Latest News and events
Here you will find all you need to know about what’s happening and information on up and coming courses. If there’s a course not listed, get in touch as we offer bespoke training courses to suit.
Courses
Next Open Water Course Details:
Our open water courses run pretty much back to back from March to November and we are currently taking bookings for our next open water course which will be commencing shortly, if you'd like to join the course or get more information get in touch!
We are also taking bookings for the advanced open water course and speciality courses such as wreck, deep diver and nitrox, get in touch for further details!
Technical Diver Training:
As well as a full range of open circuit technical diver courses up to and including Advanced Trimix we also offer rebreather courses using the prestigious JJ-CCR. See the rebreather pages for further information.
Divemaster Training:
We have a couple of Divemaster Trainees who are making great progress through their course and we can accept PADI Rescue divers at any point, so if this is something you'd like to do, let us know. The course is run at your speed and depends how much time you are able to dedicate to get it done.
News

Since the last update we are now able to teach rebreather training using, in our opinion, the world's finest rebreather built and accredited through CE – The JJ-CCR. Lots of courses available from try dives for those who wish to just have a go, as long as you have an open water course behind you, that's fine! We can teach the MOD1 CCR course and the TDI CCR Helitrox course allowing a mix of 21% oxygen and 20% helium to be used as a diluent and bailout gas extending bottom time and minimising decompression even further. We also intend on shortly offering MOD2 Mixed Gas CCR courses.

We've had club members venture to South Africa back in February 2017 to dive the sites of Sodwana Bay toward Mozambique in the north east and also in Cape Town to dive with sharks and to enjoy the various amazing dive sites South Africa has to offer. Sharks were sighted on the dives but the Great White proved to be illusive, a super pod of Orcas had raided the area some weeks prior to arrival causing some of the Great Whites to be washed up on the shore, dead and half eaten and the survivors driven out of the area and into deeper water – amazing isn't it?! We did manage to have some close encounters with seals and cow sharks in the area though, exciting!

Karl, our lead instructor was fortunate to have been offered a complimentary trip to Truk Lagoon with Blue O Two recently as a demonstration on what the company can now offer with their new liveaboard ‘Trukmaster'. Truk is a group of islands sitting inside a massive lagoon hundreds of miles into the Pacific from the nearest significant island of Guam, a U.S. territory. It's here that the Americans got their revenge for the assault on Pearl Harbour by the Japanese in 1941 bringing America into the Second World War. Sighting the Japanese fleet inside the lagoon in February 1944, the Americans launched an all-out assault sending some sixty Japanese vessels to the bottom, the sunken fleet comprise of mainly merchant vessels tasked with carrying an array of ordnance, war supplies, trucks, tanks, fuel and even Japanese zero fighters for the war effort. Loose bullets, gas masks, books and manuals, boxes, crockery, cutlery and other artefacts still litter the vessels. Every dive was impressive and the trip included the infamous million dollar wreck the ‘San Francisco Maru'. Other sites included a Japanese destroyer, an I class submarine and a ‘Betty' bomber which sits in only 20 metres of water allowing for some stunning photos. An absolutely incredible week with other dive centre owners from mainly the UK, diving a mixed set up from single tank, sidemount, twinset and rebreathers. Karl took his JJ-CCR out to Truk, extra baggage allowance required but well worth the effort enabling him to dive with two other CCR divers, one of whom was one of the dive guides enabling two, two hour dives per day. The open circuit tekkies were also diving two hour windows but racking up some serious deco on their afternoon dives. Most of the guys were single tanking it within recreational limits, with four dives per day on offer and were able to get on the vast majority of the wrecks and spend a fair amount of time on them due to the expertise of the dive guides onboard. Flights to and from Truk are via Guam and getting there is via Singapore, Manila or Seoul.
We've had club members venture to lots of places recently too, from a couple of guys venturing to Scapa Flow in the Orkney Islands to dive the WW1 Imperial German battle fleet (something we're planning for 2019 to commemorate the 100 th anniversary) to diving Brixham in Devon. We have a couple of avid group of cave divers in the club too, they've been busy sharpening their skills and gaining further qualifications diving cave systems throughout Wales.

