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October Channel dive out of Eastbourne

Discussion in 'Trip Reports' started by Wibble, Oct 9, 2016.

  1. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    Favourite dive this week...

    Went for a double-dive off of Dive125 out of Eastbourne with @jps. It was a couple of 32 metre dives south of the Sovereign lighthouse. We left with another dive boat in the lock which was a gnats faster than us and of all the hundreds of wrecks in the channel chose the one we were going for. Never mind, we went over to the Clara, sunk in 1890 following a collision and sank whilst being towed to Newhaven.

    Dropped in with a 50 mins planned bottom time for 32 metres on 32% and 10 mins of deco on 80%.

    Was simply wonderful. The visibility was 10 to 15 metres, nice and light down there and 16 degrees warm. The wreck is fairly broken but 'lumpy'. Staggering amounts of life on the wreck including a couple of the biggest lobsters I've ever seen - easily half a metre long body and a girth that would be difficult to grip with one hand. Loads of congers hiding in just about any hole you looked into. Definitely one of those dives which you remember as the best of British diving.

    After a longish surface interval where we went close to the lighthouse which was being serviced with one of the Trinity House ships holding alongside -- that dynamic positioning is impressive, using the ship's thrusters to hold position without anchoring. The ship dwarfing the lighthouse.

    The second dive was more inshore, clouds had come overhead, and the sun lower in the sky. So we dropped in with the same dive plan. I'd brought my second twinset for its inaugural dip whilst John's tins were filled with the backup compressor. This wreck, the Harold, is a similar age 1885, and broken up with some large sections. Was interesting to see the ribs of the structure where the superstructure had gone. Lots of the other large bits such as boilers, engine, etc. Lots of fish but fewer other types of life than the previous dive.

    Came across a massive lobster who had that Sarf Lundon swagger about it. Swaggering towards me with that "git arrt of mah way diver, this is mah manor" attitude. I moved up a little as it swaggered under me. Couldn't resist giving his tail a little shove though. He literally jumped, flipped over with his cutting claw wide open. "Wot u dooin, I'll rip yer arm orf" expression on its body. Lovely.

    The vis was a bit less than the first, 8 to 10 metres and a lot darker. Lovely dive though. Would have been a great dive if the earlier one wasn't so exceptional.

    Left the bottom at the planned 50 mins. Up to the gas switch at 9 metres, then up to 6 metres for the hang. I had 12 mins and signalled to @jps who signalled back his time. I obviously didn't "listen". When I signalled I had 5 mins left he then signalled that he had 20 mins left! Clang; he was on an air top, I was on 32%. To do a Top Gear or not.... no pasties on Dive 125, so that made the decision clear :couchpotato: Wait for your buddy to finish his deco. So a runtime of 92 minutes and back on the boat.

    Channel diving is really good this year. Need to see if there's spaces for next weekend.
     
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  2. jps

    jps Active Member
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    FB_IMG_1476003029237.jpg Yep was an excellent days diving.... except the 27 mins deco on the last dive was a bit tedious... Great couple of dives though.
     
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  3. jps

    jps Active Member
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    SS Clara was actually torpedoed & sunk by submarine UB-57 in 1917
     
  4. Doomanic

    Doomanic Dinosaur Wrangler
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    Did you actually discuss the plan for dive 2 or just assume it was the same?
    Shocker! ;)

    :D
     
    Wibble and jps like this.
  5. barrygoss

    barrygoss Member

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    See this bit about leaving lobsters, I really don't get....
    nomnomnomnom

    B
     
  6. Doomanic

    Doomanic Dinosaur Wrangler
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    A half metre long lobby is probably bigger than Wibs... :D
     
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  7. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    Aren't the massive ones a bit Chewie? (not the in the furry starwars way)

    All three of those mega-lobbies seemed to be quite old and gnarly. Need to bring a camera with me TBH.
     
  8. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    jps likes this.

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