DiveStyle Scuba Club – The Pirates, Swanage Pier

Swanage Pier

Diving with The Pirates!

For my first diving weekend with The Pirates I chose well. We went to Swanage for a weekend in May to dive under the pier and on a couple of wrecks. Although this is a regular event for the club, it was my first visit, so I was excited and intrigued.

I was lucky enough to be buddying with Jacquie with whom I went diving earlier this year. We travelled down the night before and stayed in Poole to make sure we got to the pier bright and early. Access to diving under the pier is very easy, so long as you are parked close by. We picked our spot and went off for a much needed bacon sandwich and coffee at the cafe. It seems we were sharing the weekend with a large group of competitive fishermen and women who raced off into the bay in their pedal powered canoes. It was quite a sight and they had masses of gear! They almost gave us a run for our money with stuff! The sun was shining, the group gathered and with the usual good humour we eventually got into the water and made our way under the pier. These pictures are courtesy of Jacquie. She says it’s just that she has a good camera, but we all know she has a great eye for a picture. Some of the crabs we saw were huge. She also rescued the lobster which had got caught in fishing line.

Drift Diving.

Now to be honest, I was a wee bit aprehensive about doing a drift dive. I have very little experience diving in English waters and certainly not when there is a current so this was a whole new experience. But it was great! We sailed out to Old Harry’s Rocks which were gleaming white in the afternoon sun, making a beautiful backdrop to our dive.

Once again, Jacquie was my buddy and we decided, as visibilty wasn’t great, to use a buddy line. This meant we were literally tethered together and I was very glad too. After our giant stride off the back of the boat with our SMB already deployed, we descended and set off, with the current carrying us. Someone had told me that drift diving is like flying and I guess it was. It certainly felt like we were going quite fast. Unfortunately visibilty was poor but we did see and smooth hound shark whizzing past    ( or maybe it was us whizzing past it? ) Others in our group saw several rays. Anyway, I loved it. A whole new experience and a great introduction to drift dives.

Sunday Morning

Back up bright and early to secure our spot on the pier. We had a lovely meal on Saturday night at a local Italian restaurant. One of the things I like best about diving is meeting and spending time with my fellow divers. Always fun. There are stories shared, information and guidance given ( if you want it ) and memories made above and below the surface.

So today, I decided not to dive as my ears were sore after a slightly bumpy ascent yesterday. A few of our group did dive under the pier again and then in the afternoon, with much reduced numbers, there was another wreck dive planned. I went out for the ride, disappointed not to be diving but happy to be out on the water.

Now I am looking forward to our next adventure at Porthkerris.

Author: Susan Tait. Susan is a new UK diver who has a real zest for our sport. The love for the oceans and scuba diving is a pleasure to watch.

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