In June our club divers have returned from a long weekend's diving with Dale Spree's company - Dive Beyond. An awesome crew with a brilliant, friendly set-up, we dived quite a few of the sites within the Portland breakwater. Unfortunately, the May bloom caught us on the hop so we weren't able to get out to the WW1 submarine UB-74 and a couple of other notable wrecks but we were able to get out and dive the famous inter-war submarine aircraft carrier ‘M2' with a tragic story behind her sinking, we got 5-6m viz, not bad considering the circumstances and a thoroughly enjoyable dive on the bucket list.

Trips

We are very shortly heading back to the Red Sea and our annual liveaboard and this year we've got a record nineteen Bay Divers club members onboard the recently refurbished MV Blue Fin. This year our trip will take us to explore the sites of the 'Northern Wrecks & Reefs' itinerary like we did back in 2010. We'll be diving the stunning reefs in Ras Mohamed National Park along the Sinai Peninsular to see a plethora of wildlife, always keeping an eye ‘in the blue' for the big stuff passing by! We'll be diving the world renowned ‘ Thistlegorm' and other wrecks in the area such as ‘Dunraven', ‘Eulyses' and the shipwrecks of Sha'ab Abu Nuhas, namely ‘Ghiannis D', ‘Carnatic' & ‘Krissoula K'. We'll as exploring and we're planning some dolphin encounters too in a location called Sha'ab El Erg. It's going to be a fantastic week!

During the summer months we've got some great club weekends planned for diving the Pembrokeshire coastline. Always lots to offer everyone and enjoy a couple of beach BBQs.

This year will be our first exhibiting at ‘Dive 2017' at the NEC Birmingham on 21 st & 22 nd October, we'll be located in the Great British Isles section. Come along, see what we have to offer, pick up a T shirt and meet the team that make our club and dive school work and meet some of the dive club members that make a weekend of it too. We've been going as a group for the last several years and stay overnight locally allowing us a great socialising opportunity. Come join us for a beer, we're a lively bunch.

One of the last trips planned for 2017 will be ‘D Day Wreck week', a week's diving early in October to cater for our more advanced club members. The plan is to dive some of the many sunken WW2 vessels sunk on and shortly after D-Day in 1944. We'll be sailing on a dive vessel from Brighton for a 90 mile sea crossing with one deep dive enroute and we'll enjoy bed and breakfast accommodation every night in Port-En-Bessin, Normandy, heading out to sea every morning thereafter for two exploration dives. The skipper has some interesting uncharted and undived prospective wreck positions that will need exploring.

Our closer to home trip planning always revolves around the larger annual trips that we plan throughout the year. We are in the final stages of agreeing the 2018 annual liveaboard for end of July/early August and for the new year we also plan on taking a group of both recreational and technical divers to Dahab to enjoy the ambience of the town which is really quite remarkable and to dive some absolute world class dive sites including Neptune's Cave and of course the Blue Hole. We'll be planning on running some technical courses out there, from entry level to advanced trimix. If you fancy joining us, let us know and we'll get you involved.

In late August 2018 we have a technical trip planned to dive the wrecks of Malin Head, Northern Ireland. A weeks diving to explore shipwrecks such as the ‘Emporor Heritage', a vessel loaded with WW2 Sherman tanks laying in 67 metres of water, HMS Audacious - a WW1 King George V class battleship. SS Laurentic, laying in 40 metres was carrying 43 tons of gold to pay the U.S. for war supplies when she was torpedoed in 1917. Much of the gold was recovered but £6 million of gold is still thought to remain onboard. Yes, we'll be looking! We plan to also dive RMS Justica, a White Star liner torpedoed in 1918 as well as the German WW2 U boats that litter the area after they were scuttled at the end of WW2. It's going to be an awesome roadtrip and diving week and we'll be looking at getting the ferry over to Ireland either from West Wales to Cork or from Liverpool to Belfast and then driving up to Malin Head.

