New improved Defiance back on her mooring
On Valentines day Defiance was lifted out of the water for some routine maintenance and some improvements that should make Defiance a better experience for everyone. She was out of the water for 4 weeks. A relatively short time, but a great deal was done. Not all of the improvements are obvious.
So What has been done?
New Seating Improvements
The main obvious change is the new seating layout on deck. The previous seating was along the edge with the main walkway in the middle. New deck fittings allow the seats to be easily moved and re-bolted to the deck in a matter of minutes. Now the seats can also be central with access along the outside. Much better for fishing. Better for spotting wildlife and does give a bit more space for diving with the area under the gunwhales accessible for gear storage.
New central seating arrangement
New Safety Improvements
The Marine Accident Investigation Bureau report on a diver slipping over on a charter vessel in Scotland has prompted Defiance to actively improve the safety on-board. A new anti-slip surface to the deck has been applied to the deck. Additional handholds like those found on buses and trams can now be attached to the overhead rails to help anyone on deck when the vessel rolls.
New Anti-Slip Coating to deck
From the beginning of May to the end of August I am offering a midweek dives in the evening on Wednesday. Generally this will be a reef dive due to the tides. These will sites will be Marina Reef, Anchor Lump, South West Rocks or Looe Gate. Departure will be at 6pm.
Occasionally the tides permit a wreck dive. This year the obvious dates are May 14 and 28 and Thursday June 26.
Cost for a reef dive is £20 in the evening.
Generally the wreck dive will be the Steam Trawler or the City of Brisbane. With a bit more flexibility on times if other departure times are available.
Individuals Dive Dates
Follow this link to the list
A list of Dive Dates designed for individual divers has been produced for the coming year. The dates available run from April through to November. There is at least one weekend day each week available so far. More dates are being added including midweek evening dive dates.
It is tough to get enough people to fill a boat on your own. These dive dates are ideal for small groups and buddy pairs to come along and have a dive without the headache of organising a full trip. All the dives are designed to be accessible to the majority of qualified divers.
But I want to dive elsewhere?
No problem. Give me a call 07810 454457 or contact me. It may well be possible to alter the location to suit what you want to do.
But I do want to book the boat for a different trip?
Give me a call 07810 454457 or contact me. Often the spaces only fill up at the last minute. So the boat may be available and your trip can be accommodated .
I want a full days diving?
Give me a call 07810 454457 or contact me. A second dive can be added easily if there is the demand. As long as the tides, weather and daylight permit.
In conjunction with another local boat, I have been assisting in the filming of a TV documentary. Filming at night the closing shots of the production were to have the boat pull away from the shore leaving the people alone on the beach. This involved having the boat very close to the shore to start the shot and pull the boat away during filming. This all done in total darkness so the sun did not affect the lighting.
Rigging the stabilised camera mount
Filming from a boat is not easy as the boat moves with the sea. Hence the camera fitted to the bow with a stabilised mount to take out any motion of the sea. This mount is attached to the boat on scaffolding as seen in the picture above. This amazing piece of equipment uses gyroscopes to move the camera in all directions quickly and smoothly maintaining the camera picture absolutely stable.
TV Camera fitted onto front of boat
The camera once fitted is remotely operated from the comfort of the cabin. With monitors set up inside the filming can be viewed by the director as the shot is taken.
All went well and only a few takes were required to achieve the required film.
Due to the proposed development of the western end of Brighton Marina the charter fleet in Brighton Marina have been relocated to new berths on Pontoon 5 within the Marina. The main development is due to start in September 2013, but the Marina is making preparations in advance of this.
Defiance seen from the water side with the restaurants above
The new berth is very easy to locate as it is directly under the main walkway in the marina which has all the restaurants. The photograph above shows how easy a take-out pizza will be. Access to the boat is via the ramp near the West Quay (Wetherspoons) pub. For those used to the old location of the boat this is simply to the other side of the pub.
Defiance on her new berth looking towards West Jetty
For diving it may be easier to load the equipment from the other end of the pontoon. Access to the new berth can also be down the large ramp leading to West Jetty that can be seen in the background in the picture above. The ramp here is less steep and unloading can be done by parking on the ramp up to the jetty. Do note that the parking on the ramp is for 20 minutes only and cars will need to be moved to the free multi-story after loading.
More information on the development can be found at http://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/content/planning/major-developments/brighton-marina-planning-applications
Artists impression of the new development in Brighton
In November 2012 Defiance moved from Newhaven to her new berth in Brighton Marina. Defiance will operate from Brighton permanently.
The new berth is very near the RNLI station, with all the dive boats operating out of Brighton Marina. Access to the boat is via the ramp next to the West Quay (Wetherspoons) pub. The new location provides much easier access to the boat for loading. Diving from Brighton Marina offers a very similar choice of wrecks and reef sites to Newhaven as it is only a few miles to the West of Newhaven.
Brighton Marina offers a great deal more facilities than Newhaven for people visiting. There are numerous restaurants and a very convenient pub at the top of the access ramp. The Marina Village also has a dive shop, nearby for those requiring air or bits-and-pieces. There is also a large 24hr supermarket to grab some food for the trip out if needed.
Brighton Marina is situated slightly to the East of the main town, but in walking distance. There is easy access from all directions by road using the A27 from the east or west or the A23 from London. On arrival the parking is free in a large multi-story car park very close to the boat.
More information on the marina can be found at www.brightonmarina.co.uk/ or by simply searching for Brighton Marina on the internet.
Defiance moored on her new berth near the RNLI station in Brighton Marina
In conjunction with another local boat, I have been assisting with the transfer of crew to the Rampion wind farm meteorological mast.
The met mast has been installed to monitor the weather and the sea conditions, prior to the building of the wind farm. It will remain in place doing it’s job throughout the proposed 50 year life of the wind farm turbines.
Approaching the Rampion Met mast
The mast itself extends up into the air taking wind measurements at various altitudes. There is also a subsea station monitoring the tides and currents. The mast itself is solar powered and works autonomously. It also features a high level of security with cameras instantly detecting any intruders who stray near it. So not many get to see it close up like in the picture below.
Close up to the mast
The mast needs maintenance and that is where the boat transfers come in. Simply to take the men to the wind farm to carry out the required work. This is not a simple job. The boat is modified to safely dock with the wind farm. All work is carried out under strict safety procedures as wind and sea make the work hazardous.
Working on the mast