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Là á Bhlàir's math na Càirdean
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So we left trip report PT1 and the museam and made our way to Bracklesham Bay. Once we got there Dave wondered off to get some chips and a burger whilst i past the time away leaning on a hand rail and watched people having lunch on the beach and kids gaily frolicking in the sea in the sunshine. It was as i was looking out on this scene that I noticed what appeared to be a thin band of what looked like smoke and naturally assumed someone was having a BBQ, however as the miniutes went by the wisp of smoke got bigger, looking to my left i was stunned to see a great bank of fog rolling in:frown: . Within minutes the fog had rolled in, the kids in the sea had disappeared and you could barely see the people on the beach a few yards away, also the temp dropped quite noticably. It was unbelieveable, here we were only an hour or so away from diving and now everything was grayed out. For the next hour or so the fog broke into patches only to get thick again. Although we kitted up it did not look hopeful that we were going to go ahead with the dive. However, by 14:00hrs the Wittering divers boats had returned from diving the "leopold" and they reported that the fog was hanging around the shoreline and was clear once you got out. As we were to dive off a static buoy and it was a return to shot dive it was decided to go out and take a look at conditions.

It was a good call because by the time we got into the rib the fog was dispersing and a couple of hundred yards offshore it was fog free and the sun was shining.

The wreck is only 800 yards from shore so it only took a few minutes to get there. After a safety talk from tony the dive plan was explained. Tony would go in first with the first buddy pair, once at the bottom he would point the direction for them to go, the two other buddy pairs would follow at 4 minute intervals where they would meet up with Tony to be shown the way. Each buddy pair was supplied with a waterproof book, once down you would follow a cable that ran around the site with various numbered stations, once at the station the book would describe what you were actually observing. the first station for example stopped you at a pile of cannon which despite being heavily covered by concretion are clearly guns, however without the book we might have missed them. Also it was important to watch our buoyancy as A) we would obscure the viz (which was about 3-4 mtrs) and B) after the last storm new parts of the wreck had revealled itself but there had been no time to re route the wire perimeter so we would be finning over the new areas. To help combat the silt problem and too help the archeologists that were working on the wreck at the time we were to dive, we would go in when the current was still running which made trying to control your buoyancy, hold your station and read the book all the time trying not to stir up the silt interesting.

Obviously a certain amount of imagination has to come into use on various part of the ships structure but the book does help put things into place. the best stations where the part of the bow section and the final station which consist of several guns one of which is 11 foot long. As well as the wreck there were also reefs to explore. On these reefs where a number of wrasse including several large fish, tompots, bib and dragonets and various types of crabs. from a plant point of view there was masses of what Tony called, for want of a better term "diced carrot sponge" (esperiopsis fuorum), sulphur sponges, anemones, hydroids and tunicates, also come across numbers of eggs (shark or skate, or so i was told) which had the babies inside wriggling around inside the eggs

The plan was to dive for 50 minutes then come up, actually after having a good look at the wreck at the stations and the surrounding areas we found ourselves back at the shot at 49 minutes so the route is pretty well planned, so up we went.

Ok, its not the Moldavia or even the JEL but it was a cracking day none the less. I always gauge how a dive went by A) how much I enjoyed it and B) by the reaction of the other divers. Everbody came up with big grins and saying how enjoyable the whole thing was.

It is not everday you get dive a 18th century wreck and also an ongoing Archeological dig, I have great respect for the guys and indeed girls who have kept this going volunteering their spare time and often paying out of their own pockets. From a wrekkie point of view it was great to see the guns and piles of cannon balls, all exactly like you see them in books. Also for the fish/plant lovers there was plenty to see down there, infact the two guys from my club belong to sea search and are going to log this dive as such. and best of all part of the proceeds from the dive go the Hazardous project to help with further excavations

It was a great day out and big thanks to Iain Grant and Tony Dobinson

As for the guy from my club who did not turn up, apparently somebody from the club told him that the dive was probably going to be cr*p and that he would be better off helping with training at Leybourne

well buddy, you lost your £20 deposit, missed a great days diving and hope you had as much fun at leybourne as we did (think not)

(he does not log onto YD but made me feel better by adding that bit)
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