DEEP WRECKS 2011

DEEP WRECKS 2011

After cool discoveries made during the last trip and successful identification of Akademik Karpinski, the time came for wrecks closer to the Hel peninsula. As usual, the invaluable aid was provided by Wojtek Jechna and his magic notebook with secret posts. We met last Sunday in Hel, planning two-day deep diving. But the weather made us revise our plans at the very start. A very strong eastern wind was blowing, and then it only got worse.
Since, due to the weather, the trip was postponed a few times, the crew changed continuously. Finally we took off in the group including:

Marek Cacaj,
Dimitris Stavrakakis,
Tomek Stachura;

as deep support we had with us:

Daniel Pastwa,
Marysia Pastwa,
Łukasz Pastwa.
Ania Pastwa, provided great surface support, finally she was joined by Łukasz Piorewicz who had forgotten to take his suit (he was very worried about it) – we found it quite funny and thanks to that the atmosphere on the board was cheerful, sometimes close to mockery, but “Łuki” endured it bravely and did great on board – thanks, Łuki 🙂

Because the wind got stronger, we didn’t have much choice and we decided to dive at the first post. Wojtek, using his Litoral, guided us to posts at the depth of 74 m. The probe outlined an object about – 6 m above the ground bottom. We started to dress up and Wojtek prepared the anchor line. He threw a 30 kg chain with a beacon and a 90 m rope.

We were quite surprised when all this set, after a moment, started to drift away – that’s quite a current, we thought, and we started to pull the anchor line out to set it once again, and then – to our surprise – the anchor line got caught by something at the bottom, while drifting. It was 20 m from the proper post – but we decided to dive. Later, we found out that the line getting caught really helped us and enabled the whole diving. I jumped into the water first and I grabbed the rope in the nick of time, the current was much stronger than I thought, it literally blew me away. If it wasn’t for the rope fastened on the bottom, we would have no chances of diving. Marek and Dima reached to ropes only thanks to that the fact that Wojtek placed them ideally from the top of the beacon.

Carrying the entire equipment, with great difficulty we dragged on to the vertical anchor line, which literally vibrated due to the current. After thinking for a moment, we decided to descend. I really hoped that, with the depth the current would decrease, but, unfortunately – not this time. All the way to the bottom, we had to climb down, holding the rope.

After a few minutes – there it is, I see the bottom, after a moment, also the chain caught in the net and finally – the shipwreck. I like this moment when nothing is completely obvious and you have only a dozen minutes to check what it is. Your heart beats stronger, you do everything automatically. So far, we can only see the bulk of the bottom and I hope that this wreck is not turned upside down completely. I climb slowly on the right board and I reach the railings.

It’s not bad, the wreck is tilted to the left board, but we can see the board, bollards some stairs, the clarity is fair and the current is still dramatic.

Regardless of that, I kneel and try to prepare a camera to take pictures, out of the corner of my eye I see Dima and Marek swimming slowly on the right side.

I must have looked hilarious, setting the arms of flash lights, and they almost wrapped around me. The current completely prevents setting the flash lamps.

After 7 minutes, I give up – not this time, I carelessly disassemble the camera and go towards the bow. We all reach the turret on the bow. We are puzzled – this is a turret identical with the one on Munin Minesweeper. No, I can’t leave without taking a photo. I carefully mount only one lamp and take several terrible, pictures standing firm against the board. Marek gives me more light from above and Dima checks the bow.

deep1

deep2

Then we swim with Marek towards the bow (just 4 metres:-)) and note that the wreck is extremely slender and narrow, and the anchors are in chocks. We turn around and go with the current towards the stern. I shoot photos, to record as much as I can and then check them at home.

deep3

deep4
deep5

We pass the elements of the wreck, some entrance to the superstructure and rotating platforms.

It is the 20th minute of the dive and I show to my partners that I’ve had enough – Especially when I think about 1,5 h of deco in this current.

It is really not easy – letting the rope go means big trouble, especially that we are near the fairway. I estimate the current at ca. 2 knots, therefore, a deco “in the depth of water ” would lead to going away from the post by about 5 km and drifting, on the way, past 2 fairways.

We have much time to reflect on what we have seen, unfortunately, we can’t have a “chat” under water, because all our hands are full ;-).

For the first time in my life I hear the anchor rope literally howling – like shrouds in the wind.

I hold the camera tight, not to lose it – the current is so strong that it tears of the neoprene cover and I can only see it taken towards Klaipeda.

We come out slowly, it is warm and on our way we pass the stages left by our support, in the 40th minute of our diving, Marysia comes down to us and checks if everything is OK. We say it’s OK, and Marek, detaches, just like that, two unnecessary stages and gives them back to Marysia. I imagine her taken by the current with all that junk, but luckily it’s OK, the girl can make it and she comes back with the equipment back to the surface.

We still spend an hour fighting the current and avoiding rushing jellyfish – by the way, I didn’t know they could swim so fast. And finally we get to the boat.

With sun and nice atmosphere, and Łukasz as the boatswain – it couldn’t be better:-)

We go home and in the evening, we exchange e-mails about our finding.

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