WILL'S BLOG: Thawing out in Kimmeridge
Those of you who read my last blog will be aware that my recent trip to Scotland was, well, a little damp. Mercifully, my diary had me down in Dorset just three days after the Scottish sogfest. It was time to put the dive demons and weather witches to bed with a couple of days of enjoyable UK diving.
I headed to Kimmeridge, Dorset with Sport Diver’s newest online columnist Bryan Stanislas. Obviously now that you have all read Bryan’s first article you’ll be privy to the fact that the man has worked on a number of films and TV series. He knows how to handle a camera underwater and for two days he’d be passing a small portion of that knowledge onto yours truly. It is an official course he runs through his company H20 Films, which you can read more about here.
Day one was blisteringly hot; almost literally. Once we had set-up camp, we sat in a couple of ludicrously comfortable reclining camping chairs and conducted a couple of hours worth of lessons. These tutorials took in everything from underwater filming techniques to camera maintenance. When the time came to suit-up and head for the water I was burnt! Now, the real irony here is that I packed suncream for Scotland, but decided to leave the stuff at home for Dorset.
'Heading' for a good reddening - in some seriously comfy chairs
The view over Kimmeridge Bay was spectacular. While the site is renowned for its surf, it was millpond-flat when we arrived - ideal for diving.
The visibility was disappointing - just 1.5 metres - but the day was more about getting used to using a video camera underwater while maintaining dive technique. The shallow water at Kimmeridge is ideal for this. The reef is awash with anemones, weeds and crabs, all sat in 2m of water. Even in reduced visibility there is plenty to see and the shallowness of the dive means you really have to be on your game technique-wise - there’s not a lot of water to manoeuvre in. It’s the perfect classroom. That said, I’d love to head back when the water’s less churned-up. The seafloor is as lush as an English country garden.
Following a debrief, campfire and a couple of beers, it was off to bed to prepare for a busy second day. Now that I had learned the theory, I was to put it into action by planning and shooting my first ever film. A real start-to-finish job. Very exciting.
The obligatory campfire
Alas, the rain clouds had caught up with me again. Following a morning editing the previous day’s footage and getting to grips with the software Bryan has, we drove to Kimmeridge Bay. Atop a hillside prior to descending down to the dive site, drivers are offered a great view of the bay. Bryan slammed on the breaks. Our hearts sank. I have honestly never seen anything like it. White waves could be seen breaking miles out to sea. It was as if a thousand-strong yacht race was taking place. The waves were by no means the biggest I’ve seen - the surfers were loving it! - but it was no day for diving.
Editing the first day's footage, out of the wind and rain
As such, there is no video to share with you, as was planned. I’ll be seeing Bryan again in July, so the ‘masterpiece’ will be made public then.
In the meantime, keep checking The Video Zone for more tips and tricks from our new film expert and, as ever, safe diving.
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