Wave Shape
Wave Shape

Pembrokeshire Trip

Waves Shape

First of all a quick update on where Pembrokeshire actually is.

It’s the very left-hand, bottom bit of Wales. Our destination of Milford Haven itself, is a huge natural harbour that cuts right across the County from East to West.

Despite being a very busy deep-water harbour for both gas & oil imports the countryside around is beautiful. With small sheltered bays, tiny villages, single-track roads & an abundance of wildlife! There is the Pembrokeshire National Park & a Marine Reserve around the Islands of Skomer. So the area really is a superb holiday destination. Easy to get to as well, just drive off the end of the M4 motorway & keep going till you reach the sea! Then stop.

Accommodation is easy to source, and reasonably priced & all within just a few minutes of the boat. Making for a very easy stay. We used The Lord Nelson, Ty Milford Haven & an Air BnB. Food & drink was also literally on our doorstep. We booked a different venue every night & thoroughly enjoyed every evening. We ate at The Lord Nelson, The Harbourmaster, Martha’s Vineyard & Essence of India. All good value & more importantly good food.

Our trip was organised by Sally who relied on our trusted dive boat partners of Pembrokeshire Boat Charters. We had the services of Dave, skippering the bright orange Overdale.

And the perfect dive boat she is. Plenty of space, plenty of shelter, plenty of hot drinks, a nice big lift & very nippy when she needs to be. Overdale took the 10 of us & all our kit with ease.

On our first days diving we went in search of shelter ( as the Southerly wind was up!) out by Skomer. Stack Rock provided us with two lovely scenic dives, at depths of our choosing between 10 – 20m, life was in abundance. Crabs, lobsters, fish, fish & more fish. Small crawly things, medium-sized crawly things & more besides. Water Temp was not an issue & most people racked up 40 minutes or more. Viz was an easy 5m. We had a couple of skills to practice & it must be reported that all blobs were beautifully deployed, suitably pert & wonderfully erect. The Club’s training team should be commended. The second dive was just nearby along a gently sloping wall. Again it was crustacean heaven. With only the rumoured Octopus not making his presence known. Everybody surfaced neatly in pairs & with miles of smiles. Although a few of us were soggily suffering from our ‘dry-suits’ not quite living up to both of their names. But no matter. All safely back aboard we headed for home. When things got ‘interesting’ sadly the wind had picked up even more & gave us a lumpy, sluggish & when combined with the now present rain ….. damp …. trip back to harbour. Some green gills were in evidence & a couple of lunchtime snacks did make unexpected reappearances …. But we didn’t let that detract from a good day’s diving.

The Skipper kindly took away our empty cylinders & we took our soggy selves off to dinner, the bar & bed!

Day two was again blighted by the increasing wind. We played cat & mouse with it inside the Haven. With Skipper Dave skilfully finding two sites that were both nice & calm …. But that sadly had only marginal viz. The first, Chapel Bay was a very gentle drift & a great opportunity to tick off the much under-rated skill of ‘How to stay within 2 feet of your buddy, but still not really be able to see them!’ Still …. As the tide picked up the viz slightly improved to 1m so Dives of up to 30 mins were recorded & although some were much shorter …. Cold was not an issue & everybody recovered safely to munch on their boat supplied, bacon sandwiches. Yum yum. That dive was South Wind 1. BSAC 0 I’m afraid.

A situation that got no better on dive two, Long Haul Bay with viz definitely less than 1 ft all dives were aborted inside 15 mins. So South Wind 2 BSAC still 0. L We were consoled with a dry sunny ride back & eager anticipation of a decent supper. Which we all ate with 1 eye firmly on the weather forecast!

Sadly the weather forecast was dire. Southerly Gale Force 8 overnight. Which although probably gone by morning. Would leave us with a fair swell & bugger all viz, anywhere. So with the prospect of it being lumpy, bumpy & with nothing to see …. day three diving was sadly, but sensibly, called off by the Skipper.

Summary: This is the first time in nearly 10 years visiting Wales that we have lost a day diving to the weather. The Haven & Skomer have never let us down before. The particular Wind direction was just really awkward. So whilst a bit annoying, this trip cannot be considered a failure. We got diving, we saw stuff, we did skills, we did it safely …. & soggy under suits aside, we had a lot of fun ….. a LOT of fun. That of course was due to the people on the boat. Big thanks to all those who went. Sally, Fiona, Ian, Luke, Pat, Ross, Mateusz, Teresa & Jason. This group were an excellent balance of old hands & newer divers. The pairings were nicely balanced, the diving was perfectly suited to the abilities on the boat & we had 10 in & 10 out! Which counts as a success in any dive language.

See you next year! It’s already booked & on the 2023 dive list. Get your name down! You will not regret it! Promise 🙂

Clive D. BSAC 42.

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