BALLAD TO BALTIMORE!!

On a sunny Friday afternoon, drawn by history and lore,

12 LSAC divers struck for sunny Baltimore,

to view the sunken Kowloon Bridge, with its cargo of iron ore,

and to dive a german submarine, sitting forlornly on the ocean floor.

 

The Kowloon Bridge sought shelter in 1986,

to effect repairs to deck cracks, they knew they had to fix.

But steerage lost she bagan to drift and finally ran amok,

and found her final docking station, upon the jagged Stag rock.

 

The U260 submarine is a sight to behold,

within its presence you feel that history unfolds.

48 german crewmen, all rescued and brought to land,

secret documents found floating, of use to the allied hand.

 

Much talk and anticipation prior to the submarine dive,

dive tables were produced, dug out from the archives!

Bottom times, decompression times, expressions never used before,

never was a plan so important upon heading to the ocean floor.

 

“Safety is paramount, shot line at 90 bar,

don’t mind this decompression craic thats taking it too far!

Ah lads i’m heavy on air, 100 bar is a safer bet,”

Johnny Hassett had heard enough, he went for a cigarette!

 

Mike Orth was drinking cough syrup like it was going out of fashion,

but remember Mike raised the quarry bar, he is a man of passion!

He arose from his sick bed to make the journey south,

his biggest fear was a fit of coughing that would blow the 2nd stage out!

 

Johnny Hassett took ill, Matt was called to assist,

Matt said “hold on there Johnny while I go for a piss!”

As part of Matts training, Brian was checking on his facts,

he just hadn’t anticipated, Matts need to use the jacks!

 

Davy Ryans sea legs were left at Limerick side,

as he hurled his breakfast overboard, and wounded his manly pride.

but he needn’t have worried as we awaited, in excited anticipation,

Brian & Matt surfacing, a half mile from the decompression station!

 

From Baltimore U260 and Kowloon Bridge

Limerick Pirates lay waste to Baltimore wrecks

Baltimore U260 and Kowloon Bridge

A number of “Pirates” naaahh, divers!!! visited Baltimore over the weekend to dive with AquaAdventures to dive ” The Kowloon Bridge and the U260 Submarine. This was virgin dive terrority for some of the group. Some members of the Club have not had opportunity to dive wrecks as yet.

 

 Colum (thanks) sorted arrangements with the Dive Centre.

Visibility was not as good as was hoped, but, in saying that, considering earlier weather conditions, It was not half bad.

So Club members have been getting dived up handle the 42M dive on the Sub. 13 of us filled the boat and but fortune shined as Oisin joined us for the Dives(Lucky number 13 🙂 )

Looking back on the weekend,  overall, all went well, I think, while the U260 Dive was a daunting dive as it pushes into the realm of Decompression diving which is not advocated with normal CFT diving unless qualified to do so. Dives passed off and thanks to Aughinish Dive Club, yet again who kindly lent the use of the Decompression Station to support the dive on the Sub. I note the Station was widely used was our own group and a group of visiting Polish divers. The station @6M also reinforced safety by providing a 12lt light nitrox mix for anyone who needed it. I think there was a bit of fascination of sitting or hanging off the the bar and breathing of the bottle.

Matt and myself spent 28 minutes on the bottom, which penalized us in decompression requirments, 40 minutes for matt and 26minutes for me. We planned for a 25minute dive,  but over ran getting the most out of the wreck. The shot line was at acute angle to the sub and we had to come up off it. In saying that fortunately, conditions were in our favour. I came up to do Pyle stops at 18meters and changed over to my 40% mix to take 8minutes off my decompression schedule. Total dive length was 63minutes,while I was clear at 59minutes.

The dive was good to do, reinforced some lessons I should learn ahead future similar dives in the future.

The Sub has degraded even from last year’s visit. I focused on looking into the conning tower, persiscope, time around the propellor and alot of time around the bow section and port side of the sub. Myself and matt were the last to leave.

Certainly, the main talking point over the weekend is how the Kowloon had disintegrated. The wreck is still vast and perhaps a repeat visit will warrant 2 dives on it.  It now ranges from 17M to 35M. I think Eimhear enjoyed the visit. She has made great progress on her diving. 2 Dives off her Club Diver requirments. Great progress!!

Hopefully, the diver group enjoyed the visit. 

The Dive centre was great, good fills, On site support, great help dropping Divers, Deco Station and recovering divers. I’d like to find alternate dive spots out there, maybe another time. 

