3 April 2011 – Ore Wreck & Scallop Beds


5004_plan_750pixies-ore-wreckThere were five fearless divers on the doodle for this dive. Steve and I arrived at the Boathouse Café around 8am and were followed shortly after by Julian and Simon, we ordered our breakfast and discussed the dive ahead while we awaited the arrival of the fifth man. Stuart arrived just before 8.30 by which time we had agreed to change the planned dive on the Indianna to the Ore Wreck. We then left Stuart to his breakfast and headed off to ready the boat.

The trip out to the wreck was uneventful, Steve took a turn at practicing his boat handling, the sea was a millpond and Julian slept. When we reached the wreck site Julian took over the helm and Stuart and Simon dropped the shot. Slack was getting close so Stuart, Steve and I kitted up and after a quick repositioning of the shot, dropped in. The water was a balmy 8° and Stuart announced he didn’t hold out much hope for the vis! How right he was. I turned my torch on as we descended the shot only to find that as it got darker the light flickered and as I touched bottom it went out. I had a backup torch on my reel, which, after some fiddling about I detached and put around my wrist. We were in a plankton bloom and had no possibility of finding the wreck as even with a torch we had no more than a meter vis at best. We swam for a few minutes then Stuart indicated we should put up a blob, both Steve and I were slow to understand that he felt we should treat it as a drift dive. We certainly felt as if we were drifting quite quickly and saw lots of yellow starfish, some large flat sea-anemones and plenty of snails. There were quite a few large hermit crabs, but other than one rock with a fine display of deadman’s fingers only flat seabed to see.

We had 30mins bottom time and then ascended, we were all frozen but had enjoyed the dive. Julian and Simon recovered us and we discovered we had moved hardly any distance from the shot which. It was decided that Julian and Simon would have a drift dive on the Scallop beds even with poor vis there would be more to see.

I had a go at practicing my boat handling skills on this part of the trip. I really need to practise! I found keeping to the red line on the screen or to the north-east heading on the compass very tricky, the waves had picked up a little and it was a bit windy. In the hands of an expert there would have been no problem but I was zigzagging about the line. Once I found a point on the horizon to focus on things improved and I reached the scallop beds without causing sickness or injury to anyone! Stuart took over and Julian and Simon kitted up. Julian used his SMB and in they went, they dived for 30mins and saw a fair bit of sealife. This included a couple of dogfish, one of which Julian very kindly handed to Simon who took it because you always do what your tutor tells you! Simon also saw a large ray, Julian missed it because he was looking for scallops for his landlord. The dive was quite low vis, about the same as ours and Julian got very cold but Simon proclaimed the temperature ‘balmy’. Simon then steered for home and chips, his boat handling practise was great, he held the line and then manoeuvred to the chip shop steps with only a minor bump and realignment by the crew. No chips though as the queue was huge! We then headed back to the marina, fuelled up and Stuart drove onto the trailer. We cleaned the boat and kit, put everything away and another successful day’s diving was over. (JM)

Posted in Dive Diary 2011
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