My Recent Dives - July & August 2013
Posted by Michael on 03 July 2013 00:00
3 July 2013 - Pizza Reef
Club boat dive. Amazing that after 13 days of heavy rain the water was very clean. A large NE swell and surgy on bottom, but could see boat from 25 m. Warm, 18.1C on bottom and 19.2 on top. Huge numbers of yellowtail and seapike as well as usual bastard trumpeters. One sea dragon. Could hear humpback whales through the whole dive. Visibility very good.

4 July 2013 - Bare Island Deep Wall
Morning dive on outgoing tide. Top 3 m of water brown and about 2 m viz. Below this really clean, about 7 to 10 m. Went SW to wall and then normal way back. One RIF on 15 m Reef. A few opera house nudis, a puink okenia and the upsidedown pipefish on Sea Horse Rock. Lots of yellowtail and luderick in the shallower dirty water. Very nice and surprisingly good dive considering the weather the past 2 weeks. Visibility good.

4 July 2013 - Bare Island Isolated Reef 1
Club night dive. Too rough to go off W point so went off before pool. Headed down to IR and then on N side and around IR1. Strongish current heading S here. Saw a tiny dwarf firefish. Back around and to exit normal way. A few squid, opera house nudis and a few octopus. Very dirty in shallows, similar deep to this morning. Visibility good.

6 July 2013 - Six Fathom Reef
Seas dropped heaps since last night. Went to Pizza but very strong current. Went to Barrens Hut, also strong, at least 1.5 kts. Figured only spot protected was Six Fathom. No current. Visibility here 15 to 20 m. Went W to deeper parts, very different as lots of sand removed. Not a huge amount of fish, one blue devilfish. Kelly found six pygmy pipehorses. A nice dive. Visibility very good.

11 July 2013 - Bare Island Deep Wall Drift
Club night dive, 8 members. Went off SE corner and out to Deep Wall. Very surgy most of the way, even at 18 m. Not much current which was surprising. Found a RIF at the last rocks before we go back to wall. Ron found a PPH. A few squid and opera house nudibranchs. Back normal way. Visibility good, but a bit dirty in spots.

13 July 2013 - SS Myola
My boat out of action while steering is fixed, went out with Peter Fields. Flat seas and no current. Anchored on engine, went to prop and then to boilers and back to engine. Very nice dive. Visibility very good.

14 July 2013 - SS Hilda
Dive on Phil Short's boat. Anchored about 20 m NE of engine. Took David around the wreck. Nice dive. Visibility good.

17 July 2013 - HMAS Adelaide
Flat seas, no wind and almost blue. Started at main mast, then to stern via deck, over starboard side into helicopter hanger and then down to next deck. Exited stern and back thru hanger. Kelly not feeling the best, a bit sick. Then out back of hanger, up a deck and foward. Ended up in bridge. After this back to main deck and then up masts. See next dive about fish. Visibility very good.

17 July 2013 - HMAS Adelaide
Second dive, Kelly did not dive. Dropped onto bow and then entered thru deck and then followed this deck till missile launcher. Dropped to bottom, then exited a deck up to rear. Followed this towards stern, some toilets, then eventually up a deck and back to main deck and into bridge again. Back to main tower and up. Lots of small kingfish, trevally, some large, about 4 short-finned bannerfish. Fishlife is excellent. Visibility very good.

18 July 2013 - Bare Island Deep Wall
Club night dive. Went in off W point and to SW. Back normal way plus IR1 N side. No RIF or PPH, but 3 dwarf firefish, lots of opera house nudibranchs. A stack of tiny squid at the start. A reasonable current running out, but okay. Visibility good but poor shallow.

20 July 2013 - Barrens Hut/The Split
Club boat dive. A swell from NE but not rough or too big. Wind from N but got strong only as we left. Did normal dive, including Tunnel and Cave. No bastard trumpeters, wonder where they were. Sent up SMB with reel and ascended via that as a test for Scapa Flow. Went well. A very nice dive, cannot believe it is still so warm (16.6C min). Visibility very good.

27 July 2013 - Middle Ground
Club boat dive, 4 boats, 19 divers. Small swell but quite surgy on bottom at 31 m. A blue devilfish near anchor on sand. On NE corner a lot of fish, on NW corner a dozen or more Port Jackson sharks, most very pregnant. Kelly found two pygmy pipehorses as well. First dive with Sheila for years, good  to have her back on Le Scat. An excellent dive. Visibility very good.

4 August 2013 - SMS Dresden - Scapa Flow, Scotland
First dive of trip. Flat seas, overcast. Dropped down buoy to top of wreck at 20 m. Then went to the bow. Water temp was 11.5C and viz 5 m. We were very comfortable. Lots of growth on wreck, so hard to see what was what. A large 5.9 inch gun, anchor chain, bridge and mast. Went back to engine salvage area at 35 m and then back to mooring. Ascended the buoy rope. Nice wreck. Visibility poor.

