10 September 2012

Mystery Maritime Explorers, South China Sea, Luconia Shoals-Day 4

HMS Viscount Melbourne
We arrive at the reef to over 2 dozen little fishing boat and their 'mother ship' off in the distance.  These are apparently Chinese fishermen flying under a Malaysian flag to fish these reefs.  They are not sure what we are about so they just go about their business like we were not even there.  We get an anchor out and later will set up on a mooring that Hans arranged the last time they were out here.  Phil, Roze and Tristan prepare for the first dive.  Eric is ready before them and goes in with his camera.  Most of the time is spent setting up the delivery system with two baskets on lines along with a floater to bring it up to the surface.  The floaters have a habit of leaking so the lines are there as a precaution.  At a depth of 40 meters the divers are limited to just 9 minutes so they have to work fast.    As per usual, the floater fails on both baskets and they are hauled up with the line.  Conditions are good so there will be two more dives during the day.  Later after dark, Eric takes Tristan down for a night dive, with the lights used for filming the wreak takes on a little more clarity than during the day and they are able to get a much clearer outline of the ship.