JANUARY 2011: My Surface Interval named one of the best scuba diving blogs

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Great Barrier Reef of Norfolk

THE world’s longest underwater chalk bank has been discovered off the coast of Norfolk.
Despite being less than ten metres below the surface and a short hop from the shore, it has lain undiscovered for 300 million years.
Some commentators have joked that the true reason that the chalk reef off Norfolk had been overlooked was its closeness to Cley and Trimingham, familiar places where wonders are unexpected.
But it is an important scientific discovery, made when divers surveyed what they thought was a small rocky plain earlier this year and uncovered towering arches of rock and deep chasms actually stretched for more than 20 miles.

The spectacular chalk reef

The marine haven has so many species, including sponges, sea slugs and fish, that experts are describing it as ‘Britain’s Great Barrier Reef’.
Diver Rob Spray, 43, whose team discovered the reef, said: “It was like finding a natural Stonehenge hidden under the water.
“We couldn’t believe it when we found it was actually 20 miles long and had this amazing complex of gullies and arches. In some areas it looks like a moonscape.”
Three species never before recorded on the East Anglian coast have already been found there.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Woodhouse collision: boat owners fined

The owner of a cargo ship that smashed into Woodhouse Reef has been fined up to 5million US dollars for damages to the environment, according to the Chamber of Diving and Watersports.

Readers will remember from an earlier post that the giant 260m long CSCL Hamburg container ship collided with the northern side of the popular reef on December 31.

According to reports, it was more than a kilometre off course when it smashed into the reef.

Dr Mohammed Salem told Blue magazine, the publication of the CDWS: “The damaged area is almost 700m-square because of the slope. To 35m there is 100 per cent damage, which we estimate will take 100 years to recover.”

The money will be used to supplement environmental projects.