La Ciotat, June 2016, a story told by Peter

The weekend started as usual at E2V at aorout 3 with the distribution of the equipment (thanks to Jean-Pierre A. for his organisation and patience) and so began the ceremony of loading and unloading the mini-busses before finally agreeing a configuration of heavy bags at the bottom etc. We set off sometime around 18h00 in 3 mini-busses and stopped for the (now) traditional picnic on the way at Mornas.

We arrived at the campsite Santa Gusta which had places to park, clean smart rooms and teracesses overlooking the sea! There was a warm breeze and we finished the evening with a short aperitif by drinking even warmer beer (I think next time we’ll take an Ice box perhaps!).

Oh, thanks to whoever reminded us about the toilet paper, very useful!

Breakfast was announced to be at 7:15. We did not quite count on Marseilles time which actually meant sometime past 7:45…but no problem.  The restaurant decor was something out of “4 weddings and a funeral” only even more kitch (yes reallity is often worse than fiction, here was the proof, even Hugh Grant would have winced).

Eventually we made it to “Eden Dive”, our hosts for the weekend and met the boss Thomas.  The place was comfortable enough with changing rooms and showers.  The quay was a short walk from the shop but they had a trolly on which to put the bottles and BCDs (bouyancy control devices).  The boats were big Zodiacs of which there were 3.

We set out on Saturday morning to the ‘Roche de Roustaud’. Only 15 or so minutes to get there in all.  The weather was warm and our spirits high.  As usual the first dive was a deep dive with sightings of Morey eels, conger and Octopus.


P1100982(2)Then we returned to dry land to have lunch and an old friend of the club, Philippe Dreux, dropped by to say hello.  Apparently Philippe had trained all our monitors many years ago.  Bravo Philippe!

with_PHIL_DREUX_mf2_982The afternoon we set out to the ‘Tunnels and grotte de Saint-Cyr’.  This was a magnificent site.  The tunnels were teriffic : the smaller one long and dark, the larger one you could see the light on the other side.  In the second there were huge “booms” which you felt in your head and stomach as the swell cavitated with the interior of the cave.


Here our senior members decided to test the newly qualified N2s and N3s on what (not) to do….

The breifing started simply enough: 20m, 50 mins max for everyone.  Parachutes required if you can’t see the boat. Enough said, ask someone who was there.

Thanks to Claudine and Isa for the copious and well organised apero. Jean-Marc celebrated his 600th dive with Champagne, well done Jean-Marc! P1110101

After the apero we returned to the ‘4 Wedding and a Funeral’ set for a Paella.  Fabio annouced the forthcoming departure of Olivier (one of our communications officer) to warmer climes (Florida).  Olivier (never shy) walked up to the stage to deliver his farewell speach.  This consisted of one word : “merci”.  Thanks for being brief Olivier!

There was much discussion and celebration well into the night…

Sunday morning came and some had sore heads and delicate stomachs. No real surprise there!

On Sunday morning we set out in 3 Zodiacs. Thomas, the dive shop owner, wanted to take us to a special place, he consulted us and we were unanimous. YES.  So off we went to “ce foutu phare de Cassidaine”.  As soon as we left the shelter of the bay the wind picked up, the boats crashed and wallowed on the swell and spume stang our eyes.  By the time we finally got to the Cassidane light house it was obvious that this dive-site was not for today.  So we turned around and came back.

We returned to more sheltered waters and dived the Mugel or ‘tombant du bec de l’Aigle’. The nearby mountain really did look like an eagle’s beak.


In the afternoon the boats split up and some dived the ‘Grotte de la Vierge’ (a site with an underwater cave) and others the ‘Balise’.  It was all good.


P1110206(2)Then, all too quickly, it was time to go.  We had our showers, packed our gear and said our good-byes until next time.

A special and big thanks to Fabio for his impeccable organisation. Bravo !

Diving is all about having fun!

PS : ceci est la diffusion en avant-première de la version originale.  Pour la VOST, c’est comme pour les séries, il faudra patienter un petit peu….!!