Again, lots planned more locally and we're investigating the location for our ‘Annual club long weekender'. Lots of ideas coming to the fore, such as the Scilly Isles, Northumberland to dive with Seals and even the West coast of Ireland. We shall see how it pans out.

Finally, in 2019, plans are afoot to take a group to Truk Lagoon to dive the Imperial Japanese fleet sunk in WW2. Allow a budget of £4.5 to £5k which will include all our flights, transfers, stopovers dive charter (£2,500 including food, accommodation, soft drinks, air & weights) and should, hopefully depending on flight costs cover our gas costs too for those qualified to use helium. Minimum qualification deep, wreck & nitrox diver but to maximise the trip we'd recommend getting at least your PADI Tec 40 qualification which you can do on recreational setup, allowing you to get into decompression. Stay tuned!

Archive News

The hot news is that very shortly we will be offering more advanced technical training in the form of Trimix courses to take the entry level technical diver onto mixed gas diving and using a further two gasses for accelerated decompression, exciting times! Throughout the late autumn of 2015 and early 2016 we've been busy with some technical dive courses at NDAC Chepstow and quite a few PADI Open Water Referral Courses where students completed all their confined water pool training and theory. One of our students ventured to his native South Africa to complete his course in the warmth of Sodwana Bay, between our well known Durban and Mozambique. He's back now as a qualified diver stating his pool and theory course was an excellent grounding for him to complete his course abroad and has now joined our growing Bay Divers club. The others are, at the time of writing either completing or in the final stages of completing their referral courses with a view to finishing with us at the first available opportunity. Believe me, the South Wales coast and NDAC Chepstow are no place for a semi-drysuit until the spring is in full flow.
 
Just to bring you up to speed, back in October 2015 we visited Scapa Flow, for some of us, the second time we have ventured there since our first trip in 2011. We used Ian & Fiona's excellent boat MV Invincible for a tremendous week. We left South Wales on the Friday travelling through the night in a hired van for all the dive kit and a fully laden people carrier. We arrived in Scrabster ferry port early on the Saturday morning embarking on the ferry for the Orkney Islands. After arrival and unloading onboard our ‘liveaboard' vessel we had the day to ourselves. Well, apart from Karl who struggled to find the airport and drive to collect John, another club member who flew in from London. Gathered together, we were briefed and spent the next six days sailing out of Stromness for two dives a day on the long lost WW1 German Imperial Battle Fleet. With three of the team on rebreathers and all others on twinsets/singles & stages this made for an interesting week of deep wreck fun and deco! We managed to dive such vessels as the massive 25,000 tonne battleships ‘Krohnprinz Wilhelm', ‘Markgraf' (a modern day British aircraft carrier is 15,000 tonnes!) and cruisers ‘Karlsruhe', ‘Dresden' & ‘Coln' not to mention the awesome 600 tonne turrets that fell from the Battleship ‘Bayern' which now lay in around 40 metres of blissful Orcadian flow. After a good few beers on the last night we embarked our ferry on Saturday afternoon for our journey back to Wales. We'll be going back, for the 100 th anniversary of the fleet's sinking in June 2019 and possibly even beforehand. Trouble is, so many wonderful dive sites to explore, limited funds and limited time!
Bay Divers 2015 News
It's been an amazing and action packed 2015 with another two week wreck hunting expedition to South Africa completed in May where four of the Bay Divers team ventured back to Durban. This time to find a long lost WW2 submarine and locate the coelacanth, a long thought prehistoric fish. We also had several members of the team fly out to Egypt for the annual liveaboard. This year we were embarked on M/V Red Sea Adventurer for ‘wreck week' diving the many sunken ships in the Northern Red Sea such as ‘Thistlegorm', ‘Rosalie Moller', plus the shipwrecks of Sha'ab Abu Nuhas , the incredible ‘Ghiannis D' & ‘Carnatic'. A great week. Then late September we ventured off to the Orkney Islands onboard M/V Invincible to dive the sunken German WW1 fleet of Scapa Flow. It's been pretty much a year of hardcore wreck hunting and wreck diving. See the archive news for some write ups!
Bay Divers & Friends Egypt Liveaboard - August 2014
It was time to head off into the sun once again on our annual club week liveaboard trip hosted by our partner company Blue O2. Last year the group was pretty much together and we got a minibus sorted to take us to Gatwick Airport. This year however, our group was pretty much all over the place, a couple of guys going via London and a few others travelling via the West Country and even up North. Subsequently there were just three of us travelling from Swansea and we met the rest of the guys at Gatwick on the morning of our departure.

