Finding Treasure Again Hopefully, Coronation Wreck, Plymouth

Sat 6th April 2013 - Sun 7th April 2013

Trip Report

The first dive trip of the year and the first time in the water for many people due to the seriously bad weather. The forecast for the weekend was saturday no wind and sunny, sunday the wind would pick up at midday. Ken was invited back out of retirement to run the trip and is writing this report.

The promise of finding treasure on The Coronation is always a great tempter and this trip was to be no exception. Mark from the Coronation Project promised a new area to check out the mag hits on the sea bed. So with excitement growing and Sue B with a whole new tub of Haribo sweets and the usual mountain of cake, we all met for a coffee at The Mount Batten Centre in Plymouth. We were down to 10 divers due to illness and work commitments, Mark started us off with a brief update of the research so far and the dive plan was set. Gary the skipper arrived on Top Gun and we loaded the boat. Then away we went on a flat sea and the sun shining. That does not happen very often in the UK lately. On the protected site and Mark took us in for a guided tour on the cannon site to give people a little taster of what to expect. Viz of 6m, brilliant. Now there was plenty of new kit on various divers and buoyancy matters could have been sorted out a little better for a few of us, and yes I am putting my hand up to that one as well. But enough said on that. Excellent first dive and everyone rather cold as the sea is around 6 degrees at the moment. More than welcome hot drinks from Gary on board and a sit in the sun for lunch soon bought everyone round. A few adjustments of kit and for Toby an addition of more lead after he managed to leave some behind on the sea bed.

Back for dive 2, Gary and Mark were busy setting 3 different shot lines on the mag hits and we kitted up. In our groups we jumped in. I was with Ian, Sue and Rhiannon, on the bottom of our shot Ian identified a pile of anchor chain with a nylon line attached, as we didn't think there was much in the way of nylon around in the 1600's I decided we would still do a 20m search on a running line with everyone at 5m apart swimming in a big circle. My big mistake was being on the outside of this circle, swimming like mad and drinking the air whilst those on the inside had a slightly more leisurely time. Note to self, get the inside track next time. As we did the circle we found a couple more objects and we came together and then ruled them out and moved on. Oh and Toby decided to lose even more weights.

Just as we were about to complete the circle and a couple of metres out, I could not believe my eyes, a cannon, I had now 2 minutes of bottom time left on my computer, a quick plan, Ian took some photos and marked it with his DSMB so we could get a better GPS hit on it later, the girls unclipped the search line and we all started heading for the surface, with no time to even search around the cannon. Now I had overstayed my bottom time so incurred a bit of a penalty and had drifted of on my own DSMB so as not to disturb Ian's on the cannon. The girls were back on the boat and Ian on nitrox surfaced with no penalty whilst I continued on my safety stop for 8 minutes. Ian called up that he had lost me and the call from the girls was "Who killed Kenny". Nice to know there was concern though.
Back onboard and the finds kept coming. Alec, Lesley and Mark found a pile of large cannon balls on their shot line. Then Pete, Dan, Lucy and Toby on a search around their shot line found a large metal ring about 4 foot across, which could have been a ring which attached the sails to the mast. So when the paperwork was being completed the question was raised, who dived Pete's ring. I'm saying no more !

An excellent first day and plenty of excited plans being made to return on day 2 and do a proper survey of 2 of the sites and some more new mag hits. So after a cold tiring day we headed to the Boringdon Arms for our B&B. A shower, and down for a couple of pints a meal and an early night. Well everything went well up to the point of an early night. We all disappeared to bed just after 9 just as the band starts to tune up. By 10pm the beds were vibrating to the deep base being played out 6 foot below us. They finished at 11.30 as promised when the party goers decided to light up outside the bedroom window and discuss the nights entertainment.

A good breakfast in the morning but sadly not a word of apology from the licencee. Fine if you like to stay up and have a bit of a bop but I think Somerset Divers will be looking for a new B&B for the next trip.

Up at 6.30 and at Top Gun just after 8 and from the harbour it looked like an offshore wind still blowing, but by the time we got 3 parts to the breakwater it was obvious we would not get on site. The wind had changed and was blowing straight in. So it was decided that as much as we all wanted to go back and survey the artefacts we had found we would have to leave it to another day. So we decided we would dive "Firestone" where you could choose your depth down to 45m. Now the viz was not looking anywhere near as good as the saturday but down we went. At 20m it was more like night diving. A few scallops and some beautiful jewelled anemones all along the wall. Might have to try this one again with some good viz. Oh and by the way, Toby kept up his 100% record and lost some more weights !!
Anyway back out for lunch and the second dive was planned as The Felix, the remnants of a wreck near Fort Bovisand. Half of us decided to give it a miss and I think we made the right decision, not a lot there and poor viz. Toby stayed out as well because he just couldn't afford his bill for weights anymore.

All in all a really good trip to start the season with so much promise on the Coronation site. We will just have to get back there and soon.

Trip Details

To start the dive trips off this year we will be heading back to The Coronation Wreck site. This is a protected wreck site, which can only be dived with a licence from the licence holders. Somerset Divers is a sponsor for the team who are researching the wreck. This is a man of war ship which sank in 1691 with most of the 500 crew, for more details go to Last year we actually did find something historically important, not quite treasure though. But new things are still being located so we live in hope.

Again we will be diving from Top Gun, a local dive boat, helping to check out the magnetometer hits that the research team would like to identify. There are about 100 hits but we will try and check out just a few, will it be an item of treasure, a lost cannon, a personal item from one of the crew, or a piece of scrap metal dumped from one of the many thousands of ships that have passed by over the years.

Each Day
Dive 1 - will be on the Coronation Wreck main site where you will see some of the many cannons that are on the sea bed.

Dive 2 - divers will work in teams of 3 or 4 to check out the mag hits. Having identified the item you will record the details, maybe photograph it, then conduct a search of maybe 20m around the object, recording all finds.

An overnight stay in Plymouth (not included in the price), may be a couple of beers. If sufficient interest I can no doubt make a group booking for some B&B.

Price £65 each day £120 for both days

Last Modified: 08-04-2013 12:39:08
Tank fills and kit hire available
PADI Boat Diver (BOAT)
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