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

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Scuba Diving Scapa Flow Day 7: swimthrough challenge on the Coln

Pushing further and further forward, the wreck of the Coln began to envelope us.
The walls, floors and ceilings of her vast structure were all around. Ahead the soft green glow led to our exit.
The wrecks had captured our hearts and minds in the past week. Now the Coln was literally holding us in her embrace.
Junior and myself were on the swim through challenge. First stop the stern.
The entrance was just above the seabed at about 33m, sitting diagonally down from the stern gun and capstan.
We sat there for a moment peering into the gloom until eyes adjusted and we could see the light ahead indicating our exit.
Pushing in and immediately turning right, we were inside the ship. At first, it was hard to assimilate the tangled structure with the inner workings of a ship as everything was sitting at 90 degree angles to where it should be. But as you properly orientated the pipes and suryfaces in your minds eye, it started to take the correct shape. The Holy Grail of this swimthrough was a tiny hatch. It sat low down and below our horizontal bodies and was easy to miss.
Shining torches into the darkness we could make out the emergency manual steering wheel.
Emerging at the wreckage created by the salvors, the race was now on for the second part of the challenge, the bow swimthrough.
Coming up on top of the wreck, the port side hull, we zipped along to preserve as much bottom time as we could.
The entrance to the second swimthrough is tucked on the starboard side of the bow, close to the seabed.
Beyond the entrance, we ascended upwards for a short while before the journey took us inwards and upwards.
Here human activity was apparent with hatchways leading deeper inside At the curved conning tower, we peered inside one at a time in a bid to make out any recognizable features.
We were now on the top line of the ship. Holes in the hull above us or in the deck to our left offered us many ways out. We continued forward until the metal around us gave way to the open sea. Just behind us was a lifeboat davit pointing the way to the shotline and our slow ascent to the surface.
Coming later (when I get to a proper computer): the pics and our final dive before bidding a sad farewell.

1 comment:

julien said...

Hello Dave,

I am the creator of divezone.net . I added your blog to my blog roll: http://blog.divezone.net/ . It could be nice of you if you can also add me to yours (anchor text "diving blog").

Thank you and Happy New Year!