Anglesey Dive & BBQ Weekend - 28th - 30th July 2023

We travelled over to Anglesey on Friday afternoon with a forecast of south westerly winds, which meant that our preferred dive sites would not be possible.  On arrival at the Holyhead Sea Cadets, the sun was shining and we strolled across the road and took a look at Newry Beach, next to the Maritime Museum.  As this is very sheltered with a lovely sandy beach and easy access and car parking, we decided that this would be the best dive location given the weather conditions. After a good meal of fish & chips, we checked out possible launch sites and got permission to launch from the Sailing Club.  We also discovered that the Holyhead Festival was on which meant that car parking would be difficult!

On Saturday morning, we got ourselves sorted early.  Paul arrived with the boat and he and Loz took it down to the Sailing Club to launch.  The rest of us went down to the beach with our gear to set up for a shore dive at high water.  We had fun exploring the Mackenzie pier wall and around the inner harbour; buddy pairs diving with SMBs so they could be watched by Clive on shore and Janet on the harbour wall.  When Cheshire Cat arrived at the beach, Paul suggested boat rides during our surface interval for those who wanted to experience this.  This was very much enjoyed by our new divers and non-diving partners.  For our second dives, Paul and Loz dropped a shot-line, dive pairs took a bearing and then navigated in-shore.  Although the diving was shallow, we had a great time practicing our skills and, for the new divers, experiencing sea dives and rhib diving for the first time.

Sue took Rob in for a snorkel to complete his practical lesson for his Snorkel Diver qualification and Jo took Paula in for a shore dive, an “experience dive” required for her Advanced Ocean Diver qualification.

When all the diving was complete, we returned to the bunkhouse and started to prepare for the BBQ while Paul & Loz had to drive through the congested streets of Holyhead to get back to us with the rhib & trailer, facing foul language and aggression from passers-by as the streets were grid-locked with badly parked cars!! 

The BBQ was a lovely time for club members and partners to socialise and get to know one another.  Many thanks to Ken for doing the cooking on the BBQ, to Paul for the fabulous caramelised onions and to Janet for all that washing up and general cleaning!! 

On Sunday, the winds were even stronger and so we decided that we needed to stay in the harbour again.  Dave, Clemmie, Craig & Sue went to launch the boat and Clemmie went through the boat preparation checks with Craig.  Vladimir and Ken did a shore dive from the beach at high water and  Rob and Alison did a snorkel over the reef, with Loz acting as “Mr Blobby” and carrying the SMB for them.  When the boat arrived, the 3 dive pairs were picked up and they went out to look at  the wreck “The Asmund,” which is within the outer harbour.  However, the wind started to pick up and the swell meant that this was not suitable for novice divers. They returned to a more sheltered location to drop a shot-line. Rob and Nathan and Ian and Cameron then navigated back to the beach whilst Dave and Craig had a long dive before finding their way back to the shot-line and coming in on the boat.  By that time the rain had started and so we called it a day and returned to the Sea Cadets to pack up for the journey home.  Dave, Clemmie and Sue then recovered the boat at the Sailing Club.

We all enjoyed the diving very much and saw a large amount of sea-life, including 2 catsharks on Saturday and 1 on Sunday.  Other species seen included : sea pens, sea mouse, hermit crab, harbour crab, compass jellyfish, chimney sponges, sand brittlestars, scallops, topshells, lobster, common prawn, sand gobies and loads of juvenile fish.

Thanks to Paul, Loz, Clive, Janet, Sue, Dave & Clemmie for their help with the boat and shore cover, to dive buddies Ken, Mike, Vladimir, Cameron, Ian, Craig, Rob, Nathan, Jo and Paula, and to Rob for raising the snorkelling profile.

Trip Organiser: Alison