Going Diving

Diver playing with seal during a Birmingham BSAC 25 dive at Lundy IslandOur aim is to provide an annual programme of diving which offers something for all levels of experience, diving qualifications, underwater interests and financial means of our members. Dives are organised by the more experienced club members for the benefit of all.

Although we occasionally venture to warmer seas, we are keen on diving in UK waters. If you learned to dive abroad, please don't be tempted to think that our British waters are cold, murky or not worth diving. There is much colour and varied life around the British Isles and because of Britain's long maritime history and association with the sea, these waters provides us with some of the most interesting dive sites in the world.

We recognise diving qualifications from all the major diver training agencies including PADI, SSI, NAUI, CMAS and SSI; and so qualified divers can immediately start diving with us, as members or guests, at a level appropriate to their certification.

Inland sites

Bimingham may be a significant drive from the coast, but fortunately we are situated close to two excellent inland scuba-diving venues, Dosthill Quarry and the National Diving Centre, Stoney Cove. These venues provide the opportunity for regular club and training dives throughout the year, mainly at weekends during the winter but also in the evenings during the summer months.

We do also travel further afield for winter diving inland. For those looking to explore at greater depths, we use Chepstow NDAC; and for some variety in training dive locations, we use Cromhall and Capernwray quarries. Our annual weekend at Capernwray, focusing on diver training across all levels, is usually a very popular event amongst the membership.

Coastal waters

Throughout the summer diving season, roughly between April and October, we also arrange diving around the UK coast.

Our favourite destinations are the south Dorset and Devon coasts as they are relatively easily reached Birmingham and offer a variety of quality wreck and scenic dive sites. But we are also keen to explore other areas: in recent years we also dived the Channel Islands, Lundy Island, North Wales and the Sound of Mull. In reccent diving seasons, members of Birmingham 25 have explored south-coast wrecks from two world wars, including our adopted wreck of the Elk off Plymouth; swam with playful seals nibbling our fins; seen jumbled piles of cannons - the last remains of old, wooden shipwrecks; and observed and surveyed a vast diversity of marine life on dives ranging form shallow water under a pier to dramatic drift dives 'flying' along with the tidal currents.

Birmingham may well lie a long way inland, but being based in the centre of the country does mean that we are pretty much equidistant from many different coastal areas!

Our boat, RibEye

Birmingham BSAC's boat, RibEye, travelling at speedWe have our own 5.3 metre rigid inflatable boat (RIB), equiped with 90hp 4-stroke engine and with all appropriate diving and marine safety equipment, including GPS chart plotter, echo-sounder and GMDSS-DSC VHF marine radio.

The boat is called RibEye - because all our members have a stake in her! We encourage everyone to learn to cox'n the boat by taking a Boat Handling course (which we can offer within the club) and to practice and develop their seamanship skills. Travelling by or driving a power boat is a great experience within its own right: we've even had non-diving members who joined the club just to help out with boat handling.

When not in use for dives organised by the club, RibEye can be used privately by suitably qualified and experienced members.

 

Summer holiday

One week in August, usuually the Bank Holiday week, is the time for our annual holiday. Typically this week is RIB-based diving suitable for everyone from trainees upwards. Members are welcome to join us for just a few days or the entire week, and several members have found that this trip also doubles a traditional family seaside holiday. Quite often we return to our old favourite of South Devon, and dive the wrecks of Bigbury Bay and The Bolt.

Something for everyone

Liveaboard diving charter vessel, MV SalutayWhilst we do enjoy RIB diving, we do other types of diving. We use commercial charter boats where these are most appropriate means to reach more distant or adventurous dive sites, or where we wish to 'liveaboard' for the ultimate in relaxed classic UK diving. And at the other end of the scale, for cheap and accessible diving, we've also very happy to wade into the sea off a beach.

We aim to keep diving trip costs to a minimum, and all diving-related expenses such as towing, launching, charter fees and fuel, are shared equallly between all participants. We try to arrange a range of accommodation options to suit almost all pockets. Static caravans often prove popular as they are are good value and are flexible for either groups of people sharing or for families. Those who prefer even lower costs or who enjoy sleeping under canvas can usually camp nearby; but at the opposite end of the spectrum, there are always hotels and guest houses available.

Many of our organised trips are open to all members who are qualified divers or who are undergoing Ocean Diver open water training; but in order to cater for all levels of diving experience, places on selected trips each year are restricted to divers holding a specified minimum level of diving qualification or experience. These events offer - to those who are suitably prepared - the chance to take part in more adventurous diving. On the other hand, we run at least two weekends each year, at venues offering easy and interesting shore or boat based diving, which are geared specifically towards offering new divers their first sea diving experience.

 

Contact Details

Find us on Monday evenings from 8.45pm at:

Stechford Cascades Leisure Centre

Station Road

Stechford

Birmingham

B33 8QN

Tel: 07970 749486

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Web: www.bsac25.co.uk

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