We had planned to dive a wreck of a tug call the Beaver, but during our surface interval while we were changing cylinders we were given some information on a better dive site so we went there instead.
During the surface interval Nick had to drive back to Yarmouth to pick up Krystal. He said he’d be back about 5pm. Nigel arrived around 4:30 and soon got his kit ready and on the RIB. The wreck site was a long way offshore, further than we’d been before and it was touch and go if we would make it time for slack water. Hayden was the coxswain and was constantly apologising for getting us all soaked every time a wave went over the bow. We arrived at the co-ordinates and could see all 4 platforms in the Hewitt field and the buoy marking the sandbank. There was quite a bit of swell as we tried to locate the wrecks with our dodgy fishfinder screen. It was getting late so we dropped the grapple on the potential wreck and Hayden and Nick got kitted up to dive first.
- Divers: Hayden, Nick
- Max Depth: 15 metres
- Dive Time: 32 minutes
- Water temperature: degrees C
- Viz: metres
- Dive Details: On arrival we searched for a while for the wrecks. On the sounder we found a number of things that looked like wreckage but it was hard to control the boat in the swell whilst also looking at the echo sounder. The tide window again had passed and went over a mark that rose from 18-14m steeply and shot it first time, on descending we found it stuck in the sand NOOOOO. We tried to head west but the tide fought us so we went with it, despite being on sand we saw quite a few flat fish, gobies and tons of weavers!!! Towards the middle of the dive also had 3 little squid play in my torch. After 30 mins we start to come up on the DSMB.
While Hayden and Nick were diving we retrieved the grapple and stowed it back on the RIB, we followed their DSMB until they surfaced when we picked them up. Jane decided not to dive so Nigel and I kitted up while Hayden took us back to area where the wreck was meant to be.
- Divers: Simon, Nigel
- Max Depth: 13.5 metres
- Dive Time: 27 minutes
- Water temperature: 13 degrees C
- Viz: 0.5-1 metres
- Dive Details: Hayden slowed the engine, put it into neutral and we rolled back off the RIB. We left the surface quite quickly so that we didn’t drift too far. We were diving on a sandbank at low water springs with the tide running so we didn’t see anything on the descent to 12 metres. Once we landed on the sand I inflated my DSMB and let a little extra line out for Nigel to hold on to. Visibility was really bad with lots of sand in the water, shining our torches on the bottom all we could see was ripples in the sand. We drifted with the tide for a few minutes and the depth started to get a little deeper. I was about to signal to Nigel that we should try and turn right a little bit to stay at 12 metres when I noticed a piece of wreckage to my left. I grabbed hold of it and signaled to Nigel that we had found the wreck. We continued along the side of the wreckage which only protruded from the sand less than half a metre until we passed a much larger piece of wreckage several metres high. A little further along we had the opportunity to turn left as we passed it and use it as a shelter from the running tide. Nigel said it was a boiler but I could make it out as the viz was so bad, it was hard to tell but I think I also saw the ribs of the wreck as we explored the small sheltered area. We saw a little lobster and some crabs then decided we should start our ascent as we were diving on a wreck with very poor viz, no idea what we might bump into and we were using a dsmb which could easily get caught or snagged on a bit of the wreck above us. We moved clear of the wreck and started our ascent as I reeled in the line. Doing a 3 minute safety stop at 6 metres wasn’t easy because of the poor visibility and the sea state above us. When we surfaced it was dark so we shone our torches at Hayden, Nick and Jane on the RIB and they came over and picked us up. It would be good to dive this site again on slack tide in better sea conditions and with better viz.