Jason verses the Lermontov

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Jason verses the Lermontov

Postby Drip » Sun Jun 13, 2010 4:40 pm

Well I'm back in OZ, after 12 days of 'rubber-necking' around the South Island of NZ.
The weather was on/off with conditions, but when it mattered most, it was perfect.
The Holiday was arranged at short notice after the person we were supposed to vist for a few days in Christchurch, decided to visit Sydney, but at 90 years of age, they can be forgiven for forgetting. :)
Still, Wife, child and I managed to see quite a bit in the very low-key 'Off-Peak' season - but thats the way I like it.
LERMONTOV
Visiting Picton via Kiakoura - I popped into Dive Picton to prepare for the following day's dive. The weather was still a bit wet, but Dive Picton still decided to go with it, unlike other groups. I wish to thank Brent of Dive Picton for lending me use of his Wetsuit and for organising the Nitrox tanks :D
Beautiful young Hanna had organised the trip well and was very patient with all my fuss.
The following morning I was up early and wandered the town of Picton a bit before the break of dawn until I ventured back to Dive Picton where Ben (the Guide) was with the Naiad Boat - a nice rigid inflatable that usually fits the bill of what I like in a typical dive boat.
PICT0006.JPG

Ben and I were to use Nitrox 32% upon the 1st Dive and 36/32% upon the 2nd Dive respectively. This was a real 10-15 minute bonus of exploring the Lermontov Wreck, where-as Hanna (DM) and the other two Divers - Mick (Picton) and Merco (Switzerland) were Air, which mean't they were waving goodbye to us.
PICT0078.JPG

There are a lot of advantages with Nitrox to Air in regards to 30 metre dives, those with the added advantages of using Rebreathers to Conventional OC in regards to deeper dives, might agree. There should be more Nitrox available in NZ.
My photos of inside the Lermontov were a lot to be desired (definately no Mesley) while I juggled Camera, Light, Computer (my own Reg set, due to past infection from Hire Reg mouthpeice) and trying to be considerate of Mick, Merco & Hanna behind Ben and I, in regards to silting up. I know Mick and Merco were polite, but with Split-Fins on, I can't help but think I kicked up a bit of silt. Luckily the Lermontov produces heavy particles rather than fine granule size.
The Lermontov Wreck was just AWESOME and I was quite blown away by what I was able to see upon the Dives, far more than I ever expected. Ben was a great Guide that communicated himself extremely well and seemed to know every nook n' cranny as if had walked the ship before its sinking. I could tell he wanted to show us as much as possible (luckily with Nitrox - he could :D ). The Lermontov impressed upon me the fact that it is really x10 dive sites in one and my favourite part was gliding past/up/down a wall of finely detailed floorboards. Most of my photos were duds due to backscatter, but here's a few.
PICT0068.JPG

Viz was 5m outside to 10metres inside (checked it with torch)
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Overall, despite my poor photography - I did manage to hear a running commentary by Ben through my double Hoodie. :lol:
The Lermontov put on a good show as the day of Diving itself proved to be clear sky, sunshine, glassy-millpond sea, 12 degrees (I actually found it quite comfortable except when jumping in for the 2nd Dive) and some pretty cool viz for what was needed.
PICT0080.JPG

Lunch was exceptional and even Ben's radioactive looking cake seemed to waylay any need for me to feel seasick (it tasted better than it looked).
I was in very good company. :D
I wish to thank Ben, Hanna and Brent from Dive Picton who really did make it happen for me. Mick and Merco for joining in.
The Lermontov IS the best dive experience I've had to date (and thats coming from someone who doesn't have the Lust for Rust and gives 'Wreck Dumping' a real workover).
Will I get back for more :?:
To be honest, I very much doubt so. I think that was my last taste of New Zealand (anywhere for that matter). I now have to buy a house somewhere in a suburban shithole and join the 'everyone else' in doing a daily grind to pay off the Home-Loan with only $3 to spare for recreation at the end of the week. My life is over so to speak but my in-laws and parents are happy that we will be joining the mass-suffering like them. So I must say "Farewell" like I did at Cape Farewell - where we had to turn back from reaching the lookout due to the approaching rain. I'll ease the suffering upon my self a bit by not selling the dive gear until after a year.
Thankyou Lermontov, thankyou SDNZ and thankyou New Zealand.
LOVE
Jason (Drip/Vampire Squid) Cook
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Re: Jason verses the Lermontov

Postby binklebonk » Sun Jun 13, 2010 7:39 pm

Sounds like you had a good trip Jason.

