Report by Tim Cozens
Well, the weather forecast looked good with the tides at gentlemen’s hours and the recent good vis boding well.
There were only 3 takers for the dive with a number of the membership off to the Red Sea on Wednesday so a bit thin on numbers. However the plan was to do two dives with Jenny skippering for the first. Very generous and well appreciated.
Plan A was to repeat the dive on the War Helmet to get acquainted with the wreck again, however – they lied about the weather. Light winds and 0.1m wave heights, I don’t think so! Constant wind and 0.7 (at least) wave heights with a really short wave interval with frequent series of short and steep cresting waves. This made the long journey an unpopular choice so we went to plan B, the closer Shirala. The journey was not too bad but we only managed to make 10 – 13 knots max. One mile to go and directly in front was a fishing boat right on top of the wreck, blast.
So Plan C had to be hastily planned, a wreck we have not dived for a few years, the Glenlee. It is less than a mile from the Shirala and with the sea behind us it only took a few minutes to get there. The marks on the sounder looked promising and we dropped the shot in, checked the location and decided that it was slack enough to get in.
Andrew and I dropped in to 21M and straight into a mass of beams and plates, we knew we were at the northern end so sent the shot up and went SE. The wreck is quite flat but has quite a lot of raised sections with 3 humongous boilers in a line, loads of life around with all the usual suspects but few blennies and smaller life to be seen. Vis was over 6 M with plenty of light and a sand bottom and you could see for a long way if it wasn’t for the Bib in the way. Andrew was updating the training video of a ‘typical diving day from Littlehampton’ so lots of posing, playing with lobsters etc. Overall it was a very enjoyable dive and would be a really great sea dive for trainees. Plenty to see, reasonably easy to find, not deep and some big stuff down there.
Back to the boat after 45 mins to find that after bobbing round in the horrible sea Jenny was not feeling very special so we decided to go back and fit the new boat cover. This seems to fit pretty well and has Velcro panels that zip around the A frame and an elasticated draw around the engines which works well, it is a lot easier and quicker to deal with than the old one. Hopefully it will last as long.
A nice day out but a shame for Jenny to miss out and for feeling green.