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Tuesday, 22 May 2018
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Easter 2011 Print
Here are a few pointers to help first-timers and to remind old timers so that everyone can get the most out of this Easter's visit to the Lizard.
Let me start by welcoming this year's New Divers and saying that if there is anything that you are unsure of, don't be afraid to ask more experienced divers. Most of them will remember their first Easter and many still have that bewildered look on their faces.


Most of the guys who go at Easter form groups and hire cottages/self catering accomodation. They base themselves around St Keverne. St Keverne has a couple of pubs that do food and BB. Air fills can be had from Dive Action who are also in St Keverne. There is also a shop and a restaurant.

There is also Sea Acres Caravan Park. This site is where many Guildford members use to stay for the week and has many amenities. By now many of the caravans may be booked. Sharing a 'van helps keep costs down, especially as some are only available on a weekly basis. There are many bed and breakfasts in the area, the best place to obtain a list is from the Cornwall tourist board or the area's yellow pages.


Air fills can be obtained from several sources in the vicinity.

 Dive Action in St. Keverne sells air, nitrox and trimix and has a shop which also does repairs. Gary Fox has been known to run a shuttle down at Porhoustock beach which collects cylinders for charging and retuns them full. He also has a tractor on the beach which can help launch and recover boats for clubs buying his air.

Porthkerris Divers and Sea Acres both have air/nitrox and have shops for kit.

While on the subject of air, think of others, taking several cylinders is a favour greatly appreciated, and it will be returned.


Safety is paramount throughout the trip, firstly if you have any doubts about the up and coming dive, please make these known to your buddy and dive Manager.Before diving avoid alcohol, coffee and other diuretics. Try to stay well hydrated throughout the day. If you are prone to sea-sickness, avoid greasy foods. let your cox know and they might be able to get you into the water first.. When diving from a boat, the cox is responsible for everyone's safety. His/her word is final. Make him/her aware of your dive plan and do not enter the water unless he/she tells you it is safe to do so.

Diving from the RIBs and using a wet suit or semi-dry, be sure to bring a water-proof to put on for the journey back as the wind-chill factor, especially on a long journey can cause some discomfort.

Finally never forget:

Plan The Dive, Dive the Plan!!

How do I get a dive?

I've been stood on the beach for hours and nobody's told me what to do!
What you need to do is to get your name on the list for a boat. To do this, you will need a buddy and you will need to know who is managing each day. If you don't know who this is, ask somebody. The trick to getting on a list is to get down to the beach early and help getting the boats into the water - you should then find yourself in a position to get the pick of the day's diving.

If you don't know who to dive with, the best thing to do is to talk to Duncan/Expedition Manager  BEFORE going down to Cornwall so he/she can plan suitable buddy pairs. On the beach, talk to the manager and to anybody else from the club. If you sit in a corner and wait, nobody will come and find you, so make sure you talk to people.

Food and Drink


Food and drink are not always available at the dive sites and we usually  recommend that you bring a packed lunch or make some other provision. This year however, John and Jean Hassel will be running  their bacon Buttie and Tea cafe on the beach with BSAC mugs for sale to drink your tea from. Don't forget that if you do choose to go elsewhere for lunch, the boats will not wait if you are late back for a scheduled dive which has to be on the dive site in time for a slack water. Evening meals are available from the White Hart and Three Tuns pubs in St Keverne as well as Kennack Sands Hotel and most of the local pubs, but do be aware that some of them may not take orders after 9:00p.m. or may require reservations, especially over the actual bank holiday weekend.

If you have a moment between dives, make sure to check out Roskillys. This is a dairy farm that makes the most amazing ice cream which it sells in its own cafe along with a choice of really nice food. This is an ideal alternative to the pub for lunch

Cornwall is of course known for pasties and the best ones come from Carndu pasties. They were about to move last year so I need somebody to tell me where they've moved to. Try 01326 280675 - they probably kept the number. You can arrange to buy them at the kitchen window, hot from the oven. I've never tasted pasties so good.