It must be a rather long trip from Picton in the RIB?
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Re: Jason verses the Lermontov

Postby binklebonk » Sun Jun 13, 2010 7:41 pm

Drip wrote:Will I get back for more :?:
To be honest, I very much doubt so. I think that was my last taste of New Zealand (anywhere for that matter). I now have to buy a house somewhere in a suburban shithole and join the 'everyone else' in doing a daily grind to pay off the Home-Loan with only $3 to spare for recreation at the end of the week. My life is over so to speak but my in-laws and parents are happy that we will be joining the mass-suffering like them. So I must say "Farewell" like I did at Cape Farewell - where we had to turn back from reaching the lookout due to the approaching rain. I'll ease the suffering upon my self a bit by not selling the dive gear until after a year.



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Re: Jason verses the Lermontov

Postby NEMES1S » Sun Jun 13, 2010 8:00 pm

LOL Bink' (good to see you today fella)..

Jas' great report man,bet it was a blast...!!
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Re: Jason verses the Lermontov

Postby Drip » Mon Jun 14, 2010 2:37 pm

Well the end part of my report might be a bit of a 'downer' (personally I don't mind the depression side of the scale sometimes, tends to show a lot more clarity than happiness like stars to the sun), but I am a 'drip' afterall.
binklebonk wrote:It must be a rather long trip from Picton in the RIB?

Not at all, the one & a half hours was quite a scenic ride that I just lapped up with every moment as part of the overall experience. I don't mind RIB's at all and prefer them as Dive Boats.
NEMES1S wrote:Jas' great report man,bet it was a blast...!!

It was Nem, everything went spick, except when I reached the ramp and found that my Wetsuit was still at the shop :oops: But thats always been a superstition (duck projectile from Binks) of mine - better a mistake above surface than below. Shame I couldn't bring up some really good Wreck shots though, but like I said, my main focus was to minimalise any silt-up for the three divers behind me as much as possible.
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Re: Jason verses the Lermontov

Postby binklebonk » Mon Jun 14, 2010 6:15 pm

Drip wrote: But thats always been a superstition (duck projectile from Binks) of mine - better a mistake above surface than below.



I don't see the superstition? Unless you are meaning that you try and have a surface mistake in the hope that it'll satisfy the mischevious, machiavellian and mystical "Mr Murphy"...

Otherwise it's just an OCD.. :wink:
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Re: Jason verses the Lermontov

Postby DiveDiva » Wed Jun 16, 2010 4:23 am

Great trip report Jase!!!
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Re: Jason verses the Lermontov

Postby Drip » Wed Jun 16, 2010 1:09 pm

binklebonk wrote:I don't see the superstition? Unless you are meaning that you try and have a surface mistake in the hope that it'll satisfy the mischevious, machiavellian and mystical "Mr Murphy"...

Otherwise it's just an OCD..


I get ya Bro (there goes that wee talk I've picked up :? again) - it just happens as it does naturally, definately not 'preset' deliberately. In this case it was quite :oops: knowing that I had put Hanna through some fuss already. If nothing happens and I notice this, then I am very cautios indeed as a priority as I am just acting upon a trait of circumstance.
Most recent example is a peice of side-curb that I drive upon around a bend upon Mamre Road to my Parents. Missed it one afternoon and was quite upset about it and sure enough upon the way home at night...the car in front suddenly braked and veered into the side off the road, instinctively I did the same a safe distance behind - split second as some crazed driver had overtaken another approaching car over the small rise :shock: and would have wiped out the car in front and even me if I hadn't followed suit. :x Shaken but not stirred. The only reason I kept driving upon that little peice of curb consciously was that I found myself doing it 'by mistake' a number of times previously.
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Re: Jason verses the Lermontov

Postby ChuckyBob » Thu Jun 17, 2010 9:20 am

Drip wrote: But thats always been a superstition (duck projectile from Binks) of mine


I always found it bad luck to be superstitious.
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Re: Jason verses the Lermontov

Postby Drip » Thu Jun 17, 2010 2:13 pm

ChuckyBob wrote:I always found it bad luck to be superstitious.

