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The Net 2 Entrapment

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A group of volunteer divers, led by Mark Milburn, went out into Falmouth Bay today to release seven hundred juvenile lobsters for the National Lobster Hatchery. Their chosen location was just off of Rosemullion Headland. Diving in two groups, Mr Milburn dived with the first group, they descended and released around half the lobsters. They then headed along the reef to do a little exploring. It wasn’t long before they came across a piece of net, standing 4-5m from the sea bed. They then realised that it continued a long way and was stretched across the reef. Within a few metres they came across some spider crabs, caught in the net, they started to cut the crabs free. Once they had released the crabs, placing them some distance away, they continued along the net. The net had dozens of spider crabs, brown crabs and lobsters trapped along it’s length, stretching out for over one hundred metres across the reef. The divers left a surface marker buoy in place for the second group to locate the net. The first group thought it was going to be a very dangerous operation to remove the net, the nest group could offer a second opinion about potentially removing the net. The first group headed for the surface, where their boat came to collect them. They dropped a buoyed anchor by the surface marker buoy, which was then recovered.

While the second group was kitting up, a local fisherman, Tim Bailey came across to see if the representative from the National Lobster Hatchery was on board. She hadn’t gone out on the boat but had returned to the hatchery in Padstow. Mr Milburn told Mr Bailey of the net, explaining it’s size and direction as best he could from what he had seen. Mr Bailey offered to help recover the net using his mechanical hauler aboard his boat. It would be a lot safer than divers trying to do it. The second group entered the water and descended down the buoyed anchor line. Once they reached the sea bed, they released the rest of the baby lobsters, they then tied the anchor to the rope of the net. Once they competed they dive, Mr Bailey picked up the buoyed line and attached it to his hauler. Four of the divers went aboard Mr Bailey’s boat to help bring the net aboard. For over thirty minutes they pulled and hauled at the net, slowly dragging it aboard. Eventually they managed to bring the whole net aboard, with an estimated length at well over one hundred metres. Once back at harbour, more fishermen came to help Mr Bailey with the disposal of the net. How many creatures it has caught and killed will never be known, it won’t be able to kill any more.

Air fills, nitrox fills, trimix fills, pcp fills, air gun fills.

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At Atlantic Scuba we have a large air system, with a high output high pressure compressor. We have 16 filling whips, DIN or INT (A Clamp/Yoke), so can simultaneously fill 16 cylinders at once. We also have a gas booster and can offer nitrox and trimix mixes.

A lot of diving cylinders

A lot of diving cylinders

We can offer out of hours fills for clubs and large groups at our normal filling prices. We quite often fill cylinders for several BSAC and other clubs on trips to Penzance, Hayle or St Ives. Gas fills for all around west Cornwall.

So for Penzance air fills or Hayle air fills, contact Atlantic Scuba.

Getting some dives logged

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If you are needing to get some dives logged, you don’t have a buddy or know where to go, then give us a call.

We often go shore diving for fun during the week, sometimes on protected wreck sites that we have a license to visit.

We also run our own boat throughout the week, for fun or for charter. If you need or want to dive, we are quite likely to be going out. At weekends we schedule diving around Falmouth, dives are advertised and booked through a Facebook group – https://www.facebook.com/groups/falmouthdiving/

Nautical Archaeology Society appoint England’s first NAS affiliated dive centre

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Atlantic Scuba in Falmouth, Cornwall has become the first dive centre in England to become affiliated with The Nautical Archaeology Society (NAS).

Traditionally, NAS organise skills days for their Recorder and Surveyor courses, as well as many other archaeology related courses. These are usually at a set location and on a set date and are organised up to a year in advance.

Atlantic Scuba will be able to hold courses ‘on demand’ as they do for the range of diving courses they already offer. The Recorder and Surveyor courses can be taught as underwater courses for the qualified diver, or as intertidal courses for non-divers.

Mark Beattie-Edwards, CEO of the Nautical Archaeology Society, said: “Atlantic Scuba have set up a team of experienced instructors, including a maritime archaeologist. They are the licensees of four protected wreck sites in Cornwall, so they have plenty of fieldwork experience too.”

Atlantic Scuba intend to offer taster sessions for anyone who is interested in Nautical Archaeology. They will also be offering fieldwork days for those who have already completed the required NAS courses.

Find out more at www.atlanticscuba.co.uk.

Find out more about the nautical archaeology Society at www.nauticalarchaeologysociety.org.

Gyllyngvase Webcam

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WeSUP have their own webcam at Gyllyngvase Beach, it is only on during their opening hours, which is when we need it for diving.

It is a You-Tube streaming cam, so you have to press the play button. You can also go full screen, which is nice.

 

An Artificial Reef for Falmouth.

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Brief outline:

Since the sinking of the Scylla artificial reef near Plymouth, it has attracted many divers. The ten year estimated income generated, was £63m for Plymouth. It almost killed off the Cornish diving industry. Since then, many Cornish diving businesses have failed. Falmouth does still support three recreational diving businesses, partly due to the university, partly to do with it’s location in relation to the sea.

I have an idea for an artificial reef, near Falmouth. I choose Falmouth, as it is the only area that could support the potential arrival of more divers, for both diving and non diving wise. It would be pointless putting it in Penzance, the closest place to get air for the divers, is our shop, Atlantic Scuba, in Mabe.

