November 2012 trip
We had another great trip, with a total of 26 people (27 incl me) from all over the world From Iceland to Auckland!! A rich mix of open circuit divers and CCR divers with a variety of training and experience.
We had Varun, who while a fairly experienced diver, the Heian Maru was his first ever wreck dive!!! How cool is that?? Doing your first ever wreck dive in Truk. (Thank got he enjoyed it or he would have been fairly miserable for the next 17 days!!!) But that would never have happened. Varun came earlier with me before the main group arrived from the UK.
Our Canadian contingent arrived a few days later. Chris and Blair kept us all entertained as we started to pick off the wreck list one by one
It was great to Marc and Phyllis Dennis on the trip too(Chris's inlaws). I would have thought Phyllis would have helped keep the conversation above gutter level - but not on this boat!!! A few egging remarks just got Blair and Chris even more determined to reach a new low of converstation!! Great banter though!!!
A few more days into the trip (well actually it was officially the first day of the trip - as the others came early!!!) Kieran Hatton and his posse from all over the UK landed long with all gear!! So all good.
About a week earlier we had some pretty angry thunderstorms but on this day, the sun beat down.
Infact, apart from a few damp days we had some awesome weather - and equally awesome sunsets. Here Garry captures that "Nikon" Moment!!!
Diving wise we had 5 boats chartered with well paired experience divers being put together. This is really important from my point of view. Noweadays we get loads of different levels of experience coming on our trips. So we make sure that people are going to get the best out of their diving.
Our last addition to the team was Sue and Steve Baldwin. They were in Cairns chasing the Eclipse! I saw a few of Steves shots of the Eclipse. Very impressive!
The weather behaved itself really well, with only a few wet days. After a week of burning hot days, I think everyone was quietly relieved to have a few cloudy days!!!
We had Steve Hubbard as our trip Hyperbaric and emergency physician. Thankfully we didnt have to use him in anger for any diving related incidents!! We had the usual ear problems, infected sores, etc etc. It really does make a difference having medical personnel onboard wth a comprehensive medic kit to cater for all these medical issues. Thanks Steve!!!!
There were also our fair share of operational challenges. The place where we purchase our O2 from had issues and we ended up getting a "Truk OX" mix of about 85% O2 for the trip. Thankfully most of us were on Inspo's and units that could calibrate on lower O2. I had some 100% from past trips so I saved it for the guys who had megs that couldnt be calibrated on anything less than 100%.
As a result of this, I am now taking steps to purchase an O2 gen plant. This will eliminate the need for our reliance on others in order to operate successfully. So watch this space!!
This trip was also a L4R first having an Icelandic onboard!! We always pride ourselves on having a truy International group, covering all corners of the world!!! Anna Maria - aka "Amen"' is a legend!! Her quick wit and sharp sense of humour cut deep into the banter onboard. We loved having you on the trip Amen and look forward to your return!!!
We also had two Swiss boys!! Nadir Quarta and Nico Maury (Aka - Chuk Norris Dearch and Destroy Diver!!!) Brilliant! I had to get one of these stickers. I just wish I could pull off having the "Chuk Norris" beard!!!
Out of the 26 divers we had people from NZ, Ozzi, England, Scotland, Orkney, Switzerland USA, Canada, Iceland. A mix of CCR, O/C and single tank divers. All passionate about diving!
This trip had some real nice experiences, for me personally. I had been looking for a few years now for the bow of the Aikoku Maru. I wasnt convinced that over 54m of bow simply blown into oblivion. There was also talk that the bow had been folded under the main superstructure of the ship.
This trip I went for myself and extensively videoed along the port side of the ship. The bow section had infact been folded under the hull of the ship. Well, at least parts of it. So that was nice to put that one to bed!!
I also really enjoyed diving the Futagami Maru. A small patrol boat. The viz was pretty average round there, but the engineroom was awesome!
I also had a real humbling experience diving alongside a Deep Submersible while on the San Fran. It was well worth the extra deco I accrued messing around taking pictures of it!!
All in all we had a fantastic trip. Great diving, spending some time with fantastic people, awesome banter. Love it Love it Love it!!! Cant wait to do it all again!!!
Trying to get everyone in one place for a team shot was like herding cats so I have had to do it in stages!!!
Steve Baldwin, Sue Baldwin, Simon Kay, Kieran Hatton, Lindsey Cradock, Tom Hursts, Clair Fitzsimmons, Laurence Hatton, Julian Elliot, Lyndon Taylor, Steve Riley, Garry Hems,Anna Maria Einarsdottir, Rob Royle, Liam Thornes, Nico Maury, Max Fisher, Steve Hubbard (DOC), Nad Quarta, Pete Mesley, kneeling Varun Venkatraman
The Canadian contingent!! This must be some strange Canadian ceremonial Ritual!- Dont ask!!! Marc and Phyllis Dennis, Chris Monk and Blair Mott
Ian and Fiona Trumpess, owners and operators of the Invincible Charter boat in Scapa Flow, to make up the total of our 27 strong Lust4Rust group