After a winter of pool training, the early-season trips of most diving clubs are directed towards getting the new crop of divers into the water and building some basic experience.
Then we get further into the season and the emphasis moves more towards the experienced divers. The new and up-and-coming divers may join the trips, but training is no longer the primary objective. So what are some of our favourite locations, once the training phase is complete

Lyme Regis  

Colleen Baker and husband Andy are members of a club attached to the East Anglia School of Diving, based in Over, Cambridgeshire. The club is a regular for long weekend trips from Lyme Regis using charter boat Blue Turtle, an Offshore 105 skippered by Doug Lanfear.
Last year we stayed at the Smugglers Inn in town, a super atmosphere and a grand breakfast, says Colleen. The weather was beautiful, the sea was like a millpond.
A couple of us suffer a bit with sea-sickness, so we appreciate the flat water, but it also makes the surface interval more enjoyable, as this is when Doug supplies the divers with a nice lunch. Lounging around the boat eating lunch in the sunshine between dives is bliss.
Lyme Regis is ideally located for all the well-known wrecks spread across Lyme Bay. Of the wrecks they dived, Andy speaks highly of the World War One steamship Chateau Yquem because, among other reasons, we had it to ourselves. They also enjoyed an old favourite, the aircraft-carrying submarine M2. The visibility was great and the congers loved to be tickled, says Colleen.
The WW1 wreck of the P&O liner Salsette is one of the most famous dives in Lyme Bay, so its surprising to hear that Andy didnt enjoy it so much.
The visibility wasnt that good and I had a bad dive, he says, but this may have been due to the lack of air in my cylinders, which had developed a leak on the drive to Lyme.
Perhaps Colleen enjoyed the trip more than Andy.
He learnt the lesson of not placing your mask on the engine cover when people with twin-sets are kitting up, and how not to get locked in the toilet, she says. Nevertheless, well be back this year.

  • East Anglia School of Diving, www.easod.co.uk
  • Blue Turtle, www.blueturtle.uk.com

  • Lyme Bay dives  
    Chateau Yquem: 1913 ton steamship torpedoed by U40 on 30 July, 1917. Upright in 44m with the superstructure cleared.
    M2: M-class submarine modified to carry a seaplane in a watertight hangar forward of the conning tower. Lost with all hands when the hangar flooded in a training accident on 26 January, 1932. The wreck lies upright and intact in 32m. Look for congers in the torpedo tubes.
    Salsette: 5842 ton P&O liner torpedoed on 20 July, 1917 by UB40 while on route from London to Bombay. The wreck is broken down to main deck level, lying tilted to port in a general depth of 44m, rising to 34m. Dont miss the gun at the stern.