01 September 2009

Diving the Wreck of The Mount Stewart

Photo of Anchor on the wreck
taken by Rob King

Bank Holidays normally bring pretty crap weather and Sunday was no exception grey and breezy and with a dive booked for Sunday afternoon I thought that it wasn't worth the trip down to Newhaven and a phone call from Jools confirmed my thoughts so I asked if there would be spaces on Mondays dive as the weather was looking a bit better.

Monday dawned grey and breezy again and once more I questioned if it was worth the trip down but as I had already cancelled once I thought it was polite to at least make the effort.

On arriving at Newhaven the sky at cleared, the weather was hot and the breeze was dropping.
Four of us were booked Tunwells Diver and as the boat had been out to the Scallop wreck in the morning and the vis wasn't brilliant it was suggested by Graham that we try a little dived wreck

The Mount Stewart 2 miles off Beachy Head a wreck and I hadn't dived her before. Built 1873 by T. & W. Smith, North Shields, Yard No 64; Launch Date September 1873; Built for Marquis Of Londonderry, Sunderland; Collision 3nm W Royal Sovereign Shoal on 19/12/1890 & sank whilst in tow

Reaching the wreck site we located the wreck and dropped the shot and didn't have to wait long for slack. Sheila and me were first in and surprisingly going down the line there was vis . We hit the wreck at just over 30m and we had at least 4m of vis plus plenty of light, I was so glad that I had made the trip. We tied the shot in and set off to explore the wreck.

Sitting upright on a sandy bottom the wreck was covered in life large lobsters,congers and huge shoals of bib and pollack cruised the remains. As we started to hit sand we turned the dive around and headed back towards the shot and came across the engine room complete with gantry walks and ladders. dropping over the side of the wreck the hull was impressive with large square holes where there were once windows and portholes. The Mount Stewart lies pretty much intact but depth and time dictated our stay on the wreck so we didnt reach the stern area although Rob got there and reported an impressive stern and propeller.

On the way back to Newhaven we stopped at the Beachy Light House for some photos and then a gentle cruise in warm evening sun and a flat sea back to Newhaven. This is now Rob's favourite wreck and if you want to know why you are going to have to ask him yourselves my lips are sealed.

A brilliant dive cant wait to do it again.

A big thanks to Sheila,Graham and Rob from TWSAC



Jimbob said...

I spent the weekend in Eastbourne marina so I'm jealous.
Sounds like a great wreck, will add it to my list.

Tad said...

Jim I was gobsmacked that there was such a good wreck so close in and hadnt dived it. even more suprising there was vis. Really good wreck quite intact

Jimbob said...

Intact is what I'm into at the moment. Scrapheaps are so last year!