News, reports and forthcoming diving 2018

Normally, the boat will be on the pontoon at least 30 minutes before we are due to depart. This gives enough time for you to load your gear on the boat, park the car, assemble your kit, have a cup of tea, get an ice-cream, go through the briefing and then get going. I like to arrive on site 15-30 minutes before slack. This gives you plenty of time to prepare for the dive and allows me plenty of time to place the shot on the wreck. Details of news, reports and forthcoming dives will appear here in due course.

Dive and vis reports 2018.  Early season:


After her winter refit, Wight Spirit began the season on Sunday 8 April. We headed out to dive the 1872 wreck of the steamer Lapwing in 40 metres.  Despite being a grey day, the dive was good – dark below 15 metres but vis was around 3 metres with a torch. Divers remarked on the profusion of shellfish on the wreck.

We lost the weekend of Saturday 14 April to thick fog – couldn’t see across the harbour so there was no point in trying to get out. Next day, the forecast was bad due to strong winds – but in the event, that came to nothing and we could have got out after all.

Monday 23 April, when we were due to dive around the east of the Isle of Wight, was also cancelled due to strong winds and the added complication of virtually no vis close inshore, following prolonged and very heavy rain, which produced a muddy run-off.  Things had improved dramatically by Saturday 28 April, when we dived the WW1 mine carrier Eleanor in 38 metres.  It’s a good sign that in April there was ambient light and vis of 5-6 metres despite the grey skies above. Water temperature is lower than normal at about 9 degrees. We lost Sunday 29 April due to a return of the Beast from the East – well, strong north-easterly winds, anyway.

Forthcoming dive spaces:  There are spaces available on Saturday 12 May to dive the armed trawler Warwick Deeping in 36 metres – contact me for details please.  There are also spaces to dive the WW1 steamer Mendi in 40 metres on Wednesday 27 June.  Again, names to me please.  Second dive is included for those who want it.

Dive/vis reports:  Fabulous weekend’s diving over the early BH of Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 May. First, we steamed south-east of the Needles to dive the WW1 Danish steamer Inger in 55 metres. Flat calm sea, bright sunshine, and 8 -10 metres vis in ambient light. Next day we visited the steamer Daylesford in 46 metres, again with a flat calm sea and bright sunshine.  Divers reported seeing the top of the engine at 30 metres depth, with horizontal vis in excess of 10 metres.

Forthcoming dive spaces: 

Saturday 12 May, diving the WW2 armed trawler Warwick Deeping. 36 metres to the seabed.  Meet 1245 to leave 1315. Names to me please.
Sunday 20 May is unbooked at the moment – is there a group who wants to take spaces? Contact me please.
BH Monday 28 May, diving the WW2 American tanker Y48. 58 metres to the seabed, wreck stands up 9 metres. One dive. Meet 0715 to leave 0745. **
Friday 1 June, diving the WW1 steamer Wyndhurst in 55 metres. One dive. Meet 0845 to leave 0915. **
Saturday 9 June, diving the 19th century steamer Snowdrop in 58 metres. One dive.  Meet 0945 to leave 1015. **
Sunday 17 June is also unbooked – anyone interested?  Contact me please.
Friday 22 June, diving the clipper ship Smyrna in 55 metres. One dive. Meet 0930 to leave at 10. **
Saturday 23 June, diving the windjammer Eugene Schneider in 65 metres. One dive. Meet 0930 to leave at 10. **
Sunday 24 June, diving the 19th century steamer Saxmundham in 60 metres. One dive. Meet 1115 to leave 1145. **
Wednesday 27 June, diving the WW1 troopship Mendi in 40 metres.  Meet 0830 to leave 0900.  Contact me please.
Saturday 30 June, diving the WW1 steamer Luxor in 60 metres. One dive. Meet 0930 to leave at 10. **
Monday 2 July, diving the steamer Penmarch in 36 metres. One dive. Meet 1045 to leave 1115. Contact me please.
Tuesday 3 July, diving the 19th century steamer Grip Fast in about 22 metres. One dive. Meet 1130 to leave 1200. Contact me please.
Wednesday 4 July, diving an unidentified steamer in 38 metres. One dive. Meet 1230 to leave 1300. Contact me please.

Thursday 5 July, diving the WW1 steamer Vikholmen in 60 metres. One dive. Meet 0630 for a quick getaway at 0645. Contact me please.

Friday 6 July, diving the WW2 motor vessel Dallas City in 60 metres. One dive. Meet 0700 to leave 0730. Contact me please.
Monday 9 July, diving the steamer El Kahira in 60 metres. One dive. Meet at 10 for 1030 leave. **
Sunday 22 July, diving the WW1 steamer Sphene in 65 metres. One dive. Meet 0900 to leave 0930. **
Sunday 12 August, diving the WW1 steamer Bishopston in 60 metres. One dive.  Meet 0715 to leave 0745. **
Monday 20 August, diving the WW2 liner Meknes in 60 metres. One dive. Meet 0815 to leave 0845. **
BH Monday 27 August,  diving the steamer Monton in 60 metres. One dive. Meet 0830 to leave 0900. **
All those dives marked ** please contact the organiser direct, Jay, on
Dive/vis reports:  On Thursday 10 and Friday 11 May, diving with marine archaeologists at Bouldnor cliff, a site of human habitation 8500 years old.  Many worked flints were recovered as well as examples of worked timbers, showing there was a settlement of some sort here. Vis was variable according to the tide, but all work was successfully completed.  On Saturday 12 May we dived the WW2 armed trawler Warwick Deeping. A gloomy, grey day, and we were on LW slack off St Catherine’s Point, but still had vis of 3 metres. Next day we headed further south east to dive the WW1 steamer Tweed. Seemingly from nowhere, a thick plankton bloom was present, from the surface to the seabed. Though this reduced vis considerably, the good news is that the water seems free of silt and sediment so when the plankton dies vis there should be a significant improve in water clarity.
Dive/vis reports:  Saturday 19 May – due to dive the U-90 – no wind, bright sunshine and flat calm sea. What could go wrong?  On reaching the Needles it looked like someone had poured a huge quantity of dry ice on Tennyson Down – thick fog cascaded down the cliff, obscuring Alum Bay and reducing visibility to less than 100 yards.  Couldn’t see the lighthouse when close to.  Rounded the Needles and headed south east, but the fog was persistently thick and the only course of action was to abort the dive. Similar situation on Sunday, but the good news is that the plankton is dying off and forming a surface scum. As a result, water clarity should improve.



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