Mikhail Lermontov

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Re: Mikhail Lermontov

Postby Tony » Thu Jan 21, 2010 4:38 pm

petemes wrote:The lermi is one hell of a dive with so many areas which are conducive for most divers at differing experience levels. But there is also more scary monster areas that are not conducive for most divers. I hope that the laws of Darwinism will keep the gene pool strong but there are places on the wreck which are Bloody dangerous - plain and simple. What we will also see (unfortunately) in the future is more people getting into trouble in this wreck. The more people who penetrate the wreck will statistically give more rise to problems occurring.


Its those scary monster areas that I'm up for avoiding at this stage and probably a long way into the future. That being said it may be interesting to discuss no go areas and reasons why. I appreciated the opportunity to read your trip reports with some of the varied difficulties that you as a very experienced diver find with a wreck such as the Lermontov, especially the open circuit / silt issue. I noticed this for myself in areas such as the library. Perhaps if we have open discussion on this issue it may hopefully in some way avoid some of the potential problems you speak about above. That being said I'm quite sure that Darwins laws are still going strong and that there are always going to be idiots who try to do more than they should. Perhaps if it were to be discussed it could be an invite only area of the forum? I know that I would certainly appreciate learning about current dangerous areas to be aware of or to avoid to ensure that I am as knowledgeable as possible before diving and can then make informed decisions to keep myself safe.

My best advice for diving in this wreck - Just take it easy and dont push it.


I'd have to agree with you on this, its a totally different experience all of its own. Some of the simple penetrations such as the winter gardens are really quite interesting and challenging all in their own ways.

The more you dive it the more you will enjoy it. I have pictures of the last 10 years where entire stairwells have disappeared, bar stools completely intact, clocks in every corner. The wreck has only been underwater for a little over 21 years. With that said, its not shaping up too well!


Just out of interest are the pictures those that are available on your website? As to condition of the wreck I'd have to agree with you. Is it because much of the interior is built out of wood or is it sloppy craftsmanship / poor materials that were used? Are the plans on your website the original deck plans? If not is there a chance to get those from somewhere to look at the changes that were made when the ship was modified in the 70's. Just really interested in the wreck, even more so after being there myself.

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Re: Mikhail Lermontov

Postby Tony » Thu Jan 21, 2010 4:40 pm

Pete wrote:Love the new avatar Tony... nice work... always good to use your own pics hey! Hmmm, maybe I should change mine again...


NEMES1S wrote:Yeah thats a cool avatar there Tony... :D


Thanks guys. It definitely is better being there.... However on open circuit its kind of hard to have enough gas to just keep looking at all the amazing places.
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Re: Mikhail Lermontov

Postby Tony » Thu Jan 21, 2010 4:42 pm

Pete wrote:Vampy, take a look at youtube for the decay shots of the andrea doria... carpe diem


Yeah thats definitely a worry Pete. How long is it between pix? Would be interesting to find the originals of the pix and the dates they were taken. Does anyone know what the Andrea Doria was made of inside i.e steel as in the Waikato (yeah I know they are built for different purposes) or wood as in the case of the Lermie. And if so did that contribute to the speed of decay?
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Re: Mikhail Lermontov

Postby Tony » Sun Jan 24, 2010 11:37 pm

Tony wrote:
Pete wrote:Death Of A Cruise Ship by Tom O'Connor


Cool thanks dude.


JUst got hold of the book through the public library. Really easy read and very informative. They have another book about the sinking by Michael Guerin, anyone read it?
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Re: Mikhail Lermontov

Postby petemes » Fri Feb 05, 2010 2:37 pm

Hi Tony,

Sorry for the delay in responding.

Its those scary monster areas that I'm up for avoiding at this stage and probably a long way into the future. That being said it may be interesting to discuss no go areas and reasons why. I appreciated the opportunity to read your trip reports with some of the varied difficulties that you as a very experienced diver find with a wreck such as the Lermontov, especially the open circuit / silt issue. I noticed this for myself in areas such as the library. Perhaps if we have open discussion on this issue it may hopefully in some way avoid some of the potential problems you speak about above.


