After the Eid weekend adventure we were back on familiar territory last Friday – a trip to the Neptune and Jumbo. The Neptune is an upturned barge that went over after a collision whilst it was a supporting vessel fighting a fire on a rig. It landed upside down and while the general shape of the wreck is clear, it’s never been obvious to me which is front and which is back. (Bow and stern for the technically minded). There used to be a nice swim through but that part of the wreck has now collapsed leaving some new holes for exploration with care and maybe some other routes through.
The wreck was teeming with snappers, perhaps not the most exciting fish in the sea but after seeing the scarcity of fish in the Med the previous week, it still makes you realise what we have here. On the way up the line we were accompanied by a shoal of barracuda circling around and a solitary batfish that took a fancy to my octopus.
Dive number two was the Jumbo which is only about 2km away (and closer to the Neptune cardinal buoy than the Neptune itself is). The Jumbo was a deliberate sinking for the benefit of the local fisherman but little is known about it. The wreck was lost for a number of years until the coordinates turned up on list of obstructions following a survey ahead of the dredging for the Palms. It’s a cargo vessel lying on its port side in about 22m. It’s fairly broken up but the bow and stern are clearly identifiable (not least because of a prop that is too big even for Mike to contemplate sawing off). In between there are some nice and unthreatening swim-throughs and again a lot of snappers.
After that it was back to port on an extremely flat sea and thence to the club for a few refreshments by the pool.
Ian Hussey and Dive Club writers.