We hurtled towards wales trying to beat the Bank holiday traffic. With Julie in the back telling us lots of gossip the trip passed quickly. Before we knew it we were in our “luxury” caravans, drinking a well earned beer and getting to know some new faces. Saturday dawned with promise of sunshine and despite the westerly winds and a bit of chop we set off to the harbour at Goodwick. Wandrin Star and Captain Mark awaited us and without too much faff we were loaded and on our way. The first dive was Salus. Unfortunately the winds had destroyed the viz which was less than a meter in places. A silty bottom made for fingertip searching, but we did see a spider crab or two. Dive two was a local slate wreck. Well broken up it did prove interesting to poke about on and the viz was a little better. We were welcomed back on the boat with sunshine and deck chairs, a healthy banter and chill out tunes over the speakers.
Day two. Our mission was to travel three hours out to HMS Whirlwind. A monster wreck of a WW2 Destroyer. Laying on its side at 36m Tim, James and I decided to go the whole hog and do a bit of accelerated deco. So twinned up and stages at the ready we decended the shot. Viz was an encouraging 5-7 m and the wreck did not disappoint. We started at the stern, passed the guns and made it all the way to the bow. The wreck was teeming with fish of all kinds, particularly bib. Back up a pretty hull covered with soft corals and back towards the stern. We blobbed off and unknowingly tried to kill James as our SMB passed right between his legs. We did 11 mins deco on 80%o2 with a total dive time of 43 mins. A cracking dive, well worth the 7 hours of travelling we did to get there. We decided to head straight back to our caravans, had a beer or two and then off into Fishguard for another curry. Apparently that’s all people eat there these days. We had a great night, with a ‘party’ in van 3, jokes were told and one or two were funny 🙂
Monday left only 4 hardy divers on the boat. Beautiful conditions prevailed with flat calm sea, blue sky, sunshine and The Blue Danube playing us out of the harbour. We had a bit of a waltz on deck then got giddy as we spotted some porpoise jumping just ahead of the boat. Dive one was the Calburga wall. Apparently there is a wreck at 38m, but my sinuses were giving me grief and it was quite poor viz again. We ascended from 30m and just enjoyed the wall. A few dog fish lounged around and several spider crabs waved as we swam by. Dive two was the Dan beard. I blobbed this one due to laziness and throbbing sinuses, but Tim and Stacey and Julie enjoyed a poke around the bay, and explored the caves, some of which gave Tim a bit of a twitch when the surge dragged him in quite powerfully. Back on board and enjoyed the sunshine as we sailed back into Goodwick harbour.
This was a great weekend, early season gave us sea temps of 8 degrees. With viz ‘localised’ we made the most of the inshore dives. The highlight for me though was the HMS Whirlwind. James and several others agreed this is the best UK wreck dive done so far. We had a lovely bunch of divers on board, and as always we won the skipper over with our wit and charm. He even agreed to have us back. 🙂