In All directions

Matt took the boat off to Dingle, Smerick to assist with his preparations for Leading Diver. As a result Divers were spread in all directions to avail of the great weather conditions to dive.  Thankfully, with a text to our fellow clubs in the region, I was able to accomote those who wanted to get in a dive or 2. In the end Kilkee and Quilty were the chosen locations and thanks very gratefully to Aughinish Dive club 4 member availed of diving out of Quilty. This time I was fit to dive and I revelled in the chance to dive the back of Seal rock and later in the afternoon, the Gully.

The 1st dive was excellent despite the visibility, but, picking a level is easy along the steep inclined reef down to 30-35 meters. The path of travel was a joy to look at the amount of vegetation, and life in the cut outs in the reef wall. Crabs and lobster adorned the nooks, it was a joy to view the blenny, wrasse and gobi. The Spider crab were up in arms for been disturbed from their nap time 🙂  I left Dave off the hook to a degree, only checking out his Buddy breathing skills and ensuring that he was checking my air contents very regularly. Club Diver test time getting very close now 🙂 Just a compltee the dry run to do and finish off theory preparations.

 

The day was great and we lounged around chatting and picnicing with our good friends from Aughnish Dive club who kindly had boat space. The second dive was a treat even for John who despite all the years of diving had never dived the Gully in Seal rock. I, thankfully managed to find it and drop in to it. The best parts of it are really its entry and exits points, there is a squeeze through that is interesting to do, very safe and big, but, as a section of it is closed off, you can peer through the holes/gaps to see up into open water. Lots of crab Lobster futher down in the gully, the location is littered with mussel shells as a result of the feeding frenzy in the area.  A torch is advisable for the inards of the swim through.  It is certainly advisable to keep to one side and way through, come back on the opposite side and come up to about 15 meters along the wall. Great life to see on the left wall. Indeed, due to lots of air, we headed back into the cave to see some more before turning back again and coming out where we initially entered at 6 meters to do our stop. Unfortunately, the seals were scarce compared to the bank holiday, I was hoping to see if they would be hunting in the Gully. Alas not, but, maybe I’ll see them on our next visit!!!  

James from Burren obliged us some info on some good dives sites to try out, and a little tour of Mutton and some tales of a particular “Diver” who live on the island.

Joan, Mary & Emma were christened by Martin, but I won’t repeat that gangs name just yet, but, just thinking maybe between the Club in the south West region…The gang could easily grow!!

 

 

The Locke bar – Nostrodamus revelations

A few gathered at what soon turned out to be a spot of a bit of jiggy, jiggy 🙂 … I mean, Irish music…So Tom recanted his tales of Diving Quilty, the fight was on to determine whether the diving was better in Quilty or Portmagee for the August bank Holiday weekend… Personally, I think Quilty won out, sorry Brian 🙁

Then with stealth, Ronnie entered into our cosy group, only to shock our gathering, with tales of disbelief to all who listened. A bit of gossip, oh my god!!!, the likes of it, never before heard by it’s audience, the tongues were wagging, the eyes rolling and it was then I realized the “Desert Fox” no…. the “blue orb fox”, Ronnie’s had struck to unleash his “minions” to seek out more information. So, the news hounds were instructed to go out on the prowl for more information to satisfy the Ronnie’s thirst for info. Terms like “getting back on the bike”, you will never forget “how to ride a bike”, will forever stick in my mind!!!! 

Alas, I am not at liberty to disclose the particulars of the “titbits” of information, least, I may come to a cruel and bitter end to my diving career, but, sworn to secrecy as I am, I am awaiting next week’s update and perhaps the, freedom of information act, will allow for full disclosure at some time in the near future.

I was also asked to convey to the powers that be, the man in charge, the supreme commander, the big cheese and so, to all his subjects…. Where are the photo’s of the Dinner dance?, where is the write up on the Children of Chernoybl and did anyone not wish to recant the events of diving Quilty in a blog. Is the Club falling apart?, are we losing it? Tom, however, was passing the buck, ducking and divin….. shame!!, passing it off to others!!!!

All in all, get the boat back in the water, back to sea diving as quickly as possible, lead me to the pinnacle came the cries, Portroe can wait for me another time!!!

Therefore, as an obedient Diving Officer, I will try to comply!!!

 

A visit to Smerick/Dingle may be on the cards soon, as Matt is prepping for Leading Diver exam very soon. 2 candidates for Club Diver test soon also.

Johnny & Dave as always are keeping the keeping the equipment in tip top shape. thanks on behalf of the Club as always!!!