I and six other RSAC divers - Guilhem, David and Dan Hughes, Martin, Dave Clifford and Leo - spent Fathers' Day diving the Black Hawk wreck and a drift at Durdle Door with Divers Down out of Swanage.
The conditions couldn't have been better, even the skipper couldn't contain himself stating several times that this was the best it gets along the Jurassic Coast - 25 degrees C, flat calm, great viz, and incredible views as we chugged along the coastline. To surpass Henrik's much used terminology: this was better than tropical!
Guilhem and I kicked off the weekend with a one-off dive on the Kyarra using the Divers Down shuttle service from Swanage Pier. A great dive with 8 to 10 m viz and no need for a torch at 28 m except to explore the nooks and crannies of this well dived wreck. There was lots of life on the wreck and one exceptionally large conger eel in the boilers.
On Sunday we were joined by the others who had all set off early to travel down to Swanage for a 9:30 ropes off from Swanage pier. The weather was fantastic with our biggest concern being did we have enough sun block for the trip. First stop was the Black Hawk bow - not so much a wreck, more a collection of wreck bits scattered across the sea bed - but plenty to see nevertheless. There were some swim throughs but not always big enough for some over enthusiastic divers to get through!
Second dive of the day was a very gentle drift along the cliffs at Durdle Door. Biggest problem here was avoiding the other visitors with their boats, kayaks, base jumping, swimming and almost every kind of water sport you could image. By no means a challenging dive but one which totally suited the day and the conditions - I think I got sunburnt at 8 m down.
Everyone agreed that whilst both sites are within range of the club RIB out of Portland, it was nice to do them off a hardboat, especially given the need for two tanks each and the weather which would have been punishing on the RIB with no shade. All in all a great day out and a perfect opportunity for Ocean Divers to get some experience of diving in the sea off a hard boat in the most benign of conditions.