Wave Shape
Wave Shape

Swanage Dive Weekend September 2023

Waves Shape

Looking forward to a weekends diving from Swanage, an email pops in saying that Sunday is cancelled due to forecast strong winds, and that Saturday is iffy. We won’t know until Friday evening if it is on or not. Not good news for those only aiming to dive on Sunday, and a recurring them for diving in general this year.

So, van packed Thursday night to get an early start on Friday afternoon after work. Arrived at campsite 7:15, and after booking in, straight off to the St John’s Arms to meet up with Trevor and Karen for a meal and a bevvy. Email pops in – good new! Saturday is on. Phew!

Meet up on the pier Saturday morning – Adrian, Danna, Andrew, Trevor, Karen, myself and Dorothée as dog-sitter. A bit chilly and a slight breeze but looking good. Contemplating a Nitrox fill, but then decide not. 1st dive – the Spyros, a wreck located on the Southeast side of the Isle of Wight. As soon as we are clear of the harbour, the skipper’s mate opens up the throttles on the Viper and we are off! 6 people on the port side instantly get soaked from the bow spray – 1st dive recorded! 55 minutes later we are at the wreck site, preparing to make an entry and follow the shot line down to 30 meters.

The viz is surprisingly good, and we can’t believe the number of fish on the wreck – masses of Bib, so many that I lose sight of my buddy behind a wall of them at one point. Large Pollock swim through the holds, and Tompot Blennies peer out of rusty holes.

The wreck is quite beautiful, with encrusted ribs sticking up like curled fingers, but we only have time to get to the bow before our computers start to rack up deco time. Should have got that Nitrox fill!

The return to harbour is at a more sedate pace and takes 90 minutes, but the wind has dropped and the sun is out, so very pleasant. A quick lunch, then onto the Mary Jo to dive the Fleur, the barge and then a drift. This is the first time I have seen the wreck without first bumping into it! For me the viz is usually awful, but this time it’s great and I really enjoyed it. Again, lots of bib, but these seemed much smaller than on the Spyros. A large conger lurked in the wreck, and crabs raised their claws menacingly at us.

A quick spin around the Barge, and then DSMB inflated and on to the drift, picking up some scallops along the way.

All in all, a nice day’s diving!

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