wreck dives schooner unicorn

Wreck Dives at our Schooner & the Unicorn

Find out what happened when DJL boss Tim organised a day out tech diving at a couple of wreck dives!

wreck dives schooner unicorn

The Schooner

“Great to start the day with a rummage on a wreck mound! Our wreck mound of choice was a 200 tonne schooner. A 5″ deck gun fired from a beleno class submarine called the USS Bugara sunk the schooner in August 1944.

A team of divers from Davy Jones locker located and identified the schooner in 2007. Due to her location she hasn’t been dived regularly. This means there’s loads of things to find rummaging around in the mound left from her packed cargo holds.

The DJL team found the  Schooner using local fishermans marks after studying the war record reports from the USS bugara war patrol. “We guessed correctly” commented Tim lawrence the dive team leader. “We believed that a wooden ship loaded with plates, rubber and bottles wouldn’t sink the same way a ship with heavy displacement would. Then we checked the month the ship was sank and calculated the prevailing winds, put the information onto a chart and went to explore the results”.

This wreck is full of ‘mischief’ and our rummage did create a lot of silt but our guys were one step ahead. All made it back to ascent line passing on the way a large intact pot standing 1/2 mtr clear off the top of the mound. The moray eel living in the neck gave Tim a fright nipping at his fingers as he reached into the neck for a closer look. Fortunately the distance line helped us to navigate through the silt, guiding the team back to the ascent line.

The Unicorn

We decided not to make a another dive in the silt. Instead we headed off to the unicorn for a second bubble. We were rewarded with 20mtr vis on top of the wreck. This revealed the beautiful soft corals that have claimed this ship as their own. There was a large fishing net wrapped around the last quarter of the cargo vessel.  An insurance scam in the 70’s insured for a cargo of tuna fish. But when inspected it was found loaded with tins of dog food. Fortunately the name ‘dog food wreck’ didn’t stick. After today’s dive I think purple haze would be a more fitting tittle. Good team, great memory’s, thank you gentleman!”

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