Good point Tony, the more info you have the better equipped you are. But what must be said is that wreck penetration is far more dangerous than cave diving over shorter areas (Ok OK I dont want to get into an argument with the cave diver fraternity) but there are way more direct hazards in constantly decaying wrecks and these hazards are living breathing things - constantly changing. This is why leaving line layed in a wreck is a massive no no! PROPER training is mandatory for going beyond natural light levels inside wrecks. The cave diving fraternity have embraced the dangers of cave diving and this is why there are restrictions in place for having training levels if you want to go in different types of caves. The same should be so for wrecks.

I think that there is almost a blase attitude to adv wreck penetration in most divers. But technology is making life easier for people to venture further and deeper into wrecks. I have no doubt in my mind that more people will get into trouble on the lermi. We just need to help educate people into taking the right approach at what they want to do. Proper training is a start, taking it easy and diving conservatively is the next step.

Perhaps if it were to be discussed it could be an invite only area of the forum? I know that I would certainly appreciate learning about current dangerous areas to be aware of or to avoid to ensure that I am as knowledgeable as possible before diving and can then make informed decisions to keep myself safe.


Another good point, but again what is more dangerous is getting some information and thinking you are following instructions but going somewhere completely different. This is very common on those "trust me" dives. Someone gets taken into the wreck. Gives you the tour, all is good, you see awesome stuff. You come out of the wreck. Beaut!! THEN next day, week or months later you say to someone "hey I know where this place is, I went there last time I will take you there and show you where it is" Then they go down some corridor they think was the same as last time, but isnt. get silted out and there are some pretty moist undies at the end of it.

I guess everywhere inside a wreck is dangerous. Make small entries into well lit areas and get to know your way around the place.

Just out of interest are the pictures those that are available on your website? As to condition of the wreck I'd have to agree with you. Is it because much of the interior is built out of wood or is it sloppy craftsmanship / poor materials that were used?


You can say that again, built by the germans on a shoe string budget, its all aluminum and plywood! I will have a good look through all my pictures. My website gallery is a real mess so I need to spend a week sorting through all the pictures and get them sorted out.


Are the plans on your website the original deck plans?


The Lermi underwent a major refit (not sure when) so the plans on my site are before the refit. Getting plans after the refit is VERY difficult. But all the main structures are still the same (bulkheads, stairwells etc etc)

If not is there a chance to get those from somewhere to look at the changes that were made when the ship was modified in the 70's. Just really interested in the wreck, even more so after being there myself.


I have the plans of the sister ship also but as I said before all the main superstructure is the same, now walls have collapsed, banister railings fallen away, doors rotting away,

One place - say the lobby just aft of the library. That has been the biggest change I have noticed. The stairwell with all the books under it have all but gone. This mainly being dislodged by bubbles and now the books ly all over the place, most of them at the bottom of the lobby. Things are changing as we speak on the wreck. Nothing can stop it.

On my next trips I will actually go back to the same spots I have taken pictures before and start on comparisons.

All the best

Pete
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Re: Mikhail Lermontov

Postby petemes » Fri Feb 05, 2010 3:18 pm

Just hot off the press I have some spaces for April 22-27 2010. 5 day trip on Sweet Georgia. This is the creme de la creme of diving the Lermi. $350 a day inclusive of food, fills, accom etc etc this is ex wellies. Do it in style!!

Also got some dates for Oct too. This trip is off a smaller vessel and takes a max of 10 pax. Slightly lower pricing at $275.00 a day This is ex Picton and is inclusive of all fills, food, accom onboard, etc. The vessel is the Marie Rose and is the same skipper that I did my Port Kembla expedition on. Its not as luxurious as SG but we will get fed well, dive harder and play even harder!!! Please contact me for bookings.

