You Can Make A Difference

Plastic Pollution has become a man-made global catastrophe

Over the last 60 years plastic has become central to our lives and mankind has subjected the planet to a tsunami of plastic waste. Plastic Oceans provides a powerful and effective platform campaigning for, supporting and funding targeted solutions aimed at significantly reducing plastic pollution in the environment.

That is why DiveStyle will encourage you to leave behind any plastic packaging, bottles or bags in our store.

We will not provide any plastic bags with your purchases, instead we will be offering whale  bags, a sustainable bag that can be used for a myriad of things. Made out of eco cotton and recycled wooden toggles it is a green as you can possible get! With a price tag of £6 it is truly value for money.

As an individual you can have an effect on the plastic epidemic we have in our oceans. In your lifetime you can make a difference. Do you want to make a difference? Click here to learn more.

Want donate so you can make a difference now? Click here to donate.

Want To Be A World Record Holder?

Are you ready to be a world record holder?

Scuba Santas – 16th December 2012 – NDAC, Chepstow

Santa(s) waving hello!

Then come along and join the SCUBA Santa’s!

Scuba Santas 2012 – Registration now open…

Registration for Scuba Santas 2012 has just been opened up so please head over to the registration page and get signed up!

If you want to join the Scuba Santas please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Registration will ensure that you’ll receive our newsletter and be kept up to date with any important news about the event. Registration for Scuba Santas is not required but helps us out in planning the event.

Register for Scuba Santas 2012

World Record Holders

In 2009, Scuba Santas once again beat their own world record with 158 divers. This was not beaten in 2010 due to several reasons (remember all that snow?), with our move to the NDAC numbers were also smaller in 2011 but we’re hoping now that news has gotten around numbers will start climbing again for the 2012 event. We hope you can join us and be part of what many divers refer to as “the best dive of the year”.

 

Your Support is Helping Put an End to Shark Finning!

 

 

Your Support is Helping Put an End to Shark Finning!

Donate Today to Fuel the Next Critical Battle for Sharks at CITES 2013 

Dear DiveStyle Customer,

You did it! The European Parliament finally voted to close the loopholes in the European Union (EU) shark finning ban. This is the result of six years of diligent work with Shark Alliance partners, driven by your support.

What does it mean?
Members of the European Parliament voted overwhelmingly in favor of the proposal to impose the best practice for finning ban enforcement: a prohibition on removing shark fins at sea. From now on, sharks caught by EU vessels anywhere in the world must be landed with their fins naturally attached. The EU banned finning in 2003, but left in a loophole where “special fishing permits” allowing shark fins and bodies to be landed separately made a mockery of the ban. This vote means that from now on, it’s “FINS ON With NO Exceptions”!

Why does it matter?
The EU shark finning ban was one of the weakest in the world, yet the EU is one of the largest exporters of shark fins to Asia. With a “fins naturally attached policy” in place, the EU, given the global scale of its fisheries and the international influence of its shark management policies, is in a better position to push for game changing shark conservation measures. It can push policies at an international level for fins on with no exceptions.

What’s next?
We must ensure the complete ban on shark finning is implemented while focusing on securing International trade safeguards for vulnerable shark and ray species under CITES. At the next meeting of countries who are members to CITES in March 2013, we will again be the voice and conscience of divers to demand that sharks and rays receive trade protections they desperately need. This is a key victory in an ongoing battle. We continue to fight to save sharks from extinction and need your support more than ever!

Stay tuned for upcoming calls to action and thank you for your help to protect vulnerable and endangered species.

For the Ocean,

Alex Earl
Executive Director, Project AWARE Foundation

Paul Rose – Defined By Diving

Paul Rose presents defined by diving at DiveStyle, October 8th 2012.

The beginning of autumn is not usually a thing to look forward to. The nights get longer, the days shorter and the weather starts to turn into that drizzly rain, the kind of rain that my mother use to say ‘soaks you to the skin’, to this day I am still not sure what that actually meant but then parents are great at giving those kind of statements.

Now, this autumn day was not going to be the same any any other autumn day, this autumn day was different because we had Paul Rose coming to give one of his superb presentations!

