The ominous sound of thunder rumbled in the distance as the rain began to ripple across the flat calm sea. The sky blackened and a storm looked to be brewing, but never arrived. We loaded up the kit onto Scot Waterman’s excellent Protector dive boat, part rib Part hard boat, and all action, and departed the Menai straight.
After a 2-hour sail on some fantastic flat sea 10 divers entered the water and descended the 35m onto the impressive, intact Cartagena wreck. Visibility was mixed due to the plankton bloom but good enough at around 5-6 m to fully circumnavigate the wreak. This wreck a regular popular dive site covered in abundant sea life, soft corals, crustaceans and deep-water fish, the rear prop and rudder at the deepest point at around 38m.
After surfacing, the rain had bated and the sun was starting to break through, and once Samantha Pepper and Stephen Stapleton were patched up following some light jellyfish stings, we sailed back into the Menai straight to our second dive site.
The Hoverinham wreck lies in around 6-8, so after some Acapulco style cliff diving practice from the boys and I, with the girls bottling it (boo) or tomb stoning as the anti fun police like to call it, we dived the wreck. This fun little dive is home to a local seal who kept popping up and looking on at us. A not too taxing dive but some strong currents were present at the bow and stern.
After an overnight stay down the coast at Carnarvon, the sun came out on day 2. After another long 3 hour sail we arrived at our dive site the Chaka Buco, this absolute gem of a dive at 26-30m was more wreckage than wreck, but with the sandy bottom the dive was a series of small reefs almost tropical in colour and abundance of life. Conger eels were found nestling between the wreckage. Surrounded by huge lobsters and masses of fish life, a truly amazing dive was had by all, with even the skipper enjoying a dive before the main group entered the water, the skipper’s excitement on returning to the boat could not be withheld has he announced that he needed to pleasure himself such was the joy.
The final dive back in the strait was a light drift and in around 6-10m, seals were around close to the island and were spotted on the dive, we headed back to land to de kitted and finished with a farewell drink with the skipper in the Liverpool Arms.
The final thought being this was up there with best Anglesey trips from the club, roll on October for part 2.
Andrew Pepper, Trip Secretary.