4 August 2013 - SMS Karlsruhe - Scapa Flow, Scotland
Went down buoy line and then forward to bow. Two large 5.9 inch guns near buoy line and lots of wreckage. Cleaner wreck. Then back via bow lower decks which are open in part, can see the winch parts below the decks. Then to stern. The conning tower is obvious. Then to the salvage area where  engines removed. Parts of turbines all over the place. Then along hull bottom to stern. Rudder visible and also the port prop A-frame. Around stern and some timber decking still visible. Had a look at one of the boilers. Another large gun under the rear mast. An excellent wreck and dive. Visibility good.

5 August 2013 - SMS Coln - Scapa Flow, Scotland
Sistership to Dresden. Located at 36 m, but you need to only go to 32 m to see all. Descended to port hull (it is lying on starboard side) and then dropped to 30 m or so. The bridge is forward, relatively intact. In front is the conning tower. This has a range finder, with one arm of it intact. At the bottom of the bridge is a 9.5 inch gun barrel. The bow has two gun turret bases, the guns removed. Then two anchor capstans. The whole bow are is covered in millions of brittle stars. Then back along port railing and dropped to centre line. A torpedo tube sits upright and then a smaller gun. Back to port railing and a torpedo storage box. Forward and below a number of coal bunkers with coal. Below this three funnel holes which let you see boilers. An excellent dive. Visibility good.

5 August 2013 - F-2 - Scapa Flow, Scotland
This is a WWII wreck. There is a barge near which was salvaging stuff from the wreck when it sank. We descended to it and there are two AA guns in hold, together with some engines and a compressor. A rope takes you 20 m to F-2. The bow is intact, with capstans and mechanisms under visible. There is also a nice bow gun. You can also swim inside first deck to rear. Here bridge is wrecked as the stern section was blown up as it was a shipping hazard. There are two gearboxes , one either side near here. A line also leads to the wreck of a dive boat 100 m away. Stern is twisted away, with rudder and mechanism visible. An okay dive. Visibility fair.

6 August 2013 - SMS Kronprinz Willem - Scapa Flow, Scotland
A huge battleship, laying almost upsidedown on port side. Buoy rope takes you to stern area where it is at 28 m. From here dropped to stern gun area. There are two 14 inch g un turrets, with two barrels each. The forward one only has one barrel visible. The rear one both can be seen, right in under the wreck. Very dirty in there, as other divers had been there before us. Out and up a bit to see the two 5.9 inch guns that are visible, but only found one. Then to stern and past the two huge rudders. Back over salvage area for the rear torpedo tubes to buoy line. Then up. A deep wreck at 37 m. Visbility poor.  

6 August 2013 - SMS Brummer - Scapa Flow, Scotland
This is a minelayer laying on starboard side. Buoy line comes down mid ship. Dropping over you see a 5.9 inch gun. Forward is the relatively intact bridge. Off this is the searchlight tower which has an iris for one searchlight. The bridge has a deck around it which looks like scaffolding. In front is the fire control centre (conning tower). There are lots of swim-thrus here and in front is another gun. Then two anchor capstans. The starboard one has chain running to anchor which is still in hawser. The bow is very damaged, most of the hull has rusted away. Back shallower to above bridge where there is a hole into the main deck from the "false" deck. You can seen the railway tracks which carried the mines to the stern. Behind this there are more holes where you can see the tracks and then the tracks come out onto main deck. From here up. Visibility good.

7 August 2013 - SMS Markgraf - Scapa Flow, Scotland
A huge battleship laying almost upsidedown. Went down 11/4 way back from bow. Below here and towards stern there are 7 5.9" guns, we saw 5 of them. The 14" armour plating has been removed creating an overhang. Headed back towards the stern. The sand is 42 m, but we stayed around 40 m. Towards the stern saw 2 doors which were behind the plating and now visible. Back from here was supposed to be another buoy line, we saw others going up. Dropped to the sand again and saw the two rows of portholes, some still with glass, all with brass. Then to port rudder and back to ascent line. However, when we went up it stopped! Went back to the hull and decided to follow the hull back shallower to where we started. This took 6.5 mins but added no deco as we ascended to 28 m. Went up here. Brilliant dive. Visibility poor.

7 August 2013 - SMS Coln - Scapa Flow, Scotland
Second dive on this cruiser. This time we went to the stern. Once on hull dropped over deck and went to the torpedo tube and 5.9" gun we saw on Monday. Then crossed over the engine salvage cut and came to mast. From here back to deck where there is another gun on a raised officers mess room. Then some machine gun mounts (triangles on deck) and then a hole in deck right at stern. You can swim into this and along this deck to the engine cut. We went around the stern and saw the anchor still in its spot. Then rudder. There are a lot of holes along here, one of which lets you look into the lower deck where there are two steering wheels (we did not see). Then back to engine cut, across to deck and back to buoy line. Up from here. Visibility poor.