:lol:

Found the Lermontov an immense Wreck. Just looking at the two sets of buoys 171 metres apart seemed a bit of a wow factor. Diving down and all of a sudden the Lermontov was before me in a blink of an eye. It is a shame that the Bay doesn't coff-up 30-40 m viz to give a giant perspective of the entire Wreck, but 5-10 m viz can add to a sense of mystery somewhat. The growth upon the external was quite good and there were numerous fish drifting and flittering about. Luckily there wasn't large schools of Bullseyes/Nanygai, which tend to blot out everything like a mass curtain of Birdseye Fishfingers. There was even some Sweep at the end of my 2nd dive to sweep by with a quick "Hello & glad you could make it." The Scorpion Fish were quite numerous and never budged from their spot - making sure that one had good bouyancy skills. The viz down at the Propeller seemed to drop a bit both in light and clarity, but the Prop itself still portrayed a good solid stance as five lights danced around it as if it was moving again in a bygone day. In and out through nice square openings all along the Lermontov both served convenience and peice of mind for anyone who got a surge of the claustro' and needed a quick breather upon the outside. I couldn't believe I was actually inside a Wreck that is commonly laced with Tech-divers, as I ventured forth down a passage a bit, as instructed by the Guide. Stopping after a short while once my slice of Wreck penetration was whet, allowing the Guide to take the lead again once he was happy that all were within the Lermontov. Inside, the Wreck structure still seemed strong, but with only a covering of silt and slime, everything seemed to show all detail as it did long ago upon the surface - only lacking all that has been taken since. Are those who 'take' - thieves? Or are they just making the structure safer in the name of OH&S just like they strip a ship before dumping it for an Artificial Dive Site ...oops, I mean Reef? Its a shame that if all that stuff appeared in a local Museum for public showing to divers and non-divers, the Government would steal, I mean confiscate it all anyway and just shove down the back of a warehouse in boxes or sell overseas for money in their own pockets. None the less, the Lermontov still had plenty to show for its years in the realm of Ulmo/Triton/Neptune/Mesley and god knows who else. Each new turn, each new swim through, each new rise and descent, each new passage that lead into darkness revealed more and more of what the Lermontov had to offer. I knew I was only experiencing a slice of the cake (but thats all I want from the $30 million Lottery too :wink: ) compared to what the Tech Divers get to enjoy further within. I wasn't in the least feeling as if I was missing out, on the contrary, I was quite enjoying what I was getting myself into. Coloured tiles freckled past my light, something reflected back in the distance from my torchlight as I waited for the others to enter the section. My mind suddenly raced at what the Titanic did to Ballard long ago when the light of his submersible played across a mirror. Stairs took my imagination along for a stroll that I was in a way, in Heaven. Seats sat with a room to a view. I tried to swim sideways (and succeed to do so) to be cohesive with the ship's angle, but watching everyone else swim sideways just seemed to make me nauseous ...but for a moment, the ship suddenly became more alive. Wooden floor panels stretched off in all directions with good detail and I got a real flutter-kick out of the act of gliding up/down and along a wall of wood. Again I turned sideways and I found myself dancing with the past before righting myself to enter another passage. This is what I love about diving the most, the movement ...the freedom. To know that I floated like a Ghost of the Abyss down into another hallway across a passage of time. Occassionally I would turn around a bit, to watch the other Divers enjoying themselves and hopefully I wasn't kicking up too much silt - I think I did ok for my second Wreck penetration. I knew my Guide was enjoying himself :lol: and that was a plus. Some parts of the Lermontov seemed aged and weary, while others still looked young and vibrant. Towers or masts poked out into the water and to the limits of viz like hands reaching for something to steady the ship and right itself. All was not lost as they seemed to grab hold of much aquatic life at least. The Gash along the hull of the Lermontov was as sharp in its appearance as what the rocks were that made it. A segment seemed bent in and curved as if smiling back after a night on the sauce - twisted :twisted: . I looked down into the dark bottom below beyond the Wreck, it called to me but after dropping an extra metre, I returned up a stayed with the group more so ...the Gash kept grinning. The passageways were highlighted by external light as much as they were hidden by a darkness within. The greenie-turquoise colouring that gently glowed through checkered much in the way of what was to be seen and gave much towards not having to rely upon the tunnel vision of a torchlight. Up a narrow but manageable chute, holding onto a peice of handrail, rather than kicking - diving never felt so adventurous and I remembered my rainy-nights scurrying around the disused Power Stations of Pyrmont in Sydney city ...looking for something, but never finding it :wink: . Everything of the Lermontov seemed to go on forever, it felt like I was going further than the 171 metres and my Oxygen seemed to take ages to get to 50 bar as we rounded another section to enter a small cinema and the surreal act of flying over the chairs as if watching for the audience that once sat there. We glided above as if projected from the projector itself. Our Guide (Ben) seemed to know every nook and cranny, every turn, every passage ...every moment that was to be savoured, admired and enjoyed. As my Guide and I began our return to the line for our ascent, a deep "boom - boom" sounded from within as if the Lermontov gave a bellow of awakening, after we had left. Hanging like a flag at half-mast for the Safety-Stop, time to reflect quickly upon the whole experience but instead I just focused upon how I felt "Its so nice to be here".
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Re: Jason verses the Lermontov

