Beauty and the Beast!
The team set out from a slightly drizzly Stromness full of anticipation for the first dive on one of the big three German Fleet Battleships – the gigantic SMS Kronprinz Wilhelm (the Beast). Descending the shot line the team passed a rudder the size of a semi-detached house! Reaching the seabed at 38m the massive, ‘unmissable’ 12” turret guns came into view (for some of us…). Unfortunately the low light made photography difficult, but the team was amazed by the sheer scale of the ship.
The afternoon slack tide gave the team the opportunity to dive the ‘Tabarka’ (the Beauty – a small upside down block ship). As this wreck had current and no shot line, the team was required to make a negative entry (immediate descent on entering the water). MarkH demonstrated this perfectly by plummeting to end up spread-eagled on the seabed, blending in with surrounding starfish!
The ‘Tabarka’ lies upside down on the sea bed and the dive takes place inside the hull giving the feeling of being inside a cathedral with windows all around. Our photos do not give this dive justice. Because this dive is in the tidal flow, it was frustratingly time-limited to a strict 35 minutes, but all team members could have happily remained there all day!!
Post-dive notes: MarkH (aka ‘the Deco King’)– its no good just testing your Nitrox gas mix, you must also enter the value into your dive computer!
Percy the Posing Puffin now has his own dive logbook and is standing for the committee in January.
Pre-dive notes: Chris was found in bed with a strange bird and may have some explaining to do!