Rosehill and James Eagan Layne, 24 May

Ian and I arrived at Mountbatten about 8:45 to sort out the boat, left there as planned by Clint and Anne the day before. We were swiftly joined by Rob, then Debs and Chris. And and email from Gareth saying he had overslept and would be late... Still, plenty of opportunity for Debs to chat with her mates from Hereford and I with Gary, an old diving buddy who now runs the Top Gun and North Star diver charter boats.

Plan was for Chris and Debs to dive first, followed by Gareth and Rob, then Ian and myself. First we had to get there. It was not raining, but very damp, the sea had merged with the sky in colour and moisture content. Rob helmed all the way and we dropped our shot in next to the boilers. Dive pairs went as planned.

Ian and I (well Ian) sent up the shot, then headed around the boiler and north towards the stern. Here we found the rudder and gun. Also an upright blade of the prop which sent Ian into paroxysms of excitement.

The propellor more images here.

The slowly headed back to the engine block on its side, then the boilers and put up the SMB for our ascent. Max. depth 30.6m with a run time of 39 minutes. Vis about 4m

We then slowly headed back towards the James Eagan Layne, no rush in the surface interval. Same pairs planned in the same order. Ian and I went down the line already in place to the sea bed and headed towards what turned into the bow. Around the bow, then back through a break in the hull in to the wreck. It's nearly two years since I last dived the JEL and there has been a lot of collapse in that time, sadly all inwards. Still the engine was clear, I then went to show Ian the complete light fitting visible from one of the small holds. Sadly that has gone or been broken. We then continued through the wreck and found a line that someone had laid to the stern. No reason not to use it to visit an area that used to be ignored (and where I found my mug). Once around then back to the main wreckage. Over the prop tunnel, then back along through the wreck and finally put up out SMB as gas reduced. Runtime was 47 minutes, max. depth 21.2m, vis about 6m.