The unveiling ceremony of the bust of the Alexander McKee at the Mary Rose museum was covered by the BBC. Watch the coverage online.

Hello and a very Happy New Year to you. Because of Christmas and foul weather not much diving activity has taken place since the last issue so I have focussed this issue on PLANNING and thinking about how we collectively can organise some great dives when the wind stops battering us.

I hope you like the format and if you have an article you would like to include please let me know and I can include it in the next issue.

To see the whole issue, click here

Enjoy & safe diving!

Chris Cairns (D.O.)

View from the fort issue 1

Hello and welcome to the first issue of "View from the Fort" - a light hearted update on the activities in and around Southsea Sub Aqua Club and other things to interest South Coast divers like you.

We hope you enjoy this new format and feel free to spread the word. We have limited information on email addresses for our members and it would be great if everybody could see a copy.

Chris CairnsChris CairnsYour New Diving Officer - Chris Cairns

For those of you that don't know I have now been appointed as the Diving Officer at Southsea Sub Aqua Club and I wanted to take this opportunity to let you know a little more about me and hopefully let you in on what is planned for a fantastic year of diving in 2014! I was introduced to diving by my Dad at the tender age of 9, taking my first venture under the waves at Lulworth Cove in January 1985. Having been around divers all my life and doing it for real for nearly 30 years it's fair to say I've got the bug! In that time I have done a fair few dives in varying conditions and most them in and around the UK. Believe it or not I have never been to the Red Sea, but that looks to change in 2014 with the new diving schedule. I like all types of diving but when pressed I would have to say my real passion is wreck diving. I love the history, the mystique and the brass. With a fantastic nautical history our coastal waters boast some of the best wreck diving in the world. As my desire to find better and more intact wrecks increased it saw me turing to more exotic gases and have qualified with Trimix for 100m dives and more recently a rebreather. As an Advanced Diver and Open Water Instructor I want to arrange dives that appeal to all our members, including you. A plan for 2014 is being put together as we speak and I welcome your thoughts and contributions to the diving activities for 2014 and beyond.

SurveyWe want your ideas!

We think Southsea Sub Aqua Club is already a great place to be and as we approach getting 100 members we must be doing something right. There is an active social calendar, regular dives and a great training programme. But that is what WE think. What about YOU? A short survey has been prepared and we would love it if you could spend a couple of minutes filling it in. By letting us know the types of diving you want to do and the training you would like to achieve we can be sure to try and create an exciting programme for 2014 that will keep even the fussiest members happy. If you have an idea or feel you could offer advice on how to do things differently let us know. After all if we don't know it's broken we can't set the wheels in motion to fix it. Please click the image to the right to take the survey because it will benefit you and the diving we offer in the club.

FacebookWe've gone Social

It's official Southsea Sub Aqua Club can now be found on Facebook. In an attempt to attract new members a new Group has been created on Facebook. It will serve as a platform for SSAC members (and those thinking of joining) to see what is going on and chat with like minded individuals. If you want to see what all the fuss is about follow the link here or follow the Facebook logo on the left. If you don't use Facebook then don't worry all the great stuff we be published in "View from the Fort"!

Your club needs youYour club needs youYour Club Needs You!

Ever thought “There's no diving planned this weekend” or “I don't fancy going to Vobster AGAIN!” then how about organising a dive trip yourself? Organising a dive is fun and rewarding and it isn't as tricky as you may think. We have a great team of experienced divers who are happy to help you out with ideas, planning and logistics. Wouldn't it be great if you were able to look at the diving schedule and be able to choose between going to Kimmeridge for some scalloping or plunging down the shot onto the Salsette or M2? If we can get more people chipping in and organising even just one dive in 2014 then having a choice of diving each weekend will become a reality. Anybody who is Sports Diver or above can do it and I'm sure if you are an Ocean Diver and you have a good idea we can all rally behind you and make it happen. Have an idea? Let me know. You can email me by following this This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Boat skillsBoat Skills

Being of a certain age I have "grandfather" rights to tow things like the club rib. Truth be known I'm pretty rubbish at it and always end up passing the wheel to somebody else when it comes to reversing. Am I alone? Thought not. If like me you would like some tips and trips on towing and reversing the club RIB please speak with Ron who has kindly offered to set up some cones in the top car park and offer some training on reversing. Have you got a skill you share that will benefit your fellow divers? If so please let me know and I can include it in the next issue of "View from the Fort".

