Willkommen bei www.nowotaucher.de  

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. ¤

Sunday 04.05.

Woken by a light roll of the ship, I hoped that we'd be on our way to the Jan Heweliusz, a wreck which was planned as the absolute highlight

Michael's briefing us
Michael brieft uns
of the wreck diving tour. Armed with my toothbrush I went on deck on my way to the bathroom, when I had to pause for a moment in complete surprise: blue sky, no waves and no wind!

When we all had finished breakfast, the Artur Becker had reached the wreck's permanent buoy (necessary, as it lies in shallow water in the middle of a sea channel with heavy traffic). We congregated on deck where Michael held the briefing. The Jan Heweliusz, a Polish ferry had sunk during a storm on 14.01.1993. 55 people had been killed when the ship sunk, most of them truck drivers (more information - in German - can be found in an article of the 6th edition of the TN-magazine. The ship lies on its port side at a depth of about 24 - 12 metres and its silhouette could even be seen from the deck. Due to salvage work a part of the hold is accessible from above without the need to penetrate the wreck itself.

First dive at the wreck
Das Wrack

After the briefing we got ready and then descended along the line to the stern of the ship. Visibility was fantastic and the wreck exceedingly impressive due to its sheer size. As the Jan Heweliusz lies in really shallow water there is enough no-compression bottom time to inspect the whole length of the wreck. We reached the part where the starboard hull had been opened und it was possible to dive to the sunk lorries. Like everywhere else, mussels had taken possession of the debris.

My Buddy Jessica
Mein Buddy Jessica
The wrecks of the lorries, all wedged into each other, provided a good impression of the forces at work during the sinking of the ferry. From the hold we went to the bow, where we disturbed a huge swarm of cod. After we had inspected the bow propellers we commenced our ascent. Back on board, after having secured a decompression tea for myself, we talked about the plans for the rest of the day. Obviously we wanted to do another dive at this exceptional wreck, but it was 5 hours to Greifswald and the group which had delayed our departure insisted on returning at 6 pm at the latest. Well, tough luck guys!

We therefore decided to postpone lunch, fill our tanks and do our second dive more or less immediately. Our team decided to do a special dive as our last dive: guided by Michael who knows the wreck like the back of his hand, we wanted to dive through the length of the hold.

Inside the wreck
Im Dunkel des Wracks

After planning this dive we set off. We descended to the stern of the ship, dived to the stern hatch and inside the hold. Ahead of us the hold was in darkness, only partially lighted by our lights and the light streaming down through the starboard side hatches. Visibility was outstanding. In the light of our torches everything was clearly visible, the lorries covered in mussels; on the right side (formerly the floor) we noticed rails, at the end of it a buffer. Through the door openings we could catch a glimpse of the rooms lying behind them - a special dive indeed. However, the way out of the wreck was not for those fainthearted: unless we wanted to return and exit through the stern hatch or upwards through one of the starboard hatches, we had to dive down some stairs, then through a hatch,

The Jan Heweliusz
Die Jan Heweliusz
sharp right and voila! we were back outside. Here good gear configuration proved to be very important as one didn't want any hoses sticking out, which would mean a danger of entanglement.

We dived back to the line in a leisurely fashion and started our ascent. Back on board we stowed away our equipment and then had our lunch, which Udo, the ship's cook, had kept warm for us. Udo's food once again excelled in terms of taste and quantity - without his good cooking the trip would only have been half as enjoyable! While we had lunch, the Artur Becker hoisted anchor and set a course for Greifswald. We were just having dessert, when Captain Hanke's voice sounded over the PA: "Dear guests, it's a happy coincidence that we are crossing the course of the sister ship of the Jan Heweliusz. So if you are interested in what the ship looked like before it sunk,

Thanks to the members of the Dive Club Greifswald and the crew of the Artur Becker under the command of Captain Hanke we had a great trip!
come up on the deck. I'll try to get a bit closer, to give you a better photo opportunity". Naturally we all went up on deck and watched the huge ferry cruise by. Somehow most of us had a strange feeling considering that we had just dived at the hapless sister ship's wreck.

The rest of the trip was uneventful, on the calm blue sea - the Baltic Sea as it should be. It would have been great if the weather had been like this all the time. But I don't want to complain - we dove at two exceptionally interesting wrecks and the dive at the Saja was interesting as well. The crew (especially ship's cook Udo) did a great job, which together with the support by the members of the Greifswald Diving Association, made for four great days. I therefore want to especially thank them all - after all the weather wasn't their fault. It was definitely a exceptional Taucher.net meeting, well organised by Jan who deserves extra credits for the idea and planning and execution of this meeting.

TNT VIII - gale force diving :-)
TNT VIII - Sturmtauchen in der Ostsee!

Back in Greifswald all that was left to do (after Customs had been on board) was to take the customary group pictures, afterwards crew and guests went home - which in some cases meant a really long journey.

So, what did we take home from this trip (apart from brilliant memories)?

  •   Thanks to Anke and Brian, new impulses concerning the planning of a dive (for recreational divers)y

  •   The knowledge that demanding dives need good preparation concerning:
    •   Briefing
    •   Gas planning
    •   Decompression planning
    •   Equipment planning

  •   Tekkies need well-developed muscles to lift all that heavy stuff :-)

  •   Tec and recreational divers can dive together, talk together and drink together at Taucher.net meetings!

For more information about the Artur Becker check this link (German): www.artur-becker.de

All photos unless otherwise indicated: © 2003 A. Nowotny
I would like to thank the following for granting me permission to use their photos in this report: Jessica Brühl, Anke Otto and Michael Töpfer

Seite 2 Seite 2 Seite 2 Seite 2 Seite 2 Seite 2 Seite 2

copyright Andreas Nowotny 2003

Reports - Links - Photos
Imprint - Sitemap


Can't find it?
Search here!

Powered by iSearch