Diving, a fool's game

Today saw Dave, Toby, Martin and myself diving the James Eagan Layne. A slightly delayed start due to a mixup over slipways, but we got there in the end.

I was diving with Martin, the plan was to swim down the wreck to the stern and come back. Sounded simple enough.

Clint dropped us in on the bow and we descended to the sea bed on the port side. We slowly swam along the bottom, looking around the large amount of wreck that has formed over the past few years. A new peice had hinged down, this was more recent than a dive I did a few weeks ago. Nothing of interest though.

On to the wreckage near the stern and we swam off in about the right direction. Swimming over a change in sea bed, I realised we were wrong and turned right. The stern quickly came into view. I don't know why, but I usually swim around it in an anti-clockwise direction. This time we went the other way. It paid off. I looked over some metal and saw a white handle and part of a rim. Now usually picking up such an item reveals that that was all there was. This was different. A complete mug.  I turned it over to look at the base and read 'Made in China'. My eyesight is not great, so I looked closer. 'McNicol China', followed by 'Clarksburg, W.VA' and '1943'. WOW.

I clipped the mug to myself rather than use a goody bag to reduce the chances of it breaking. We then continued out tour back to the main wreck. We headed towards the bow inside the hull. I showed Martin the complete light fitting - it shows how having a good look around you pays dividends. A complete bit of glass, still in place on a wreck nearly 70 years old that has been dived many times.

Martin gave me a gas signal, still enough to get to the bow, which we did and made our ascent. Thank you to Clint for boathandling at the last minute.

Back home I did a bit of research. Another identical mug has been found in the engine room, so while I struggle to get some decent pictures uploaded, you can see it here. While I did wonder if what looks to be a date was in fact a pattern number, a second mug makes it quite unlikely that they were debris from the dumping that has occurred in Whitsand Bay over the decades.