Diary

The poor mans Ernest Cox, or something like that!

It was a bit hit and miss today when I finally got back in the water from the North Side of Beadnell Point, not that conditions had worsened, sure we now had a little chop and strong southerly but that hadn’t impacted

So, it was all still ‘by your beds’ with the vis being around the 10m mark, very nice indeed.

I was diving at around Low Tide, about an hour before, but as I have recently written there must be some strange conditions as in that last hour whilst thing should have been calming down they weren’t, it was absolutely tonking over the point. Post dive I had a bit sit and slack-water must have lasted seconds as almost as soon as it stopped it started emptying out, strange, we are on tides with a 3m lift so not springs or neaps, rather ‘beige’ conditions, I think I shall put this odd phenomena down to air pressure.

I think in one of my last posts I mentioned that I had spotted a delightful little length of lead scupper pipe and what seemed to be a valve, well on closer investigation both ‘spots’ were wrong, the scupper pipe was several shorter lengths, I got two small lengths each one about a foot long, I guess that a diver from many many moons ago chopped into manageable lengths and just never came back. As for the valve it as only a short length of brass rod! Bugger and once again Bugger. Still better in my scrap pot than lying on the bottom.

With such good vis and all of my banging about I expected to see some Coalfish or Pollack mooching about but I didn’t see a single ‘predatory’ round-fish which I must say is odd, I did see a few sandeels, the larger ones that some call launce mooching about but nothing chasing them which is odd, as again the last time I remember seeing launce at Beadnell Point they were being chased through the kelp forest by a couple of hungry pollack. I had planned to go into Knacker Hole to see if the fish were present over less rocky ground but no luck today as events overtook me.

I didn’t go far outside the debris field but it was interesting spending some time looking carefully at what is poking through the concretation on the bottom, the brass valve, well brass rod held such promise because there was a small piece of brass chain poking out from the bottom, the type used to telegraph signals around the vessel, the problem is that I have previously found small quantities and even the circular supports but nothing more interesting, I am pretty sure that the two telegraphs will have been wrenched off the wreck whilst it was still stuck high and dry on the point, but maybe….

The telegraph chain is undoubtable from the wreckage of MV Yewglen but the thick rusting iron found close to the Point, well I am not too sure, the structure of the Yewglen is very ‘obvious’, the plate is quite thin, the supports a reasonable distance apart and it is largely of a rivetted construction For sure the area around the bows is more ‘robust’ with some half round section welded along the outside. The stuff concreted solidly to the sea-bed has for a time been underneath the Yewglen debris and appears significantly more robust, there is also a section of keel on the bottom of the wall which is almost certainly from a ‘mainly wood’ vessel of an older vintage.

As an aside whilst looking at an article in Northumberland Gazette which ‘celebrated’ the loss of the Yewglen in 1960 the penny dropped. The cargo of the ill fated ship was lime and cement, not all of the cargo was recovered so the white ‘crumbly’ stones on the bottom is almost certainly the remains of cement or lime that was mixed with salt water and set over time on the sea-bed. Among this mix is where I find the odd 303 bullet so it seems more likely that these were carried by the ship for self-defence, in accordance with maritime law, than a loss from the gun position in WWII.

https://www.northumberlandgazette.co.uk/news/people/photographer-recalls-the-day-60-years-ago-that-cargo-ship-ran-aground-off-the-northumberland-coast-2000717

And of course the boiler just doesn’t make sense, the Yewglem was MV, a Motor Vessel, that’s to say she was powered by diesel engines, which ‘enterprising locals’ removed whilst the vessel was high and dry and spirited away on a tractor! Almost whisky galore but with engines and anything else of value but leaving enough scrap and the occasional trinket for the local divers!

This year has seen more than usual seals close inshore, I guess that as the numbers on the islands increase then the extra animals need to go further afield to hunt and also find somewhere safe to haul out and rest. These animals tend to be more ‘spooky’ than their islands brethren, probably because there are less of them to ‘egg each other along’ into interacting with divers, that’s to say tug fins and generally be a pain. There was a larger seal watching when I went in and then at the end of the dive I noticed a couple of people from the Marine Rescue organisation ministering to a yearling on the Point. This one had hauled itself well above the high-water mark and whilst they said it was going to get a dose of anti-biotics then back in the water I cant help but think it had hauled out to die, you regularly see their remains and the big challenge is to stop your dogs rolling in it.

For my next ‘adventure’ I will be diving somewhere much closer to ‘home’ and a site that I haven’t dived for neck end of forty years, the difference is that this time I will be diving from my RIB as it is one hell of a walk, and whilst digesting that comment remember that I don’t ‘break sweat’ trudging up and down Beadnell Point!

Dive safe

RichW

Weight this dive – 8.0 kg

Weight this year – 314.5 kg

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