With the sea state looking reasonable and the viz having been awful on the last two visits to the Dara, we decided to head a bit further offshore to the Neptune and Jumbo. Progress was not as fast as it can be, but we got to the Neptune in an hour or so and anchored the wreck at the first time of asking.
Diver one and two were first down the line and as the wreck came into view, the first thing we saw was a shoal of Barracuda and some kind of shark swimming slowly along. I think it was the same type as seen on the Taha or Mariam a few weeks ago but we need a couple of photos to confirm what it is.
My impression of the viz was that it was better than it was reported to be last weekend but not by much. Maybe 2m or so. We did a couple of circuits, but I didn’t fancy too much exploration in the murk. It turned out we’d been unlucky.
Further divers next down the line found viz poor to start with but improving markedly during the dive. Other divers reported seeing almost the whole wreck from the anchor line and presumably must have wondered if some of us needed our eyes testing.
It was at this point that we had a visitor. A young sea bird swam up to the boat, looking very bedraggled so we lifted it out to give it a chance to dry out and recover.
We were hoping that the good viz would also have appeared on the Jumbo, only a short distance away. Sadly, this wasn’t the case and although marginally better than our dive on the Neptune, the viz was no better than extremely average. My impression swimming around was that there have been some changes to the wreck over the winter. Further dives in better viz may confirm.
By the time we were ready to go back, our guest’s condition seemed to have improved. We took the bird back to shore and released it at the port. Whether it will ultimately survive no-one can say but it will have a much better chance near land, food and company than it would, had we left it floating around in the water.
It seemed to me that the water temperature has improved since a month ago. Although hardly overall / skin-suit conditions it wasn’t quite the biting cold of February. I made do with a 3mm suit but 5mm is still recommended for the time being. I guess anyone familiar with UK diving conditions will be having a wry smile at this.
As previously mentioned about the possible Shark sighting, it was certainly interesting despite the inevitable skepticism when we got back on the boat. Perhaps I should buy that camera after all. I’ve since found the link below which may be of interest for literature about Sharks. This is an informative read and worthwhile keeping in your files for future reference.
And so to the club for a glass or two of decompression fluid. A few returning divers amidst the chaos so welcome back all.
The 406 Exiles rendezvous in Wapping went ahead so stay tuned for pictures and updates.
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Ian Hussey and Dive Member Contributions.