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A Moderate from 04/01/07-24/12/12
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Crash. Smash. Splash. Drench.

Channel Diver crashed into the head sea and kit jumped from the benches whilst the stumbling divers did their best to hold it together.

Chimp 5 looked up at Chimp 3 "F**kin brill wasn't it?" ...

"F**kin ace, mate"

The day started at 5am for me, I quickly loaded up the car with the stuff I had prepared last night and shortly after 6 I was on the road. Mrs Garmin told me I would arrive at Brighton Marina at 0830 so it was all looking good.

The Moldavia had eluded me for too long but today was going to be *the* day. Although the wind had blown like a hooley yesterday and I doubted it was going to go ahead, Steve the skipper confirmed that the wind would drop and the dive would go ahead.

After the first traffic jam, then the second, then the third..... things started to look grim .... I had allowed quite a bit of contingency on my journey which was just as well so I tipped up at the Marina in time to load my kit (& fix the borrowed light) and set off for the long journey out. The wind was behind us so the journey was quite smooth.

Howard and I put the Diving World to rights on the way then got kitted up .... dropped in the increasingly turbulent water ..... bubble check at 6m then barrel down the line as quickly as possible :)

On the way down the wreck started to reveal itself ..... the vis was really good....although there was little ambient light. Howard wanted to tour the bow so having worked out which way round the wreck was aligned we set off towards the bow.

I led and was marvelling at how many fish there were and how great the vis was when behind me I heard some whooping and it was Howard indicating a potential swim thru. I had a look and slipped in under the frames that used to support the decking. It started to get a little tighter so I took the option of leaving via one of the bigger exits. I hung off to await Howard's exit.

We poodled on a little further when more whooping indicated that Howard had found another entrance .... he led in then indicated there was a way though so I followed and we swam right through the wreck. It was covered in the most beautiful orange growths ... I also spied a sizable Conger eel loitering with intent. Other things we saw of interest were a huge lobster, loads of shoals of different types of fish, tompot blennies and a really big spotted dogfish of some sort.

As we got to the bow area there was a cavernous opening so we went in for a little tour.

Much whooping, poo fling and chest beating took place .... boy were we enjoying this or what.

We the ascended up the ship's bottom till we reached the starboard side and spied a couple of portholes but no way were they coming with us, ..... minimum gas was looming and I was inventing a sign for "I want a rebreather" [1] when the time came to thumb the dive.

We agreed the average depth as we set off to the first deep stops then 40 mins of largely uneventful deco ensued.....with continued whooping and poo flinging.

The sea was starting to get a little heavier and the wait for the rebreather divers couldn;t have ended sooner before we set off home. The journey home was hardwork. Into a roughish head sea .... Channel Diver did a good job but it was still very tiring.

As it settled down a bit I decided to catch up on the kip I'd missed with my early morning start and soon enough we were back in the Marina to put all the kit away and agree it had been one of diving's really great days.

It was a f**king ace mate :D
Mal

[1] That was a joke !!
 

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The brains & beauty behind 'Kinky Divers'
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Great write up!

Sounds great!
I spoke with Howard on his way back, sounded like a brilliant dive :teeth:
I like the Mol!
 

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Guru
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It was worth every minute of the three hours in a force six coming back :eek:



That wreck is really something in good viz - I reckon my best ever wreck dive - we must have had something like 25m of Viz :)

The scale of the thing and the beautiful swimthroughs are just mindblowing.



I'll remember hanging off the bows and looking back along the wreck for a long time - well until the next time probably :D

If anyone wonders what the point of going through technical training and getting a mix ticket - 5 mins on that wreck today would have persuaded anyone I reckon.

Thanks to Mal for being a top buddy, Steve Johnson for doing us proud as usual with his wonderful boat and finally I'd like to thank God that we didn't have bloody Garf, Gloc and Wilbo along with us - they're really starting to get on my nerves - I reckon an elite breakaway simian diving team is on the cards soon.

If I hear how many days, hours, minutes and second there are to go until we go to Scapa one more time I'm gonna wring their chimp necks :D
 

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A Moderate from 04/01/07-24/12/12
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11,804 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ha ha ha.... even apes go to hell for lying, Howard.

:D

It is physically impossible to get 25m viz in the Channel!
I am not a good judge of vis, tbh, when I get back on the boat I always think it is better than everyone else says.....however it was truely fantastic. The wreck being so far out in reasonably fast tidal waters does have a reputation for having good vis.

Mal

Look we're guys ok and we like to puff our chests .... perhaps the huge lobster was just a crevette and the big dogfish was just a puppyfish.... but Howard and I know what we saw, so there .... :tongue:
 

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Guru
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Im gonna disappear up my own bottom talking about it for days!
In terms of the viz - Steve shot the wreck somewhere around midships slightly towards the stern and the shot was at the bottom of the port side next to the seabed. From there - you're at 50m ish and we could quite clearly see the starboard rail which sits at about 30m at its highest point. When we hovvered off the bows I reckon you could see around a quarter of the way along the wreck. Its a totally different wreck to dive in good viz - certainly compared to when we dived it earlier in the year and I enjoyed it but wondered what all the fuss was about in around 5m of dark viz :)

Right Lou make yerself useful - 3-4 foot long spotted shark like thing - too big to be a dogfish isn't it? And before you start arguing again - its really was 3-4 feet long :)
 

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aka Chimp 1 or Mavis...
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10,108 Posts
Im gonna disappear up my own bottom talking about it for days!
F*cking great.... :( Wait until we dive Scapa then!! Glad you had a good time, looks like a trip at the end of the year in the middle of the winter storms :) Glad I wasn't on it though listening to the weather report, I think I would have honked everywhere!! Cruising on the canal with the kids was pretty calm :)
Right Lou make yerself useful - 3-4 foot long spotted shark like thing - too big to be a dogfish isn't it? And before you start arguing again - its really was 3-4 feet long :)
Big Dogfish... :D
 

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Right Lou make yerself useful - 3-4 foot long spotted shark like thing - too big to be a dogfish isn't it? And before you start arguing again - its really was 3-4 feet long :)
Well, as said above, it could have been a Greater Spotted Dogfish.

It could also have been a Starry Smoothhound, if you were lucky. They are about 4 ft long. Are you sure you mean feet, and not inches? ;)

EDIT:

Different link....

Starry Smooth Hound
 

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Lou,
Don't know why, but your link triggered my works web-blocking....

On further investigation, netfirms.com is linked to some red sites ...
McAfee SiteAdvisor said:
netfirms.com
When we tested this site we found links to 123greetings.com, which we found to be a distributor of downloads some people consider adware, spyware or other potentially unwanted programs.
Andrew
 

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'Fabulous from afar, far from Fabulous'
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602 Posts
You're unlikey too see smoothhounds laying up like dogfish, they are a pack fish and are more free swimming. Plus even the starry ones have quite faint spots. 99% sure it was a bull huss (Gtr Spotted Doggy) Very common around offshore wrecks and reefs and will grow to about 20lb (4' long)

Adam
 

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Guru
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Exactly what it was to look at the pic. Big bugger he was - just like looking at a small shark. Love the way they move in the water - effortless!
 
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