Gun Rocks – Finding new cannon

Three whole days of diving organised for the late May bank holiday, with at least one dive a day on Gun Rocks. Time to get the new marker buoy in, to remap the cannon, and, if time permits, to start the photogrammetry of the cannon left to do….

Peta surveying the cannon.

Saturday 27th dawned so bright and sunny. With five on the boat, we set off early, as this was a weekend of springy springs. First dive was on the Crumstone, which was scenic and relaxing. The second dives were on Gun Rocks; cleaning off cannon 6001 ready to photograph, and remapping the cannon. Unfortunately Nic didn’t manage to map much and ended up directionally confused; however she was ecstatically happy to find an octopus’ lair, with resident, adjacent to cannon 6001.  Si completed his mission, to anchor the new buoy to mark the start of the dive trail and show Richard where all of the cannon are.

Gun Rocks in the sunshine.

Sunday 28th wasn’t so sunny, but was a day of frenetic activity! The first dive was on the north side of Inner Farne for Becky, Nic and Lindsay. Lots of critters to photograph. We then headed over to Gun Rocks, where Si and Peta managed to measure and take bearings of all thirteen of the cannon. This was done so that we could realign and check the mapping provided by Wessex, as we always felt that it just wasn’t quite right. Nic, Becky and Lindsay then went down and Becky took wildlife photos for this website, Lindsay took some film footage and Nic cleaned up cannon number 6001 for photographing on Monday.

By the evening, Si and Peta had drawn up a new improved map of the Gun Rocks cannon, finally we have something that we are happy to put into production!

Glad Tidings VII putting divers on Gun Rocks.

Monday 29th started a bit cloudy, but the sea was flat calm. We headed straight out to Gun Rocks to dive the Staple Island side. Si dived for a full 45 minutes in 4-6 metres of water looking for the mythical cannon which lies on this side of the rocks, but unfortunately after battling with kelp never managed to find it…. though he did find one later! Nic and Peta then went down on to the main site, Nic took 200+ photos of cannon 6001 for photogrammetry and Peta continued to measure and record all of the cannon. Success, all done…. then as we headed to the surface Peta lost the dive slate with the measurements on… oh no!

Si then jumped in with his scuba kit on. He didn’t find the dive slate, but what he did find was the 14th cannon! It lies on the edge of the Gun Rocks plateau, just above the drop into Staple Sound. It has a very clean round trunnion; you almost feel like it should display a clear ‘F’ or some other symbol. Si took some photos of his find.

The main diving team for the weekend (minus the photographer!)

Discussions now centre upon whether we should  be including this new cannon in the dive trail, as it may lead people out and in to Staple Sound, which can only be dived on slack….. The location of this cannon, does however increase the likelihood that the cannon on the Gun Rocks plateau are from the same wreck as those in Staple Sound. The finding of cannon 14 means that the two groups of cannon are now only separated by approximately 15-20 metres.