We managed to get in a ‘Billy Big Boys Breakfast’ before our five our flight to Hurghada, Egypt. Some think it’s an outrageous time of year to visit Egypt but it’s a sensational time to go. The sea temperature in the mid 20s and not even warranting a shortie suit, just rashie & shorts! Plus being at sea on the sun deck at night, warm desert breeze carrying itself as you lay under the full array of stars & milky way watching for shooting stars – amazing!

On arrival we were met by our tour rep and fast tracked through immigration with our visas already issued and seated on our conditioned coach and off to the Port about 20 minutes away. On arrival we were met by the crew, our luggage unloaded for us before our evening meal and a brief from the dive guides. Then it was time to walk out of the port and visit one of the local bars that we’re familiar with for a beer and a long awaited shisha!

The next morning and after breakfast it was time for all our paperwork and generic dive briefings and an effortless splash off the back of the liveaboard into 26 degrees of crystal clear water to a depth of 15m for a check dive. Joy! Check dive done off we sailed into the itinerary. Blue O2 offer an array of different itineraries for both the Northern part of the Egyptian Red Sea and Southern. We like to mix it up and this year we were on a southern itinerary following the footsteps of our sensational trip in 2012 where we managed dive with Oceanic Sharks for two whole days on Daedlus Reef. The five days of diving seem to blend into each other, early start a dive before breakfast either from the back of the liveaboard or a short RIB drive away in one of the two RIBs carried by our vessel. After breakfast of eggs cooked to order, cereals of choice and the norm all washed down with copious amounts of tea/coffee. After buffet style lunch a couple of hours relaxing either in the shade or catching some rays on the sun deck before a third late afternoon dive. Teatime follows when the crew bring around some freshly baked cakes to go with tea and coffee. In certain areas it’s not possible to do a night dive but when it’s on, it’s time for the last dive of the day with torches and underwater lighting rigged from the dive vessel – an opportunity to witness Lionfish hunting amongst various aquatic night-time habits. Once back on the boat time for a good shower and clean shorts & t shirt ready for the evening meal. Well fed, time to socialise with others onboard and take a beer or two up top.

Over the week we managed a good 20 dives including two night dives and managed to dive with Hammerhead sharks and a beautiful Manta Ray on Daedlus Reef, the amazing Elphinstone Reef with it’s array of hard & soft corals and colourful fish. We also dived the two quality shipwrecks on the Brother Islands namely ‘Numedia’ & ‘Aida’. The last diving day is generally met with mixed emotions, some are ‘dived out’ whilst others are a bit down that it’s all coming to an end. However, it’s almost time for some social fun after washing all our kit down, taking it to the top deck to dry it’s time to have a serious relax for a few hours. Once dry, all dive kit packed for the return flight and it’s time to go out for a few beers and a shisha wherever we are berthed. Last year, we ended up in Hurghada and had a chance to get to the Marina for a few beers. This year we ended our trip in Port Ghalib a quiet location but we managed to find an outdoor bar and get a few drinks and make a lively atmosphere of it. Was a great night!

