Newsplash: November 2019

Welcome to Newsplash.

In this bumper edition: Diving Conference highlights – a peek at 2020’s dive programme – the AGM (please be there!) – our 50th Anniversary celebrations – Christmas Party reminder – new qualifications – Try-dives and Ocean Diver course  – learn how to spot marine mammals – Clidive photo competition winners.


From the Diving Officer

BSAC Annual Diving Conference

This year’s Conference was once again jam-packed with interesting talks. There’s a full report in the December issue of SCUBA magazine, but here are my highlights:

  • BSAC’s membership is growing again after many years of decline, mainly through new members joining following a lot of initiatives to increase membership. Retention is being looked at next. There was a reminder to review your club on Google maps and Facebook. Please review Clidive!
  • The RNLI reminded people to carry a surface detection aid, eg a whistle, flag, DSMB, torch or even a Personal Locating Beacon.
  • Dr Neil Pollock gave a very insightful talk on technology and diving, and on not relying on it too much. His message was: keep using your brain. He also reminded us that more time decompressing or doing a safety stop is always better than less.
  • The incident report looked at the incidents of Immersion Pulmonary Oedema (IPO) and suspected IPO that have been uncovered and recognised in recent years. You can read more about IPO – a relatively newly recognised diving issue – here.
  • Prof Simon Mitchell spoke about human factors, and reminded us that checklists are viewed as vital in medical and airline situations, and should be used extensively in diving. Remember your buddy check! And boathandlers – remember the boat checklist!

Some Clidive highlights:

  • Clidive featuring prominently in the intro video (that’s us doing the donut!), mentioned in the expedition awards for Normandy, nominated for the Handa trip, and photographed in Scapa.
  • The first class diver awards :)

I’d highly recommend checking out the excellent talks and the opening video here.

First Class Divers (1): Nick Barter & Chris Wilson

First Class Divers (2): Phil Page & Gillian Bell

2020 Sneak Preview

After a successful and interesting dive planning session, I’ve been working on the dive programme for next year. The final details are still being worked out, but we’re going to have some cracking diving, including:

  • Coniston Water – one of this year’s Lake District sites

    The Scilly Isles

  • Falmouth
  • Lundy
  • Pembrokeshire
  • Cyprus
  • Dartmouth
  • West Bay
  • Portland
  • Plymouth
  • The Lake District

The final plan will be released at the Christmas Party, and will be posted on the website the day after.

Chris Wilson

Annual General Meeting: Friday 29 November, 7.30pm

Venue: The Trinity Bell, 18-22 Creechurch Lane EC3A 5AY

All paid-up members should have received notification of the Clidive AGM. Please make every effort to attend this important meeting in the club’s year – an opportunity to put questions to the committee and have a say in how your club is run. A light buffet will be provided.

The AGM is also when we will elect the 2020 committee. There are six elected positions for which anyone can nominate or be nominated, either in advance or at the AGM. Please contact for more information about this, or any of the positions:

–       Chair
–       Treasurer
–       Secretary
–       Diving officer
–       Equipment Officer
–       Membership Secretary

NB You need to be an Advanced Diver and preferably an Open Water Instructor to be the Diving Officer.

In addition to the elected positions the Treasurer, Diving Officer and Committee appoint:

–       Diver Development Officer
–       Training Officer
–       Social Secretary
–       Webmaster
–       Bosun
–       Marketing & Communications Officer
–       Environmental Officer
–       Van Officer

Trying a diving helmet for size

Fighting fit at 50

In case you hadn’t noticed (and there’s really no excuse for that!), Clidive is 50 this year. Apart from showing that 50 is the new 21 with THREE expeditions and FOUR new First Class Divers, we held an extended celebration at the beginning of October, involving lots of current and past members.

 Vintage Try-dive

On the Thursday, Clidive honorary President and national treasure Keith Holman trekked up from his current abode in Torquay with a car-load of historic dive kit for people to try in the pool. Intrepid members ‘had a go’ with a twinhose, diving helmet, ABLJs (Assisted Buoyancy Life Jackets – the predecessor to the BC) and one or two items whose function wasn’t totally clear.

RIB trips on the Thames

Thames RIB Trips

On the Saturday, Nick Barter and a small team of assistants ran three boat trips on the Thames. 30 current and past members and their families enjoyed a privileged view of the river as they journeyed from Greenwich into central London and back. Our thanks to Greenwich Yacht Club for providing an excellent base for the day.

The Party

Were going to need a bigger cake!

Newly co-opted Social Secretary Nick Allibone (aka ‘Junior’, due to a preponderance of Nicks) played a blinder, organising our party at The Commissary Bar & Kitchen – we don’t do anything as untrendy as a pub in this part of London!

