By Ben Heymink, Ocean Diver
Diving Sunday 27th May 2018
My first wreck dive, and I was was lucky enough to have some perfect conditions!
Early Sunday morning, (6:30 to be exact!) I left Newbury with Aimee (my diving partner) and we made our way to Portland. The two hour drive featured some of the heaviest rain I had ever seen, but luckily, as we approached Weymouth, the rain cleared and made way for some brilliant sunshine, to our relief! We readied the boat, and 5 us made our way to the wreck of the Gertrude, with yours truly at the helm, putting my recent Boat Handling & Power Boating Lvl2 qualification to good use! The Gertrude lies at about 14 meters, and was a victim of fog, sinking on the 26th August 1894.
Once on site, we joined a couple of other RIBs from other dive clubs in the vicinity, one of which had already put down a shot line on the wreck which we made use of.
Two dives were done on the day – the first down to the Gertrude, for about 26 minutes, and the second just a bit south from her, within a sheltered cove. The second dive was without a doubt the best diving I have experienced (albeit it in my short diving career!) due to the abundance of marine life on display. Kathy, one of the most experienced divers in our club, led myself and Owen, another member, on what I can only describe as a ‘marine wildlife safari’, stopping every few minutes to point out some hidden animal or coral that I would have easily missed had she not been pointing them out to me!
I managed to take a few bits of video from the day, so I’ll let the video do the talking!