The next morning and after breakfast it’s time to disembark and travel to the Marriot Hotel in Hurghada, where we got a complimentary room shared between 4-6 fellow divers. A place to keep some hand luggage and chill as well as the hotel pool bar before transfer to the airport in the early evening before a flight back to the UK. Another successful week done!
Durban’s Ghost Fleet Expedition – February 2014
One of my friends recently asked the question ‘When does a trip become a diving expedition?’ It can sometimes be a difficult question to answer as some trips set out to dive certain known locations and all of the sudden the group perhaps is onto something. Perhaps a never dived before location or suspected last known position of a sunken ship. For me though, this adventure was quite clearly, from the get go a diving expedition.

It all started in May of 2012 when I found myself onboard a vessel in the Red Sea purely for technical divers exploring the many dived before vessels whilst exploring some deep canyons along the Sinai Peninsular which had not long before been discovered. Also onboard the vessel was a very interesting South African chap by the name of Patrick Voorma. Patrick owns ‘Calypso Dive Centre’ in Durban. During the trip he mentioned that he’d recently been exploring new dive sites along the Durban coastline. It was a wonderful week of diving on my JJ rebreather, seven of those beautiful machines onboard along with other units and a few guys diving big heavy cumbersome twinsets. After one of the dives Patrick talked about the host of wrecks lost off Durban and how he’d like to discover these. From an early age he’s listened to stories, spoken to fishermen who had their nets snagged and beachcombers who have picked up interesting items along the shore after storms.

Towards the end of 2013 I was following the events in South Africa and Pat had invested in a fishfinder for his boat to help him find possible wreck locations. Pat was spending an increasing amount of time miles out amongst the shipping lanes looking for possible wreck locations. I was interested in joining him, even more so when I’d heard about the possibility of finding a missing Japanese WWII era submarine. Madagascar had, during the period been a forward operating base for the Imperial Japanese Navy. Some weeks later and early last year Pat posted up a group on facebook ‘Durban’s Ghost Fleet’ with messages and uploads of his possible wreck sites. He had an expedition planned and needed some divers for the exploration team and some for the support team. Already tempted beyond reality, the icing on the cake for me was reading about a vessel called the ‘Waratah’ which has been referred to as ‘Australia’s Titanic’, she disappeared without a trace, a day or so out of Durban in July 1909. The vessel was returning from Melbourne, Australia to the UK with 211 passengers and crew which were never heard from again.

With the decision firmly planted in my brain I rang a friend and trimix diver who’s a former student of mine living not too far away. “Tristan” I said, “What are you doing at the end of next week?” After explaining the project and without hesitation he was in. News soon spread and another friend of mine offered the services of his son Kris who has recently set up a production company here in South Wales to come and cut some video for us.

The three of us flew via Amsterdam & Johannesburg arriving in Durban some 27 hours after taking off from the UK. Due to the lateness of our booking we had to endure a ten hour overnight stopover in Johannesburg so needless to say we arrived pretty exhausted. We did however, meet up with one of the South African divers called Justin at Johannesburg airport who was as fresh as a daisy – he spotted us a mile off! It was good to see Pat again and he drove us straight to his ‘tec’ facility and soon after arrival we started putting our kit together. The plan was to have everything ready to get straight into a dive the following morning. We were just wasted though and Pat could see this. So the decision was made to get some food and to not rush what we were doing.

