Spellbinder – The first of the year

Mike, Zoe and Stephen – happy divers!

Club dive from Spellbinder, off the mouth of the Tyne. The weather was sunny and relatively calm which was nice. We had four visitors for this dive: Zoe and Mike from Yorkshire, who have dived with us before, and Stuart and Chris, two local divers both of whom I have dived with at St Abbs. Only two dives this day as some of us had a wedding to get to! Kev, one of our members, was getting married and having a get together up in Northumberland later the same evening.

In order to get the visibility, the first dive was on the Pandora followed by the cider wreck.

Inside the bow of the Pandora.

The Pandora is one of those dives which we do quite regularly, but I had not realised that Si Fish had never been to the bow. The boilers generally have the shot on them, so when you go down it is really easy to follow the propeller shaft to the stern, some of which stands proud of the seabed, is covered with soft coral, and looks quite nice. If you look hard enough there is even an anchor.

This time though, we turned in the opposite direction to the propeller shaft, headed over the coal strewn area, and found the bow. It stands about 5 metres up from the sea bed. This time it was full of bib, and a few other fish. Soft coral and bryzoans cover the metal plates. It really is quite scenic if you swim inside and just sit and watch the fish (the joys of a rebreather!).

Octopus on the Cider Wreck.

After a surface interval and a tinned curry lunch provided by Allan, we set off back down the coast to dive the Cider or 55 Wreck. This wreck seems to have a bit of a confused identity and various dive guides suggest different names. It can be a nice second dive, though it does suffer from poor visibility if there have been anything other than westerly winds, or when the Tyne has been dredged.

There was quite a bit of life on the wreck, including an octopus, but when the sun went in it got quite dark down there!!