I never normally bother putting trip reports up here but it was such a great weekend i thought id copy it over from southwestmafia.

Well, we finally got out to the Armenian, twice!

It was an interesting weekend and I learned many many things. The first, and perhaps most obvious is that camping is not a great idea when doing dives in excesses of 3 hours over 50 miles out.
I had thought that it would be nice to go to Newquay with Sue so had suggested camping as she loves it. We loaded up the car and headed off straight after work and got to out camp site in a mere hour and a half, not bad with the schools having just broken up.

Out came the tent which we promptly tipped out on the ground. I had assured Sue that I had checked it was all there so it was an unpleasant surprise to find we only had the fly sheet, poles and pegs! Doh.
Oh well I said. At least I’ve got my artic sleeping bag…..er no. Sue decided not to pack it as she had dug out an old inflatable double mattress. That doesn’t sound to bad does it? Sue set to pumping it up only to find it was only a single! But it got better as we found a big rip in it next. Aquasure and inner tube sorted that out. As long as it didn’t rain we’d be fine.
It was dark an hour later with heavy looking rain clouds settling in for the night. Still, pork chops in red thai curry for tea which was very nice.

So on with the diving. It was a pretty grim ride out to the wreck it has to be said. I had hoped to sleep after an interesting night in the tent (the high light of which was when we were joined by a cat trying to get out the rain which woke Sue up. Thinking it was a rat on the bed she was jumping all over the place squealing). Gearing up was fun and several folk were seen with heads over the side. It was not quite the mental picture I’d had when I imagined finally getting out here!
Once we finally hit the water all was wonderful. I went right when I hit the wreck which was the right way to go as I came across the bridge area which I thought was truly fantastic. The wreck really reminded me of the Afric with the decks etc having all collapsed in, though its not got to much netting around, especially the bow area.
Once I knew where I was I should have headed straight to where Rick’s ‘treasure map’ put the bell. Rick had got a sneaky dive in three weeks before and found the small bridge bell. Being a jolly decent chap he’d showed us a map he’d drawn of the area he’d dived and marked out exactly where he thought the main bell would be. I was distracted by the bits of bridge gear (alas, it was all buried and well and truly stuck under lots of heavy steal) and so spent most of my dive there. To be honest I think Rick must have been liberating the bell while I was looking about the bridge as Bill was having a mooch about near by. Too soon time was up so I headed back to the shot, admiring the portholes that seemed to be laying about every where you looked as I went. I left the bottom on 26 minutes including the decent (21 minutes on the wreck) Deco was deco. I was kept company by two large gar fish that were swimming around. It was 17 degrees on deco which was more that welcome after the 10 on the bottom. The wreck had been fantastic and well worth the wait and the rotten trip out and back. Max depth was 92 metres, my deepest dive to date.






After another night in the tent (this time there was a fight going on to entertain us, the cat having moved on) we were off again, this time in calmer seas and sunshine! Before we got in skipper Chris could be heard begging for some one to lift him a porthole….and after all the abuse poor Charliecat got for sending his up the day before!

I wanted to get back to the bow and was fairly sure I would recognise the way. The vis if any thing seemed better (20 metres?) and with the sun out we had even more light than the previous day. As it was I went completely the wrong way and ended up at the stern which was nice, but less interesting as it was flatter and more broken. This is where the Armenian was hit by the torpedo that sunk it. There was also a lot more netting about here.
I bombed back to the shot only to find that it was closer to the bow that the previous day and was not far from the bridge at all. I still had some time left so had a dig around looking for crockery of which I found none. I did find a spoon though which was alright. I decided to pop inside an over hang for a look and dropped down several metres once in. There was a slightly different looking porthole to all the others id seen on the wreck in that it had no dogs and didn’t open so I pulled it out for a look. As the silt went up I looked left to see where the exit was and saw a face. Not just a face, a black face with white eyes and an open mouth full of sharp pointy teeth only a foot away I absolutely shat my self, screamed like a girl and got the hell out of there! As I was crawling out shouting ’************’ I realised it was probably just that massive black seal that Rick had mentioned seeing a few weeks back but it truly scared the crap out of me! Of course every took the piss when I told them on the boat (bastards ). I’d like to see how they’d have faired! Back out on the wreck I had 2 minutes left but I saw that bloody seals arse disappear behind be, already feeling spooked I canned the end of the dive and climbed up the shot to safety!
I bumped into Rick, Tim and Charlie cat on deco which was a nice change to have some company. We were joined by a small school of mackerel several times but the rest was spent laughing at Charles and his piece of ‘spidge’, the end of a curtain pole :D . I hope he reports it
Cheers to Mortey for arranging it all, Rick for lifting the bell, making it an especially stunning first day, Barbs for being surface support (not a pleasant job sitting in ruff skanky seas) and Chris Lowe for getting us out there and back safe and sound.

Cant wait to go back.

George