A weekend in Anglesey
Places soon filled up via Facebook's JBOD Members group and word of mouth - if you want to find out about trips you need to look at the JBOD Members' group. Even then, due to a small arithmetic error we ended up with seven divers for Sunday.
On Saturday everyone met at 10:30 in Bull Bay after bizarrely convoying to the location from Menai Bridge behind the slowest camper van in Wales.
Anton and John turned up with the boat and it was quickly prepared it for launch, kit was loaded into the boat and all changed into dry suits. Mark went down to the beach to study the channel for exiting the bay as low water had just passed. John supervised the launch (don’t forget to release the safety chain) and the rib was pulled out into deeper water. While Anton parked the launch vehicle and trailer John gave a quick boat briefing to the new comers.
The first dive was a drift dive along the cliff while looking to find the scattered remains of the Pansy. John and Gary entered the water first and while Arthur and Alistair kitted up. Before Mark had positioned the boat for the second drop the first pair where back on the surface as they had lost each other - it's good that they followed the separation procedure.
Alistair and Arthur were dropped in and Anton and Alan kitted up. Mark manoeuvred in close to the shore and dropped Anton and Alan in.
Anton and Alan found some resemblance of parts which could be off the Pansy; Alistair thinks he saw a brass fitting. All divers were picked up and back to shore for quick lunch.
After a quick turn around we were off to the wreck of the Dakota without Arthur who was in two minds about a second dive before walking into the sea in an open dry suit to make his mind up! The crossing was quite rough and put Mark’s boat handling skills to the test. Two Buoys lay above the wreck unfortunately for us we picked the wrong one! The bearing between the two marks was NE so buddy pairs should have been able to work this out and locate the wreck (if only they'd bothered to take a bearing).
The journey back to the slip was a lot smoother after high tide past and Mark's instructions on how to stow the kit was followed to the letter. The boat was recovered and Anton has now ordered two wheel chocks as the trailer brakes will not stop the boat rolling back on the slipway (where's a decent joiner when you need one?
While waiting for Anton to extricate the trailer Mark, Alistair and Gary popped over to shorten a buoy line for a local who managed to snag his boat on it as it is so long.
Time was of the essence! We needed to get air from Holyhead and the shop closed at 17:00 with last fills at 16:40. The boat was packed and Anton and John set off soon followed by Gary and Mark & Alistair. Traffic was slow. After a change of destination (neither of which came with directions) eventually Mark and Alistair rolled up in Trearrdur followed shortly after by Gary with smoking tyres.
Accommodation at the Truck stop was clean and tidy with secure parking for the boat. There were lots of burly truckers! The boat was prepared for the following days diving and everyone decided on Chinese for tea at the Mandarin Royale after a great time the previous trip. A full cooked breakfast went down a treat followed by a short drive to the launch site at Bol Sac. Due low tide we launched the boat with no kit aboard and Mark at the helm. Mark pottered around the harbour while the divers brought their kit down to the slipway waiting for the water level to be deep enough to let Mark moor alongside the slip.
Hannah and Bob (Andrew) arrived 10:30 and were quickly kitted out ready for ropes off at 11:00. Mark put us over or first Mark the Meath and we put in the marker buoy only to find no sonar reading of a wreck below. Alistair and Anton pulled up the marker and we moved to the second mark. This time we got a good sonar reading off the sea bed so the main shot was dropped in. Gary and Nick were put in first followed by Alistair and Hanna and finally Anton and Bob. Alistair placed his Trojan light on the shot and was visible from far down the wreck. The shot had entered the wreck and needed assistance to be removed after diving. All divers got to see the wreck.
Second dive Asmund which is about 1.5 nm from the slip is easy to find as there is a big buoy to the side of it. Gary demonstrated why we need a weight belt when diving (as did Bob but he remembered before getting in).
The only pair of diver to find this wreck where Anton and Bob who used a line off the chain to locate the wreck which was around 9m from the chain. Vis on this dive was very poor but still an improvement on some of our local quarries. Hannah and Alistair went for a bimble looking at the sea life.
Back at the slip a quick recovery was had the boat packed away and moneys collected.
The usual coffee stop took place for John and Anton.
John and Anton washed off the boat and kit ready for the next outing on arrival in Leyland. Many thanks to John and Anton for organising everything as well as sorting out the boat back at base. Thanks to all of the divers that turned up - Alan and Arthur on Saturday, Phil (Nick), Hannah and Bob (Andy) on Sunday and Gary, Anton, John and Alistair both days. Also thanks to Mark for patiently coxing and looking for marks.