Connect with us
background

News

Dive Club Trip Report – Oyster Diving Club – Part 3 (Watch Video)

Published

on

Oyster Diving Club

OYSTER DIVING CLUB – BEST OF WRECKS RED SEA LIVEABOARD, OCTOBER 2014 – PART 3

(Read Part 1 here and Part 2 here.)

Day 5

The boat engines roared in to action at a knackering 4.30am this morning, not ideal when you’re in the cabin next to the engine room.

Today we spent the day at Abu Nuhas, a reef system close to the main shipping lanes to/from the Suez Canal. This means it was an excellent trap to catch out a few Captains who’d let their guard down. Along the reef lays 4 famous wrecks:

  • Chrisoula – the tiles wreck sank in 1978
  • Giannis D – the wood wreck sank 1983
  • Kimon K – the lentil wreck sank 1978
  • Carnatic – the wine wreck sank 1869

Wreck 1 of the day – The Chrisoula K

Chrisoula K Facts:

Built 1953 in Lubeck, Germany

Dimensions – 101m x 14m

Max speed 13.5 kn

Route – Italy to Jeddah

Cargo – 3,700 tonnes of Italian floor tiles

In 1978 it hit the reef at full speed

The wreck lies relatively intact on the reef wall. The bow starts around 4m with the stern at around 26m.

There were loads of interesting places to penetrate the wreck, such as the cargo holds that still contain its cargo of floor tiles, the kitchen, and a machine room where you can still see the tools in their correct positions.

The engine room could be seen through a large door, but it is not advisable to enter as it’s pitch black in there (and a few divers have lost their lives in the past having stirred up the silt).

The coral has now started to cover the upper part of the wreck which meant there were some families of clownfish brightening up the place and other critters such as a wort slug.

Wreck 2 of the day – Carnatic

Carnatic Facts:

Steamship

Launched in 1862

Dimensions – 90m long x 12m wide

Route – Suez to Bombay

Sank – 1869

176 crew and 34 passengers

5 passengers and 26 crew didn’t survive

Cargo – copper, cotton and £40,000 in gold coins (that quite a bit in today’s money) First salvage operation in the world and unfortunately recovered most of the coins (no one know what happened to the rest…)

Our Captain managed to moor our boat right on top of the wreck and with no current it made for a very easy descent. The hull remains relatively intact with a lattice frame work still in place over the top. This made for a very large and airy swim-thru. Inside was a timid school of batfish that made a lovely contrast against the blue water coming through the openings.

Another swim-thru was through the old boiler room and on the exit was a huge moray eel. Despite keeping a close eye open we didn’t manage to find the missing gold.

Weather watch for today: hot, hot, hot with high levels of UV.

Wreck 3 of the day – Giannis D

Giannis D Facts:

Maiden voyage 1969

Dimensions – 100m x 16m

Route – Croatia to Yemen

Cargo – Teak and mahogany

19/04/83 struck the reef

The wood floated and was collected by the local fishermen as its high quality timber and was used to build the first diving liveaboard. The liveaboard itself later became a wreck near Hurghada.

One of the most famous wrecks in the Red Sea – yet it was the first time any of us had done it.

This wreck lay in two main parts. The stern is still relatively intact and provided us with a fantastic swim through. Entering though the main bridge we swam in and down in to the engine room. A large room with a lot of the original wiring, signs and engines are still in place. As we swam through the wreck the different hues of blue would have been an artist’s dream. Returning to the outside of the ship we swam around the stern past the rudder and prop. Despite it being a relatively new wreck, many different types of hard and soft corals are starting to appear, which does make you appreciate exactly how long it takes for coral to grow.

Swimming down the wreck you could see the main portion of the wreck was pretty disintegrated with only a few dozen planks from its cargo remaining. The bow was also slightly beaten up as this was the main point of impact, but still provided for some spectacular photos.

There is a night dive tonight on Dolphin House, near Hurghada – I hope everyone enjoys it!

Tomorrow is our last day of diving, so will be tinged with a touch of sadness.

Day 6

Our final day of diving, and probably the final blog entry (unless something out of the ordinary happens during our night out in Hurghada later).

Having started our journey back towards Hurghada we did our first of two dives this morning at Shab el Ert, or more commonly known at home as Dolphin House. There are three Dolphin Houses in the Red Sea and I’ve never encountered Dolphins in any of them, so expectations were low.

I buddied up with Melvin and Philippe, the French-American (he’s actually Canadian but we’ve had a great time calling him a yank all week). Philippe decided to lead this dive. The dive itself, in Red Sea terms, was not that spectacular – a sandy bottom with coral bommies and lots of little fish. As predicted, there were no dolphins. The highlight of the dive is that myself and Melvin had to tell Philippe that he was leading us in the wrong direction and therefore using various hand gestures we made him aware that the ‘beer fine’ rule was being enforced.

We were about the last people back on the boat and just as we were taking our kit off a pod of Dolphins typically appeared right where we had just been diving. I calmly asked one of the boat guys “quick, quick, grab the zodiac”. Mel and I grabbed our fins and masks and leapt in to the zodiac like a couple of Olympic hurdlers wired on Red Bull.

We lost sight of the Dolphins but our boat driver shouted “JUMP”, so without question we rolled back in to the water. Right in front of us less than 10 yards/meters away were about a dozen Dolphins slowly and calmly swimming right past us. With the cameras rolling we spent several minutes gathering evidence to show the guys back on the boat.

