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Saturday dawned a little foggy, but warm and not much wind.  The sea was as calm as can be - It was going to be a good day to dive
 A few of us from Dacorum Sub Aqua Club (Lindsey, Andy, Peter, Barrie and myself) had booked onto Skipper's Dive Eclipse for various parts of the weekend.

We piled onto the boat and Skipper gave us the safety briefing.

We started the weekend with a dive on the Gascony. During the dive briefing, it was mentioned that part of the cargo the ship had been carrying were spoked wagon wheels.  "How big are these wagon wheels?", asked someone.  It was at this point the more elderly divers on the boat started to discuss how wagon wheels used to be much bigger when they were younger...  

We descended the shotline to the wreck and were pleasantly surprised to find 4m of viz and not much current.  The wagon wheels were an impressive sight.  Had a nice bimble around the wreck, found plenty of fish (Bib, Plaice) and Spider Crabs.  A really nice, easy dive.  As soon as we'd finished de-kitting, Skipper handed us steaming hot cups of coffee - very welcome!

Second dive of the day was the Teapot wreck, or Bigitta as it is also known.  The conditions were very different here, with the viz at around 1m.  My buddy and I lost the wreck at one point, but quickly realised and turned around.  Then we lost each other, then found each other again...  A few fish crossed our path, plus we found a couple of crabs.  My buddy found a lobster, but I missed it - but then I always do, think I might be lobster blind.  A bit more challenging than the earlier dive, but still enjoyable.  I managed to fall over fully kitted while getting out of the boat when we got back...

Awoke on Sunday to very similar conditions to Saturday, except the sun was out!

First dive of Easter Sunday was the Shirala.  We had a cracking 6m of viz, and enjoyed a really nice dive picking our way around the wreckage, found a few broken bits of pot, but none of the binoculars that are down there.  But then we didn't venture into the bow where they are.  The sight up the side of the bow is impressive, rising several metres from the seabed.  Found an huge boiler, too. Again, lots of fish, including Tompot Blennies, bib and a few larger fish (Wrasse?).  A good few crabs down there as well, but we left them all alone.  A "big grin" dive!  
Surfaced to be greeted with a chocolate easter cake to go with our apres dive coffee


The second dive was to be the Landing Craft, but Skipper informed us that the viz was likely to be very bad, did we want to do the Shirala again?  After the mornings dive, we didn't need asking twice!  Skipper was bet a tenner that he couldn't get the shot within 10 feet of where he had placed in the morning.

We'd done the morning dive at low water, this was to be at high water, but we decided to stay on the deck to avoid a reverse profile.  Arriving at the site Skipper starts briefing for Teapot... Err, we did that yesterday!

What a difference 5 hours makes.  The viz had dropped to between 1 and 2 metres while there was also a strong current.  After about 20 minutes of fighting the current and breathing heavily my torch died, so I signaled to my buddy that I wasn't happy and wanted to go up.  We were treated to a  Toblerone bar with the post dive coffee this time


All in all, we had a fantastic weekend of diving.  The boat was very comfortable and there was no rushing about - just how I like things.  Roll on the YD gig down there on the 25th!

And the shot?  Skipper won his money


dan.
 

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Cheers Dan,

nice to meet you and your friends



Phil still hasnt parted with the cash - he should know better


See you on the 25th
 
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