Postby Tony » Fri Jul 02, 2010 9:41 pm

Sounds like you had heaps of fun Jase. The lermie really is quite something to say the least. Love the place and going back asap.
You know the speed of light. So what is the speed of dark?
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Re: Jason verses the Lermontov

Postby binklebonk » Sat Jul 03, 2010 11:18 am

Drip wrote: my Oxygen seemed to take ages to get to 50 bar as we rounded another section to enter a small cinema and the surreal act of flying over the chairs as if watching for the audience that once sat there. We glided above as if projected from the projector itself. Our Guide (Ben) seemed to know every nook and cranny, every turn, every passage ...


Ok I'll ask the obvious questions that need to be asked, both the facetious ones and the serious ones..

1, You weren't really on O2 were you? :P :wink:
2, The way you wrote this sounds like you were at 50 bar when you entered the cinema? Is that so?
3, The cinema is fairly shallow and easy enough to get into, but it is very easy to silt up and due to the exits being very small they could be very hard to find again in zero vis.. Were you carrying any redundant gas?

I'm not trying to "have a go" Jason as I'm well aware that there may be a lot of detail about the planning etc that went into these dives that hasn't been included in your writing.

Mainly I just want to clarify a few things as some may read this and get an unrealistic idea of the ease of penetrating a wreck such as the Lerm.
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Re: Jason verses the Lermontov

Postby binklebonk » Wed Jul 07, 2010 11:26 am

Jase.. the jury (well i say jury, but really it's just me being a nosey bubbles) awaits..

Drip: You want answers?
Binklebonk: I think I'm entitled to them.
Drip: You want answers?
Binklebonk: I want the truth!
Drip: You can't handle the truth!



:lol:
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Re: Jason verses the Lermontov

Postby NEMES1S » Wed Jul 07, 2010 12:35 pm

Yeah come on Jase fess up...we have all done it...well some of us...
Could be a good new thread the deepest dive and the daftest dive etc etc...
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Re: Jason verses the Lermontov

Postby binklebonk » Wed Jul 07, 2010 12:59 pm

Well I don't necessarily think that it was a daft dive I'm just curious to know what the plan and contingencies were as it seems from what Jase has written it could be two different things. I don't for a second want to give anyone grief about decisions that don't affect me, but I think it's a good thing to talk about planning, or the absence of it, at some of the more serious dive locations.
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