We arose with the cock-crow, impatient to fulfil the purpose for which we had travelled so far. Upon arriving at the harbour we assembled our kit with an almost military efficiency and, whilst jeering at some unfortunates desperately bailing out their stricken vessel, took to sea.
The first dive site of the day was that of the HMT Abelard, a fishing trawler requisition by the Royal Navy during the Great War and sunk under uncertain circumstances. Alas we were unable to actually locate the wreck, so contented ourselves instead with such sights as were otherwise on offer (seaweed mainly). Having satisfied our curiosity, we repaired to Bovisands to refresh ourselves with tea and importune the staff with our impertinent demands. As time was drawing short, we decided to undertake a shore dive from Bovisands. Apparently the site is littered with various curiosities, cannons and the like, to amuse divers such as ourselves who feel disinclined to venture to more inaccessible locations. Once again our luck failed us and we were unable to find any such points of interest. Nevertheless, there was a plethora of interesting flora and fauna to see, the highlight of which was a school of Cuttlefish who seemed reasonably content to tolerate our presence (though perhaps they were merely, as Giles would have it, biding their time). A most convivial meal and then to bed.
The following day did not start as auspiciously as the last, having to contend with a punctured tyre and the vanity of Peacocks before we could get underway. Despite these setbacks, we managed to get to sea in reasonable time to begin out first dive of the day, the SS James Eagan Layne. A 2nd World War Liberty ship torpedoed by a German U-Boat, the skeletal remains of the wreck possess a haunting beauty that made for a most spectacular and enjoyable dive. After Lunch, we ventured to Hilsea Point Rock for our second dive of the day. A rocky pinnacle around which life abounds, Hilsea affords an intriguing seascape of canyons, caves and assorted nooks and crannies to explore and we were fortunate enough to see a variety of fish, crab, lobster and a monstrous Conger Eel. Exhausted from our exertions, nothing remained but to pack up and go home. As luck would have it, good sense prevailed and we were able to depart without misadventure. A good weekend’s diving enjoyed by all.