The reef itself will not be a ship to sink, it is quite different from that. The idea is to construct something that resembles a ship, from 3m cubed hollow concrete blocks. Each concrete block will be made up from different aggregates and recycled materials. Different materials for each block could include:

  • Standard aggregates like Granite and limestone
  • Added materials like crushed glass (of different colours) or rubber beads
  • Sand from different parts of the country
  • Cement would be restricted to a sulphate resisting cement, due tothe harsh environment

Each block would then attract different life. Some blocks would have pipes, recesses etc. as habitats. Cornwall College or Falmouth Uni, could design and experiment with the aggregates. Cornwall College could actually make the blocks. Once made, someone like Fugro or Fal Divers could maybe place the blocks in situ. Keeping the costs to a minimum, wherever possible. My idea is NOT to construct it in one go. It would be to construct it over several years, even decades. Always evolving, always generating interest. The base blocks could be solid, to help anchor the site,the rest would be hollow. The use of hollow blocks would allow cameras to be installed, away from souvenir collectors. The images could be relayed to land and available on-line, to be connected to any screen, anywhere in the world. Potentially, live underwater images in every premises in Falmouth, or anywhere. The blocks could be filled with various items to attract life, with letterbox viewers to see inside.

The finished article would be somewhere between sixty and a hundred metres long, twenty metres wide and around the top of the bridge, would be at around fifteen metres in depth. Maximum depth would be thirty metres at high water, so something for almost every level.

The potential for studying wildlife would be endless, the life of the structure would be the potential length of the wildlife study.

So that’s the idea.

Malta Holiday October 2017

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After our very enjoyable October 2016 holiday to Malta, we have decided to do it again in 2017. Actual dates to be confirmed, for now, here are some of the details.
There are many dive centres on the island but the one we have chosen, was the one we dived with last year, Sea Shell. I hadn’t heard of them before but it was the proximity to our accommodation, plus the fact they were actually open, that made us choose them.
Sea Shell operate TWO large RHIBs from the front of their shop, on the waters edge at Mellieha. They also have plenty of transport for shore dives etc. The package we went with was the “Best of the Three Islands”, it can be adjusted to any level of experience and offers the perfect ratio between boat and shore diving,
as well as all the best dive spots around our islands. This package consists of 4 shore dives in Malta, 2 shore dives in Gozo & 4 boat dives around Malta and Comino @ €300.00 excluding equipment hire or €390.00 including equipment hire.
The indicated price includes: 6 guided shore dives and 4 guided boat dives, equipment (where applicable), Gozo ferry fee, boat dive supplements, transport from your accommodation (Mellieha, Xemxija, St. Paul’s Bay, Bugibba areas) – dive centre and back, land transport dive centre – dive site and back, cylinders and weights.
Additional shore dives are charged at €24.00 per person per dive (excluding equipment hire). Or, you can change a shore dive to a boat dive for an extra €10.00. Nitrox is available for €3.50 per tank.
They normally meet at 8.15 and go out for 2 dives. From most of the dive sites, you’ll be back by around 2pm.

WEB: www.seashellscuba.com

Accommodation

We stayed at the Luna holiday complex, which is a 5 minute walk to the dive centre. It was mid priced, comfortable, breakfasts were good and it has 2 swimming pools. There are plenty of hotels above and below this price, maybe not all as close as the Luna. We will probably stay at the Luna again.  Luna Hotel B&B for 10 days is £489.75, they have offered us a 10% discount as a group rate. Once we have an idea of numbers and official dates, they will confirm prices.
Other options available are self catering apartments. For a group of 6 or less, we can have a Hanover apartment @ €90.00/night. This is adjacent to the Luna and works out at only €15 per person for 6 sharing.

Location

Mellieha is close to the north of the island. It has the largest real beach on Malta, which is a long sandy mile long beach, with a rocky break in the middle. The beach has sun loungers to hire and several beach cafes. The water shelves slowly and is good for swimming. There are a few restaurants around the area near the dive centre, there are plenty more with shops in the town, up the hill.

For non divers and non diving days, there are plenty of attractions and things to do. Mdina is an amazing town to walk around, the Popeye (1980’s Robin Williams film set) village is also an interesting place to go, take a swimming costume and towel and spend the day there. The city of Valletta is steeped in history, as is much of the island, it also has many shops and  museums.

Everyone speaks English and they even use the same plugs as the U.K.

Flights

Flights options are:
Bristol to Malta with Ryanair return, direct flights – £151 plus luggage (£28 per bag each way, so another £56) 10 kg hand baggage.
Bristol to Malta with KLM, 1 stop – £126 inc. luggage 12 hand baggage.

Who is interested? Contact us for more details, dates to be advertised shortly. It will be early-mid October.

Starfish is under way

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The rebuild of Starfish is now under way. All electronics have been removed, the engine has been disconnected and all controls have also been removed. The only thing that still worked, was the electric bilge pump, everything else will need replacing.

14937193_1798688283734237_3695910735119994110_n 14980781_1798688493734216_3940901704695504130_nThe images are of the boat partially stripped.

It has since had the controls, oil tank and fuel accessories removed. All engine connections have been disconnected too.  Once everything has been stripped, the boat will go for the tubes to be serviced and the trailer will go for a recoat.

Falmouth Live Wind Forecast

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Snorkelling

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Snorkelling is a widely underestimated pastime. Using snorkelling as a tool for searching can be very useful, especially in the shallows or in hard to reach places. Around the coastline of the UK there are many secluded beaches, some not reachable by land that can be reached by snorkelling.

Using the right equipment and training, you can access places you never dreamed were possible without a boat.

At Atlantic Scuba, we not only teach the basics of snorkel equipment use, we also teach good finning techniques as well as some basic breathing up skills, to help with breath holding.