The venue was appropriately situated next to the waters of the Regents Canal, although diving was not encouraged.

The evening boasted: probably the biggest buffet ever seen at a Clidive party; kegs of real ale (other drinks available); decorations designed by Clidive’s resident artist Marysya Rudska; a rolling display of ‘Clidive through the ages’ photos; a wildly over-the-top cake courtesy of Clidive baker Jon Hubb; and a commemorative t-shirt, also designed by Marysya.

Most importantly of all, it boasted a mega-shoal of current and former members, some of whom had emerged from some very distant woodwork (wrecks?).

Honorary President Keith Holman & long-standing member John Davies

Short speeches covered memories of Clidive past and highlights of Clidive present and future, and were followed by the 50th Birthday Photography competition, organised by Nick B. Category and overall winners were chosen by popular vote (i.e. raucous cheering) – you can’t argue with democracy. The winning photos are at the end of this blog.

A huge vote of thanks must go to all those mentioned above, everybody who made the effort to attend, plus everybody else who helped out behind the scenes, especially: Emma Stacey, Nick Harrison (aka ‘Senior’) and Clidive Chair Neil Rickards.

Marysya models the t-shirt

T-shirts still for sale

Cost: £10

We still have a limited number of 50th anniversary t-shirts for sale in a range of sizes.

Email Nick Harrison if you want to invest in one of these timeless masterpieces:

Christmas Party

Saturday 14 December, 7pm

Why have one party a year when you can have two? Hopefully you’ve already put the date in your diary, polished your sparkle farkle and transferred your ticket money, but just in case…

Venue: The Counting House

(nearest tube: Bank/Monument)

Cost: £10 per person

There will be buffet food, a Christmas Jumper competition and, of course, a raffle, which will include the amazing underwater-themed art-work created by Marysya for the 50th birthday party!

Finally, we will enjoy that ancient Clidive Christmas tradition: the publication of next year’s Dive Programme. See your buddies’ eyes light up as they spot their favourite destination; enjoy their surprise at somewhere they’ve never dived before. [NB The programme will also be published on the website the day after the party.]

Please transfer your money as soon as possible to:

Sort Code: 20-01-58

Account No. 30231142

Account Name: Clidive BSAC 410

Reference: XMAS19

Congratulations Corner

Congratulations to the following, who have gained new qualifications since the last Newsplash in September:

New Sports Diver Stepan Kozlov

Ocean Diver: Olga Pikhlyk & Suzanne Page

Sports Diver: Magda Pawelko, Jean-Baptiste (JB) Pingault, Stepan Kozlov, Cal Dyson

First Class Diver: Gillian Bell & Phil Page, who joined Chris Wilson and Nick Barter at the highest level of BSAC qualification available

Open Water Instructor: Debbie Pippard & Giovanni (Gio) Corriga

Theory Instructor: Mark O’Loughlin

Diving for All Instructor: Chris Wilson

RYA Short Range Certificate (SRC) Assessor: Colin Yule

Diver Cox’n: Mark O’Loughlin

Know somebody who wants to learn to dive?

Ocean Diver Course: starts 23 January 2020

Cost (pool + theory): £201.50

Our next entry-level course will run from the end of January until early March. More information on the website here.

We recommend anybody wanting to learn to dive with us takes a Try-dive first.

Try-dives: 5 & 12 December 2019

Cost: £10

We still have a few places left (mostly for the 12th).

If you have friends, family or workmates who are interested in trying our wonderful sport, get them to email us as soon as possible on

Can’t make the course? Buy the book!

ORCA Marine Mammal Surveyor Course

Date: 24 January 2020

Cost: £79

Would you like to be able to tell the difference between a porpoise and a dolphin? ORCA – a charity dedicated to studying and protecting whales, dolphins and porpoises in the UK and European waters – is running its Marine Mammal Surveyor training course in London.

The course teaches members of the public how to survey for whales, dolphins, porpoise and other marine wildlife from ferry routes across the UK. Once you have completed the course, you can become an ORCA member and  apply to participate in their offshore surveys – ferry tickets (and cabins on overnight sailings) are provided free of charge.

You can find out more about the course here:

50th Birthday Photo Competition Winners

Category: Video (see the full video here)

Winner: Mark Kelly
Sheep nudibranch

Category: UK Diving

Winner: Nick Barter
Site: The Persier

Category: Overseas Diving

Winner: Niovi Antoniou Site: The Zenobia

Category: Share the Adventure + Overall Winner

Winner: Neil Rickards
Site: Eddystone Lighthouse

Posted in Dive Trips