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A short fat well off crap cave diver. Likes wrecks
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Delta Diaries Day 1 The Albair


OK I probably spelt it wrong, but its Albert in French.

I won’t go into great detail on this as I have some picks coming that will make for a more detailed article.

So thanks to a last min rescue gas supply from the lovely Lesley I am good to go. Then the phone rings and a distraught Simon tells me he’s filled the car with petrol but it’s a diesel so this is a bad thing. Then he tells me he was on the way to the airport to fly home which is a very very bad thing and he’s not coming.

Gutted, its was day ja voo of Andyp canning the first Delta gig of the year :frown: Ho hum. So I make the 5am treck down to Little Hampton alone and get the usual flack from the lads about no one wanting to dive with me. But hey the sea is flat and the sun is shining so sod it what do I care.

The Albair is about 3-4 hours out. So kit prepped we all went to sleep.

Last dive on this wreck we (Me T and the Doctor (TD) ) found the engine room telegraph but it was impossible to move with a standard crow bar. This time “The Doctor” proscribed a 6ft 14lb crow bar and a pair of bolt croppers to solve the problem :D

I was to lay the line and stick with TD and T was going to make sure we were OK then go of exploring. We struggled down to 65 against a bit of tide on the shot and DT/T tied in and recoverd the tethered crow bar, whilst I got the reel sorted. Viz was a good 5-6m but it was a little gloomy. We set off to the right but T quickly assessed it was the wrong way and we turned and headed back to the shot. Shortly past this we dropped on to the sea bed and I recognised the engine room fro the previous dive. We were sure we were in the right spot but we were struggling to find the telegraph. I must have been looking straight at it but missed it, when finally TD got out the 6ft bar and set to work

I didn’t want to screw up so I held back and just provided light. Once out the cloud of silt made things awkward but TD did an amazingly efficient job of separately bagging up both bits. I considered sending up the crow bar and bolt croppers with my lift bag but I didn’t want to make a mistake so I left it to TD to let me know what he wanted me to do. This was to result in another slagging when I got back on the boat :D “You could have helped by sending the tools up you git” said ‘T’. Ho hum but no slagging about my line laying so that’s an improvement :D

Heading back up into clear water I went over an area of small brass keys locks broken china and port whole glass. Looking at my deco commitment I was up for a two and a half hour run time in 11c water so I quickly grabbed a couple of intact porthole glass and legged it for the shot.

We were last but one out and the ascent went OK all but an interesting buoyancy moment at 9m details of which ill leave out to protect the guilty :D




The trip home was all about planning day two. We could do the Empire Javelin which we know to be a superb wreck orrrrr we could do a total unknown a long way out and take advantage of the glass like sea.

No contest the unknown has it in spades.

Day 2 next
 

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A short fat well off crap cave diver. Likes wrecks
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15,343 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Day 2

Simon is due to pick me up at 5:30. I switch my phone on at 5:15 and there is a message to say he has broken down? Is it me? Does no body want to dive with me ?

The thought of the monumental slagging I was going to get from ‘T’ and Don John spurred me into action and the Jeep was loaded in 10 seconds flat and I hit an all time new top speed in the 2ton diesel heading to get Simon.

We tied on the rope then I proceeded to tow him at up to 50mph to a nearby car park. Shortly after Simon commented that he had never been towed before and doing 50mph 10ft from the car in front with no servo on the breaks was an enlightening experience. Little did he know I was just softening him up a bit for the next phase.

79miles its 5:50am the boat leaves at 7:30 and we are in a two ton diesel 4X4. We arrived at 7:15. Simon was looking older and wiser but we were other wise unscathed.

Kit on the boat and we settle back to enjoy the most magnificent sea conditions:



The trip out was heaven. TD demoed the DIR way of mounting strobes and cutting tools.



Having carried out the challenging task of getting a shot on a well broken wreck in 55m of water, it was a bit worrying to note the local shipping traffic right on top of us. A few questions were asked on the exact draught of a ferry



Simon ready to go:



Simon and I were in second and Simon was doing the line as I was taking photos. Viz was excellent, probably 10m. The wreck was a wooden sailing ship circa 1850ish. This was decided based on the presence of many “dead eye” rope bearings compared to what metal we found. The extensive wear on the dead eyes lead TD and T to suspect it went down around the turn of the century.

I have never seen so many Conga on a wreck. They were every where and they were massive. Hears a small one



We soon came across T and TD (first in) bagging up a dead eye and a chunk of the ship it was mounted on



Sadly my camera had no batteries for the flash so ambient light shots only. Also I had a problem in that the wide angle lens was screwed into an adaptor but the adaptor wouldn’t totally fill with water so I had a tide mark going across the lens. I wiggled and jiggled it but it was not easy so some of the pics have a funny shadow in the middle.

Simon managed to find a porthole and soon I had another lifting event to photograph





I grabbed a modest lobster to appease the wife god and content my self with taking picks.

We were willing to stay longer but the tide was getting irritating and we were near the shot and it was obvious we were last out (only two strobes left) so we went home with 40ish on the clock

Deco was deco. Hers the profile for the interested. It’s my usual granddad ascent. A busy deco bar meant I was practicing some free swimming deco and I was kept company by my MP3 player for the duration.



Back on board and its pic time again. Well done Simon on his first brass backed Porthole.



A great trip some great diving. The second wreck is unlikely to have ever been dived so it was a privilege to be there. It’s unlikely we will go back to her again because there are better wrecks but that’s what diving marks is all about.

ATB

Mark Chase
 
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A short fat well off crap cave diver. Likes wrecks
Joined
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15,343 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Nice report Mark....did you get any pics of the telegraph?

Mal


Sadly no, It was my first deep one of the year so i decided to avoid temptation and task loading and leave the camera at home. Then of course it turns out to be a great day, easy conditions and reasonable viz :( typical isn't it :D

As I said at the top of the report T is sorting out some background info and picks of the stuff they have retrieved from the Albair. Including the Bell. TD will no doubt forward me picks of the telegraph once its cleaned up so Ill post it when i put it all together.

It was a tad disappointing as the engine room tele had much more ferrous metal on it than we expected but after and initial clean up TD reckoned it would be presentable once finished.

ATB

Mark Chase

ATB

Mark Chase
 

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A short fat well off crap cave diver. Likes wrecks
Joined
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15,343 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I am looking for a buddy to dive with this group on the 20 21 22 June
on Pamela P. Depth is likely to be 60-70m deeper is a possibility but unlikley.

It will be max 8 on the boat and long range and the costs will reflect this. These are return to deco station ONLY dives. Bagging off is NOT an option.

You will be diving with me and we will be told when we are going in (usualy second and connecting the station because I tend to do the longest bottom time and deco combination) I run 10/85 deco schedules and the divers do not leave the water alone so you stay with your buddy for the whole of deco. Dive time is likely to be 2 hours plus and unlikely to be more than three. Line laying skills are esentail

Sounds draconian but its not just simple safety standards we stick too.

If any one is interested let me know.

ATB

Mark Chase
 
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Irish Cave Diver in the making
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Excellent report Mark.

Those are just the sort of dives that I would love to do and am working up (or should that be down) to do. You just kindled that fire a little bit more :)
.
 
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