Browns Bay, Cullercoats

3rd July 2010

Seven club members made the effort to assemble at 7.30am along the Cullercoats seafront with the aim of diving Browns Bay.

After several days of settled weather and no rain, things were looking promising for an excellent dive.  Furthermore, there were very few other divers to be seen at this usually very popular dive site.  With very little swell, underwater visibility was at least 6 metres.

Once assembled down on the rocks beside the old swimming pool it was a case of heading out to find the wreck of the SS Butetown. In reality, this wreck site is quite tricky to locate, as it is well set back within a reef system of gullies and thick kelp.

 The wreck itself is actually scattered across quite a large area, with a lot of the ships bottom plates and ribs barely visible under a shroud of thick kelp.

The two large ships boilers are situated close to a reef wall on an area of sand that reflects the sunlight up nicely. The twisted remains of girders and plates are all too evident around this area, a testament to a combination of extensive salvage efforts and fierce winter storms.  The metal covering of both boilers have corroded away exposing the internal condenser pipe work.

Heading back towards the shore exit point we crossed the foreword end of the vessel until eventually coming across the remains of the bow area. From here it was roughly a 10 minute swim back to the exit point beside the old swimming pool.

Once safely out of the water, it is quite a hard climb back up the steps to the road above. Once changed and with equipment safely packed and stowed, it was back to the Moses home for a welcome breakfast of coffee and continental pastries.

All things considered an excellent dive to start the weekend off. Thanks to Bill Cooper for organising this dive.
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