Report by Paul Clunas
Divers : Julian, Tim, Milton (Club RIB virgin!) Steve B and Paul
With the glorious weather due to have a tantrum we decided to ‘seize the day’ and head out to sea. While the plan was for the War Helmet Steve B put in a request for the Northcoates as he has had a number of failed attempts to dive this wreck. After a heated debate over numerous fried pork products in Chez Vickys, Julian relented and we set off for the Northcoates.
The Channel was at her best as we motored out in an oily calm at 11am, Julian took the helm and an extensive search was made to find the wreck but to no avail. After 20 minutes and slack drawing ever closer we aborted and went back to plan A, after 7 minutes were on site for the War Helmet, being a big old lump it was shot perfectly (thanks Jules!) apparently its 8 years since we last dived this wreck but should be firmly on the list.
Tim, Steve B and Paul in first on slack, wreck at 29 metres and a balmy 19 degrees, viz a fuzzy 5m as there was some particulate matter in the water. 2 big boilers and a smaller donkey boiler, big plates and the expansion engine. Lots of life, usual suspects – saithe, bib, congers and an enormous lobster which we left to life a long and happy life. 37 minutes total dive time as just running into deco. Jules and Milton in next, 39 minutes, same conditions and the marine life and wreckage were left intact.
Back on the boat we opted to have one last look for the Northcoates and believe we found a good mark – Looking at the GPS it was on the letter ‘C’ of the word Northcoates on the waypoint closest to the admiralty wreck mark. Note for future reference!
Weather became cloudy with a few spots of rain and the wind picked up a wee bit as Milton helmed over to the Black Ledge for a drift. Two pairs in as Tim kindly offered to stay on the boat to conserve time. A gentle bimble in 9-14m, viz the same as previous, some huge rocks and colourful anemones , lots of sea hares and fish but no rays or dogfish.
Back to port for fuel and recovered by 16.45
Another grand day out and all for a fiver!