This was a good start to 2011. We had both boats out – a total of 10 divers. It might have been 11 had PJ not pulled out with a touch of the “Brian’s” (of which more later). One reason for the enthusiasm was that Mike had obtained some co-ordinates from a recent Notice to Mariners that apparently had large obstructions under water. Apparently there was only 6m of water above them which would suggest some big wrecks if it turned out to be true.
At the first location we found nothing – this was not altogether surprising as we discovered later the wrong co-ordinates had been entered into the GPS. However a return visit a couple of hours later, this time to the right place also revealed nothing more exciting than smooth flat seabed.
At the second place there was definitely something to look at. This was a lot smaller than we’d been told to expect being 18m down but it was still solid and rectangular. It turned out to be a hopper barge maybe 50m long with a double storey wheel-house at the stern. Everything interesting had been stripped off which leads me to think it was probably sunk deliberately for the fishermen. There was a big cow-tailed ray at the bow and a family of batfish swimming round the wheel-house. Not spectacular but it will make a nice second dive after the Dara which is about 6km away. The wreck was christened “Cathy’s Barge” or CATHYB for short in the GPS.
The last new site we visited turned out to be a couple of steel workboats, some steel reinforcement and various assorted rubbish obviously thrown down as a fish nursery. Mike and Derek reported a 2m hammour but otherwise it was nothing to write home about. We didn’t name the site in the end as “Sarah’s Heap of Crap” didn’t seem quite right (well not to Sarah anyway).
While all this was going on, a new verb was being added to the English language: “to brian”. I don’t want to go into too much detail here – suffice it to say that a swift jump into the water was required to avoid unspeakable unpleasantness. This is a story that will just run and run. A bit embarrassing perhaps but as Brian himself said later: “Thus are legends made”.
Gourmet of the week goes to Derek. Back at the club and half way through his roast pork he commented that the apple sauce was a bit runny. This might have been fair comment except that it was actually vinegrette for Alissar’s side-salad. Gordon Ramsay obviously has nothing to worry about!
Welcome to 2011!
Ian Hussey and Dive Club writers.