Issue 8 July 2007
Welcome to the
eighth issue of our newsletter.
|Special point of interest:||
Profile:- Richard Mace - Equipment Officer
Welcome to a new member Christopher Andrews who joined the club this month.
Congratulations to :-
Scott Leighton and Alex Stirk who are now both Ocean Divers
Michael Alkiviadou and Sophie Russell who are now both Dive Leaders.
Fay Noakes who has returned from Arizona with her wings.
It started with Hans & Lotte Hass and Sea Hunt
with Lloyd Bridges. For the information of our younger readers, these
were 50s/60s television programs. I always had a fascination with the
under-water world. I did, however, have a major difficulty in pursuing
my interest. I couldn’t swim for toffee. Much later (well into my 40’s)
I started to go the baths in my lunch hour and managed to do 80 lengths
for a BT ‘Swimathon’. It must be around 17 years ago when I did my first
‘try-dive’ with Prima. I remember Lin and Al being there. Sue and I had
a young family at the time so I didn’t take things any further. Around
six years ago Sue and I found ourselves on a PADI Open Water course in
Koh Samui, Thailand. The plan, at that time, was to just dive while on
holiday abroad and nothing was further from my mind than diving in the
gloomy British sea or among “shopping trolleys & stolen cars” in
Seasearch Course - Swanage
|Items for Sale:
10 litre Cylinder. In test
£50 contact: Richard Mace
0121 232 6007
If you have any items for sale please let us know.
Nine of us attended the
course at Swanage, covering the ways to identify the different flora and
fauna found lurking the depths. Things you would initially think were
plants turn out to be animals. Sponges are in fact animal with extremely
variable body forms and sizes. The afternoon was spent looking intently
at very small things which had been collected from under Swanage pier.
Items such as sea spiders, shrimps, slipper limpets, mussels and various
Harbour Crab:- Liocarcinus depurator
Thank you to everyone who has contributed to this months issue, and apologies for any mistakes.
Any further articles for next months edition would be appreciated, (any gossip, scandals, etc that’s printable) so let us know by 20th July.
Hope you enjoyed this issue.
Swimming crabs have the last section of the last pair of walking legs
flattened and expanded into a paddle. This enables them to move about
sideways swiftly and the harbour crab in particular is very agile. It
have a light reddish colour and if you can see the back pair of legs you
will see that the paddle has a purplish hue.
The harbour crab is usually found in sandy areas, and not just within harbours. There are a number of other similar swimming crabs which are difficult to tell apart.
It is found all around the British Isles to depths of 25metres. It is slightly smaller the a mans hand.
Wreck of the Month - The Hispania
The wreck of the 1337 gross tons Swedish steamship Hispania is justly
regarded by many as the greatest wreck in Scottish waters.
The Hispania was built in 1912 in Belgium and traded for 32 years until 1954. Whilst passing up the west coast of Scotland on a voyage from Liverpool to Gothenburg she attempted to navigate through the narrow stretch of treacherous water that separates the island of Mull from the mainland, the Sound of Mull. A fierce winter storm of driving wind, rain and sleet had reduced visibility practically to nil and in these atrocious conditions she ran onto a notorious reef, the Sgeir More or Big Rock where she stuck fast.
Her engines were put astern and as she came off the Rock she immediately started listing to port. It soon became clear that she was going to sink. The order was given to abandon ship and the crew lowered and lifeboats and all safely got aboard.
The Captain however refused to leave the vessel. For an hour the crew rowed round the stricken vessel calling out for the Captain to abandon ship. He steadfastly refused to do so and as the Hispania sunk beneath the waves he was last seen standing in the bridge, his hand raised to his forehead in a salute. The crew were all able to safely row ashore.
Today, she lies upright with a slight starboard list in 26 metres of crystal clear water. She is structurally intact despite her long years on the bottom and is covered with thick and colourful sponges, anemones and dead men's fingers.
The history, sinking and dive details of the Hispania are described in much greater detail in the book Dive Scotland's Greatest Shipwrecks.
Thanks to the Editors: Sue Mace, Wendy Munday, Phillipa Cresswell,