We played the exchange rate to our advantage and were ‘lording it up’ in a 4 star hotel with breakfast for less than £20 per night, superb and I won’t even mention what the prices were on the cocktail list! The next morning Pat picked us up from the hotel, Kris busy with his expensive camera equipment filming us as we embarked on our adventure. We arrived at Pat’s dive centre on the Durban seafront and were met by his divers and guys that we’d be diving with. We gelled immediately and finished off what we’d started the day before preparing all our diving equipment, building rebreathers, analysing gasses, checking, double checking. In this world of technical diving there is no room for error. After a comprehensive brief it was time to run our dive plans, complex stuff. What happens if this gas fails on me, what about if that one is a no go? All factors to be considered when ‘cutting a plan’ with considerable decompression time. It wasn’t long and before you knew it, we were off, our kit trailered down to the boat by Pat’s Divemaster Trainees and I found myself walking along the beach towards the boat talking and trying to get to know the two other South Africans who’d be joining Pat and I on the exploration team. We had planned on a work up dive to see how the four of us would interact, apart from Pat I didn’t know Justin and Vin and very soon I’d be in Trimix City diving with them! These three guys had dived together many times and I was the newcomer here I thought to myself and I think I gave them a warm feeling that I knew what I was doing. To say I was excited on the speedy journey out to our first point of contact was an understatement. Before you knew it the anchor was over the side and I found myself on the descent line as diver number three. It was ripping some, let go of this line and that would be it – dive over I thought. The first dive was bizarre, we found what I thought to look exactly like a submarine, laying on it’s side without a conning tower. That’s what it looked like. With my knife out and at 65 metres I was chipping away at this cylindrical shape covered with seagrass and soft corals trying to find evidence it was made of metal, except it wasn’t made of metal at all. We swam around it and around trying to make sense of it before swimming off to explore the topography around the site. Time for the ascent and not a good time for things to go wrong my mind started to think about the sharks, the current, the sharks, the big ships as we were close to one of the busiest shipping lanes in the whole of Africa, oh and the sharks. Although I’ve dived with these majestic creatures in the past, I’ve never dived with a Great White. Out of season for these creatures here, taken, it still made me think of what I’d feel like coming close to one of these in the water column with an hour or so decompression time ahead of me. Although we didn’t find anything of significance I was elated, another quality tec dive ticked off in a place I’d never dived before. Back to the centre it was then, time to strip our kit down, refill gasses required and prepare fully for the next day ahead.

Day two started off well with us making preparations and writing dive plans around the gasses we’d analysed. Pat looked out to sea and didn’t like what he saw, the wind was changing direction and the sea was whipping up a bit. “This is what it’s like” he said, explaining that the conditions can change suddenly, no strangers to that in the UK are we? But here in South Africa and several miles offshore it could be a big problem. We waited an hour, then some more. Justin, the guy we met at the airport in Johannesburg suggested we go and have a bite to eat in the cafe and see how things go. One beer arrived, then another, then another! It became an Anglo South African social with Pat, Justin and Vin looking after us three Welshmen. Soon, we were joined by some more and after a couple of hours the cafe owners announced that we’d drunk all their beer, it was a good night and we were well looked after.

We agreed on a late breakfast and a late start with copious amounts of coffee and fluids being pumped into the system. Fit to dive we set off, late afternoon onto what was to be most eventful dive of the trip. I followed one of the guys down the shotline and as we got through 75 metres, there she was. This gloomy outline of a shipwreck, my heart was pounding. “Wreck, Wreck” I shouted into by rebreather. Four of us, arms raised as if we’d just won some Olympic event. But what the hell is this I thought? I’d not seen anything like it before. She had a large superstructure on the bow, inside I looked with large windows high up and small portholes below. Like a turn of the century liner I thought, a restaurant area, large windows to leave the light through onto the guests as they ate their breakfast perhaps. My attention then changed to the stern aspect, like a cutter, built for speed. An elegant looking vessel, I thought, I signalled to one of the guys, I forget who that I was going for a swim to find the name. As I was in the vicinity of the stern I thought it would be a given. A large embossed but faded name in large letters I expected to find only to be greeted with a massive, flat, smooth surface of the stern section devoid of any writing. Disappointed and with time racking up I thought ‘Right then Karl, get your arse onto the bow, her name is bound to be there’ The other three guys were also engrossed in the wreck all of us looking for signs of her identity as we agreed we would before we set off. However, it was not to be, time up, plan the dive – dive the plan, always. I have to say there’s always something cool about shooting up your surface marker buoy from serious depth. The reel just kept on going and going and going and we were off, the four of us, lifting off from the wreck and I watched the iron lady gradually slip from my sight as we ascended into the blue of the Indian Ocean and we were travelling. I recall a 40 something metre decompression stop being complete and signalling to my buddy my intention to climb to the next depth then something caught my eye. Not a shark, but Kerry one of the support divers, then another came into view, then another. None of us had any problems that needed sorting but nevertheless it was a really nice feeling knowing that these guys were here in the water with us to help just in case we had any snags. We must have already drifted a couple of miles in the strong Indian Ocean current and on one occasion we could hear the propellers of a giant supertanker thundering through the water. Our coxswain and support crew circling above to tell us there was a hazard before zipping off to warn off the behemoth of a vessel.

