Diary

The Snowdonia always throws up 'bits'

And this time it was sheathing and a pin of course!

Having spent some time grubbing about at Dunstanburgh it was time for a belt over to the Islands and whilst I had hoped to drop in and grab a few scallops the horrendous tides meant that the two sites that I had earmarked were simply unsuitable so it was time for 'plan C', that was to go and have a dip on the remains of Snowdonia, a sailing ship which ran up onto the Brownsman in 1881, so whilst there are no 'big lumps' there are a few large iron bits and also the chance of the various brass and copper pieces used to hold together a barque of this vintage!

This site is normally pretty tide free as the gut which the wreck sits at the mouth of virtually dries up at low water and at spring high water it is narrow and shallow, so at the wrecksite there is a current that you notice but it hardly bends the kelp fronds and you can easily swim against it without starting to breathe heavily.

So having thrown in an anchor in I went, straight down to the sandy bottom in about 7m and then over to the kelp where you tend to find bits and pieces, now I had hoped to get some photos of swimming birds but with cliffs populated only with kittiwakes and cormorants there was no chance of getting photos of puffins, guillimots or razorbills so it was strictly camera in the boat and grub about!

Early on in the dive I spotted the smaller piece of copper free on the bottom so picked it up and continued on my way and it wasn't long before I saw the leading edge of the the larger shett which, after moving some small fist size stones lifted from the sand giving quite a surprise as I thought it would be much smaller than it's actual size of over a meter long and maybe forty centimers wide if opened up. As for the nail, well it was poking out from the sand, bent over like a cats claw so easily spotted and pocketed.

As the main reason for the dive was a 'look see' for bits I hadn't spent a huge amount of time with my head out of the kelp so it is not surprising that on the wildlife front there is not much to report apart from the animals which you would tend to find in rocky kelp, soooooo crabs of various species and size, blue fiends and velvet swimming crabs. Of the finned creatures, well loads of short spined sea scorpions, odd yearling cod darting about and that was it, out in the clear water there were some small coalfish but not any number or size and also surprisigly no seals, or perhaps unsurprisingly as I can't recall ever being hassled by seals on this site.

Back at base having 'shaken' all of the dirt and sand from the larger piece of plating it became obvious from the neatly cur edges that this was a small piece used as a 'tingle sheet' to patch up either missing copper sections or holes in either the hull of the main vessel or that of the small jolly boats used to move crew and cargo and it had been held in place with rows of smallish hand-made nails, many of which were still in place.

The use of these tingle plates to stop leaks was depicted quite accurately in the film 'In the Heart of the Sea' where the first mate and one of the two stars of the movie was fixing some stove in planks on a whale boat prior to the appearance of the cetacean star and his subsequent sinking of the 'mother ship' Essex which led to the survivors undertaking a ghastly journey with executions, cannibalism et al.

However there was no such event here and it was simply a ship that was 'lost' and ran up onto an Island, unfortunately she was wooden and sail powered so not a huge site but always interesting bits with the chance of some nice trinket as only salvage undertaken would have been to remove the masts and spars.

In summaruy a nice end to a nice day diving!

Dive safe

RichW

 

 

 

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