Close inspection of this page will leave you wondering where all the dive reports are! You may even be wondering, do they even still go diving?
This year has seen plenty of action in the pool and the sea, on hard boats, our club rib and a fair amount of training from Ocean Diver (First BSAC qualification) right through to boat handling as well as try dives. So why the lack of reports?
Quite simply, because the club have not had anyone to do them regularly. Or chase people to do so. Until now.
My names Pete, I am Calshot Sub Aqua Club's shiny new marketing officer and I joined the club all of three months ago. So expect more updates - more details of upcoming events, offers from kit and service providers and a lot of other stuff.
As a PADI Advanced Open Water diver with a bit over 100 dives logged, I had shamefully only ever done 2 UK dives. Doing all my diving abroad meant nice warm water, great vis and interesting fish life, but with long periods of no diving I was a frustrated experienced diver all kitted up, with nowhere to go.
So I would occasionally check out websites, wonder if my 5mm wet suit would be ok, despair of all my non diving friends but essentially not do much about it. Until I spotted Calshot Sub Aqua Club's website. A bunch of divers who live and meet in the region of the New Forest was exactly what I needed. All I had to get past was this tricky bit about lack of vis, cold water and the fact that BSAC are all scary hardened divers who scoff at their PADI equivalents and our training.
It's been a bit of a revelation. And for the hundreds of you out there who qualify as divers abroad but don't dive in the UK for any number of reasons, or in fact, for anyone interested in learning to dive, or if you want to further your training, I am here to tell you: Calshot Sub Aqua Club will welcome you with open arms. The members are all very friendly, and have a wide range of experience from Mat who has been diving since before the sport was invented, to newly qualified Tim. Qualified with another agency? Doesn't matter - you can still come diving with us. Want to learn to dive, or improve your current diving level? CSAC are for you. Not only are there plenty of training opportunities, you only pay for course books and pool or sea dive costs. All BSAC trainers do their teaching for the love of it - BSAC is non-profit.
And what about this cold water and lack of vis? It's definitely true, the water here is colder. So you need a decent wetsuit or consider buying a dry suit (we have some going really quite cheap). My 5mm wet suit was more than adequate for the water in October, though I am going to invest in a drysuit in March for the new dive season. And the vis I have had on the dives I have done has been fine. Not 30 metres like abroad, but absolutely fine.
I have now been diving at the famous Vobster Quay, out of Kimmeridge and also completed several pool sessions so that I can take my skills to the next level. Vobster was great - I especially enjoyed the swim through created by the aeroplane and the concrete pipes. Kimmeridge was fascinating, loads of fish life and I spotted several crabs and a prawn right out in the open. We dived the "Sea Caves" which is a very weird collection of underwater blocks - not entirely sure how to describe it, but my torch came in handy for looking in all the crevices.
And that's the thing. When it's all boiled down, you may get 30 metres of vis abroad - but you can hardly look at it all can you? As a diver, I know that you spend your time looking at what is close to you. Not 30 metres away. Fish life? LOADS of it, and really very interesting. Wrecks? More than you will ever encounter abroad.
Diving is all about adventure. And the south coast has some of the best diving in the world, and BSAC some of the best divers you will ever encounter. Who will help you settle in with patience, humour and at a pace to suit you.
I'm genuinely excited about going diving next year will all my new dive buddies, and really looking forward to exploring the abundance of diving that the UK has to offer.
Come join me!