Hi all, Sunday 23rd May will probably go down in club history (this year's anyway) as being one of the slickest and most enjoyable dive days to be had. We arrived at Hope Cove at at 9:30 to see the water lapping half way up the slipway. From the top of the hill you could see blue sky with a large bright object lighting up the scene (I'm told it was the sun, and not to get too excited as it probably wont be around for very long). As for the water, you could see right through it to the sandy sea bed.

From this start things started to go downhill somewhat, we launched the boat, but on starting, the engine tell tail was not telling anything because it wasn't there. Phil to the rescue, within a jiffy (whatever that is), the engine cover was off and he was busy sorting out the problem. Minutes later he and Brian Greenwood were away to the beach. Engine sorted, everyone took off to the car park except Paul and I, who had to wait for what seemed like ages for a couple of local fishermen to unload boxes upon boxes of spider crabs into the building at the top of the slip. We still weren't doing too badly as we parked in the field and it was still only 10:15.

The first wave consisted of Paul Hewitt, Ben Rice, Dave McDonald and myself with Phil Thomas and Brian Greenwood boat handling. The trip out to the Persier was uneventful and the shot found the wreck first time. Dave and myself were the first in the water and we could not believe our eyes because the vis was probably 15 meters. As we approached the wreck we could see it all (well nearly all) laid out before us.

We started our soiree from just aft of midships on the port side making our way around the stern and up the starboard side until we were able to enter what is left of the stern tube and swim through it, emerging some 8 to 10 meters further on. The stern tube is fairly large and has holes in it so as not to make it claustrophobic. From there we made our way up to the bows and back down the port side, almost to where we had started, before commencing our ascent after spending 42 glorious minutes on the wreck. With deco we had 62 minutes in the water altogether. An excellent dive!!!!!!!!

With the first wave over the second wave left the beach within 20 minutes of the boat reaching the beach. All credit to the second wave of divers - Jo Simpson, Brian Greenwood, Derek Boustred and Brian Radford for being ready to go without any faffing around. See Derek's write up on this one.

By 3pm the boat was back again, only for as long as it took Derek and Brian to get their kit up to the car and for Dave to get his kit down to the boat, and then the final wave of divers were under way. We had intended to do a reef dive somewhere between Bolt Head and Bolt Tail to a depth of 20 to 25 meters. Whilst looking for a suitable spot it was mentioned that we were not far from the Maine and that it would be a much more interesting dive. So with that in mind Derek did a superb job of putting us above number two hold where the shot duly landed.

The descent was bloody hard work as we were diving roughly 1 1/2 hours before slack, but once inside the wreck it was fine. Luckily for us the shot, which was very nearly pulled out by three rather large lumps pulling against a rather strong tide, held. Sadly the vis wasn't as good as the Persier, but was still a very respectable 6 to 8 meters. With the tidal flow in mind we kept it to a no stop dive and had 32 minutes. This allowed us to go back past the boilers almost to the stern and back to the shot line which was used for our ascent. This was after having heaved it over the side allowing it to be dragged with us to lessen the effect of the current. Another excellent dive on the same day!!!!!

With all this fun and joviality you might think that it was late on our return to the boatshed, but not so. The boat was washed down and all packed away by 7 and I was at home enjoying a coffee by 7:20 so it just goes to show that it can be done.