Details of the trips are here http://www.petemesley.com/Lermontov2010.htm

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Re: Mikhail Lermontov

Postby Tony » Sun Feb 07, 2010 3:12 pm

Hi Pete, No problem with the delay. I think sometimes considered thought is lacking in our lives, in that we rush into things far to fast and don't consider the consequences. With an overhead environment such as a shipwreck or a cave it is precisely these consequences that need to be considered, and if possible have an allowance made for them. I know that I am really only just still learning much of what I really need to know, but will continue to research and think about things.

petemes wrote:
Its those scary monster areas that I'm up for avoiding at this stage and probably a long way into the future. That being said it may be interesting to discuss no go areas and reasons why. I appreciated the opportunity to read your trip reports with some of the varied difficulties that you as a very experienced diver find with a wreck such as the Lermontov, especially the open circuit / silt issue. I noticed this for myself in areas such as the library. Perhaps if we have open discussion on this issue it may hopefully in some way avoid some of the potential problems you speak about above.


Good point Tony, the more info you have the better equipped you are. But what must be said is that wreck penetration is far more dangerous than cave diving over shorter areas (Ok OK I dont want to get into an argument with the cave diver fraternity) but there are way more direct hazards in constantly decaying wrecks and these hazards are living breathing things - constantly changing. This is why leaving line layed in a wreck is a massive no no! PROPER training is mandatory for going beyond natural light levels inside wrecks. The cave diving fraternity have embraced the dangers of cave diving and this is why there are restrictions in place for having training levels if you want to go in different types of caves. The same should be so for wrecks.


Absolutely true on that point about equipment Pete, and its not just the equipment its how you use it as well. I can see your point about permanent lines to, because that would tend to let people that weren't competent to do certain dives do them and potentially get into difficulties. I also agree on the proper training for wreck diving and think that this is often under emphasised. Your concept of dividing up the levels of wreck diving may be a solution, but I really couldn't hazard a guess on that issue. It may help determine who may be ready, but then again until you try something in a reasonably controlled environment who can say. I guess it comes down to people not playing "Russian Roulette".

I think that there is almost a blase attitude to adv wreck penetration in most divers. But technology is making life easier for people to venture further and deeper into wrecks. I have no doubt in my mind that more people will get into trouble on the lermi. We just need to help educate people into taking the right approach at what they want to do. Proper training is a start, taking it easy and diving conservatively is the next step.


Definitely agree on this issue. I know that I too in the past have been guilty of that blase attitude, it may be linked to the concept that we are competent at recreational diving so we automatically transfer that level across to technical diving (wrecks etc). This is a falacy and causes the idea that we are bullet proof. This is in my belief the danger area. With regards to myself I know that further and appropriate education with appropriate education providers has made me a better diver (a lot further to go on this issue), discussion of various concepts, events and phenomena has had its place as well. A good reasoned discussion definitely has its place. As does adequate and critical reflection and debreifing sessions.

Perhaps if it were to be discussed it could be an invite only area of the forum? I know that I would certainly appreciate learning about current dangerous areas to be aware of or to avoid to ensure that I am as knowledgeable as possible before diving and can then make informed decisions to keep myself safe.


Another good point, but again what is more dangerous is getting some information and thinking you are following instructions but going somewhere completely different. This is very common on those "trust me" dives. Someone gets taken into the wreck. Gives you the tour, all is good, you see awesome stuff. You come out of the wreck. Beaut!! THEN next day, week or months later you say to someone "hey I know where this place is, I went there last time I will take you there and show you where it is" Then they go down some corridor they think was the same as last time, but isnt. get silted out and there are some pretty moist undies at the end of it.


Very true again. THis is that bullet proof concept I noted earlier. IMHO any training for wreck diving should be of the highest possible standard, the question that begs to be asked here is what is that standard and how can it be maintained at a high enough level. IMHO it should include scenarios where a variety of skills necessary for a variety of difficult situations are practiced. BUt then again I'm sure there are people out there that have more knowledge and skills that would have a deeper knowledge of what is required in a variety of situations.

I guess everywhere inside a wreck is dangerous. Make small entries into well lit areas and get to know your way around the place.


For sure. Slow but sure, try one thing at a time and then extend a little each time. I think that making sure you have the correct equipment for each area is important too, i.e. powerful torch with backups etc.

