Trip Report

Swanage June 2019


By Elaine and Shira

Two excellent dives involving velvet crabs, a Prostheceraeus Vittatus (a candy-striped flatworm to you and me), Tompot Blenny, Cuttlefish, Balan and Cuckoo Wrasse. Swanage has certainly changed since we were there in May 2018 with swanky cafes along the pier serving amazing food.

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HSAC almost had another blown out weekend due to weather. What started out as a planned 2 days of diving with 8 people, ended up a one day of diving with 5 people (sometimes plans just doesn’t pan out, but that’s life). Saturday was a total blow-out (not even the pier was fit for diving), but Sunday looked a lot more promising.

We saw the positives with “Do all you want Saturday” and “Diving Sunday”.

Three of us still went down to Swanage on the Friday evening anyway and the two of us arrived early Saturday evening, had a lovely meal at Castaways followed by a couple of pints at the Black Swan. We stayed at the Railway Cottage, which isn’t far from the pier.

Sunday turned out to be a beautifully warm, sunny and calm day, a bit murky underwater, but we managed to see some lovely sights under the pier in the morning and on the boat in the afternoon, via Swanage Divers with Pete the Skipper out to the wreck Clan McVey.

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Our first dive was the Swanage Pier. Dylan, Robert and Shira were the first to go in. The water temp was 15°C with a depth of 2-3m.
There was an abundance of beauty with nudibranch, seaweeds, wooden or metal planks with sea life surrounding it, a very peaceful dive that stretches a far distance and has many hidden sea life in secret hide outs or cracks.

Elaine and Richard joined straight after with lovely Virginia keeping watch as shore cover. It was a good 40 minutes dive for us all, though there were swells that made you move about a bit.

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Our second dive was the Clan McVey, a wreck 19m deep, which is all broken apart, but you do get to see the pieces of wreck on the seabed with amazing sea life surrounding them such as dead man’s fingers and other sea plants, spider crabs.

Shira’s favourite was a large cuttlefish that caught her eye. Just tentacles to start off with, and as she approached it revealed to be a camouflaged cuttlefish. Moving closer and Mr Cuttlefish did a reverse and continued reversing!

The visibility was not that great going down, and there was a lot of plankton. The
water temp was 14°C and colder than under the pier. Yet it was a good dive to be able to witness the world beneath.

The skipper from Divers Down as always was friendly as ever and gave us warm hot chocolate after our dive, which was an added bonus.
I believe we all did have an incredible time.

We had 2 great dives despite Saturday’s blow out and the murky viz.
A big thank you goes out to:

  • The wonderful Virginia (Dylan’s wife, and previous HSAC diver) who looked after our car keys on the pier and provided a trolley for our kit after the boat dive. A true gem!
  • Dylan for renting the Railway Cottage
  • Chris for loaning his car out to Richard
  • Richard for driving Chris’ car……there and back from Swanage!
  • Elaine for driving Chris’ car to Richard’s – she only drives manual and
    his is automatic!