This is the place where members can share news, ask questions, and make suggestions. In addition, news following the weekly social meeting will be posted here. Send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to contribute. 

You can also read interesting articles published by members here. Check out the latest article on how the spare propeller on the SS Maine was raised back in 1983 (article reproduced from DIVER magazine, courtesy of Terry Blackmore). 

25 November

Social
Still on Zoom this week. Next week, after lockdown ends on 2 December, we may be able to resume meeting at the rugby club in tables of 6, but this depends on whether Torbay will be placed in Tier 1 or Tier 2. It is expected that this will be announced by the Government tomorrow. 
 
Diving
Apart from some buddy pairs going shore diving, no club diving has been done due to lockdown. We expect that after the lockdown ends next week, we will be able to resume diving from TD1 (limited to 6 on-board).  
 
Compressor
Contact Terry if you need to be shown how to use the compressor. The door lock code has been changed to restrict access by the uninitiated. Contact Terry for the new code. The replacement cooler for the old compressor has been fitted and it has been started up. After a bit more troubleshooting, we should be able to shoot a video of it working so that it can be advertised for sale.
 
TD1
There has been some progress in selecting a new prop, but there is still some work to do. The water temperature gauge has been fixed (wiring fault). An oil change still needs to be done and the bilge pump flexible hose needs to be replaced. 
 
Other
Good news - EDF has refunded the club some money from our electricity bill and reduced the monthly rate (due to lower usage over the lockdown months). 
 

18 November 2020

Social

Still on Zoom obviously, but we continue to meet each week.

Diving

No diving has been done since last week - the Spring tides and stormy weather seem to have ruined the local vis. The lockdown means that we are unable to go boat diving of course, but if you want to go shore diving locally, that seems to be permitted as long as you only meet up with one buddy from outside your household. In the circumstances, we will not be organising branch shore dives which could be construed as group meetings, but you are free to organise your own shore dives with a buddy. If you need a buddy, we can help to communicate this through this email list or via WhatsApp. 

Compressor

There are now five whips on the new compressor (all of which deliver 232 bar). Contact Terry if you need to be shown how to use the compressor. The door lock code has been changed to restrict access by the uninitiated. Contact Terry for the new code. The replacement cooler for the old compressor is scheduled to be fitted tomorrow so that we can prepare it for sale. 

Other

The new sign at the entrance to Beacon Cove has been installed by the council, and since we helped to sponsor it, our logo is featured. We have also sponsored a permanent poster that has gone up on the path down to the cove. I prepared this with help from Paul Naylor (author of 'Great British Marine Animals'), who also kindly supplied all but one of the photographs (Terry Griffiths' cuttlefish photo from Splash-in 2017 was the exception). 

11 November 2020

Social Meetings
Due to the lockdown we are back to meeting on Zoom. Discussion tonight was mostly around the compressor and TD1 servicing. 
 
Diving
The lockdown means that we are unable to go out boat diving on TD1 until December. If you want to go shore diving locally, that seems to be permitted under the rules (counts as exercise), but you can only meet up with one buddy from outside your household. BSAC HQ has confirmed that this is their view too. In the circumstances, we will not be organising branch shore dives which could be construed as group meetings, but you are free to organise your own shore dives with a buddy. If you need a buddy, we can help to communicate this through this email list or via WhatsApp. The weather forecasts for the near future however do not look promising, with gale force winds from the south and southwest.
 
Compressor
The leaking hose fitting on the new compressor has been changed out. Contact Terry if you need to be shown how to use the compressor. The door lock code has been changed to restrict access by the uninitiated. Contact Terry for the new code. The cooler for the old compressor has now been purchased and will be fitted soon. We shall then be trying to sell it as a working compressor. 
 
Other
We have been contacted by Plymouth Aquarium who are running a seagrass project and looking for local diving clubs to assist. Let me know if you are interested in finding out more and I can forward their email to you. The project seems to be based in Plymouth, so I'm not sure if there is a Torbay element (but it may be worth checking out).
 
The BSAC Annual Diving Incident Report for 2019 is now available online for download. It's always worth having a read and thinking about how you would avoid similar incidents. Available here: https://www.bsac.com/safety/diving-incidents/annual-diving-incident-report/  
 

4 November 2020

Social Meetings
Since the lockdown comes into effect at midnight on Wednesday, tonight's meeting was the last to be held at the rugby club until 9 Dec. We will try a Zoom meeting next week just to keep in touch.
 
Diving
The lockdown means that after today, we are unable to go out boat diving on TD1 until December. If you want to go shore diving locally, that seems to be permitted under the rules (counts as exercise), but you can only meet up with one buddy from outside your household. BSAC HQ has confirmed that this is their view too. In the circumstances, we will not be organising branch shore dives which could be construed as group meetings, but you are free to organise your own shore dives with a buddy. If you need a buddy, we can help to communicate this through this email list or via WhatsApp. 
 
