Season Kick-Off Dive – Portsmouth with Wight Diver

Well it wasn’t quite as warm as the previous 5 days in fact it was freezing… the air temperature dropped and it was very easy to get cold quickly.. Sea conditions were ideal, flat calm for most of the day with a little bit of a swell between dive #1 and dive #2..  Nothing to worry about..

Anyway, 7 hardy folks arrived at Hayling Island ferry pontoon at 7.30am for a ropes off at 8.30am, took us around 1hr 25 mins from Chalfont St Peter which is was a good 70mph run.. no blasting it as we had plenty of time.

Boat was supplied by Wight Diver ( Adventure College) who we have been with quite a few times, excellent boat with good facilities, lift, friendly and experienced staff…. always a good choice..

First dive was 10.20am on the CamSwan at 18m, description below..

British steamship, 335.2ft long 51ft wide, Draught 23ft and 3426 Tons
298 nhp; triple expansion engines.
Shipyard : Blyth Shipbuilding Company, Osborne S.S. Co.; 1917;
Position: latitude:50 38′ 42″N longitude:01 05′ 23″W
Depth 18-20m, Sandown Bay, Isle of Wight.

The Camswan was a steel built ship launched in 1917, weighing 3400 tons. This 105 metre long steam ship had a short life. She was lost on her maiden voyage from Blyth to Naples with a cargo of coal. On 19 October 1917 she was in collision with another vessel, the Polbrai, 8 miles SW of St Catherine’s Point. She made it to Sandown Bay, sinking 1 1/2 miles SE of Culver Cliff.

Wreck lies NW-SE and shot was put to the North, we came down just off the wreck. Vis was pretty good, I could see the wreck about 5m away coming into view as I came down.

Quite a large/long wreck which has its lower hull mostly intact and a large debris field in the centre/sides… notable points to look for are the boilers (3) which rise 3-4m from the hull, the steel propeller, rudder, engine and drive shaft/tunnel.

Loads of wildlife…especially a large number of conger eels around the engine/boiler area… as per usual… probably saw at least a dozen….

Interesting feature was that there were quite a few very tall beam reaching 4-5m from the hull, running down the spine of the ship..

Water temp was 9 degress….

Dive #2 was drift dive over on the Bembridge Ledges, chalk reefs in about 5-8m range, sandy bottom interspersed with rocky reefs. Very easy dive with quite a colourful reef, hardly any life ( unlike previous trips)  .. As for a drift, it was  difficult to notice it to be honest.. but was nice way to end the day. Dive time was around 30mins.

All in all a good day out, back in port by 2.20pm and back home by 4pm.

JohnOH

 

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