It's been a cracking start to the year so far with 2 trips out to the Red Sea for some relaxing diving but my duck on UK Sea diving had yet to be broken. We almost got out last week but Channel diver was stuck behind a set of lock gates and no amount of chainsawing/gas-axeing/swearing was going to get her out in time for us so that was another planned trip thrown on the pile.
A last minute space came up to do a wreck called the Glencoe sitting about 15 miles offshore and in just less than 60m of water so I duly signed up and waited for Saturday to arrive.
The weather was playing ball all week and the outlook was good for Saturday:




Saturday dawned bright and clear and not too breezy so I set off for Brighton at about 5:30 for a 7:30 ropes off which I made with 20 minutes to spare. The club that booked the boat are regulars on Channel Diver and all knew each other. They were welcoming and very typical of your UK hardboat dive club in as much as they ripped the piss out of each other constantly and welcomed it as much as they gave it so I joined in and took a few hits as well.

There was one other rEvo on the boat, 5 megs, 1 Sentinel and 2 Inspo's.
That's right, 10 CCR's and Zero OC which is just about as good as you can get :D

We pulled up onsite and kitted up ready to splash. 10 minutes later I was in on the 2nd wave with 2 meg divers. I got to the shot at the same time but they were diving together and sorting themselves out on the surface so I ducked down, went in head first and pulled myself down the line. I made it to the bottom and bumped into the other rEvo diver so we set off together and I noticed 2 things at this point:

1)If I covered my light it was absolutely pitch black.
2)The vis was shocking at about 2m

Neither of these things bothered me as I was back in the salty stuff for the 1st time and I wasn't going to let anything spoil my day.

I dropped down on the starboard side going from the pointy end to the blunt end and noticed that the crabs & lobbies were not bothered at all by our presence. (Steve confirmed it gets dived very rarely throughout the season) I noticed a few hermit crabs on the seabed so I went down for a look and then carried on along the side of the wreck before popping up on the decks. I can't tell you much about the wreck other than it's steel hulled and wooden decked and pretty big (thanks to the 2m vis) we drifted over to the port side (slack was here now) and made our way back towards the pointy end where the guy I was diving with decided to go all "Crocodile Dundee" and started wrestling with a decent sized crab that happened to be on the deck and out in the open. He realised too late that he needed both hands to keep the sharp pointy bits of the crab away from himself and couldn't get at his goody bag. Inbetween bouts of laughter from me I got his goody bag out and, eventually, opened it for him (cue more laughter) as tries to keep the crab from nipping him and I pass over his goody bag. He stuffs one end in the bag but the other side plants its legs firmly in the opening so he starts to stuff that side in with the same happening on the opposite side. At this point I'm thankful for the gag strap on the rEvo loop as I would have spat out the mouthpiece a long time ago thanks to the comedy show going on in front of me....
Eventually he gets the crab into his goody bag and I hand over a double ender so he can clip it off and we go for a bit more of a mooch then, at around the 45min mark we thumb it and I pop my bag (auto blob on a CD reel) and he gets his shiny KT reel out with a little C02 cartridge blob on the end of it. As he pops the cartridge I notice he's got a birds nest going on so he grabs the wreck and tries to free it for 5 minutes or so then realises it's bye-bye time for his shiny £80 reel....
He decides to free ascend with me and at 21m he pops his back up smb and spool out and sends that one up. I notice it's a yellow bag and sure enough, a couple of minutes later I hear the boat engines rev up and feel my reel getting lifted up out of my hands and look up to see a drop bottle at 9m :embarassed::embarassed::embarassed: I point this out to my buddy and indicate that this is for him but as I'm clipped to it on my line and he doesn't need it I decide to keep with it for the rest of my deco.
Big thumbs up for Steve Johnson for his emergency procedures. They work even though we never spoke about drop bottle procedures at any point. It's nice to know skippers know what to do when they need to do it.
I ended up having 10 mins less than the other guy so I popped to the surface, let the drop bottle drift on its buoy and clambered back on the boat for tea and medals. Steve was duly thanked for his (un-needed) drop bottle and the final diver made it to the surface without incident so we were happy all round.

An easy steam back into port saw us on the way back to London by 1pm

My lovely rEvo waiting to get wet:




A quality day on a fantastic boat and smiles all round