It had taken months of hard work and pestering (some may say the pestering was starting to board on stalking) but the hard work and constant calls had paid off. I had managed to get a slot in Paul’s extremely busy diary and secured him for that evening.

We also had Richard Cullen from Deptherapy come along as he would be giving an overview of the work that Deptherapy is doing, Paul is a great fan of Deptherapy so we charged a small entrance fee for the evening with all monies going to Deptherapy. This was further boosted by Richard Howes from Oceanic as he provided a Oceanic GEO 2.0 dive computer as a prize that we held a secret auction for.

A quick trip to Reading station to pick up Paul and then back to the Wokingham Waterside  Centre so Paul could do the meet and great before launching into his presentation.

Well to say the room filled with energy would be an understatement, he was like a whirlwind!

The presentation was fast paced, full of great stories, passion and superb pictures from some of the amazing places that he has visited during his diving and expedition carear.

Imagine taking a handful of popping candy (you may remember it as space dust), putting the whole lot in your mouth and taking a good drink of water. The inevitable explosion was the same as the energy that Paul put into his presentation.

To say he has had a colourful diving carear would be an understatement.

From the frozen poles as base commander in charge of all of the science support logistics, diving under icebergs, diving all over the world while filming the Oceans series to amazing diving in the UK with Britain’s Secret seas.

It was amazing to listen to what in any other environment would be a simple task can become a real concern, such as anchoring your vessel.

The images that Paul presented were extremely interesting, we saw a 2000 year old mummified seal , the bottom of lake Geneva and a black hole (not the one is space) so called because of the colour of the water.

We were given a great insight on how just un-glamorous the world of journalism and TV can actually be. Behind the scenes it is not all glitz and glamour and some of the working conditions can be challenging to say the least.

What really did come through during the presentation is that after all these years the passion for diving is still as strong. The long days, repetitive takes on set, the harsh weather, long journeys and time away for home has done nothing to dampen his inner diving spirit.

By the end of the presentation the room was aglow with both admiration of Paul and what he has achieved, curiosity on the topic of science support and regenerated enthusiasm for diving. I have a feeling there may be a few more science support applications happening in the near future.

I would love to put on another presentation by Paul but this tiem see if we could raise enough money to send at least 2 injured soldiers onto the Deptherapy program.

This time round me managed to raise £365, which is not bad for an attendance of 25 people.

Paul has many interesting projects coming in the near future so keep your eyes peeled as if they are as half as good as his past projects they will be well worth watching.

John Campbell
Owner – DiveStyle

Ready To Dive With Seals?

We have been asked buy the Pirate diving club to pop out a quick mail to see if anyone is interested in diving the Farnes.

29th September – 1st October

The Farne Islands are a favourite NE dive spot off Seahouses, Northumbria, famous for the playful and inquisitive seals, diving sea birds, numerous wrecks (nearly all very broken up due to the exposed situation), abundant diverse marine life, and strong currents for excellent drift dives. Many of the 26 volcanic islets rise sheer from the seabed, and there are spectacular walls (typically on the south sides of the islands) and gullies as well as wreckage to explore.

  1. Costs are £40 per day per person for a days diving (2-3 boat/shore dives) ( 3days x £40= £120) Obviously you don’t have to stay around for Monday if you don’t want to.
  2. There is parking for large vehicles close to the tie off point of the boat to help with transfer of kit
  3. You are able to leave all kit on the boat overnight, I have been assured this is very common and very safe, thus you don’t have to worry about moving it on and off etc.
  4. They will Fill all cylinders ready for the following day on site after each days diving.

To book a place please call Chris Forester at DiveStyle or drop a mail to info@divestyle.co.uk with the subject line of ‘Farnes Diving’.

HMS Victoria, An Expedition To Far?

An Expedition To Far?

The weather outside was rubbish; the days were long and wintry. It was still 3 months until the dive season kicked off and allow the weather to lend itself to getting divers back out to the ocean once more.

It was on this fateful evening, after our weekly training sessions had finished, the dive team all sat in our favorite pub to enjoy a well-deserved pint and a crouch next to the roaring fire.

