There really wasn’t much discussion about the target for the weekend. Those of us who missed the first dive on the Victoria Star last Friday were keen to get out there and see it for ourselves. It’s quite close inshore which makes for a quick ride out there but does leave it close to the shipping lanes. It’s anyone’s guess whether the authorities will decide to buoy the wreck or destroy it – we’d obviously prefer the former – but something needs doing.
Anchoring took a couple of attempts but we hooked in before too long and got diving. The viz was adequate rather than spectacular – I suspect that being close to the dredged areas it won’t get much better – but I’ve seen far worse. Mike D and PJ came up in complete certainty about the anchor position:
“No the stern”
Armed with this priceless information me and Cath went for a look. It’s not often we get to dive a wreck as recent as this one (the Mariam Express was the last one) and it’s fascinating to tour round a boat that’s almost pristine apart from being underwater. It’s hard not to smile when you see a large sign saying: “SAFETY FIRST”. Someone was obviously not paying attention.
The wreck is about 80m long and sitting upright. The cargo of concrete blocks has tipped around quite a bit though it’s not clear if this was a factor in the sinking. It’s not an obvious deliberate sinking the way the Sea King 5 was and the way the Ajman Glory may have been. I can foresee a few more visits in the near future.
All in all a good day and I think it’s only fair to overlook such misdemeanours as PJ going over the side without his air switched on or Brian cutting the wrong line attached to his lifting bag.
This was the last dive (for a while) for Chris De Klerk who is returning home although he hopes to get back here in the not too far distant future. A pleasure to dive with you Chris and we hope to see you again soon.
Overheard on the way back to the club:
“Is the small boat behind us or in front?”
“Behind I hope”
“Why, is Mike towing it?”
“No, we are”
The photos (worth a thousand words) are by Polly Buckingham, and can be seen above. PJ's video will be premiered on Tuesday.
Ian Hussey and guest writers.