Picture of By Mandy Bryer

By Mandy Bryer

9th June 2021

Whilst some club members were diving Plymouth and two others were heading home after a week of diving in Scotland Tom and Mandy Bryer headed to Dover to dive with Mutiny Divers on Saturday 5th June 2021.
Early doors on Saturday we headed to the harbour car park just after 5am on Saturday morning. First ropes off was 6:15am and we were scheduled to meet the skipper Chris Webb at 5:45am.
Chris arrived nice and early and whilst he went off to get our dive boat Maverick we signed in at the Harbour Masters office and got our parking permit for the day then headed down with our kit to Maverick on the pontoon. Only three divers for this early morning dive. The seas were calm and there was a slight sea fog over the ocean. We headed out four miles offshore to our first target The Mindora.

The Mindora

The Mindora sank on 28th November 1864 after she collided with another vessel. She was a Barque ship carrying cargo. Her voyage was from London to Victoria. A barque, barc, or bark is a type of sailing vessel with three or more masts. The Mindora sits at around 30 – 32m on the seabed.

The First Dive of the day

All kitted up we descended the shot line. The water was quite green and got darker as we descended. But we popped out at the bottom to clear water, dark but clear with approximately 8 – 10m vis. The skipper requested that we return up the shot line after the dive so as per our post dive plan Tom took out his reel and we lined out from the shot. We soon came across an area that was strewn with many glass bottles. Tom immediately started collecting them out and placed them into his net bag. I collected an extra bottle that looked like a small sherry bottle and popped that into my bag. Happy with our haul of treasure and keeping a careful eye on our NDL we lined back to the shot line and began our ascent. The tide had turned at this point and we felt like flags in the wind with the strong current pulling on us as we fed our way back up the shot. Once on the surface Chris the skipper was soon manoeuvring the boat to collect us and we were soon back on board Maverick. Incredibly pleased with our treasure haul. Bottom temp at 32m read 13 degrees.


Sea Lice

We had been on the boat for about 10 minutes when I noticed Tom was covered in small white things that at a distance looked like hundreds of maggots. All wriggling and squirming…..Tom’s first encounter with Sea Lice! Apparently, they are common as the bloom starts to go. As Tom had been digging around he didn’t just get treasure he also got lice! With many a frantic brush off he managed to remove most of them from his drysuit.

Rescue heading back to harbour

We were all settled on Maverick for the return journey when Chris heard a call over the radio of a fisherman in trouble just outside the harbour. He had managed to run over some lobster pots and rope had become entangled around his propeller. As we headed towards him, Chris got eyes on and realised that the situation was not a good one with the small boat drifting closer to the cliffs. We stopped as close as we dare from the vessel and then threw Tom overboard to swim a tow rope to the vessel. He made really good progress to start with but the current was strong and we had to abort and pull Tom back on board. Chris then manoeuvred the boat up current from the vessel and Tom was once again overboard rope in hand. This time he got to the vessel, a quick look under the boat made it clear that it wasn’t going to be a quick untangle job so the rope was attached and Chris towed the small vessel back into the harbour. We all became deck hands with ropes and fenders being moved. A successful rescue and a little excitement.

SS Pomerania

The Pomerania was a German ocean liner steamer built in 1873 and measured 360-feet by 40-feet, she carried 109 passengers. She produced 600 horsepower from a two-cylinder compound engine. She made regular trips between New York and Hamburg via Plymouth, on the 25th November 1878 she was hit amidships on her starboard by the iron-hulled Welsh Barque Moel Eillian off Folkestone and sank in less than half an hour. Fortunately, the steamer Glengarry was nearby and came to the rescue. It is believed there was no loss of life, and everyone was rescued.
She now lays at a depth of approximately 26m. All the belongings of the passengers went down with the ship and treasure is a strong possibility.

The Second Dive

Loaded with 6 divers we headed out to the wreck site. Chris shot the wreck and we all took the giant stride off the back of the boat and descended the shot line, the sea was still calm and this time we were not going quite so deep. There was ambient light as we reached the bottom of the shot but the vis was not as good as this mornings dive, still about 6-7m but a little cloudy. Beautiful wreck with more Tom Pot Blennies and Leopard spotted Gobys than you could shake a stick at! Tom found a little more treasure, a small clay pipe and a broken pint glass. With our dive time approaching 40mins we signalled to each other it was time to go back up. As per Skipper Chris’s instruction if coming up under DSMB it was one per diver, we both deployed our DSMB’s and made our way steadily to the surface with both the deep safety stop and the usual 3minutes at 5m completed. Once on the surface we were soon collected by Maverick . Another super dive


All in all one of the best days with Mutiny Divers in Dover, the weather was perfect, the seas were calm, we became a rescue vessel, we got treasure and the day was made perfect with Mavericks new dog Nelson an 11 week old chocolate lab. A very cute member of the deck crew!