Nekton Gosport trip
Guy, Ron, Jeremy and John from Eltham joined our skipper Mike at Eastbourne Marina at 5am on the Saturday.We were joined by Phil and Karen, a couple of very experienced and serious divers, they blended their own Nitrox during the trip.
First day we dived 2 wrecks on route to Gosport. The first wreck was the T. R. Thompson a freighter carrying iron ore and a victim of Oberleutnant Lohs in UB-57. She was torpedoed on March the 29th in 1918 and now lies in 30m of water.
Our second dive was on the Basil, a favourite wreck with the club and famously not dived during our Gosport trip last year. The Basil sank after a collision on the night of the 11th November in 1917; she lies in 40m and is still stuffed with shells. The viz wasn’t good but from the piles of shells we knew we had the correct co-ordinates this year.
During our stay in Gosport we spent the evenings in town before retiring to the Premier Inn for the night. The Castle Tavern with its nice beers, very nice pub grub and all of a minute from the marina was our usual destination. Gi joined us at the Tavern having driven down from London.
Sunday the wind blew up and we were forced to dive the Luis which is tucked into the lee of the Isle of Wight. We were also joined for the day by 2 trainee divers Dan and Christina from Phil’s club.
The Luis was a 4,284 ton freighter built in 1916; she left Halifax with a cargo including shells and was torpedoed by Oberleutnant Marzecha on the evening of the 12th of April 1918. There are still shells in the wreck and masses of lead shot from the shrapnel shells.
The weather was so bad the only other dive we could manage was a shallow drift close to the island. Most of us sat it out.
Monday the storm still hadn’t blown itself out and our first wreck, the Camberwell, we tried to dive in the large swell. Our bottom time was a full minute, there was little point continuing the dive; viz what viz?
Our second dive was our old faithful bad weather dive the Luis.
Tuesday we returned to Eastbourne minus Gi and Ron, something to do with commitments and work. Our first wreck was the Gascony which sank on the 6th of January 1918, another victim of Oberleutnant Lohs. The Gascony was a 3,133 ton freighter and lies in 26m, we had a good dive and the wreck was full of lobsters and crabs. John, as ever, managed to come up with the largest lobster.
Our second dive was the Blanefield a 4,575 ton merchantman , first identified by our skipper Mike over 20 years ago when he retrieved her bell. The Blanefield was built in 1898 and was 3,411 tons. She sank after a collision on the 1st May 1906 and now lies in 30m of water. The Blanefield is another interesting wreck to dive and again full of lobsters.
This was our last wreck and we returned to Eastbourne. As with last year’s Gosport trip, very enjoyable and some excellent wreck diving.
Next year’s dates are Saturday August the 12th to 14th .