Just out of interest are the pictures those that are available on your website? As to condition of the wreck I'd have to agree with you. Is it because much of the interior is built out of wood or is it sloppy craftsmanship / poor materials that were used?


You can say that again, built by the germans on a shoe string budget, its all aluminum and plywood! I will have a good look through all my pictures. My website gallery is a real mess so I need to spend a week sorting through all the pictures and get them sorted out.


East German or West German? MIght be an interesting point. How long does plywood last when its immersed for long periods, given that it is bonded with glue and in most cases glue softens and disintergrates when wet?

Are the plans on your website the original deck plans?


The Lermi underwent a major refit (not sure when) so the plans on my site are before the refit. Getting plans after the refit is VERY difficult. But all the main structures are still the same (bulkheads, stairwells etc etc)


Now that is definitely interesting for me because I had thought they were from after the refit. Was the refit mainly around the cabins and what ammenities and furniture they contained, or did it include large scale internal rebuilding where rooms, doors and corridors within each bulkhead area were rerouted or positioned.

If not is there a chance to get those from somewhere to look at the changes that were made when the ship was modified in the 70's. Just really interested in the wreck, even more so after being there myself.


I have the plans of the sister ship also but as I said before all the main superstructure is the same, now walls have collapsed, banister railings fallen away, doors rotting away,

One place - say the lobby just aft of the library. That has been the biggest change I have noticed. The stairwell with all the books under it have all but gone. This mainly being dislodged by bubbles and now the books ly all over the place, most of them at the bottom of the lobby. Things are changing as we speak on the wreck. Nothing can stop it.


The other thing that might be an interesting exercise might be to pay attention when diving and make notes of areas that are changing or being blocked by debris etc.

On my next trips I will actually go back to the same spots I have taken pictures before and start on comparisons.


I'd definitely be interested in seeing the results of such a comparison.

All the best

Pete


Thanks for your answers.
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Re: Mikhail Lermontov

Postby Tony » Sun Feb 07, 2010 3:19 pm

Tony wrote:
Tony wrote:
Pete wrote:Death Of A Cruise Ship by Tom O'Connor


Cool thanks dude.


JUst got hold of the book through the public library. Really easy read and very informative. They have another book about the sinking by Michael Guerin, anyone read it?


Out of interest - the book speculates about the ship having gashes in both sides with the larger being in the starboard side. Is this a possbility or are they trying to explain why she went down on her starboard side. I always wondered if she was gashed on the port side why did she sink starboard side down. The speculation may have some merit??? or Not????
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Re: Mikhail Lermontov

Postby Andy » Sun Feb 07, 2010 4:21 pm

Tony wrote:Your concept of dividing up the levels of wreck diving may be a solution, but I really couldn't hazard a guess on that issue. It may help determine who may be ready, but then again until you try something in a reasonably controlled environment who can say.



It's happening.... UTD, for example, have split their training levels into Wreck 1, Wreck 2 etc.. whilst it is taking time to hit the streets, GUE are also developing Wreck 1/2 & 3 curricula.

Our PADI Advanced Wreck course plugs the gap nicely between a basic wreck, and more challenging courses such as the TDI Advanced Wreck course. :D
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Re: Mikhail Lermontov

Postby Tony » Tue Feb 16, 2010 10:58 pm

Andy wrote:
Tony wrote:Your concept of dividing up the levels of wreck diving may be a solution, but I really couldn't hazard a guess on that issue. It may help determine who may be ready, but then again until you try something in a reasonably controlled environment who can say.



It's happening.... UTD, for example, have split their training levels into Wreck 1, Wreck 2 etc.. whilst it is taking time to hit the streets, GUE are also developing Wreck 1/2 & 3 curricula.

Our PADI Advanced Wreck course plugs the gap nicely between a basic wreck, and more challenging courses such as the TDI Advanced Wreck course. :D


I'd have to agree with your comment there Andy. It definitely sorts the serious aspects. Cool experience tho!!
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