Diving From Club Boats

We are a diving CLUB, not a commercial organisation. This means that some of the things which you would usually expect a commercial operator to do, such as launch the boats, ensure that they are fuelled and arrive at the dive site and finally retrieved from the water have to be done by club members. This means all club members. Do not be surprised if at the end of a tiring day, you are given an empty Jerry can and expected to return with it filled up the following morning( not so much now as the boats have bigger fuel tanks.. Similarly, if you are not on the beach at the time when the boats are launched, do not expect to be on the first dive using that boat. Finally, at the end of the day, don't slope off to the shower and pub which have been calling since you last surfaced. It generally takes many more people to retrieve a RIB at Porthoustock than to launch it. If you are not diving, by all means get changed, as there should be enough people in suits to do the wet bits, but do stay on the beach to help. Another feature of club diving is the fact that we do not have the resources of a commercial operator. i.e. fuel, oil, launching fees etc. have to be paid on a daily basis. This means that payment in cash at the end of the day is the preferable arrangement, this gives the Dive Manager sufficient funds for the next day's diving. If you wish to pay by cheque at the end of the weekend this is acceptable, but you may be asked to make your cheque payable to the local petrol station when you accompany the boats for filling. This can come to £60.00-£150.00 at time. I hope that you can appreciate why I would not expect the dive Manager to fund this this for 4 days (especially if its me!).

Purchasing fuel is something that has to be done more than once a day over Easter. If you can assist in doing this, it makes life much easier for the managers. Please make sure you get a VAT receipt for any fuel you purchase.


Shortly after diving, you will be approached by an extremely efficient-looking person with a clipboard. They will want to know several vital pieces of information:

  • Time in
  • Air/Gas in
  • Time Out
  • Air/Gas Out
  • Max Depth
  • any safety stops.
  • Collect Money for Dives

Please have these ready and try not to get into the habit of letting your Dive Leader supply this information.It is your responsibility and your life, (they cheat and read it from their computer anyway, so why trust your life to some spawn of Beelzebub from Suunto or Aladin). These figures are important as they will affect your diving in the afternoon. You may also want to make a note of your starting and finishing cylinder pressures, so that you can work out your air consumption- and hopefully see it improve throughout your first season as your fitness improves and you become more proficient and at ease underwater.

What equipment will I need?

Hopefully by now you will have begged, borrowed or even bought much of the equipment that you will need for the holiday, below are a few pointers, just to add the finishing touches. If you have only tried your equipment out in the pool, do not forget that you will need extra weight, so bring some spare lead. Most divers, being the sedentary sorts that they are, will not fill their cars with spare reserves of one of the planet's heaviest elements on the off-chance that they may need it to compensate for over-indulgence during the winter layoff. A water-proof watch and depth gauge, whilst not being the most glamorous pieces of equipment are two of the most important. If you are expecting to dive in the afternoon, you are expected to know your current tissue code, do not rely on your Dive Leader's computer. If you can manage it, two cylinders (not a twinset) is a great advantage, as this means that you will not have to go on an air hunt at lunch time. A goody bag is a 'goody' idea aside from the obvious use of an underwater shopping trolley when you are diving for tea, they also keep all of your personal equipment safe and together on the boat. Finally try to bring an underwater torch, even a small one restores fish to their natural colours and is great for peering into nooks and crannies.

It can be chilly at Easter - woolly hats may be a good idea on the beach

Launch Sites

The reason that we choose the Lizard is that we can nearly always guarantee being able to find a diveable site, despite the worst that the British weather can throw at us. Popular dive sites are Porthoustock, Porthleven and Poldhu (click to see map). The dive site is usually chosen with great care with a wary eye on the weather and ear on the shipping forecast. After much careful consideration and consumption of local ale the result is usually made known by the next day's Dive Manager at the . Another way of locating the dive site is to follow the boats in the morning.

Dive Sites

Useful Telephone Numbers:

Duncan  Howe                               Mb 07947 357875             Falmouth Coast Guard   01326317575

 Falmouth Hostpital                           01326434739               Helston Hostpital            01326435815


Costs for RIB dives at the Lizard
Within 4 Miles £ 10/dive
Outside of 4 Miles £ 11/dive

  EMERGENCIES  Public phone box located at Enterance to Porthoustock bay  (Poor reception for mobiles)

    National Decompression Illness Helpline 07831 151 523
For other emergency assistance, when ashore in the UK, use 999 or 112, as usual.

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