Mikhail Lermontov

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Mikhail Lermontov

Postby Tony » Thu Jan 14, 2010 7:33 am

Just curious as to how many people have actually been inside the wreck of the Mikhail Lermontov and looked closely at the areas of the ship and what remains in each area (i.e. chairs / chandelliers etc)? By being inside I mean that the dive actually is planned to take you inside the wreck for extended periods of time dictated by air and deco, i.e for 10 - 15+ minutes out of a dive of 30+ minutes duration rather than just dipping in a window and then out again. If so where have you been?
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Re: Mikhail Lermontov

Postby ChrisB » Thu Jan 14, 2010 7:42 am

I'd have to say most of mine were inside the Lermie... Bolshoi lounge,engine room, poolhouse,library... that doesnt count as gloating does it??
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Re: Mikhail Lermontov

Postby ChuckyBob » Thu Jan 14, 2010 8:12 am

I have only done one trip to the Lermi but SOD's are hoping to do a return visit later this year.

On that trip I did 5 dives including the pool, Bolshoi, Nevsky bar ( ?), bridge, movie theatre, arcade etc. But the 2 stand out dives were the engine room ( very cool) and the Leningrad lounge ( very scary). These two dives we spent the majority of the dive time in those areas while rest were just in and out of various area's.
Longest dive was 82 min with 25 min of deco (from memory).
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Re: Mikhail Lermontov

Postby Paul » Thu Jan 14, 2010 9:10 am

There is heaps to see in there Tony. Most of my time on the lermie has been in the lermie. Nearly every dive I do... I finish up in the Bolshoi lounge. There are tables and chairs in there as well as the classic bar stools by the bar. They still have their felt covers on them. I can spend an hour just cruising though the Bolshoi louge, ducking behind the bar and checking out the shelves and noticing how life is slowly but steadily taking over. You can quite nicly spend 5-10 mins (gas permitting) in the shallow part of the lounge at about 14-16m before you make your way up the line for your deco / safety stop. It's so easy to imagine people sitting at the tables drinking vodka and playing cards.. It's amazing.

The swimming pool is the same.... I still spend a long time in there having a look around. you can still clearly see he tiles in the pool and the tables are still bolted to the floor. There is another bar in the pool that's cool to check out. You can duck behind the bar and poke your head into the storage room at the top. Much more pleasant images come to mind here of scantily clad ladies lounging by the pool. It's amazing how little those Russian women are wearing in my imagination... I tell you it's just not decent!!!

And then there's the engine room........
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Re: Mikhail Lermontov

Postby bluey » Sat Jan 16, 2010 6:17 pm

I can't imagine any diver ever running out of interesting things to see on/in the Lermi. My favorite dive on her so far was a slow cruise through the engine room. Very atmospheric.
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Re: Mikhail Lermontov

Postby Tony » Mon Jan 18, 2010 11:30 am

The engine room is fantasic. So much to see if only you slow down and spend the time doing it. I also really enjoyed the Swimming Pool and Winter Gardens. The Bolshoi lounge is huge so much space and all on its side so you just sink down past the tables, and fallen chairs, the chandalier is quite cool too.
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Re: Mikhail Lermontov

Postby jamieinauckland » Mon Jan 18, 2010 8:24 pm

Has anyone got pics of all this?
It'll be many years before I start thinking about this dive, but it sounds awesome.
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Re: Mikhail Lermontov

Postby Andy » Mon Jan 18, 2010 8:52 pm

jamieinauckland wrote:Has anyone got pics of all this?
It'll be many years before I start thinking about this dive, but it sounds awesome.



Have a look at http://www.petemesley.com.

To be honest, the Lermi is a fantastic dive for all divers - you don't have to go inside to get a feel for it, and I quite enjoy just mooching around the outside.
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Re: Mikhail Lermontov

Postby Jason » Mon Jan 18, 2010 10:24 pm

Pete wrote:some of the structures inside are beginning to decay as well... many years could see a fair bit of the inside collapse...


Wonder if anyone will build a Dive site as impressive as the best Wreck Dives like the Lermie, Coolidge, etc, that will stand the test of time...well, at least a few lifetimes :?:

Andy wrote:To be honest, the Lermi is a fantastic dive for all divers - you don't have to go inside to get a feel for it, and I quite enjoy just mooching around the outside.


So you are saying that the viz is pretty cool in the Sounds to warrant a good perspective of the Ship on the outside?
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Re: Mikhail Lermontov

Postby Andy » Mon Jan 18, 2010 10:51 pm

Pete wrote:some of the structures inside are beginning to decay as well... many years could see a fair bit of the inside collapse...


That's already happening, there are parts of it where I won't go because the superstructure is just not safe. You can tell what was "original ship" and what was later "cheap repair".... the latter is decaying much, much quicker.


Vampire Squid wrote:So you are saying that the viz is pretty cool in the Sounds to warrant a good perspective of the Ship on the outside?


