22 August 2008

Shirala ~ The One That Didn`t Get Called-Off

With the weather being as pants as it`s been, we all thought these dives would be cancelled BUT it turned out good in the end, even though Sean was doing daily rain dances so he didn`t have to pay if his space wasn`t filled ! Sorry mate, space not filled but the amount of space onboard was brill as there was only 7 diving !!

The first dive was on the SHIRALA 5,306 ton liner torpedoed by a german sub UB-57 in July 1918 @5 miles off Littlehampton, she had an odd mixed cargo with tusks, marmalade, auto spares and a lot of different explosives, she lies at @24m. We desended the shot line and the wreck with very litte current and quite good vis 4-5m, we started our tour amidships and found the most impressive collection of big lobbies and edible crabs I`ve seen including a big crab on the end of a pipe sticking up all on it`s own. Also saw a lot of netting around this area all on the seabed. We headed towards her bows escorted by shoals of bib and pollack that seem to be on most wrecks in the channel I`ve dived to find the biggest conger head in a hole I will ever see it`s head was the size of a medium dogs head and i`ll be damned if i was going to put my hand in there to tempt him out to see the rest of him!!! We also saw a couple of pretty good sized congers free swimming and in holes, this wreck is pretty well broken up and as the current started picking up we had 100 bar in our tanks so we started to deploy our DSMB and ascend back to the surface.

The second dive which was supposed to be the INDIANA @ 1 mile off Worthing Pier but as she was close in was deemed to be a waste of time as the vis would be really bad so we opted for the West Wall off Shoreham at 11m a couple of miles out, vis was ok but we missed the wall and had 1/2 hr drift before we surfaced and headed back to Brighton Marina. Both dives were really enjoyable and I would recommend the SHIRALA to all thanks to Ernie, Simon, Sarah for the great company and channel diver skipper Steve and his wife Caroline for the usual excellent dive experience .

Skive dives rock!!!!


Simon-T said...

Thanks everyone. A really enjoyable dive. at my age it's nice to know I can still remember stuff I haven't done for a couple of weeks!!

sheilab said...

I second that. Finally got to dive. (shows you have to keep the faith)

Chris-P said...

Hmmmm, I am upping my skiving from now on! Thanks for the report Matt.