Trip Report: Menai Bridge, May 2013

Our group of 11 arrived staggered on the Friday night, with Angie, Tom, Alana, Ray, Soo and James planning to leave Sheffield earlier than the rest and have dinner at the house.

The house we stayed in is lovely and thoroughly recommended for future trips, especially trips over a week or bank holiday.

On Saturday we woke at a moderate hour, planning to do a shallow dive followed by a wreck. We dived at Puffin Island which is in the north end of the Menai Strait and home to a colony of friendly seals who came in to play. After we dived a wreck offshore called the Mermaid, which is a very broken up wreck around a boiler which is still standing. There was lots of life on the wreck; I saw a Butterfish and a Common Dragonet, which were new for me. Thankfully the wind was not any worse offshore as there would have been a few chunklets flying around.

After diving Tom took control of the Kitchen, preparing us a delicious roast chicken dinner. After which we all (except Dave who stayed in to watch the voice) enjoyed a romantic beach walk followed by some of Alana’s birthday cake. Emma and Soo spent the rest of the evening plying us all with port and dessert wine, not many of us put up a fight.

On Sunday we all enjoyed a lie in as our rope off time was not until 11am. We had French toast and bacon for breakfast which was delicious. The wind had picked up so we decided to dive in the sound. With the first dive being a scenic dive in the deepest bit of the sound, it was really good, I stopped counting Dogfish at 25.

During our lunchtime surface interval we all had the opportunity to piss around on Scott’s Jet ski (bitches love jet ski). I must admit I think Ray’s motorbike experience paid off as she and Alana were powering round. If only Alana was as good at holding on as she is at being bossy. Gareth and I were not naturals at Jet Ski. James was too injured to really go for it. Emma’s arms were too short to reach the controls.

Our second dive of the day was a drift dive through the sound. Scott said it would be fast and it was, up to 5kn in all directions, there were a few fast ascents and lots of laughs.

Sunday evening Alana and James made us sweet and sour pork balls, which was again delicious. Later that evening Mauricio showed us the video of the drift dive he had made. He had managed to catch the whole thing on his GoPro, an entertaining watch.

On Monday morning we tidied up the house and set off for an earlier rope off of 9.30 am, planning to do 2 wreck dives. The first was the Dakota, which was massive and fantastic, all broken up and strewn across the seabed. No deeper than 20m and more wreckage than you can see in a dive. I definitely plan to dive this wreck again in September if we can.

Followed by another 20m wreck, called the Mona. Pretty opposite really, intact and quite small, home to the biggest conger I have ever seen as well as a huge amount of anemones and fishy-fish.

Special thanks go to Emma for organising the trip excellently and to Big Raymond for driving the van adequately.

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