Saturday morning dawned calm and misty unlike the evening before with its high winds and heavy rain. There were some concerns about the heavy mist as we travelled along the Coast Road but by the time we assembled at the slip in Ballylumford it had all but disappeared. The sea was a bit lumpy out of the protection of Larne Lough but as the wind was dropping the trip didn’t have too many white knuckle minutes
We were onsite for about 10:15 and trawled between the north and south markers on Hunters Rocks expecting to see the wreck markers appear at any minute and growing concerned when they didn’t appear. At last, and after an anxious 50 minute wait, the markers popped to the surface and were immediately spotted. We hooked the bow line of the boat onto the first marker spotted and the divers were instructed to start kitting up.
Mark Dev and Davy were the first into the water and quickly followed by Gary Lappin and Wes. However their dives were aborted early as the viz was poor. They returned to the boat just in time to see Nev and Warren head down the shot line. Wes immediately decided to join them and off the plucky three went down the shot into the murky sea.
About 20 minutes later Wes’ DSMB surfaced just beside the boat, the viz was that bad they could not see the shot line. It was time to uncouple the boat and follow them however the problem was that the marker buoy was at least two metres under water and despite several valiant attempts it refused to come to the surface. The only option was to cut the bowline which was easier said that done. However good team work between Mark and Gary got the job done.
We retrieved our divers, headed back to the slip and got the boat out of the water.
As the road between Ballystrudder and Whitehead was supposedly closed an executive decision was made to abort the après dive meal and head for home instead.
The craic was mighty and everyone seemed to enjoy the outing. Many thanks to Nev for towing and the rest for turning up and contributing to the banter and craic.
Francis Rafferty 21st February 2011