25 April 2011 – Northcoates

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A bank holiday Monday in spring with nice weather and a dive planned on HMS Northcoates.

We meet at the marina at 8.15am, no time for breakfast (except for Simon who gobbled one down in minutes at the Boat House!), we just got our kit on to the boat and left the marina at 9.00.  The trip out to the wreck took less than an hour on a flattish sea.

With seven on the boat we put the three in first Jac, Jenny and Paul. The only thing that was wrong was we were not the only boat there and the other boat had an anchor in the wreck and were stopping us dropping our divers on our shot.

Alex and Stuart then went in.  The trio ascended and we picked them up by which time Alex & Stuart had also surfaced.  By this time, the other dive boat was finished on the wreck so Simon and I dropped straight onto the shot.

The water was quite clear with about 3 to 4 meters vis but it did seem dark after such bright sun light at the surface.  Once your eyes adjust and with a powerful torch we got to the bottom of the shot line, the wreck was just a short swim ahead.

We were at the stern on the port side so we went around the stern first, then up on to the deck on the starboard side.  The wreck is the most boat shape wreck we dive out of Littlehampton so it is easy to find your way around.  The two diesel engines on the deck, then the gun over what was once the bridge then around bow. There was only one conger in site but a lot of different fish of all sizes to see .

This wreck was once a fishing trawler but met it’s end as a mine sweeper.

After half an hour on the bottom it was time to leave we sent up a marker buoy and set off to the surface.  7 mins of deco was needed as we were diving on air before we surfaced.

The shot had already been picked up so it was back to the marina stopping for chips on the way.

A nice day out, it was still a bit fresh in the slight breeze and the water is not that warm yet but you get to dive when you can!  (JA)

Posted in Dive Diary 2011