The vis isn't that special, could be anywhere from 2m to maybe 10-12m on a really good day. But the murky days give you a real feel for it, I've been down at the gash on a day where the vis was maybe around 3m, on my own.... feeling very, uh, atmospheric. Even if you're not into the atmosphere, there's a whole bunch of life on it - last time it was sea-horse city. It's just an uber-cool dive site that is fun to dive. You don't have to be into the macho penetration stuff to really enjoy the diving. Just poking your head into the main lounges, the bridge etc... not even going in, just looking, it's great.
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Re: Mikhail Lermontov

Postby Tony » Wed Jan 20, 2010 11:21 am

Andy wrote:
Pete wrote:some of the structures inside are beginning to decay as well... many years could see a fair bit of the inside collapse...


That's already happening, there are parts of it where I won't go because the superstructure is just not safe. You can tell what was "original ship" and what was later "cheap repair".... the latter is decaying much, much quicker.


I'd have to agree with you on safety score Andy. While I have only done the one trip down to the Lermie - From what I have heard and seen there are definitely spaces I don't want to be i.e. under a couple of doors hanging by their hinges .... or the idea of swimming beneath doors covered with a thick layer of silt knowing they are held together with rusting latches ...
However there are many places that are fine for people to take a squiz at. These are great if you have a guide to show you access points and or tour through with the guide. Having only dived NZ shipwrecks the Lermie is for me without compare, she is big enough to explore and dark / silty enough to scare the daylights out of you. And this is where it is vital to have good skills. For example - Fin control is vital here because it is really really easy to accidentally stir up the silt that covers every surface and if you stir up the silt you or your buddy then has to swim through it to get out. Bubbles also cause silt to fall so here also care is needed when planning the route of the dive. Basically it really pays to have adequate training, and while training can never really properly prepare you for what the Lermie is really like it certainly helps. Techdives advanced wreck course made me more aware of what the wreck might be like and what I might have to do. I know that there were things I could have done better, but I know that I'll be working on improving myself in these areas so I can do better next time round. Roll on the next Lermie trip, I'm hooked!!

Just a question here though - when we are talking about later additions are we talking the wooden / fibre board walls? or other aspects? As a cruise ship there was no need for all steel inner structure.... Or was there?

Vampire Squid wrote:So you are saying that the viz is pretty cool in the Sounds to warrant a good perspective of the Ship on the outside?


The vis isn't that special, could be anywhere from 2m to maybe 10-12m on a really good day. But the murky days give you a real feel for it, I've been down at the gash on a day where the vis was maybe around 3m, on my own.... feeling very, uh, atmospheric. Even if you're not into the atmosphere, there's a whole bunch of life on it - last time it was sea-horse city. It's just an uber-cool dive site that is fun to dive. You don't have to be into the macho penetration stuff to really enjoy the diving. Just poking your head into the main lounges, the bridge etc... not even going in, just looking, it's great.


Our best vis was I think 4 - 5 m when we were down there last week. When you go down the line for the first time, all you can see in all directions is ship, ship and more ship. As Andy said above there are many amazing places to visit without going inside. It is quite an interesting experience to swim along the side and think surely we must be getting near the end only to have more and still more ship appear.

As I said before I'm hooked!!

On a different note has anyone got any good books on the Mikhail Lermontov? If so what are they? and do you have any idea where I could put my hands on a copy? Thanks in advance.
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Re: Mikhail Lermontov

Postby Tony » Wed Jan 20, 2010 12:03 pm

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


Cool thanks dude.
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Re: Mikhail Lermontov

Postby NEMES1S » Wed Jan 20, 2010 3:14 pm

Yeah thats a cool avatar there Tony... :D
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Re: Mikhail Lermontov

Postby petemes » Thu Jan 21, 2010 1:26 pm

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.

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

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!

another 2 x 5 day charters in April on the wreck and more planned for July and Oct. Anyone wanting to come with me this year let me know. I will put more trips on when needed.

Kind regards

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Re: Mikhail Lermontov

Postby Jason » Thu Jan 21, 2010 2:57 pm

Just going along the outside is fine by me and I can appreciate that surreal, eerie and in Lermie's case - hugely impressive 'Wreck in low viz' situation. I even get an equally satisfying dive in 'green' water just as much as I do in blue. Its the grainy, snotty, particle-enriched low viz that does test my patience. All in all, I regret not doing the Lermie when I was in Nelson - but I tend not to rush into things if I'm unsure (unless it is relationships - then its blindly go where no man dares to go) about the finer points. The guys at the Dive Shop must have been Techie's for I definately felt 'outta league' in their presence ("I'm not worthy") and thus presumed it was a Techie Dive.
I think Wrecks like the Lermie are once in a lifetime opportunities and in maybe 20 years it will be a shadow of its former self. Something Fishy hadn't been back to the Poor Knights for 16 years - time flies. So I think I will be paying the Lermie an official visit in a year or two. At the moment, my next New Zealand trip will be a quickie in ChristChurch (postponed x5 times already) with the hope of at least one dive squeezed in.
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