Other News
The compressor seems to be working fine (with a few minor gremlins to sort out). Contact Terry if you need to be shown how to use it. We shall be changing the door lock code soon to restrict access to the uninitiated. BSAC has confirmed that our current arrangements with regard to only supplying air to branch members are valid. If local BSAC members need air fills, they will have to join the branch to have access to the compressor. 
 
The Scylla dive from Plymouth which was scheduled for 28 Nov has obviously been cancelled. If a new date is arranged, we can publicise it here in case more people are interested in joining the party.
 
Since pools have been closed during lockdown, Try Dives and pool training are obviously not possible. We shall try to kickstart this again in December if possible. 
 
There has been some interest again in the spare propeller from the SS Maine (a photo of it appeared in a local Facebook page which got a lot of comments, mostly from people who remember it from the Victoria Shopping Centre in Paignton). You can read the DIVER magazine story of how it was recovered (by Terry Blackmore and others) on our website (go to the 'Articles' page). How we raised the Maine objective 
 

2 November 2020

Social Meetings
Since the lockdown will go into effect on Thursday, this Wednesday will be the last meeting to be held at the rugby club until 9 Dec. We may try a Zoom meeting again next week just to keep in touch.
 
Diving
The lockdown means that after Wednesday, we are unable to go out boat diving on TD1 until December. If you want to go shore diving, that seems to be permitted under the rules (counts as exercise), but you can only meet up with one buddy from outside your household.
 

28 October 2020

The new compressor is now working. You must contact us to arrange a demonstration of how to run it safely, since the procedure is a little different. The old compressor has been fixed (ready for sale), although it is still waiting for a replacement oil cooler. 
 
TD1 has had an engine clean-up and the fuel filters replaced. Work is ongoing to find a replacement prop to restore some of its power. It could also do with a bottom scrape. 
 
Currently, 4 members have booked to dive the Scylla (plus another dive) from Outcast out of Plymouth on Saturday 28 November. There are still places on the boat - call Aquanauts on 01752 228825 to book. 
 
We are looking into the possibility of offering Nitrox fills at some point. Can you please let me know if you are Nitrox certified (and at what level), and whether you would be interested in joining a 'Nitrox Club' in the future (to pay for O2 cylinder hire). 
 
I'd also like to hear from those members who hold BSAC Compressor Operation, Nitrox Blender, or Mixed Gas Blender qualifications. We are looking into options for providing air fills for BSAC Members who are not branch members. 
 

21 October 2020

There was a Committee meeting tonight. Items discussed included how to manage the new compressor, boat servicing requirements, the status of training courses, Cox'n approvals, and fund raising options. 
 
The new compressor has hit a snag with an electrical problem, but we are hoping that this can be fixed tomorrow. The old compressor should also be fixed soon, since all the parts are now in. We are hoping to sell on the old compressor as a working piece of (old) equipment. 
 

14 October 2020

Good news - the new compressor has been installed and is working! At the moment, it is only operating manually, but a new relay should be delivered tomorrow that will allow it to work automatically. Thanks to Granville, Terry and Mike who have worked hard to swap the compressors out and set up the new panels. Members will need to receive instruction on how to operate the new compressor safely before being allowed to fill their own cylinders, and we shall probably change the door code to manage this. Let us know if you want to become a compressor operator. The Nitrox panel is not yet connected, but we shall be investigating our options to do this.
 
A big thank you to all those who have generously donated money to the Compressor Fund, which now stands at £1350. If any one else is willing to help, it would be very much appreciated - please let Margaret know. 
 
There will be a Committee meeting next Wednesday at 18:45 before the social evening to discuss how we manage the new compressor, cox approvals, and the status of ongoing training courses. 
 
This week's Herald Express contained a report on Splash-in 2000, complete with 5 colour photos. And we were also featured in Divernet online magazine. 
 
Due to Covid-19 precautions, TD1 can only take 6 divers (including Cox) at one time, but if we have 8 divers (including 2 Cox's and 2 Boat Handlers), we can run 2 waves, morning and afternoon. Remember, this pandemic is not over yet (and infection rates are starting to rise again), so precautions should be taken to enforce social distancing. This means that, apart from the 2 divers kitting or de-kitting on the rear bench, all should wear a face mask if you are within 2m of another person outside, or if you are inside the cabin. Hands should be sanitised when getting on the boat (hand gel is available), and surfaces should be wiped clean with a virucide (also on the boat). Simple cooking on board can only be done if strict food hygiene standards are followed, including use of masks and hand sanitising. 
 
Please also remember to observe precautions in the Compressor Room. If you have downloaded the NHS Covid-19 App, a QR code is posted in the Compressor Room that you can scan to check-in. 
 

Our Address

Torbay BSAC
Unit 0008
Beacon Quay
Torquay
Devon
TQ1 2BG