everyone moaning at me, because they caught it as well. I cannot finish this account without introducing you to a member of the crew, “Mr Magoob. Think a combination of Robin Williams and Jim Carey and that’s him, Mad as a Hatter but great fun. If you want a fantastic weeks diving, great boat and fantastic staff and crew, book now, we have, roll on October 2012

SBSAC Dorset Trip – Friday 19 August – Sunday 21 August 2011


I must say that this trip was organised as only someone with a clipboard could organise.  Simon was in his element sorting things out down to the last detail (well done Si). 

I turned up at 12.15 on Friday and Simon was already putting the tent up. We finished erecting it and unloaded his car. We then went to Swanage to dive the pier. Although the visibility wasn’t great (Thursdays drainage) the dive was not bad lots to see, crabs, lobsters, shrimp etc.

When we got back Jen and Jo had just finished erecting their tent and were unloading their car (there were moans about how it takes three to put up their tent, yeah right).  A little later the others arrived and after sorting out tents and stuff (you should see the tent Richard and Jo shoehorned themselves into, cosy!!) we cracked open the bottles, had tea from the glorified burger van and listened to Malcolm’s tales of past diving trips, assisted by Carol of course, every now and then others were allowed to interject a little anecdote and when we were all laughed out we went to bed.


Woke up in the morning to Si looking a bit worse for wear. Malcolm was already grilling the bacon and there was tea on the go, what more can you ask for.  Soon we were on our way to Studland to see the sea horses in all their splendour.  We met Neil in the car park only to be told to kit up and walk down hill for about half a mile.  There were ten of us on this dive and we were down there for a good 90 minutes.  Between us we counted no sea horses! in fact there wasn’t a great deal of anything down there, our thanks to the Seahorse Trust for trying though.  After that it was the traipse back up the hill kit and all.

After a well earned rest and some very nice fish and chips in Swanage it was off to the Old Harry Drift dive, this was a 15mtr fast drift over gravel beds looking for plaice, rays, dogfish and smooth hounds.  Jen and I saw loads in the first 15 minutes then nothing until the end but for me the speed as we flew across the gravel was great.  Malcolm learned that you cannot pick up smooth hounds like you do dogfish, how is the bite mark Malcolm?  Then it was back to the campsite (I had to come home that night and back in the morning) apparently it was a quiet night, early to bed and not too much to drink as it was the Aeolian Sky in the morning.


We met up on Swanage pier, got changed and were all on board the boat by 8am.  Spike (the boat) was only 8 weeks old and was luuuvley, there was about a dozen divers but loads of room to move about (someone needs to win the lottery and get one of these).  On arrival at the Aeolian Sky we were given a briefing including how big the ship was, 16,000 tons sitting in 32 mtrs of water when we went down I couldn’t believe the sheer scale of this ship, it was huge and the visibility was great, a good 10 mtrs. We managed to get around a small section of the accommodation deck and as there were four boats of divers waiting for slack when we came down we were surprised to see only one other buddy pair down there, this is a dive that needs a revisit.  All dives cancelled!

Then it was off to the Black Hawk.  This is a ship that was blown up to lay cables through the centre and is spread out in all directions sitting in 20 mtrs of water.   There was loads of wreckage to see, some chambers, winches, other lumps of steel and a small amount of marine life, another dive to be revisited.  Then it was back to the surface by DSMB and long long stop thanks to Simon’s computer! 

Whilst we were on the boat, Jo and Jo went for a couple of dives under Swanage Pier and had an encounter with a very friendly tompot.

The packing away of the tents and sorting out of the cars was a bit subdued, my feeling was that the long weekend wasn’t long enough, although everyone looked totally knackered,

I would like to thank everyone for sorting and transporting my gear so that I could take my bike making it easier to get to my brothers 50th birthday party and to Si in particular for sorting and organising it for the rest of us to enjoy.

Report: Keith Burley


Jewel Anemones




Bottom Scrubbing

The 18th and 19th June, 2011, another wet and very windy weekend.

All dives cancelled!

It was decided that it would be an excellent time for some bottom scrubbing.

Early Saturday morning, after a Penny Lane Cafe breakfast, Selsey Diver was taken round to the almost nonexistant ramp at East Beach. She was up and out in the blink of an eye as it was all hands on deck.

Out she comes
Up she goes
Ready to go

Dive Leader Training

A number of us are undergoing Dive Leader training. This has generally involved eating, oh and some lectures. Tony has been extremely helpful giving up his time to progress our learning.

Willy has been teaching us about charts and tides. Not many people could get Richard to pretend to be a tree (see right). Richard, however, is insistent that he was a transit mark and not just a tree.

At this point we would also like to thank Brad for his efforts. Some of us believe he was just keen to get out of Tony’s cupboard!

I am a transit mark not just a tree!

RNLI Sponsored Walk April 2011

On 1st May 2011, Selsey Bill Sub Aqua Club took part in the Selsey RNLI lifeboat Walk. Yet another blowy day.

We started out early, about 8 o’clock. The walk was about 10miles and took us along the coast and around some of the beautiful countryside that surounds Selsey, including the Pagham Harbour Nature Reserve.

There was pleanty of joviality particularly following the demostration, by our Chairman and Diving Office, of how to best limber up.

Following the walk, medication was provided at the Lifeboat Inn.

Selsey Bill Sub Aqua Club raised £255 for the Selsey Lifeboat.

Team Stretch

Selsey Lifeboat Station – 08 April 2011

Lifeboat Sea Mouse

Five of us dived on the 6pm slack.

The viz was 3-5 metres and the water was a not too bad 11 degrees.

Frisky nudibranchs were in abundance, eggs everywhere. Plenty of scorpionfish, pipefish and wrasse. The dahlia anemones appeared huge.

Carol was modelling her new drysuit – a lovely shade of amethyst.

Lifeboat Dahlia Anemone
Lifeboat Woolly Sheep Slug

Far Mulberry

Mulberry Snakelocks Anemone
Mulberry White Anemone

Boat Handling Course

Boat Handling Course Selsey Diver
Boat Handling Course Engines

Mixon 4th May 2009


Teapot 2nd May 2009


Cornwall Holiday Easter 2009

Cornish Squid

Teapot 4th April 2009

Teapot 4th April 2009
Teapot 4th April 2009

Stoney Cove 20th March 2009

Stoney Cove March 2009

Stoney Cove 20th February 2009

Stoney Cove Feb 2009

Up to Stoney Cove Today.

5 divers dived at Vobster, with a water temperature of only 5°C.

Wreck penetration training ready for the diving season (The Stanegarth).

We just love it!

Here we go!

Vobster 31st January 2009

Malc, Tim, Tony and Jen get used to 6 degrees C

2009 is here and it’s time to get wet again!

With the poor weather conditions, diving off our coastline is out, so it’s an inland site – Vobster Quay.

Four divers and a hardy shore marshall braved the elements and dived at Vobster, with a water temperature of just 6° C, our star of the day must be Jen, who dived in a wet suit!

Yes it was cold but well worth the trip!