March 29th is always going to be an important date on my dive calender as it is the anniversary of the sinking of the T.R.Thompson and after last years success with project on the wreck there is a strong commitment to continue with the project and this years diving season started with the dive last Sunday on the 29th March with a dive on the T.R.T .
With hopes high we met at Newhaven to board Mick Luff's Sea Zones for the trip out to the wreck site in glorious warm spring sunshine with Divers from MD, Eastbourne BSAC and GUE making up the dive teams for the day.
On arriving at the site we joined 2 other local dive boats and a shot had already been dropped and we were invited to use this, thanks guys. The big disappointment was the water colour, brown and full of plankton so the underwater conditions didn't look promising and we were right.
Kitted up and in the water we descended into the coffee coloured water, there was at a push about a meter viz and it seemed to take forever to reach the wreck in the pitch black. Even in torch light it was difficult to actually see anything due to the backscatter from the plankton in the water so it was a bit of a fumble around the wreck more than a dive but it did give me a chance to silently pass on our regards to the lost crewmen.
There comes a point when you question the wisdom of diving in conditions such as they were on Sunday purely for safety reasons as the wreck is covered in discarded fishing tackle as one of the divers on our boat discovered , so after 29 minutes we called it a day and started our ascent to the surface and for the name legendary sea scones provided by skipper Mick. We also phoned (T.R.T relative) Norman Jack from the boat to tell him about the dive.
We are now looking forward to the better conditions to continue with the project work and plans are underway for some more exciting developments on the Thompson later in the year, watch this space. Catching up with old dive chums both on the water and in the cafe after the dive it was a great day out hopefully the omens are good for this forthcoming season.