8 August 2013 - SMS Koenig - Scapa Flow, Scotland
Another battleship. Went down shotline to wreck and then along side to stern. Found one 5.9" gun and gradually dropped to bottom where some doors into hull. Went to stern which is wrecked a bit. Then up to rudder (only one left) and then to the torpedo tube salvage holes. Then to engine salvage where the 12" thick casing curves around 5th gun turret. Can see the bottom of 4th turret forward and also the low pressure turbine. There is also a boiler forward of this. Then up and over hull to side again near shotline, forward past the area where 14" armoour salvaged from. Back to shotline and up. A brilliant dive. Visibility good. 

8 August 2013 - SMS Brummer - Scapa Flow, Scotland
Another dive on this cruiser. This time went to the stern. Descended shotline and then went to the engine salvage area. Followed the deck side to the rear till the main mast is found. Saw one of the smaller guns under the wreck, but not the other one. Then back to deck and the rear 5.9" guns, one only partially visible and the other out in open. Then to stern where there is an anchor. To rudder and then over hull into deck 1. This can be followed all the way back to the salvage area. There are holes into lower deck where you can see steering gear. Back at the engine area there are some parts of a turbine and a coal basket inside, but we did not see this. Then back to shotline and bridge and looked for the search light but did not find. Up shotline. A nice dive, but visibility poor.

9 August 2013 - SMS Markgraf - Scapa Flow, Scotland
A second dive on this battleship. This time to the bow. Dropped over side from shotline and saw the first 5.9" gun. Then went forward at about 40 m. There is a bit of wreckage off wreck and the bow slopes up to right. There are sections of fallen 200 mm armor here which shows how thick it was. The bow is enormous. It is vertical. Swam around and saw what appears to be an anchor under wreck. Then along hull and up to keel. Then to torpedo salvage where there is a swim-thru and arch. There is also a corredor back from here, some pipes at front. Then out the arch and towards stern. Past the shotline anchor and to gu, doors above and back to shot. Up from the hull. A brilliant dive. Visibility good.

9 August 2013 - SS Tabarka - Scapa Flow, Scotland
This is a WWII blockship sunk to block access for submarines into Scapa via Burra Sound. It is a freighter and upsidedown. Dropped in up current and entered boiler room. It is very open inside. Three boilers, behind this a triple-expansion steam engine. Back behind this is a very large area, probably cargo holds. You can see the propshaft running out to prop. At the stern you can see outside and the shaft. Back to boilers and across the broken section to bow. There are two holds here and two levels. Very light. To bow and back to boilers. Deployed SMB and ascended. Saw a seal before entering wreck and also after. Excellent dive. Visibility inside excellent.

27 August 2013 - SS Betsy Anna - Swanage Flow, England
Dropped down shotline and the extra lighter line got tangled in my BCD. Ripped out the left weight pocket which disappeared into the depths. It also tangled on my torch. I decided to go down as I figured I could find it easily. Once on wreck, used my reel and ran straight out to it. Found it about 15 m off the wreck first go. Back to wreck and then followed to left (south). This was towards the stern. Came across the prop shaft and followed it to the prop. Blades are mostly, if not all, broken off. Rudder not in place. Around stern which stands high. Back along shaft to engine, triple expansion. Then a very large boiler and a smaller boiler. Then forward to the bow which is also relatively intact. Then back to stern before shooting SMB. Visibility very poor.

27 August 2013 - Old Harry Drift Dive - Swanage, England
A  very fast drift from near the chalk islands to east of harbour back towards harbour. Moved at well over 2 knots. Flat rocky bottom with some sand, the rocks like large pebbles. Also lots of dead shellfish here. Did not see a great deal, except some cool little sharks called smooth hound sharks. Saw about 6 of them. Also some large crabs and Kelly saw fiddler-rays. Not a great dive really. Visibility poor.

28 August 2013 - MV Carentan - Swanage, England
A French warship sunk December 1943, Submarine Chaser No 5. Quite small so saw all of it twice. From midships went to bow, large winch before. Back towards stern, a gun mount off on sand, no barrel. Then port engine is visible, but starboard one under. A toilet and basin on sand near bridge? Back and followed prop shaft to stern. another small gun here with barrel pointed high. Port prop shaft visible but no prop. Rudder mostly buried. Went right back to bow and then shot SMB. Visibility poor.

28 August 2013 - TSS Kyarra - Swanage, England
A huge wreck, almost 7,000 tons, torpedoed in WWI by German sub. Descended on boiler area and went forward with current to bow. Huge masts, cranes and davits. An enormous mast winch and also an anchor winch. Bow is tipped over to port but rest of wreck is tipped to starboard. Around bow and back across deck which still has timber decking. Saw some rubber hoses as well as brown and white floor tiles. Back to boiler in open, donkey boiler, huge. Three boilers visible in hull, although there are four. Behind this is an engine, triple expansion steam, but only low pressure cylinder is intact. There appears to be another one behind it. Back to stern, past more bollards and winches. Went to port prop shaft (no prop). Shot SMB from here. Excellent wreck on which dozens of dives could be done. Visibility fair.

Click here to see details of dives including profiles.

For more details about these dives and other dives this year, click here.