After many years of diving I find it difficult to put into words what it’s like to find a shipwreck of something significant that has been laying there dormant for decades waiting to be discovered. I’ve experienced being on the second wave of divers on a new discovery, but this was different. This was a time for celebration and Pat cracked open a bottle of champagne back at the centre and we were joined for supper with Pat’s crew, divemasters and support divers before a couple of quiet beers. Believe me? No, oh well !!

Yes, another late start but what did it matter with one hard core dive per day only, late start, late finish. It made no odds to us whatsoever. On arrival at Pat’s centre the option was laid to the floor. What do we do? Revisit this ship and try to find something of her identity or move onto a new location? If we were to dive with sharks on the last day before the obligatory 24 hour no dive before fly rule then this was to be our last wreck hunting day. Disappointed with how the clock was ticking the three of us were kind of hoping that we’d come to SA for longer. Although tempted to move on to a new location or to dive the recently re-discovered HMS Otus in 105 metres of water I was with the rest of them to re-dive this ship and try to find something. We had a new addition to the exploration team, Allan who would dive open circuit trimix with Pat, leaving Justin, Vin and myself diving rebreathers. Two’s company, three’s a crowd right? Wrong. Survivability has just increased 100% by adding a third diver to a buddy pair. Happy Days! Tristan was unfortunately out of this one, not having a good time suffering from a suspected DVT we now had less divers on the support team than the exploration team. It seemed to me that as soon as we got there it was time to leave, time just simply rocketed by and I’m afraid to say we left the dark mysterious lady none the wiser as to her identity.

Our last day’s diving was at Aliwal Shoals, a few hours drive south of Durban where we managed to share the habitat with some feisty Black Tip sharks and two Tiger sharks an awesome experience with me managing to see Tristan in the water for a change! Kris was on the boat, a non qualified diver, he was kind of hoping that he’d be qualified by now and perhaps this year, 2015, he’ll gain his entry level diving qualification.

It was to be several weeks and after much research and involvement of the local press that Pat was able to identify the wreck as an American WWI vintage submarine chaser ‘USS Nahma’ taken up from trade and previously named ‘Istar’. I’m absolutely thrilled to have been a part of such an amazing project. ‘Durban’s Ghost Fleet’ is still very much alive, lots more to be found and dived and I for one can’t wait to go back to Durban, South Africa. Next time we’ll stay a little longer, sample some more diving, more nightlife and hopefully get a few days in Kruger national park and see some big animals of the land kind.

I think I can speak on behalf of the group and thank Pat for the opportunity for this incredible experience and to have sampled his amazing dive centre, he even takes his try dives in an aquarium with nurse sharks and tropical fish swimming around, amazing. I must thank Pat particularly for his overwhelming hospitality. Picking us up, dropping us off, organising meals and nights out, he even arranged us all to see a classic rugby fixture -Durban Sharks v Johannesburg Bulls, I think the right team won – sorry Justin! The ‘Rooinekke’ learned some colourful words with such outstanding connotations such as ‘Braai’ ‘Bunny Chow ’ & ‘Lekker’. Thanks too to Vin, Justin, Allan, support divers Bradley, Kerry, the most helpful Storm, Lauren & our coxswain Robbie and a handful of other instructors and divemasters who work in Pat’s incredible centre. We came back from SA with not only some great memories but some true friends, well apart from the security guy at Joburg airport who thought my backplate was a bulletproof vest, but that’s another story. Karl.
 
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