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<font color='#000080'>Hi,

Yesterday I dived out of Littlehampton off of the excellent dive boat Defiant. Our target was the infrequently dived Warilda, a WW1 vintage 7,713 ton hospital ship which was torpedoed in 1918 in 52m of water.

The wreck is 36 miles off shore and in/near the shipping lanes so everything had to be perfect for us to dive her. It took a good two hour steam to reach the mark and then we waited about 40mins for slack. We were all sat ready in our gear for about 30mins. I was very hot and was very relieved to finally enter the water. I was teamed with David Shimell who I met on DIR-UK. David is an experienced DIR cave and deep wreck diver.  

The weather was looking a bit naff when we left Littlehampton but by the time we were about 10 miles off shore the sun came out and stayed out for the rest of the day. It was a lovely day for this dive. The sea was flat and comfortable. The rest of the dive boat was basically a Starfish Enterprise team fun dive! Dave has dived with these guys for years. They were all on CCRs. Two of the only three CIS-Lunar units in the UK were on board plus a Megaladon and a few YBODs. There was one other OC diver who was diving on air and on his own! I didn't realise I would be diving with some of the best known and most successful divers in the UK (if not the world!) They were all very nice people and chatted to me all day. I felt very welcome. Chasey would have been in hogs heaven if he was on the trip - big time!  I won't name drop though.

Dave and I were the third pair into the water. As we descended the very long shot something very strange seemed to be happening. It was very light and I could see a very long way! The vis was 25m+!!! I felt like I was in the Red Sea. Bloody fantastic! Due to the ambient light my 10watt HID lamp was virtually useless (apart from signaling). The dive could have been done without a torch really. The wreck was very impressive with its towering superstructure. It felt like I was doing a wall/pinnacle dive. Elphinstone reef sprang to mind. Being able to see this much makes a massive difference. I got a real sense of the scale of the ship. If WL and I get conditions anything like that next time we dive the Salsette we will be in for a great dive! (We dived the Salsette, Buccaneer and HMS Boadicea over the Easter weekend to complete our GUE Tech-1 courses and the vis was crap and it was very dark!) The wreck was totally teeming with fish, crabs and lobsters. There were some really large fish and although I didn't see any I'm sure there are loads of big congers in there. There is a large trawl net on the wreck but it's the heavy rope type and we could see it from miles away so was easy to avoid. The tide never completely stops running on this wreck so we started the dive heading for the stern and into the current then drifted back over the wreck. During the dive we could hear the very loud 'whump,whump,whump' of a passing tanker which was a little off putting to say the least!

I reached a max depth of 49.7m but our average depth was more like 46/47m. Back gas was 21/35 by the way. We left the bottom at 25mins ABT (110BAR). Dave shot his DSMB from the wreck, I deployed from about 18m during the ascent. We started our deep stops at 33m then did 20mins of deco on 50% between 21m and the surface. The profile was a bit of a compromise as Dave normally does a fair bit less than I would. I felt very good afterwards so I obviously did enough deco.

I have been officially spoilt rotten on my first dive as a fully certified Tech-1 diver! The dive will be hard to equal let alone beat. I didn't realize UK diving could be that impressive.

Regards,

Mark.
 

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Nice one Mark sounds like a cool experience.

Not dived the wreck, but it is on the get to list. We are off to the Mol on the 10th, hope the vis stays.

take care,

Andrew
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] (Mark @ May 02 2004,11:43)]
Ahhhhhh! welcome to the joys of offshore wreck diving!

I've not dived the Warilda, but it's definitely on my hit list.

Glad you got on well with Dave.

I'm quite envious actually, I had to make do with a dive on the Alex van Opstal (an unimpressive inshore scrap yard).  We had a nice time anyway.

Andy - I might try to get myself on that trip to Moldavia on 10 May. Buddy of mine is going and if I can get away from work I might well see you there.  It's Naughticat - right?

Bob
 

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A short fat well off crap cave diver. Likes wrecks
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Bob I think the boat is full but I will check for you.

Mark: Nice report M8 glad you liked the dive. Defiant is my favorite boat you can see why we use her for the winter trips thae cabin and the microwave are great for the long haul home.

If you were refering to KG being on the boat, what was he diving? I only ask because if he was not on his new Oriborious rebreather I would be curious to know why?

We have enjoyed 20+m viz on the Moldavia and the Duke. It is all down to the sea bed which is gravel on both dives and also due to the depth. In the 40+ range the viz is generaly better than in the 30-40m stuff. Thats why I got into mix


ATB

Mark Chase
 
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