Weymouth 2017

In mid September, nine Stratford Dive Club members enjoyed the delights of diving in Dorset from Tango, the big orange dive boat, based in Weymouth.

I particularly wanted us to dive two iconic wrecks—the Aeolian Skye and the Elena R, because they are both BIG wrecks with wreckage that stands tall and has recognisable “boaty parts” rather than flat plates. I’m pleased to say that the weather was in our favour and we managed to dive both of these and 2 drift dives besides.

In order to ensure we got slack on The Aeolian Skye without having to leave the harbour at stupid o’clock on Saturday, Phil the skipper suggested we did a drift dive on the Black Hawk in the morning and after a suitably long surface interval, dive “The Skye” in the afternoon, which was a good plan. The current on the Black Hawk was quite strong which made for an interesting time as the wreck consists of pieces of wreckage scattered at intervals on the seabed at about 18m. The dive proved quite fruitful as David and I came up with a nice lobster and Ellen and Dan a lemon sole.

Divers aboard the Tango

Aboard the Tango

After over 3 hours surface interval (Miles, please note!) we dived the Aeolian Skye, a Greek freighter which sank in 1979 and now lies at 30+m. The dive was marvellous, the vis was good, not the very best I’ve seen on it, but excellent compared to the first few times I dived it when you could barely see a metre ahead.

Tango is an excellent dive boat with diver lift and loo and also has sleeping accommodation for those who don’t mind “basic”; numerous B&Bs are also handy for those of us too genteel to rough it! As Tango moors overnight in the harbour we had easy access to the quayside pubs.

We had to leave the harbour at 7.30am on Sunday in order to get slack water on the Elena R. Continuing the Greek theme, the Elena R was another Greek freighter, this one having been sunk by a U Boat in 1939. It lies at 28+m and is a bit more broken up. Again the vis was good. The wreck seemed almost buried in mussel shells in places and crabs galore were stalking about mob-handed.

Our last dive was an exhilaratingly fast drift dive on Lulworth Banks during which we all made good use of our “scalloping equipment” to harvest a variety of crustaceans whilst fighting off myriads of baby scallops that bounced up around us as we flew over. Obviously those were left down there!

All in all we had a very jolly time as you can see from the photo, and I would personally like to thank all the participants for their excellent company and co-operation throughout.

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