After a very early start to get to Brighton Marina for 7am to meet the other Meridian Divers and BBC crew, I wasn't hopeful that underwater conditions would make the T.R.Thompson commemorative dive a particularly good one especially after all the recent bad weather.
On leaving the Marina aboard Steve Johnson's spacious Channel Diving hard boat, the surface conditions looked perfect, although the sky was a little dark and overcast. With nearly an hours trip out to the wreck site there was plenty of time to chat to the BBC crew about the TRT project and what we are trying to achieve and also check our equipment.
The gods were smiling as we arrived at the wreck site and the sky brightened with the clouds parting it had become almost a perfect day.
Any of you who have dived with Channel Diving before know Steve is an expert when it comes to placing the shot on the wreck with perfect precision you tell him where you want it and he places it exactly there with no fuss.
Looking into the water waiting for slack tide we could see the shotline disappearing into the depths which promised surprisingly some visibility.
After kitting up it was time to enter the water and as always with my first sea dive of the year there were a few butterflies but on hitting the water and starting the journey down to the wreck they soon disappeared.
I was diving with Sara and Jim from East Sussex Fire & Rescue who had joined us for the day.
On reaching the wreck we were surprised that although dark we had at least 2-3m viz and looking up you could see daylight which was a pleasant and unexpected surprise.
The TRT couldn't show us all her glory today but we could see enough of the wreckage to make the dive worthwhile and we did pick out a massive capstan . I had taken the video camera down but wasn't expecting any success but later BBC footage clearly showed the the capstan and other bits of wreckage.
All too soon it was time to head for the surface and say goodbye to the T.R.T and the ghosts of her crew with a promise we will be back again soon to continue to tell their story.
Total dive time 32 minutes , Max depth 32.6m , Water temp 9.c , Viz 2-3m with torches .
Ernie (Safety Diver)
Surface Cover: Chris-P