Volnay revisited

Fridays Nights
Another Friday night dive out of Falmouth on Bay Marine’s Redeemer. We go out every Friday until it gets too dark or interest falls away by the locals. We meet at Customs House Quay at Falmouth and the boat leaves at 6pm sharp.

There were a couple of different faces on the boat, which filled the boat to it’s capacity of 12, otherwise it was the usual suspects. Nev was missing, he is sunning himself in Sharm El Sheik, and would miss the today’s dive.

Due to the timing of the tide dive sites were limited, the Volnay was the choice that Shaun made. Recently a few anti-personnel shells had been recovered and hopes were to find some more. We headed out on flat seas and were soon at the Volnay’s boilers. We all kitted up and jumped in the water. I was going to follow a couple of the divers who had recovered shells on a previous visit, to see what they would find, and also give me an idea of the shells location.

When I entered the water the shell hunters had already descended, all I had to do was follow the trail of flowing silt to find them. They were hard at work trying to relieve the Volnay of a couple more pieces of its cargo. I poked around and only managed to find some of the anti-personnel heads, steel tubes full of 10mm (3/8″) diameter lead shot. They would have also had timing heads on them, but these are now few and far between. The lead shot lays strewn across the wreck, probably from the shells exploding when they dynamited the wreck on two separate occasions to clear it, and is usually collected by every diver who visits the Volnay.

There have been several salvers of various kinds just lifting the lead shot, once there was a boat there for 3 days, lifting the shot. It was estimated that 15 tons had been recovered over the 3 days. At current prices that’s nearly £15,000 worth!

After the others left I carried on looking around, the vis was probably the normal 4 to 5 metres, except around the area where they had been digging. It is a very silty area.

I managed to find the shotline and headed up after 58 minutes. I never looked up as I never expected anyone else around, until I felt a tap on the shoulder, Sharky was doing his stops. He had clocked up 10 minutes deco on air and was just finishing his stops, luckily I was on nitrox and only had 4 minutes of stops to do.