Wednesday, 11 July 2007

The Minnerva

Text by Chimp 5

I don't get to go Trimix diving as much as I'd like so was recently delighted when the Foxturd guys agreed to my request to become an Honorary Chimp and go diving with them. They went one better and have made me a full chimp with the designation "5" This trip was the first time we'd go sea diving although we have dived in quarries before.

The Minerva was a long ride in the boat in the sort of sea that's on the edge of being uncomfortable but Smudge's boat, the Scimitar made light work of the seas and we arrived at the site in a little over 2 hours. Finding slack was a bit difficult which resulted in us being ready for longer than I would have liked, fully kitted up, in the sun and with a rolling boat is not the most fun, but diving is like that sometimes, I guess.

Garf, Gloc and I hit the water and got to the shot. I was to be number 1 (so they could both keep an eye on me I expect ) and set off down the shot. This was hard work in the current and I took longer than would have been ideal. We eventually arrived at the wreck and took a moment to settle and sort things out, then set off on a tour. Along the way we saw several fish, crabs and the occasional lobster till we arrived at the bow so we turned and headed back towards the stern. Near the stern was a nice little swim through the back along the starboard rail area. Garf spotted a really nice jelly fish. The number of HID lights at times gave the wreck the feeling of being a War of the Worlds set

I knew I was nearly at minimum gas and was about to check when the dive was thumbed so we headed of for a largely uneventful deco run by Garf, I shot the bag, although at times the current carried us along for a bit, then stopped before taking us away again. It was disconcerting in a mild way to see the string heading up to the surface at an angle of 45degrees.

For a whole bunch of reasons we decided that was enough diving for the day so headed back to Weymouth. We met up with Howard Payne, David Stern and some of Howard's club for the evening and had a top meal and continued the rich vein of banter that had punctuated the day already.

A huge thank you to Smudge & Helena for making us feel very welcome, to Marianne (MJH) for organising the gig and to my fellow chimps for having me.

I look forward to the photos imminently