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Taucher.net - Meeting VIII
01.-04.05.03 Wreck Diving in the Baltic Sea

¤ Getting there ¤ Wednesday 30.04. ¤ Thursday 01.04. ¤
¤ Friday 02.05. ¤ Saturday 03.05. ¤ Sunday 04.05. ¤

Saturday 03.05.

Bad news during breakfast: the weather had worsened overnight, so the crew

Assessing the weather
Jan und Nowotaucher
had decided to stay within the vicinity of Ruegen and we were heading for a small wreck nearby. The wreck is a wooden ship (length about 20m) dating from the late 19th century. Very little is known about it and it was named Saja after the first persons, Sarah & Jan, to dive there.

The briefing was held after the Greifswald dive crew had positioned the buoy next to the wreck. It was stressed in the briefing that the remains of the ship are extremely fragile and the necessary care has to be taken when diving the wreck.

Getting in
Nowotaucher springt
The second part of the briefing was about the dive itself: very high waves, low visibility and a strong current. It was emphasized that despite the shallowness of the wreck this was a fairly demanding dive. Some of the non tec-divers took that to heart and decided not to do this dive. The tekkies didn't want to go down, either, too shallow and the wreck not interesting enough! The rest of the divers paired up in buddy teams.
Stormy weather
Stürmische Fahrt
Christoph and I decided to join Heiko (Don Mojoto) and Till, our motto being: “it's better to drift off in a group than as a single diver”!

As announced, the wreck was far from spectacular. Still, it was an interesting dive (and quite exhausting due to the really strong current) since we had lots of bottom time to explore the wreck from all angles and devote some time to a group of cod hiding beneath the deck. Ours was the last group to ascend, as planned well within the no decompression limit, since none of us were keen on having a prolonged decompression stop in that kind of current - it was strenuous enough to do the safety stop. Back at the surface we had to swim quite a distance back to the Artur Becker, which proved very difficult due to the waves and the strong current. Getting back on board via the big ladder was no mean feat, either!

Stormy barbie!

The weather had worsened again during our dive, so a second dive was out of the question. In fact, Captain Hanke was happy when we were finally back on board and immediately set sail for the sheltered Arkona Bay. Despite the wind and the high waves breaking on deck, the ship didn't roll or pitch too much on the way. We weren't the only ship heading for calmer waters. As the weather forecast had predicted a full-blown storm, quite a few ships were heading towards Ruegen.

When the Artur Becker had anchored the crew started to prepare the highlight of the day: BBQ on deck during gale force 8 to 10!

Down the hatch!
Futter in die Luke
Although fairly secluded, the wind blew with considerable force and yet the crew managed to light the barbie and soon delicious smells of barbecued meat (either in the form of steaks or sausages) was wafting through the ship and lured most of us (wrapped up in warm anoraks or windcheaters) on deck. In the second cabin some of the divers discovered a way of getting to the food without getting cold, by using the emergency hatch which was converted (as it was situated right in front of the barbie) into a put-steak-on-plate-hatch! For us hard boiled seafaring folk, however, the wind and rain party was huge fun! When even the biggest tummy had finally been filled, we relocated to the bar where we celebrated our last evening together.
Fun in the Bar
Spaß in der Bar
Werner, who already had made a name for himself as a provider of Austrian treats, like cured ham, cheese and several bottles of home-made schnapps, dispensed wine from his local winery. The festivities ended with Heiko's by now legendary bread roll dance - a dance which left nothing to the imagination! Shame that this was the last evening. Once again it had been proven that Taucher.net meetings are heaps of fun.

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