11 April 2011
Arsend (Big Crab ) Wreck Dive ~ 10th April
Silly hat contest winners
Photo courtesy of Rob King TWSAC
Saturday I was due to dive out of Shoreham with Chris West and after setting my alarm clock for 4.45am I then pressed snooze and the upshot of that was that I got up at 6 loaded the car and set out but realised that Shoreham wasn't doable in an hour so after profuse apologies on the phone to Chris I drove back home and back to bed.
In every dark cloud there is they say a silver lining which in this case came from an offer from Ian from TWSAC to go out in his boat Wasp Sunday morning so rather than risk another over sleep I headed down to Sussex that evening crashed at my parents and made sure that I was in Newhaven for plenty of time for ropes off.
I always prefer to do something reasonably shallow for the first dive of the season plus just having the kit serviced I like to err on the side of caution so it was instead of the 15m dive I was going to do on Saturday I found myself heading out to do a TWSAC favourite lovingly named the Arse End or to the Charters The Big Crab Wreck sitting at around 31m on a low tide. I was joined on the boat by TWSAC stalwarts Jamie (mankini) Smith, Rob(I have a stiff one) King, Jools (a penny for them)Attwood Ian (for gods sake speak English) Davis and Dawn (does my bum look big in this) .....
Having just done my boat handling course with Ian on Wasp confidence is high on reaching the wreck and shotting it which was done with expert precision by Ian. The sea was a bit choppy and didn't look as clear as hoped but we were here and we were going to dive. Rob and Jools were first in and sent up the shot confirming that we on the wreck. Jamie and I were soon kitted up and rolling over the side and down the shot vis worries were soon allayed as we reached the wreck at 30m plus there was reasonable ambient light.
Being a new wreck to me Jamie led the dive as it is one of his favourites and he was soon wriggling in a gap in search for goodies and out again with a couple of Victorian pennies how the bloody hell he does that I don't know he can just smell the spidge. we worked around the stern area and across towards the engines. I have to admit that not having a warm under suit the 9.c water wasn't helping my concentration plus I needed a piss badly.
The wreck is split in two with the bow section slightly away from the main body of the wreck we didn't get to this as there was plenty of the main wreck to explore. I hadn't taken the camera in as it was my first dive of the years plus I had just had my regs serviced so wanted to be ready in case there was a problem, but if you want to see a previously shot video shot by sheila from TWSAC there is one on the TWSAC blog shot a couple of years ago www.twsac.blogspot.com look at the twsac wreck tours.
Starting to get very chilly I was relieved to see Jamie shoot the blob after 30 mins which meant that we were doing a minimum of stops so no long hangs in the cold. Once back on the rib we waited for Ian and Dawn who had dropped in once Rob and Jools had surfaced and I was given the chance to put my newly acquired boat handling skills into practice by retrieving them both and taking the rib back to port.
Sitting in the warm spring sunshine back in Newhaven it was great to reflect on a great first dive of the year although reports were coming in of 10 -15m vis on the wrecks further west and the words to Ian "Go West Young Man" echoing in my ears from earlier that morning when deciding where to go.
Thanks to Ian Rob Jools Dawn and Jamie from TWSAC for a great first 2011 dive and introducing another new wreck to me.