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Home arrow Forthcoming Dives arrow Easter 2015
Friday, 20 October 2017
 
 
Easter 2015 Print

Here are a few pointers to help you get the most out of this years Easter visit to the Lizard.  Let me start by welcoming our new divers and those of you who have not yet been with us on a bank holiday weekend.  If there is anything that you are unsure of, don't be afraid to ask; many members have been travelling to Cornwall for Easter for a long time, and although not all of them will remember their first Easter, they will be happy to help.

 

Accomodation

Most of the guys who go at Easter form groups and hire cottages/self catering accommodation, usually based around St Keverne.  There are two pubs in the centre of the square at St Keverne, both serve food and good ale!  They also offer BB. There is a little supermarket in the square with a good stock of essentials and home made pastries, including good old Cornish Pasties!   Members that have booked cottages normally advertise spare places so if you are still are still looking for accommodation let me know and we’ll put out a shout.

There is also Sea Acres Caravan Park. Sea Acres is ideal for families at it has many amenities on site, including an indoor swimming pool. 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.

Useful contacts:  seaacresholidaypark
cornishcottageholidays

Air

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

We generally use Dive Action in St. Keverne, run by Gary Fox.  He sells air, nitrox and trimix and has a shop which also does repairs. Gary will generally open the shop in the evening to cater for drop offs, and will either fill whilst you wait, or overnight so that cylinders are ready for collection the next morning.

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, especially helping out those that are launching and recovering, or setting up the kitchen or doing other jobs.

Safety

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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.  If you are feeling ill on the boat, 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.

If you are going to diving from the RIBs 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 can cause some discomfort.  The distances from Porthoustock are generally not great, but you can get cold very quickly, especially if you surface first and have to sit on the boat waiting for other divers to surface.

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, - there will be a different person in the role of dive manager each day.  If you don't know who this is, ask somebody.  There will be a white board with a plan and lists of people diving on boats.  The trick to getting on a list is to get down to the beach early, and those that help out generally find themselves in a position of first choice.  For example, helping with launching and recovering, air runs, kitchen duties, collecting times and money, instructors doing multiple training dives etc.

 

 

If you don't know who to dive with, the best thing to do is to talk to Dave Culver (DO and overall Easter Manager) or Steve & Andy our Training Officers.  We are collecting names and qualifications of those who are going so that we can plan diving and buddy pairs in advance, and which will highlight how many instructors/experienced divers we need each day. 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

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Food and drink are not available on the beach at Porthoustock, except on Sunday morning there is normally a local residents coffee morning in the hall where they also sell home backed cakes.  Because of the lack of provision we have in the past successfully run a bacon buttie and tea café on the beach.  We may have someone dedicated to run the café, but if this isn’t possible it is run on a “help yourself” basis.  We trust you to make appropriate payment for the food and drink you take – full price list is displayed – and of course it’s very reasonable!  We need help each day to set up and dismantle the café (with enough helpers it doesn’t take long).

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. You can of course bring your own packed lunch, or pop up to St Keverne for homemade Pasties.

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.

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 asked to return with it filled up the following morning. 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 until you have checked that jobs are all covered! 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 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.

 Log Sheets

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 – do not leave the beach without supplying this information:

  • Time in
  • Time Out
  • Max Depth
  • Safety stops.
  • Collect Money for Dives

Please have these ready and try not to get into the habit of letting your buddy supply this information. It is your responsibility and your life (you’re buddy is likely to cheat or estimate their times anyway). These figures are important as they will affect your diving in the afternoon.   New or less experienced divers 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?

Can I remind everyone to make sure their kit is serviced and in full operation – trying this out for the first time in the sea is not clever.  Hopefully you will have dusted off the cobwebs in the preceding months and made sure everything is in good working order.

Hopefully by now you will have begged, borrowed or even bought much of the equipment that you will need for the holiday. If you have only tried your equipment out in the pool, do not forget that you will need extra weight, and 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.

If you need to hire any equipment – please book this through Nikki Turner in advance.  There are charges for equipment hire which are displayed on the door of the Equipment Store, or Nikki can give you further information.  Do not just help yourself to kit, as this is being used on a regular basis for training in the pool and we need to ensure we book kit in and out – some kit is designated pool kit and not suitable for the open water so its important that you check with Nicki before taking.

It can be chilly at Easter - woolly hats may be a good idea for the beach and boat journeys.

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 end of the preceding day – or in the pub that evening!

Dive Sites

Useful Telephone Numbers:

Dave Culver 07715 123877     JP 07966 443139                        Falmouth Coast Guard   01326 317575

Falmouth Hostpital                  01326 434700                            Helston Hostpital            01326 435800

National Decompression Illness Helpline 07831 151 523

For other emergency assistance, when ashore in the UK, use 999 or 112, as usual.

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

     
     
Costs for RIB dives at the Lizard
Within 4 Miles £ 12/dive
Outside of 4 Miles £ 13/dive
 
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