As we all gathered around the open fire the chatter started, the excitement of the evenings training and the thoughts of the season to come. What did we all have in mind for the up and coming season?

There were trips planned to Scapa, Weymouth, Swanage, Farnes, Lundy and the Red Sea. Then the suggestions turned to wistful and far flung destinations such as Bali, Galapagos and the Cocoas.

It was then that one of the instructors asked. “If you could dive anywhere you wanted, where would it be?”

As I listened to the silence of thought, I felt myself drifting back to the first time I watched the ‘Silent Ocean’ by Jacque Cousteau. The memories are vivid, as if I was that young boy still staring at the TV, mouth wide open, eyes like saucers.

I can still remember thinking, “how did they do that?”, “what is that on their back?”

Mind you looking back their methods of species collection of both fish and coral where someone dubious!

The excitement that I felt as they explored the Thistlegorm for the very first time. Sent shivers down my spin.

And that got my little grey cells thinking, what or where would I like to dive? I ran through the typical destinations such as Cocoas, Galapagos, HMS Britannic and even the Arctic, but none really got my juices flowing and that chill of excitement to run down my spin. I wanted that anticipation I felt as a little boy watching the TV, surly there must be a destination out there?

As I drove home that night my mind was running wild with ideas, the list of possible destinations started to grow. I wanted something different, something challenging and something that few others had done. I wanted something that would require real planning, not only dive planning but real effort just to get there.

Before I new it I was home. With my mind still running through possible idea’s I popped the kettle on and jump on the Internet and had a list of 5 possibles in less than an hour.

Just before my eyelids gave up the ghost I fired an email to Alan Whitehead at Divewise / Techwise.

“Alan, thinking of an expedition. Are you up for it? If so what where would you fancy?”

With the email sent and my mind now just as tired it was time for bed, well actually I fell asleep on the settee. I did what no person should do and flicked on the sky box, only to find The Deep was playing, Classic!.

The next morning I checked my email and as always there was an email waiting for me from Alan.

“Expedition sounds great, myself and Paul Toomer are very interested. Have you thought about the HMS Victoria?”

HMS Victoria? I had never hear of that wreck, HMS Victory yes, but not the Victoria?

I read the mail again to make sure that I had not miss read it, Yep it was the HMS Victoria. Then I suddenly clicked that not only did I have a possible destination for an expedition but the start of a dive dream team!!!!

HMS Victoria, right, lets find out all we can about the old girl then. I began the search and it was not long before the story of the HMS Victoria started to piece together.

What I did find is that the information on HMS Victoria is not that well published. Wiki has, as always some great information but it did not really tell you exactly what had happened. It did not give you an insight into the crew or the man who captained the vessel.

It was not until I found a book called ‘Admirals In Collision’ by Richard Hough. As I read the book the story of the HMS Victory came to life. The men, the circumstances leading up to her sinking and the man who took her to het final watery resting place.

The more I read about HMS Victoria the more the excitement grew and the more I felt like that little boy again. My imagination started to run wild, the chill down the spine kicked in and I was opened mouthed and wide eyed once again. I new this was the one.

The more I dug the more I found. Videos on YouTube, articles run in the Guardian, Stories telling of divers who had been there and treasures that had ben discovered, yes treasures!. One diver had even reported finding the sword of Nelson, one of many Nelson treasures supposedly carried on the HMS Victoria by Admiral Tyron.

Now, don’t think this is a just a quick strap of a cylinder to your back and of you pop. This is not one of your typical recreational diving sites.

This is a full blown technical dive that would require good training, good skills and use of the best diving gear on the market. Perfect, not only did i have a dive site but an excuse to buy new shinny diving gear, get in!

Her stern is only 70 meters from the surface; a deep technical dive but a depth that is common place, these days within the technical diving community. Easy you might say, not much of an expedition to be had there.

Here the HMS Victoria comes gives up one of her unique secret. She is only 70 Meters  from the surface but that is only her stern, her bow is driven into the seabed and that bottom out at 147 meters!

I was straight back on the phone to Alan, this is the one! We both agreed that we wanted to try and make this an expedition where well trained divers would have the opportunity to get involved. They would not have to be full technical divers now as we wanted to put in place a structured training schedule that would provide the opportunity for divers with suitable skills and potential to work towards being part of the dive team, after all an expedition relies on many different individual functioning in key positions.

