The Pippa – Exploration Dive

The stuff adventures and dreams are made of...finding a lost wreck.

The stuff adventures and dreams are made of…finding a lost wreck.

This is what diving is all about. Alan had mentioned to us (me and the Swedes) yesterday that there was a wreck in Mellieħa Bay but they didn’t know where it was exactly. Skipper Danny had managed to procure a set of GPS coordinates and the plan was to first dive the Imperial Eagle and then see if we could find The Pippa.

The Pippa is believed to be an insurance job. Where the owner scuttled the boat in the hopes of a big payout. I have no idea if this is true or not, and if it is true, if the owner got their payout.

We required an hour between the dives, so this gave Skipper Danny a chance to sound the area using the fish scanner. Apparently, the coordinates that he had been given were pretty good because him and Alan were confident that they had found it. We suited up. I was on my sidemount, no stage this time. We jumped in. At about 15m we started to see the outline of something. By 20m it was visible. We had found the wreck!

I was so excited. I wanted to jump up and down with joy but obviously couldn’t. I think I let out a giant “yippee!” but it must have come out as “mmm mm mm mmmeee.” We looked around the wreck. I left the surveying of it to Alan (as his rebreather bascially allows him to go wherever and for however long he wants). I swam around looking inside and out. I did contemplate going in but it didn’t really seem worthwhile. It would have been too difficult to pass through from one room to the next. I wouldn’t have wanted to get stuck. I took some pictures and Thomas found a plate. Soon my NDL was getting low, I signalled to Alan and I rose to 25m. This gave me another 5 minutes on top of what I had. I watched as the other four explored the wreck. Now I really had to ascend. I started making my way up the shot-line.

A mauve stinger at 9m

A mauve stinger at 9m

At about 9m I came across a mauve stinger. One of its tentacles had stuck to the shot-line. I watched it for a couple of minutes. It eventually broke free and swam away. I find jellyfish fascinating. They look so alien. I ascended to 5m and performed my safety stop before rising to the surface and getting back onto the boat.

Everyone was so excited about the dive. It was great to have discovered a wreck that the dive shop hadn’t been to. I feel like I am now part of history. Back at the dive shop Alan said that he has another job for the Swedes and me seeing as they were so good at finding the wreck.  Tomorrow we are to go to to the Beaufighter, a wreck of a plane, and move using a lift bag a marker stone. Apparently I am going to be carrying the air needed to lift the 200kg block of stone.  I can’t wait for this adventure.

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