The first job was to measure the 100 metre rope and mark it up in 10 metre sections. It has been known that Mike uses a measure that enhances size, so the rope was nearer 80 metres and required an extension. Ladies, that’s 20%. We set off early from Aberdeen in the hope of starting earlier in the water. After a quick 20 minute brief and some kitting up we were ready. The water looked distinctly brown and uninviting. First job was to mark the ends of a transit, then swim the rope from one end to the other. Drop down Tie off one end, pull tight, tie off the other end and weight the line with stones. There was a bit of current also.
Mike had made it very clear there was to be no photographs of fish-life, divers and general messing about. Photobombing, planking and owling were right out and could have you severely disciplined for messing about. Meanwhile several years earlier in a school in the north of England, others were perfecting the art of being a “boss bomber”. The night before, Chris Dillon had been putting the finishing touches to his home made cassette of “Irish drinking songs” in readiness for the slightest excuse to launch into an evening of drinking and fighting. He did however appear sober and passive for the trip. His dive buddy was the venerable Smith (not to be confused with other misspellings). Together a dynamic duo or the lavender hair mob were ready for whatever the day could throw at them. They get a charitable mention later in the blog, so look out for that.
Visibility was 0.5 to 1.0 metres, which made finding anything each side of the baseline a bit difficult. Luckily we had the artful codgers with the eyes of a bat and the ears of a pigeon. It wasn’t long before they found a long linked cable type object and were able to identify it as some kind of man made chain, possibly made of iron. Others must have missed or ignored these objects. They were pleased with themselves, even if it wasn’t on the list. The first dive was a bit tough, but we managed to record several items, albeit a little slower than we had hoped. Rick was able to draw an impressive diagram, while most of us got a handful on measurements. Over lunch we received a visitors from a sailing yacht, including a dog. Sandwiches and pleasantries over they left at embarrassing speed to drink and clink within hearing distance to make us jealous. We had work to do.
On the second dive, even if the visibility was rubbish, we persevered and were soon used to the conditions and heading into the darkness to try to find, something, anything. The temperatures underneath were cool, from a balmy 27 degrees on the surface, it was 22 degrees underneath with the thermocline around 4-5 metres. Not freezing by any stretch, but distinctly cooler at shallower depth. The rain and recent typhoon have mixed things up for the worse. Manky. The Cocoon duo returned to the boat in excited mood after their first dive disappointment. Triumphant, even marking the object with a bag. They did however forget their measuring tapes on the second dive, but in shaking handwriting had described this item of great historic importance. A weapon? I am become death, the destroyer of worlds? Fortunately Rob and Alex were ready to dive and were instructed to visit the artifact. Was it the arc of the covenant, the lost city of Atlantis, the imperial Faberge eggs or black beards treasure? As luck may have it one of those asked to confirm the finding, himself no stranger to ridicule and defending lost causes, was sent. It took nearly and hour for the two divers to confirm the story. They had managed to find… the Grioni Eruptor or demi culverin. Otherwise known as the medieval plumbing, the Thomas Crapper pipework or cloaca maxima. There was also a squabble about the person who discovered the item, however this was clarified with the attachment of a number making the item a discovery of Mr G. He did however have reservations on the item, having been subjected to many months of discussion on the use of said ironwork.
In summary, our discoverers of chain, found something that was already found and made a similar error as the original finder. No doubt this discussion will rage on for many months and there is plenty of time to learn the true identity of the rusty pipe. A difference in opinion and disputed time of discovery will keep this bubbling. So draw up a chair and watch the spectacle. It is correct to say they did find a chain, but were not specific about the other 3-4 on the bottom. We are not sure at this stage which chain, but there maybe yet another dispute as they claim theirs was both bigger, better and older than others. Plus they found it first, “that’s mine, that’s mine, everything’s mine”. Beware, they are feisty and not willing to come second. See Scott and Amundson for similar historic” runner up” issues and 100 plus years of sore loser publicity. What’s black and blue and floats face down in the sea? Someone who disagrees with them or allegedly found something first.
Several divers managed a third dive, again finding some other bits and consolidating what we had recorded in the day. In all a good day, we managed to tag a fair amount and found some other bits. We need some better viz to have another crack, but mission accomplished for now. We may also need some improvement in our drawing skills. The photo gallery is a bit limited this week. Mucky, muddy and manky. There were very few opportunities to photobomb. Here are this weeks offerings. Until next time.