True or False?

As divers we study the behaviour of gasses under pressure. Boyle's Law tells us all about the relationship between pressure and volume for an ideal gas. But what about the gas created after a Lamb Vindaloo? Yes I'm talking about bottom burps, trouser coughs and trumping. True or False? You can't break wind below 10m because of the increased pressure exerted on the colon.

As part of the 70th Anniversary of DDay and in recognition of the significant role played by the Solent in the preparations for the Invasion of Normandy, members of SSAC will be taking to the water this summer to record the remains of Mulberry Harbour units along the South Coast. 

Two Mulberry Harbours, each the size of Dover were constructed around the country and gathered in the Solent to Selsey area before being towed across the English Channel.  The divers aim to compile a record of the underwater remains of the harbours which, for various reasons failed to make the journey and lie scattered on the sea bed.  The information gathered will be shared with English Heritage and other organisations.  If you want to know more about this ambitious project or have information that may be of use to the team please contact Alison Mayor This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


2014 will mark 60 years of Southsea Sub-Aqua Club and we are planning to celebrate in style. If you are a current or former Southsea member please contact the Club to find out more details about our 60th Anniversary events and join in the celebration and Branch’s contribution to recreational diving over the years. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or write to us at Southsea Sub-Aqua Club, Fort Widley, Portsdown Hill Road, Portsmouth PO6 3LS. Please pass these details on to others who may be interested.

SSAC members and guests celebrated Christmas at the Club House with a visit from Santa and friends. A four course meal with wine was served by Santa’s little helpers and was followed by festive games and dancing into the early hours. Santa made a special guest appearance to auction 10 beautifully decorated Christmas trees. A giant inflatable Santa plus snowmen and tree were also auctioned.

 Christmas FunChristmas Fun

Southsea Sub-Aqua Club was awarded the British Sub-Aqua Club Peter Small award at the Diving Conference held at the NEC Birmingham in October. The prestigious award is made to the most worthwhile project carried out in British waters and was given in recognition of the Club’s work on the British Tank Landing Craft LCT427 which was lost as she neared her home port of Portsmouth after taking part in the WW2 Normandy invasions. The winner’s medal was presented to Alison Mayor who led the project together with a cheque for £1000 which will be used to make improvements to the Club’s new RIB.

Peter Small AwardPeter Small Award

A1 Heritage DiveWant the chance to dive on the first British designed and built submarine?  

Submarine A1 sank in just 12m of water in 1911 and is now an officially protected wreck site. BSAC Southern region is arranging a day of diving for BSAC members on the historic site on 21 July 2013 which will give divers the chance to learn more about the fascinating history of the submarine from Southsea’s Diving Officer and A1 Licensee, Martin Davies as well as diving the wreck.

More information and to register an interest at the BSAC Southern Region web site.

26 May 2013

After a dive was blown out one Saturday evening in May, members, family and friends took part in an Air Swimmers Grand Prix in the clubhouse. More control was required with thumbs than with breathing or buoyancy which resulted in the overall victor after a number of rounds being a teenager! 

Flying fish

March 2013: SSAC's first club trip of the year to Cornwall was a huge success.

Staying in nearby Flushing Cove and venturing out with our dive RHIB 'Alan Blake', the cold but calm waters of the Manacles reef provided excellent diving with visibility typically around 6-8m. The Manacles reef is renowned for its wrecks and marine life and provided some first class diving despite being early in the season. The jewel anemones were particularly beautiful. 

The holiday was also time to celebrate our Diving Officer Martin's significant birthday with a cake and a fish and chip supper for ten.

On the rib