Your best dive so far?
The Thistlegorm (Red Sea). Thesis, Radas, (Oban) Zenobia (Cyprus) or may be the old Scapa Flow favourites Karsruhe, Tabarka, Kron Prinz Willhelm. Or something closer to home such as the Scylla or even The James Egan Lane (Plymouth). All wonderful but reasonably costly to do. Well here’s a cracker for £25.00!
Last weekend we dived the Pentrych out of Newhaven. We used the new RIB Sea King, which made easy work of the 13 miles journey to her location in just 40 minutes. The Club had not dived this before due to the limitations of Britvic and Gren and Chris did a great job in arriving bang on site just after slack. On arrival 2 free-divers were snorkelling, understandably in hindsight drawing the dregs out of their dive and unwilling to leave. We would dive in 2 waves with Chris Chapell diving with me, followed by John Parish and Mariusz and lastly Sarah and Gren. As we descended we arrived on the remnants of the stern. After Chris set the lifting bag in place at the bottom of the shot line we looked inside one of the old cargo holds to be confronted by a huge moray eel which quickly disappeared. This was an encouraging start.
The water was incredibly clear, up to 8-9 metres unusually for U.K. diving and my attention was drawn to the largest lobster I, or Chris for that matter, have ever seen! Gargantuan. A monster. Its claws would make Johny Depp feel positively inadequate. I remembered being told by a well-meaning skipper once that there was nothing to catching a lobster: flip them on their backs – it disorientates them see – and then straight into the bag. I had a bag with me the size of a pillow case, if I was going to succeed I would need a single duvet. I left well alone, it appeared disappointed as it was up for a fight!
We progressed forwards; on the portside were the remains of the bulkheads still proud but needing a nourishing meal and resembling the ribs of a Brontosaurus in size. All around were copious quantities of fish life, shimmering from light refraction. The bridge although broken up still retained some structure reminiscent of the entrance to a Grecian palace as we swan through. The ships boilers were still intact and very substantial as I looked down there was even a porthole unsecured just waiting to be lifted Alan! Alas no lifting bag, it still lies there.
As we made our way back to the stern, part of the broken cargo holds looked like an aquarium just teeming with life, more lobsters, crabs and critters. We spent 51 minutes on this wreck and enjoyed every minute of it, I would have dived it again if we could and will certainly return to do it again.
The good news is that it sits in only 20 metres of water so is available to Ocean Divers upwards and because it’s so shallow you will get a descent bottom time. Grateful thanks to our Diver Coxes Gren, Chris and Mariusz for getting us there and back safely and the rest for your good company.