Today’s weather for Mrs G: SCORCHIO

Last dive of the trip – El Mina

This wreck was an ex-Russian frigate that was sold to Egypt. During the Egyptian v Israeli conflict, an Israeli Phantom jet fighter bombed the navy vessel and sank it close to Hurghada Port in about 30m of water. Apart from a large hole where the bomb hit, the wreck is relatively intact and rests on its port side. You can still see the gun turrets, propellers, bow etc. Marine life was fairly interesting even though the coral hasn’t taken hold properly.

Myself, Mel and Phillipe navigated our way over to a nearby trawler. Although not as fascinating to look at, the marine life was! There were thousands of glass fish being stalked by chunky lionfish and crocodilefish.

With our equipment rinsed and drying in the sun we are making plans for a final farewell to this wonderful part of the world. Tomorrow we get to lounge by the pool before our afternoon transfer to the airport. It’s been a great trip and we’ve thoroughly enjoyed the company of the Danepack and other guests on the boat. As usual, blue o two have provided us with a first class service and we look forward to returning to the ‘Best of the Red Sea – Shark Special’ next November on board Blue Horizon. If you would like to join us the please email me at mark@oysterdiving.com.

Here’s a video of our trip:

www.oysterdiving.com

Having worked as a Dive Instructor in the Virgin Islands, Thailand and Egypt, Mark returned to the UK in 2006 when he founded Oyster Diving. His principle aims for the new diving centre would be to appeal to the more discerning customer by offering the best facilities, having an integrated travel agency so customers can complete their dives abroad as well as in the UK. In 2010 Mark won Sport Diver magazines' 'Best Diving Instructor'. For more information on Oyster Diving, visit www.oysterdiving.com.

News

Diving below the waves of the Western Cape, South Africa – Windmill Beach (Watch Video)

Published

on

Head under the waves of False Bay and explore the incredible diversity that is found along the Western Cape. The bay has popular dive spots from diving amongst the biodiverse underwater kelp forests to jumping in with the playful and friendly cape fur sealions (Arctocephalus pusillus). The bay along with the rest of the South Africa coast is known for the range of shark species that are found from the shallow coastal shores out into the open oceans. The coast is also home to numerous endemic shark species such as puffadder shyshark (Haploblepharus edwardsii) and Pyjama shark.

Situated a short drive out of Simonstown is the shore dive at Windmill beach. A short swim over the sand and through the large boulders you enter the incredibly diverse and colourful kelp forests (Ecklonia maxima), a species that can grow up to 12m tall. Life is found in abundance from the base of the kelp where many sea urchins and species such as abalone can be seen then heading into the canopy many shoaling fish species can be observed.

Diving with the local dive club – Cape Town Dive Centre.


Follow Jake aka JD Scuba on the YouTube channel @Don’t Think Just Blog.

Continue Reading

Gear News

Fourth Element to make diving tools from recycled PPE

Published

on

Fourth Element has partnered with recycling and repurposing experts, Waterhaul, to retask the mask; turning single-use plastics into the tools we use in pursuit of underwater adventure. Face masks and other items of PPE from hospitals are melted down into blocks, sterilising the material which fourth element purchases, recycle and transforms.

These cave line markers are the first of what fourth element hopes will be many products using this waste material to give it a new life beyond protecting the lives of our frontline healthcare workers. Each marker re-uses the equivalent of two disposable masks. Waste is given a new direction.

The end product is completely safe. The PPE is heat treated by the hospital: the plastic is heated to high temperatures multiple times; first to make the blocks within the recycling process, and also whilst injection moulding the parts.

What makes this OceanPositive?

In the UK alone, 58 million single-use plastic face masks are thrown away every day, littering landfills and polluting the environment. Globally, we use 129 billion per month – that’s enough to wrap around the world 550 times! Over the last 12 months, a recorded 1.5 billion have entered the ocean, disrupting our ecosystem and endangering marine life across the globe. And that’s just what has been recorded.

These lines markers are made from recycled PPE, each one saving two masks from entering landfill or our oceans. Part of fourth element’s Zero Waste and Zero Plastic initiatives; to re-purpose as much plastic as possible and find new uses for products at the end of their lives.

We believe that this is the way,” said Jim Standing, co-founder of fourth element. “We are all going to have to tackle the challenges of a post covid world and one of these will be how we deal with the waste we have created as part of keeping ourselves and in particular, our frontline workers protected. We intend to play our part.”

For more information visit the Fourth Element website by clicking here.

Continue Reading

E-Newsletter Sign up!

Competitions

Explore the amazing triangle of Red Sea Reefs - The Brothers, Daedalus and Elphinstone on board the brand new liveaboard Big Blue.  With an option to add on a week at Roots Red Sea before or after. 

Strong currents and deep blue water are the catalysts that bring the pelagic species flocking to these reefs. The reefs themselves provide exquisite homes for a multitude of marine life.  The wafting soft corals are adorned with thousands of colourful fish. The gorgonian fans and hard corals provide magnificent back drops, all being patrolled by the reef’s predatory species.

£1475 per person based on double occupancy.  Soft all inclusive board basis, buffet meals with snacks, tea and coffee always available.  Add a week on at Roots Red Sea Resort before or after the liveaboard for just £725pp.  Flights and transfers are included.  See our brochure linked above for the full itinerary.

This trip will be hosted by The Scuba Place.  Come Dive with Us!

Call 020 3515 9955 or email john@thescubaplace.co.uk

www.thescubaplace.co.uk

More Less

Instagram Feed

Popular