One or two us , I think, doubted we would make this dive! Our recent track record for canned dives due to weather was troubling us all but , shortly after 1.30pm today we set off on MV My Sharon for the wreck of the T R Thompson. It was quite breezy with a lumpy sea as we made our way out of the Ouse and into the English Channel. The forecast was for the wind to drop later in the afternoon.
As it transpired we formed a small flotilla of dive boats , as My Sharon was flanked by two RIBs, one driven by Jamie S from Tunbridge Wells BSAC and the other by Richard H from Newhaven. It's always nice to have the company of other boats when diving eight miles off the coast, especially if you think it's going to be a lively one!
Aboard My Sharon was John Liddiard (of DIVER Magazine fame) along with , Tad, Sheila, Ernie, Simon, Tony, Nicky and me. John had previously tried to dive Thompson with us some years ago but that was canned due to bad weather! This time we had more luck and actually made the dive. John hopes to feature the TRT as a future 'Wreck Tour' in the magazine and we hope our project Blog will be the perfect match for the article in due course.
The Project Blog has already made an impact , with many divers reporting that they had read it and been impressed. We were also delighted to see that divers had been supplied with stickers for their log books that featured drawings of the wreck taken from the Project Blog. It's great to see how others are making use of the research to promote local diving.
By the time we reached the wreck site the wind had dropped a little and the faster RIBs had gone ahead and put a shot line down. So it was kit-up and get in on arrival. The water was pleasantly warm ... well , for the Channel, but the vis was in the order of 3 metres. Simon & I managed a max depth of 32 metres and strung out a total dive time of 40 mins (mind you we did have a leisurely stop!). It was not great for underwater photography but we had a good dive.
By the time we had surfaced the wind had dropped still further making re-entry in to the boat quite straight forward. Tea & biscuits aboard took the salt out of our mouths and the run back to Newhaven seemed faster in less swell.