Always love a day out on Spellbinder, it’s a three dive day with lunch in the middle, not may boats offer that. So we all gathered some on the north site and some on the south side of the Tyne. Spellbinder is moored up at Royal Quays, but does a pick up on the south side at Customs House too for those on that side of the river, saves a long drive when coming from Chester Le Street, or our guests from Teeside BSAC 43 club too.
First dive was on the Pandora, a wreck up towards Blyth. I managed to lose my dive buddy quite early on, somewhere around the stern. The visibility was about 2 metres or so, not brilliant but enough to see the life on this wreck. Often you can follow the propeller shaft from the boilers, down to the stern, where you can find a large propeller, an anchor and some bits of upstanding wreckage. The boilers are always worth looking at as there are often wee critters hidden in the open pipes. After taking some photos, I headed back up the shot, to surface and find no one else had re-found the shot, but the weather was lovely so everyone was easily picked up under their DSMBs.
The surface interval was spent raiding Alan’s chocolate reserves and Mark making us some hot chocolate or coffee. Good banter and nice to have time to catch up with divers we hadn’t seen in a while. After and hour or so we were dropped in on the Hanne. This wreck has a large boiler then scattered wreckage. Its always a good rummage dive with lots of nudibranchs to find.
Again I lost my buddy, but this time because his rebreather wasn’t playing. So I joined in with another team of our divers (Graham and Luke, though I am not sure they noticed me!), taking photos and enjoying the sunlight coming down from the surface. Quite a few crystal sea slugs to see as well as dragonets. An atmospheric wreck to dive.
Back on the surface again, we were treated to the usual Spellbinder Curry, or most were. The smoke coming from the galley was a sign that the microwave had just given up life. So the last few people shared some cold rice and a dollop of curry. But that was fine, we had a lot of chocolate and coffee to supplement our diet too!
The final dive was on the Oslo Fjord, where we found the usual items, rounds, checkered floor, boilers and lots of engine components. As usual there were lots of wee cod swimming about and a host of nudibranchs. If you find the higher parts of the wreckage you can find plumose anemones an dead mans fingers. I surfaced and then sat fully kitted up for no apparent reason…… Till the shot snagged! So I jumped back in and found the shot line which had snapped but remained close to the boilers. After attaching and inflating a lift bag it was sent to the surface, and I ascended back to the boat.
Three dives, not the best visibility, but lots of happy divers, both from our club and our guests from Teesside 43. Our last Spellbinder club dive of the year, looking forward to next year already.