Salt, salt, salt and more salt – if you want to expand your diving from the fresh water lakes and quarries we typically dive through out the year, this is the trip for you. The trip is for all qualified divers, with something for everyone.
With spaces booked on the excellent shuttle services run by Swanage Boat Charters, four current bookings are in place for two dives on Saturday and two dives on Sunday, the first dive on the Saturday is on the Valentine Tanks – max depth 15m and the second shuttle dive on the Carantan – max depth 30m. The Sunday sees us diving the Carantan first and then the Valentine Tanks second.
Swanage also has a pier, and it is possible to dive this – tides allowing, and other shuttle services can be booked, if the demand exists for drift or scenic dives.
We will be staying in shared rooms at the YHA on Friday and Saturday night, spaces and booking are limited, to secure your place or for further information email: firstname.lastname@example.org
About the Carantan
Seized by the Royal Navy from occupied France in 1940, this 400-tonne submarine chaser was 120ft long with a narrow beam of just 20ft. By December of 1943 she was operating under the control of the Free French and was escorting a submarine towards Portsmouth when a fierce storm caused her to capsize. This tragic outcome may have been speeded along by a large Boer War-era gun bolted to her foredeck and top-heavy brass plating used for her superstructure.
Only 6 of the crew of 23 were saved, making the Carantan a war grave. Lying on her side, what is left of the Carantan juts up around ten feet off the seabed at the highest point, although much of it is smashed and broken. Where plating had come away from the skeletal frame of the superstructure in places.
The Valentine Tanks
These tanks were in fact sea-going vessels in their own right. Before their demise, they were taking part in Exercise Smash around Poole Bay in preparation for the forthcoming D-Day landings of 6 June, 1944. The idea behind the top-secret design was that a canvas frame fitted around the tank would, when raised, displace enough water to enable them to float. They were known as “DD” or “Duplex Drive” Valentine tanks, and a propeller was also mounted at the rear to move the vehicle forward and to within beach range, where the tank’s tracks would take over the job. Today, divers usually visit only two examples of these tanks because, conveniently, one pair has been roped together to help divers to locate both on a single dive. They lie upright only 70m apart.