28 May 2023 – Shirala

Report by Steve Spurgin

It was a typical British Bank Holiday at Littlehampton Marina: the sun was shining, the water was serene, and some of the divers had dared to wear shorts for the first time this year. Our leader for the day Brian arrived in his red MG sports car hood down and sun glassed up. It was on with the factor 50 and an efficient launch by Julian at 9am sent us on our way. We had light wind conditions and a flat sea, the engine ran very smoothly and the echo sounder settled down after a reboot.

We arrived on the Shirala Dive site for slack only to find Selsey Bill Sub Aqua landed at the same time with its flotilla of a hard boat and dive rib escort. The race then ensued to shot the wreck Stuart ably flung the shot and it was honours even.

Brian and Julian went down first as they both had 12lt tanks and 32 swamp gas. Stuart and Steve S had 15lt air. Brian and Julian reported back after 50 mins a successful dive of clear viability of 6 to 7 meters the  water temperature at depth was 13c and the shot was a couple of meters short of the wreck but not worth reshooting due to the fine viz. As we kitted up Brian and Julian reported the wreck was teeming with life: Edible crabs, Conger eels, and the usual large amount of Bib. Also it was noted that the largest lobster ever seen was hiding amongst the plates!

Stuart and Steve S then went down the shot and worked their way along to the bow and at 23 meters and 20 mins into the dive Steve S had an uncontrolled free flow from his octopus despite every effort to stop it resulted in cutting the dive short and both divers returned to surface after a disappointing 28 minutes.

We had a lovely ride back to the marina, with the sun still shining and the sea still calm. It was a great day out, despite the mishap.

Posted in Dive Diary 2023
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