So now the real planning begins.

Our next meeting will happen on the 9th of September, In Malta, where the story of the HMS Victoria really started to take shape. This will be our first opportunity to start the formulation of the training program, travel plans, communication plans and prepare ourselves for the endless calls that we ill be required to the embassy’s in both the UK and Lebanon.

We are a long way off but the thirst to make this one happen is deep. One way or another I intend to dive that wreck!

HMS Victoria. The Birth & Death

The sinking of the HMS Victoria

Vice-Admiral Sir George Tyron, K.C.B

It is said that war is 9 tenths boredom and 1 tenth hell.

‘It was only the overpowering personality of the man and the confidence he inspired that induced Admiral Markham to carry out an order that was on the face of it insecure’

Admiral of the Fleet Sir Arthur Knyvet Wilson, Bart.

‘His Brain must have failed’

Admiral Sir Reginald Bacon

Rear-Admiral Albert Hastings Markham

‘It is very clear that the Rear –Admiral did not understand the signal…. and went blindly into the danger zone’

Admiral Sir Charles Dundas of Dundas

‘If I were Markham…I never could hold up my head again’

Admiral of the Fleet Lord Fisher Kilverstone

What had these men done that resulted is such reattribute by their fellow colleagues?

What heinous crime had they committed that questioned the sanity of senior officers in the British Navy?

On Good Friday, April the 13th, 1893 the flagship of the Mediterranean fleet was re-commissioned at Malta.

Amongst the ironclads was HMS Victoria, the flagship of the fleet commanded by Vice-Admiral Sir George Tyron and the Campertown, to be captained by Rear-Admiral Albert Hastings Wareham.

HMS Victoria was a marvel of her time.

On June the 16th after both Tyron and Wareham had suffered bouts of Malta fever the fleet set sail for Beirut.

At quarter to ten on the 22nd of June 1893 the fleet weighed anchor at shores of Beirut and proceeded to sea. As had become typical of Tyron the departure did not follow any orthodox naval movement but that of a movement spawned by the mind of Tryon. By 10:30 they were well at sea and the destination in Tyron’s sights was to be Tripoli.

Tripoli was to be the final resting place of the HMS Victoria. The sinking of the flash ship, nicknamed the slipper would be nothing more than a training exercise gone wrong.

Had Tyron lost his mind due to the Malta fever?
Did Wareham deliberately ignore orders due to his dislike of Tyron?

What is know is that a set of orders, given by Tyron put the Campertown and the HMS Victoria is an extremely dangerous situation, one that resulted in the sinking of the HMS Victoria.

The Campertown struck the HMS Victoria on the starboard side, slicing into the hull with little to no resistance.

The angle and position at which the Campertown hit the HMS Victoria was devastating. Immediately the HMS Victoria’s bow plunged into the ocean and never returned about the surface.

In less than 15 minutes the HMS Victoria was below the waves, her spinning props driving her bow first towards the seabed.

With props still spinning at full speed the HMS Victoria sank beneath the waves.

HMS Victoria struck the seabed, her bow thrust deep into the seabed by the force of the still spinning props.

There she sat in silence, her bow driven into the seabed, leaving the HMS Victoria a silent reminder of one mans mistake.

The HMS Victoria lay unreachable and undisturbed for over 100 years. Standing upright, bow in the seabed and stern pointing to the surface at perfect 90 degree’s.

Fiona Is Leaving DiveStyle

Fiona Taylor is leaving DiveStyle after 5 years.

Fiona is taking the big step and had secured herself a place at university.

She has ben with DiveStyle for the last five years and has grown from strength to strength. She has become an integral part of DiveStyle and has made my life so much easier.

For a young lady she has a very mature head on her shoulders and will do brilliant in any field that she chooses.

We will all be out in Reading on Friday the 31st for drinks to celebrate Fiona’s last day and you are all welcome to join us.

Full details can be found on facebook or by dropping Fiona a mail at info@divestyle.co.uk

We will all miss her once she has gone.