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Friday, 20 April 2012

Wreck and Roll

Well I managed to get out for a dive today which was nice as I seldom have the change to dive on a weekeday. Captain O'Callaghan had a couple of mates on from down South plus me, so with a grand total of three divers we had plenty of space to roll around the deck which wasn't far off of what we were actually doing given the sea state today. Surfs up!
Grey and choppy heading out the harbour. Not the best conditions...
The lads wanted to do the Glanmire which is an old iron steamer that went down in 1912. I've done it quite a few times over the years and although I like my wrecks, the Glanmire has never really done anything for me. It's quite exposed and a lot of it has been flattened off, broken up and pushed around and once you hit deco there's nowhere really left to go but up. So it tends to be a short dive (for me anyway) with a run time of about 35-40 minutes unless you're fine with knocking out a load of deco time in mid water.

Being where it is, you need to jump on it at the right time, which is the other side of low tide coming into slack, but even with this it was a challenge with boat bobbing up and down like a cork and the waves washing over the back deck as you can see from the clip above. It's a long drop if your timing is not spot on.....
Nice little nudibranch on the boiler

I had decent light down the shot till about 22 metres then the black closed in till the bottom at 32 metres. The lads headed of sternwards and I headed off around the boilers and up to the bow. There were a couple of nice big lumpsuckers under one of the deck plates but the gap was so tight, there was no way to get the rig in for a photo. Plenty of sunstars, anemones and nudis to photograph though.
Hermit crab scuttles under the deck plates
I diddled around for a bit at the bow, checking the nooks and crannies to see what there was before heading back to midships. Viz wasn't the best today with 4-5 metres so you can't really get a true sense of the size of the wreck, which at 1411 tonnes is quite respectable.
Remains of the deck supports scatter the bottom
With the SMB deployed and the safey stop done, it was time for a pick up and brew. We headed round the corner to Pettico Wick where we had a nice surface interval as it was nicely sheltered, flat as a pancake and the sun made an appearance as well which was a pleasant bonus with our drysuits lightly steaming as the rays dried us out. Jill managed to finally get a brew without being battered by the waves.

Pettico Wick sparkling in the sunshine, what a difference
I do my final checks before taking the plunge...
 With every which way presenting us with rolling waves, we took the easy option and jumped in on the corner of West Hurker and let the current take us. And what a ripping current it was too. If Elaine had been out with us, there's no doubt she would have been getting in her superman impersonation.....
St Abbs in bloom
With a carpet of anemones and dead mens fingers blurring beneath me it wasn't long before I heading over the Skellies so it was and ideal opportunity to duck down into the gullies and find some wolfies and they were certainly out and about today.
Peek-a-boo, I see you!
Weaving in and out the gullies, I popped back out into the current and let it take me along for the ride. I knew roughly where I was but it was still a surprise to pop up on the Craigs. I knew the current was pushing on but didn't realise how fast. So three dives sites nailed on one dive, there's value for money! Still a bit of a bumpy ride back to harbour though as the swell had really picked up something rotten. Still it was a good day out with a decent couple of dives.
The waves thunder over Black Carr as we head for home
As always and before anyone says anything, I need to add my safety bit in and say that I never recommend diving solo in any way unless you have the right training, equipment and experience. 

Even then it's still more fun to dive with a trusted buddy as even in a perfect world with all the right training and equipment, sh*t can still happen. Dive safe, people.