Random Jottings

Old sites, new location methods

A trip to Ullswater gave me an opporunity to 'mark' a wreck on a new chart-plotter, oh and give the RIB a good clean in fresh water

A few years ago myself and the Ancient Diver bought some Garmincombined chart-potter/down-vu units to fit to Calypso and Duo-Diver I and to be honest the clarity of the images has been a revalation, the two boilers on St Andre were the first site that we scanned and you could clearly see the two boilers, one vertical and one horizontal, even the Ancient Diver was quietly impressed!

Anyhow, the trip to Ullswater was to mark the last resting place of the paddle-steamer 'Enterprise' which sank after a few years operation when it was realised that whilst paddle steamers offered superior manouverability they did tend to get clogged up with weed, in my opinion a nineteenth century insurance job but who will ever know?

I first found the site many years ago when my old dad spent what seemed like ages 'putting' up and down the lake with an old style electronic sonar, once found we took a few transits and confirmed that it was the wreck with a couple of dips........which makes the various comments about the 'untouched' wreck 'discovered' in 2006 rather laughable, they obviously haven't looked in detail.

Having picked up the first transit we ran the RIB along and hit the wreck on the first attempt and then identified the spot with a man overboard marker, maybe we will get a chance to dive the site in the winter when the water clears up a bit.

The at the weekend I was out 'playing' in Calypso and thought that I would mark up SS Somali, again with a man overboard marker so out I blasted to line up the Megstone and then head along that transit until I hit the transit with Beadnell Point, bang on call the bottom lifted from 28m up to 16m with various bits and pieces in clear view so I marked the boilers at the northern end as this is the best end to shot as you are not dropping into a tangled bloody mess.

I must say that over the last ten years the cost of boat electronics has plummeted whilst the quality has gone through the roof, these little Garmin units are pre-loaded with charts of UK waters and the images provided by the down-vu system are sooooo much better than traditional sonar, there is no need to try and interpret the bottom based on the signal, it is shown and the resolution is good enough to make out major lumps of ship. If you are inshore mooching about you can see kelp over rocks and individual boulders show up quite clearly, a couple of scans that I did around Dunstanburgh Castle show the reef in great detail and will be used in a forthcoming dive guide, I now need to consider if I have to revisit existing guides to add scanned images where appropriate......now there's a winter task!

Dive safe



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