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Just back from 5 days diving in Cherbourg, trip was organised by Andy Mumford, we were diving from Steve Johnson's boat Channel Diver. We left Brighton at 8:00am on the monday morning, we got there early & were able to grab breakfast at a nearby cafe before departing.

First dive was the EMPIRE JAVELIN (4,285t), Landing ship infantry (Large) LSI(L) Lost on passage from Portsmouth to Le Havre. Believed torpedoed by U-boat. Depth was in the 65m range, broken in large sections. Found the stern (prop) and a gun mount near by, think it was the underside of the gun turret it had fitted fore & aft. Good dive, did ~40' on wreck, total run time was 150min.

Then onto Cherbourg... weather mid week wasn't as good as on Monday & Friday when we crossed channel, most probably a good thing!

First day in Cherbourg, we weren't able to dive the Leopoldville, as the French authorities required some addition info to be faxed thru; as we were on route to the Leopoldville, we had to divert & dived what turned out to be a small trawler. Conversations with the coastguard, led us to believe we had dived the "Chenteryne" deliberatly sunk in 1987. 50m to the bottom, 44m to the deck, upright, bow colapsed. The french navy set off a mine outside Cherbourg harbour during the dive, lots of "oh sh!t" & starring at handsets followed :D After 40mins, buddy & I noticed everyone else has gone, then though, "was that a diver recall signal?". We had expected a boarding by the coastguard! So we ended the dive...

Next two days, paper work in order, we dived the Leopoldville. On the wednesday, it was blowing a NE 5, so it was a bit lumpy getting to the wreck, but it's only about 45min to the site; the next day was much better. Did over 100mins on the wreck (bottom time) over the two days in depth range of 45 - 57m. Fantastic wreck, just shows how good wrecks can/could be when "no lifting" policies are enforced. Lots of glass, china, found a bayonet & a "tommy gun", did wreck from bows to stern, nice gun on stern deck & props. The best wreck I've dived in the channel to date.

On the friday, we returned to Brighton, diving the SS Orminster, a convoy stragler that was sunk be a U boat in WW2. Mid channel, 51m, had very good viz with good ambient light. Most of wreck on its side & partially buried, bow section more inverted. Lots of life on wreck.

5 days good diving. 8 divers (2 had dropped out), 7 Megs & 1 Inspo Vision (mine) all units worked OK.

JT
 

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I'm out doing the leopoldville on Monday and Tuesday next week so what is the viz like?

Also what was up with the paper work? just incase we have the same problem and then we could sort it out now

thanks
Rich
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm out doing the leopoldville on Monday and Tuesday next week so what is the viz like?
Still a bit green in Cherbourg, with plankton in shallows. Made it dark at depth, but viz was quite good, maybe 5 - 6m.

Also what was up with the paper work? just incase we have the same problem and then we could sort it out now
Skipper had a letter from French ministry giving permission to dive along Normandy coast, french coastguard lookout station keeping a keen eye on things! We were required to fax thru details (not sure of exact info) but included company details, names of divers, days we were diving. This had to be faxed thru to french ministry in advance. Specific permission for days then faxed back & I guess a copy to coastguard. We then had no problems, informed lookout station each day we were on wreck.

JT
 

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Nice report! Very jealous of your bottom times....

*goes away muttering obscenities about open circuit* :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Nice report! Very jealous of your bottom times....

*goes away muttering obscenities about open circuit* :)
Day one used a 3L dil cylinder with 150bar of 12/51, air topped this to 220bar after dive, now 15/32, used that for rest of week :D
 

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A short fat well off crap cave diver. Likes wrecks
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Nice one M8 I am really jealous of any one who's has managed to get on the Leopoldville

ATB

Mark Chase
 

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The Leopoldsville is a cracking dive.

I dived it 3 times from the Maureen in July 2005 with 20m of vis.

Just make sure you do it on the right tide!

Charlie
 

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Nice one M8 I am really jealous of any one who's has managed to get on the Leopoldville
l'll tell you want its like after l've dived it at the end of July :D

You'll have to wait untill our gig next year. :frown:

John, you were lucky, we were due to do the Moldavia on Steves boat today, got about five miles out and the trubo fan disintegrated on one of the engines, so we limped to the Northeaster instead, which is only eleven miles out.
 

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well just back from Cherbourg and what a good 2 days diving!
funny we had the French navy set off a mine outside Cherbourg harbor during the dive it was around 6miles away but it still made you shudder in the water it was very loud it was like being next to a thunder flash when its set off

funny thing is i think i was the only one that thought it was a mine as nobody else on the boat had heard about the mines so yes! every one bagged off and binned the dive but it was around 35mins in to the dive
we did make up for it today as some did longish bottom times
(around the 1h time)
viz was good a bit of snot in the water but still 10m+ but it was still running on both dives i have dived the Leopoldville 4 times now and every dive the tide has been running is the a slack on that wreck?

I would say if you do get chance to dive it do it!
 

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l'll tell you want its like after l've dived it at the end of July :D

You'll have to wait untill our gig next year. :frown:

John, you were lucky, we were due to do the Moldavia on Steves boat today, got about five miles out and the trubo fan disintegrated on one of the engines, so we limped to the Northeaster instead, which is only eleven miles out.
It's because you were onboard, that's what Steve said:embarasse

Charlie
 
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