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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I joined Paul (Oliver) & the gang for a dive out of Dover this morning. For me this meant a 05:45 start to ensure I was there before the 08:30 start time.
The morning looked great as I left the house, a slight mist that looked like it would burn off during the morning.
Arriving in Dover, I was the first car in the car park, the boat appeared shortly after my arrival & I started to load my kit.
Before long everyone had appeared, & started to load the boat. The first round of Tea’s arrived & we cast off. Dover was looking decidedly grey. We took just over the hour to arrive just of the French coast.

I was diving with Paul, which also meant that we would be in first to secure the Shot. I was just running through my Buddy check & the bailout regulator failed (free flowed), I immediately took the second stage off the bailout cylinder & swapped it with the free flowing regulator. This meant the bailout cylinder stayed on the boat, not so much of a problem in 30m of water, especially with a buddy on twin 12’s J.
Paul disappeared over the side & I shuffled over to catch up. Hitting the water it was immediately obvious that we had excellent visibility. Paul had already disappeared down the shot line as I stated to descend, (no 6m check today!) in the back of my mind was the fact that I had dropped more lead after the last weight check, & had never dived in this configuration without a stage (despite checking the weight without the stage). Hitting 4m I had no gas on the inhalation, I reached up & released the Flowstop valve on the ADV only to find I still had no gas, a quick blast on the O2 manual inflate & I reached back & turned on the diluent (I must have turned the air off again after checking the new second stage).
I arrived at the bottom of the shot a little flustered, Paul was doing his thing, & I could hear gas flowing somewhere, a quick check of the hand set & air & all appeared OK, the O2 gauge – err where’s the O2 Gauge? Looking up, my neck seal opened up & I got a gallon or so of water straight into the suit. Fumbling around I couldn’t locate the O2 guage, Paul finally found this for me, wrapped over my LEFT shoulder, I moved this back to the right & rechecked the gauges, all appeared to be good. I was beginning to think about bailing out, but the conditions where perfect, at least 12m of vis’ on the bottom. I shutdown the ADV at the flowstop, I could still here gas flowing & Paul had moved off, deploying a bottom line, I followed a little tentatively. I closed the DIL valve waited then reopened it, all was quite, except for my breathing & Paul’s. I relaxed a little & rechecked the handset & gauges, tweeked my trim, checked again & started to enjoy the dive. We where entering a swim through, a recheck off all gauges & handsets, a tweek on the trim & in I went. So far we where 10minutes in to the dive & I was so preoccupied on problems I hadn’t seen the wreck! As we exited the swim through I looked up to see a gun (it looked like a 4”), making a mental note to have a look on our return I followed Paul through the next swim through, exiting on the Starboard side. So far I hadn’t provided any assistance to Paul, who was doing sterling work with the bottom line. As we continued towards the stern, I overtook Paul, then looking over my shoulder, realised he had run out of bottom line. I swam back, hooked mine in & we continued towards the stern, Paul leading. Only 10 meters on Paul gave the signal to turn, keen to see the other end of the wreck. Unhitching my line I lead Paul back down the bottom line, keeping the tension on for Paul & releasing the tie in’s. I forgot about the gun & swam back through the first swim through.
We then swam over the top of the wreck back on to the Starboard side, into a lot of current. This was a mistake, all we could see was hull, retracing our steps we started a swim along the Port side (actual inside the Starboard gangway – as the wreck lies on its port side). Unfortunately we hadn’t gone far when Paul gave the signal to turn for home. I swam back, inside the gangway, releasing the tie off’s. As I exited it was noticeable that the tide had really picked up. Unfortunately our line had broken free of the shot as the shot had dragged in the current.
Paul looked at me expectantly, (having done all the work with the bottom line), it was my turn to do some work so I let the bag off – in the back of my mind was the fact that I might be slightly light. After 14 minutes of stops, with the water that had continued to leak through my neck seal, sluicing up & down my suit, we finally hit the surface.
WHAT IN EXCELLENT EXCELLENT DIVE.
It was a shame that I had a series of issues that interfered with my opportunity to absorb a quite wonderful dive.
Having got back to Dover, I decided to call it a day. I had emptied a couple of gallons of water out of the suit on de-kitting & the prospect of a late return home after a second dive all contributed to an early departure, missing the last dive.
Many thanks to Paul for making it all happen.


 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·

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it was absolutly bloody amazing today! Trip report coming up after i de-ming and get a few beers inside me :D
 

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Yes a rather excellent days diving :D

I usually wait to do a 6m check, but Dave had been concerned the shot would drag as the tide dropped off (We had wind over tide keeping the shot in) and as i got to 6m i could feel the shot dragging so decided to get down there quick to tie it in, as it was it had dragged 12-15m off the wreck, but hooked onto some debris, which i tied it off to.

The wreck is fantastic a WW1 Cruiser, twisted and inverted but with so much to see. A general max depth of 30m and only 22m on the top. As we swam through the stern the viz got better and i feel we had 15m around here, broad daylight as well, and so many big fish :)

I added 5 min to our planned bottom time and even then wanted to stay longer, it was quite a fantastic dive :)

Dive 2 was another long run down to HMS Blackwater a Destroyer that sank following a collision on 6 April 1909. This is a nice dive and we had a light 3m of viz depending on who had stirred the silt up near you.

The wreck is upright on a silty seabed with a max of about 32m, there are lots of holes to look into as many of the hull plates have fallen off. The area amidships and back is very broken and collapsed.

A nice 2nd dive but no where near as good as the Hermes :)
 
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HMS Hermes



HMS Blackwater



The shot was just between the 2 winches at the bow, the deck and sides are quite intact here, but as you drop down behind the bridge (which has gone) the wreck breaks up a lot.
 

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I appear to have aquired a fine collection of spidge during these dives :) and did not even have to use a lifting bag :)





 

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the fins are mine - realised i had left them on the boat when i unpacked my kit bag. I knew i would leave somehting behind :) Ill get them on the 25th from you paul

Trip report here - saves posting it twice :)

Lord Bummington » Dover: HMS Hermes and HMS Blackwater

Thanks again to dave and the gang for an enlightning day. And tom - email me your details to discuss work
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Lost Spidge

Hi Paul

The flask is mine, there shuld have been a weight belt as well?

I'll colect on my next trip down, gives me an excuess to come again:) .

Gareth
 

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Hi Paul

The flask is mine, there should have been a weight belt as well?

I'll collect on my next trip down, gives me an excuse to come again:) .

Gareth
Send me a description of your weight belt and i will let Dave know its your. It will have gone into the weight belt bin which he has on-board with loads of belts in it.
 

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Cut the crap and go diving!
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Thanks Paul and Dave, a great day! :)

Now the fly-by night skippers have left it to the professionals we're getting some good diving in Dover now.

Alan
 

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OK then some pictures from Debs collection :)

Team Hermes :)

L to R = Slippery Peter Woolmer, Dave Batch, Getafix, (Rear), RobertsT (Middle), Nigel Ingram (Front), Trebor, Keith Henson, Carl, Derek, Simon, Paul Oliver, Wide Eyed Diver, Dovershark. Missing GarethJ, Photographer Debs.

One of many entry/exit points


Crows nest


One of many swimthroughs


Yours truly wreck crawling :)
 

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Hey, I object to being called 'slippery'. Who can honestly say that they have not slipped out of the pub early, when the opportunity presented itself, leaving their mates to pick up the tab?

Anyway, thanks to Paul and Dave for a great days diving.

Peter
 
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