Diary

He's at it again but got rather chilled!

And the Nunkie is notthing like a bottle of nice sancerre!

Here is the first of I suspect many this year narrated by the fair Nunkie who it has been said has been 'enthused' to start some serious diving again, long may this turnaround continue!

And this is the first article of 2019 with the nuts and bolts too.....

The temperature was cold, 6degC

The vis was really good around the 6m mark although it may be wiped out by the weekend

These early season dives are all around checking out the 'lie of the land' have any wrecks been shuffled about exposing any scrappage or indeed trinkets or have they been covered by a dump of sand, it's important that one of the DD team get out there and if things are uncovered we tend to make short work of recovering them before the sea swallows them up so with that in mind in he went on the South Side of Beadnell Point with the express intent of checking out the remains of Mistley, an old steam trawler.......

However when walking down there was a string of pots really close inshore, looking at them I thought mid way up the first slope and you know what they were! It really is too early for lobsters in this area as the blue fiends are only here when they are out foraging at a night so either the boat crew are 'green' or the recent spell of unseasonal weather has gone to their heads. Certainly the three pots that were passed over were devoid of fiends and they were lifting them whilst Nunkie was clambering out so obviously they had been in a while. It's the time of year for 'crabbing' in thirty meters of water so not sure why they were potting the reef, hey ho.

As expected for the time of year the dive was going to be rather limited so it was a case of head out, into the rough stuff to see what had been shifted about in the winter storms then head east until the wreckage was reached and have a good mooch about. Heading over the rough stuff in about eight meters of water it was noticeable that there were loads of boulders turned over, quite a few 'clean' yellow boulders which must have been washed out from near the limekilns and also large areas which were devoid of boulders and down to the bedrock of shale beds and in the nooks and crannies there were obviously lost fishing weights which were bagged. I gather that was just as well as a little over-indulgence and too little exercise meant that the Nunkie needs anotehr kilo or two adding to his belt, yes indeed he ate all the pies.

Nearing the wreck, well you can tell as the Sea Urchins take on an orange hue from the rust which they ingest, there were bits of new stuff that had been uncovered, obviously I mean new to the diving community it had been there since the loss of the vessel but covered by rock and sand for much of the recent past.

On the large flat area where the bottom of the vessel sat on the rock and eventually I think fell open like an over-ripe fruit it was patently obvious that another significant amount of rock and sand had been removed from the site. The front end of the ship is now obviosu and you can follow around the bow which has been flattened onto the sea-bed, well it seems to be the bow as it is iron plate whith either a rolled top of section of large diameter pipe or rod welded ontop and certainly you can start on the port side which is the seaward portion and follow this right round so you have changed direction from west to east.

Heading down towards the stern it was difficult to pick out major reference points as there are many more parts of the trawling rig that have been uncovered but slowly, old, familair bits hove into view and although their were odd fishing weights there was no gling of brass although I suspect that there will be lead scupper pipe there somewhere!

The stern area had been similarly exposed with the large A frame which sat on the slope now scoured free and the boulders which covered a large portion of the wreck washed away making for an interesting swim looking at various bits and pieces and yes there will need to be more work here. In the summer of 2017 himself spent a couple of dives taking shots of the wreck and then printed out all of the photographs and painstakingly glued them together onto a roll of paper, well this was an interesting exercise but unfortunately the wreck now bears little or no resemblence to this collage. The prop shaft no longer consists of a few holes into a sub-terranean cave, rather it is now 75% exposed and the conglomerated lump of iron studded with bits of brass like currants in a plum pudding has simply gone, so I suspect that there will be bits of scrap brass being picked up for the next ten years!

On the life front everything is pretty much still tucked away, no sign of any fish although the presence of weights means that there must be some cod here in the winter, lobsters are all hidden in their holes although I suspect that some of the usual 'nailed' on lairs will simply have vanished, heading back up the slope with numb finger tips there were odd velvet swimming crabs and here and there is the sheltered areas of the deeper cracks patches of nudibranch eggs but none of the small crispea which were their during the last dive of 2018.

So there you go a promising dip and with the changes effectively a 'new' dive site, good work Neptune and the Nunkie, now it's time to warm through and remember guys and gals diving is meant to be fun so get the right gear and...... 

Dive safe

RichW

Weight this dive - 5.1 kg

Weight this year - 28.5 kg 

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