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Have had a couple of good dives after work the last 2 nights Wednesday/Thursday which turned into really fun dives..

Theres a place called 'The South Gare' nearby, It is a man-made breakwater which sticks out into the Tees estuary, it was built about 100 years ago and it is made up of thousands of tons of "slag" from the blast furnaces of Teesside, sounds nice eh... it looks like what it sounds like.. a sh*thole, but a popular one.... the Tees is a very busy river with vuuuury large vessels, tankers and all sorts of other stuff coming and going.
Diving around the Gare can consist of diving the outside wall (seaward side) or the inside wall (river side) and around the tip, altho keeping out of the fishermans lines can be a bit dodgy (and these blokes fish all day and night)

Theres allsorts to see.... crabs in every single crevice, lobsters, starfish, all of the usual stuff... I noticed there was no dead mens fingers or any of that type of stuff which I put down to the tremendous forces smashing against these rocks during storms (someone was drowned not too long ago when a wave engulfed them and washed them away) I've seen pictures where waves are rocketing higher than the actual lighthouse, they hit it with so much energy... scary stuff.

Anyway Wednesday evening the water was like glass, so me and our kid kitted up and prepared to dive, as we kiited six other divers from a local club turned up, we all introduced ourselves, there followed a bit of lively banter and we all set off on the trudge along to the lighthouse and the slipway down into the water. A fair trek but worth it in the end. The tide was right out so it was a shallow dive but full of stuff to see, we did about 45 mins, max depth of 5.5m.

When we surfaced, the other divers were appearing too, and they'd caught a mutha of a lobster, so we all gathered around to Oooh and Aaah and discuss the best way to cook such a fine beast. After swapping telephone numbers and agreeing to call in to their club for a pint sometime we all left satisfied with a good evenings diving.

The next day, Thurday, still with fresh memories of the previous evenings dive I rang the little brother and suggested we do it again, which we did.... what a bloody good time... we had to rely on instruments quite a few times, cos the viz had been stirred up from the previous evening which was a bit of a shitter cos we'd had upto 4m viz the night before.

This time we left the tip and swam due north out to sea following a teensy weensy little squid/cuttlefish type thingy... it kept squirting ink at us as it tried to dodge the torchlight... altho tiny (about 1" long) it was perfectly formed and had luminescant blue edges to it.. we followed it for ages and as we did, the sand would suddenly stir and some life form would suddenly erupt and scuttle away... we spent ages just bumbling about on this sandy bottom seeing shrimp, well one shrimp... more little squid, ghostly white crabs etc, before I gave the signal to return the way we came and try to find the end of this little strip of land..
Not sure if it was good luck or good management but we got back to the gare rocks first time, at which point we started collecting all of the fishermens lost weights, spinners etc.... collecting so many that dragging the bag became a pain.. this went on till Mark got low on air and we had to come up...
2 good dives both within 15 minutes drive for me. :thumb:
P.S.
A big grey seal popped up not 15 feet from us.... stared at us for a while, looked left then right and silently sunk back into the water.. we were gagging for it to come and play, but never saw him/her? again  
 

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Dave you jammy bar steward.  Why can't I live 15 mins away from somewhere like that.  Cos if I did the wife would never see me, and then who would pay for my kit?
 

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Andy
During yesterdays dive we met up with 3 lads from the BSAC 43 Club, who's club house is about 1000 yds from the Lighthouse, and we were invited to join them after the dive for a pint We felt we should :biggrin: Well anyway in we went, got our bottles filled and joined them in the clubhouse proper, I was very impressed, altho an old building it was really cosy with a small bar, fires, and loads of stuff off the local wrecks adorning the walls, each little piece with a plaque stating the wreck, I was amazed at it all... they then showed us into some other rooms, pool table etc... This club might be getting my subs next year ;)  and on one wall was a huge map of our local coast just off Redcar and on it where pinned the locations of all of the wrecks.... well I had no idea.. there's loads of them...

So this got me into thinking i might start checking up on the history of the town as far as wrecks etc are concerned.. did you know we have the oldest lifeboat in the world
Anyway I've found this site which tells the history of the lifeboats from Redcar and the stories of the brave men who died and of the lives saved by them. Great reading for a local lad but might bore some of you rigid, altho there are some very scary stories amongst them.

On this site is a gallery of pics showing the local wrecks of Redcar, this is not a complete list because I was looking at a picture last night in the clubhouse of a huge ship that went down 1991 and now sits in 40 meters of water.

If you look at the gallery of wrecks and look at the top left hand colour picture of the tanker which ran aground (The Freaja Svea) my house in Redcar was about 500 meters behind that camera position and I was stood in that particular carpark watching the crew getting helicoptered off of that wreck... that picture does not do the scene justice, it actually looked like it took up the whole horizon, the ship was massive.... They eventually saved it, but the crowds drawn to Redcar for the few days it was there were massive.

Anyway at least check out the wrecks gallery and see just how trecherous my particular stretch of the coastline is....
http://www.zetland200.com/album/album.htm The very same reefs that bring these ships to an early demise make for some very good diving too...

So in answer to your earlier statment Andy, yeah I am a jammy bar steward  :biggrin:
 

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so would it be worth organising getting CTJ up there with the boat for a couple of weekends then?
 

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Don't see why not mucka, but as always it's a viz problem and cos its such a silty bottom (Oooher missus) and we're right on the mouth of the Tees things can get stirred up very easily BUT if you catch it right, then its great, I was told last night of a dive that was at least 15 meters viz just off the South Gare lighthouse, whereas we had about 2 meters.

Last summer I had a rib dive just off the scars that was excellent viz, I grabbed a huge lobster from behind (Oooher again missus) and it kicked so hard I shat myself and let go of it and then watched it kick off into the distance, and thinking about that now I must of watched it for maybe 20 feet or so....

But anyway, its not too far for you lads to come, and if the weathers been right for 3-4 days beforehand (If the winds blowing from the South or South West)I'd say definitely get yer arse up here with that boat, we might not even need it, as we can walk in off the beach straight onto the scars, or do the Gare or 'The Channel' which is out into the river mouth where there is a deep channel full of lobbies apparently, but it is here that Huge Oil Tankers, Ore carriers and other massive ships pass nearly overhead (I'm told that you can feel the wash from them and the sound of the thump thump thump of the blade is enuff to turn a dry suit wet) It scares me thinking about it... Infact to tell the truth I'm not even sure I'm up for that one, not yet anyway.
 

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why not... sounds like fun!
 

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err right, well I'll look forward to you telling me all about it then as we munch on the barbecued lobster you caught.
 

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lobsters! bugger THAT for a lark.  Them things have claws man! Are you completely insane!!
 

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Here are some wicked videos of a local wreck The Dimitris, they are on the website of the local diveshop 'Denney Diving' and the owner Chris Denney ( a real good lad who just happened to take quite a bit of my cash this last year) shot these videos himself...

Heres the vids

Hey Andy, Broadband! great innit :biggrin:

Theres also a bit of a map showing the Scars with some dive sites just off the beach at Redcar... most of these you can just walk into at low tide, altho its a trek over a lot of slippery stuff to get to the deep water, theres some class reefs to dive

Seeing as how I don't need a Dive leader to take me in now as I did last summer (Do you know how hard it is to find a dive leader when you want one?) I'm gonna abuse this place over the coming months...
Party on dude... :bang:
 

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and you say you live only 15 mins from wreck heaven.  You definitely are my new best pal.
 
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