For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Joe and I’ll be your training officer for the year. If you’ve got any questions about the training or scheduling problems, come to me and I’ll try to get you sorted. Having said that, it is very important that you attend all of your pool and theory lessons. Scheduling catch up time is difficult and will have to be done at your expense.
Theory lessons will be done every Tuesday. They will all be in RSM G20 (the same room as the info night) at 18.30 and will be 1 – 1.5 hours long. We all go for a pint after at the union, which is always a good laugh. The first lesson in next Tuesday (17th October). Please arrive promptly and bring something to write with and on.
For you Pool lessons, you’ll be split into 2 groups. The first group will have their first lesson next Thursday (19th October) and the second group will be the following week. Please arrive promptly to the diving cellar in Beit Quad at 19.00 to get kit together. If you can’t attend a pool session due to illness etc, then please get in touch ASAP and I’ll try to switch you with someone else.
Early Monday morning 5 ICUC members headed to Gatwick Airport. For some who had planned for the unreliability of Southern train service and so left several hours before check in the journey was uneventful. However for those traveling from further afield (Nottingham in one case) or leaving later southern was predictably able to result in delays and drama with a rush to check in. Fortunately no one missed the flight! A long but uneventful flight later, with the added luxury of a snack thanks to Air Malta we arrived in Malta to face yet further delays at immigration due to not everyone in our party being an EU national. Having nearly missed our taxi due to this they promptly took us to the wrong hotel (Malta helpfully having 2 hotels with the same name) which only became apparent on the dawning realisation that £50 per person does not get you a four-star spa resort. Having finally sorted this and got to our, decidedly less fancy, we went hotel in search of food.
The next day we went to Maltaqua dive centre who were to be our guides for the trip and proved to be informative about both diving and the history of Malta, as well as being good fun. The next three days were spent largely sleeping, diving and eating as well as visiting Mdina, otherwise known as the ‘silent city’ which was beautiful. The final day was spent visiting Valletta as 24hrs is needed between diving and flying. This also went well apart from one member who became distressed at the lack of time to purchase a Twix McFlurry before departure to the Airport (apparently they are not available in the UK).
There were a variety of dive sites with fantastic visibility meaning that all the sites could be seen in all their glory. A huge amount of wildlife was seen including one, rather shy octopus, barracuda, fire worms, and Eels. The highlight of wildlife was a cuttlefish who was very friendly and played. This was particularly exciting for one member (of Twix McFlurry fame) who rather likes cuttlefish. A lot. (They showed us their delightful MS paint ‘cattlefish’ which looks as you can imagine like some scary chimera. No I don’t understand this person either).
The highlight of the trip with respect to wrecks was the Um El Faroud a 10000 ton Libyan tanker which was scuttled in 1995 as a reef. Being able to enter the wreck and see various areas including the engine room was incredible.
A hugely successful trip was had by all with a variety of skills being learnt, largely surrounding diving. Many thanks to the staff at the Maltaqua for making it a fantastic trip!
At midday on a Monday six Imperial College Underwater Club members met at Stansted Airport. Some having already passed through check in the rest of us hurried to security, which was to delay us for far longer than anticipated, with one member having to have their bag unpacked and swept not once, but twice, due to a highly suspicious item… a GoPro handle (apparently they look like they contain liquid on X-ray).
A long but uneventful flight later, we arrived in Fuerteventura to be greeted by two of the more eccentric staff of the Deep Blue Dive Centre, which was to be the base of our diving. They then drove us and our vast quantities of kit to our accommodation, where we dropped our stuff and went in search of food.
The next five days were spent largely sleeping, diving, and eating, as well as watching the world cup semi-finals and final. Diving at a German run dive centre, the results were far more important than I had anticipated when planning the trip.
Fortunately everything went the right way and we ended up with very happy guides.
There were a variety of dive sites with fantastic visibility meaning that all the sites could be seen in all their glory. A huge amount of wildlife was seen including many octopi, cuttlefish, barracuda, fire worms, shoals of sardines, and eels.
There were also several varieties of coral; one green one looking like an upturned Christmas tree was particularly striking. The weather and water temperature of a warm 21°C were a pleasant change from the Easter trip to Cornwall.
One member also completed their online work induction for a job starting on the Monday after the trip.
Many thanks to the staff at the Deep Blue Dive centre for making it a fantastic trip!