A group of six divers returned to the ever-popular Swanage to spend a couple of days diving from Viper, one of Swange Charters’ boats. Viper was running at half its normal capacity to ensure social distancing was possible. Skipper and all divers donned masks for when moored up and getting kit ready. Apart from looking like a boat load of bandits it worked very smoothly with safety for everyone a priority. A total of 33 dives where completed over the weekend organised by Aaron Hunt who also hosted a Saturday evening BBQ.
On the first day the weather was lovely, clear and warm although a little windy. Three dives where completed by all divers starting with the famous Valentine Tanks. Vis was good, lots of life to see including Conger Eels, shoals of Bib, Crabs and Lobsters to name a few. A good warm up dive to 15 metres. Following a return to shore for a quick cylinder change-over the second dive was a drift at Old Harry’s Rock on a tide of about 1.5 knots, again at a depth of 15 metres. Skimming along the seabed there was also plenty of life to spot including a Smooth Hound, Skate, Crabs, Lobsters and Spiney Ray. The third and final dive of the day was on Kyarra. A change to the original plan due to increasing wind strength. Visibility was reduced on this wreck to around 2 meters. Decent to 28 metres to the wreck was via shot line with DSMBs for the return accent. This dive was on a flood tide with no complete slack so getting about required some work and you had to find shelter. A large and interesting wreck that merits a number of visits. There was a slight issue with some ghost fishing line that took a bit of un-tangling, apparently unusual for this site.
On day two the weather was much the same, bright and warm with moderate winds causing some plan changes, but thanks to the skills of Bryan, Viper’s co-owner and skipper, another two great dives where done along with a shallow bimble under Swanage pier between boat dives. The first dive was a little way out on the wreck of the steamship Borgny laying at 32 metres. Visibility was good. The stern section is completely upside down with the remains of the rudder and prop being the highest point. On retuning to Swange some of the party took the chance to dive under the pier. Visibility was not great but there’s always plenty of life to spot even if you do need to be close up to appreciate it. An easy shallow dive that’s worth a look if you not done it before. The last dive of the trip was on the Betsy Anna. Lying in 25 metres of water, visibility was really good. This wreck is well broken up but has lots that is recognisable and covered in sea life. A good wreck. So, thanks go to Aaron for organising a great weekend of diving.