Rainbow Warrior questions?

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Rainbow Warrior questions?

Postby Phantom Menace » Thu Sep 26, 2013 11:58 am

Looks like I will be round the Cavallis 18/19 October with a bunch of keen free-divers and several boats. We are doing a little planning and are looking to free-dive the Rainbow Warrior. I have SCUBA dived it before but this was in the years just after it was sunk - so about 20 ish years ago. The people going are all likely to be comfortable with at least 15m+ free-dives and many in the 25m range.

Can anybody share info on things like:
* depth profile of parts of the wreck (link to a graphic would be awesome - google hasn't helped me here)
* what the decks, bridge etc. look like now
* anything else you think might be useful for free-divers

Obviously we won't be penetrating the wreck on a single breath but if the bridge was openish it may become a swim-through.

Thanks in advance.
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Re: Rainbow Warrior questions?

Postby Ali Perkins » Fri Sep 27, 2013 1:53 am

I haven't been on the Rainbow Warrior since Easter 2011 so I cannot provide the most recent information. I believe she rests on the sand at 26 metres, but my memory fails me on what depth the top of the wreck is.

I don't recall any nice swim throughs - there's no Canterbury-like bridge. From visiting most years from 2005 to 2011, I do remember that she was collapsing. She gets fished so there can be tangling fishing line and hooks.

You will want coordinates, because sometimes it is marked by a buoy and sometimes it isn't.

You might find some photos here:
http://akunidive.com/about-our-destinations/matauri-bay/

You could try and get your hands on "Top New Zealand Dive Sites" by Gillian and Darryl Torckler. That might have more information. Or the "Lonely Planet Diving and Snorkeling New Zealand" guide (cover photo is the Rainbow Warrior).

http://www.ianskipworth.com/suig/2nzi.html

Image

It's a lovely dive so enjoy!
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Re: Rainbow Warrior questions?

Postby rambaldi » Fri Sep 27, 2013 6:16 pm

When I was there, Easter last year, you could still get into the wheel house then out the hole in the top but possibly not too much more, at least in that area of the wreck.

Top of the wreck I think is at about 16 m. but my memory may be off by a couple meters :p
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Re: Rainbow Warrior questions?

Postby Phantom Menace » Fri Sep 27, 2013 8:22 pm

Thanks guys.

Yes, Rambaldi my fading memories from 20 years ago were that the top was round 16m or so. I don't think we will be doing any major swim-throughs but it will be interesting to be there with some good free-divers.

There has been talk of adjusting weights to be neutrally buoyant at 15m or more and rigging a weight on a rope and using that to drop a diver down to that depth so that they can expend energy, time and breath-hold swimming round rather than down. (Obviously this would not be done where the weight would smack into the wreck). These guys have a good safety ethic too.
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Re: Rainbow Warrior questions?

Postby rambaldi » Fri Sep 27, 2013 11:53 pm

There is a big concrete block that has been used for buoys, it is I think at the stern of the wreck. I didn't look at it but I would assume there are tie in points that you could use if there isn't a marker up when you are there.
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Re: Rainbow Warrior questions?

Postby Ali Perkins » Tue Oct 01, 2013 1:35 am

That concrete block is a little distance from the wreck. In diminished visibility it's not always possible to see the wreck from a mooring buoy line tied into the concrete block. I know plenty of scuba divers who have gone down the line and never found the wreck. The good thing with free diving is if you miss the wreck you can try again. On scuba your tank is done so you just have to try and be happy with that sand survey you just did. :)
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Re: Rainbow Warrior questions?

Postby rambaldi » Tue Oct 01, 2013 10:37 am

Ali Perkins wrote:That concrete block is a little distance from the wreck. In diminished visibility it's not always possible to see the wreck from a mooring buoy line tied into the concrete block. I know plenty of scuba divers who have gone down the line and never found the wreck. The good thing with free diving is if you miss the wreck you can try again. On scuba your tank is done so you just have to try and be happy with that sand survey you just did. :)


That is certainly true, my first dive on the wreck and our instructions from the skipper weren't 100% accurate but I at least made it there the next day.
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Re: Rainbow Warrior questions?

Postby Phantom Menace » Tue Oct 01, 2013 11:40 am

Many moons ago the buoy kept getting removed. On one AUUC trip we sent a boat load of people from Matauri Bay to find the wreck - they failed and returned to the beach.

I took a second boat load out, sighted the visual bearings, and dropped anchor. On descending down the anchor line I discovered we had dropped the anchor on the foredeck. This made me feel quite big-headed at the time as a fair bit of smack talk had been doing the rounds about people not knowing where they were going ... :D
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Re: Rainbow Warrior questions?

Postby Phantom Menace » Tue Oct 01, 2013 11:44 am

(not that dropping the anchor on the wreck was a particularly good thing - but at least it meant that I had my bearings correct - this was in the clubs old 14 ft tinnie at the time)
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Re: Rainbow Warrior questions?

Postby Ali Perkins » Tue Oct 01, 2013 5:12 pm

Phantom Menace wrote:Many moons ago the buoy kept getting removed. :D


This has not changed.
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Re: Rainbow Warrior questions?

Postby long john » Sun Oct 06, 2013 9:11 pm

I was up there maybe 6 weeks ago and no buoy
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Re: Rainbow Warrior questions?

Postby Phantom Menace » Sun Oct 06, 2013 10:50 pm

Hmmm OK, I might have to remember the visual bearings then. I know it is marked on charts but I think the co-ords may be off a little.
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Re: Rainbow Warrior questions?

Postby Phantom Menace » Mon Oct 21, 2013 8:21 am

After a mornings speafishing round the islands we found the wreck on Saturday afternoon. The visibility was not too good (algae bloom season) so it made it a little tricky dropping down to the wreck as you never quite knew exactly what part you were coming down to until you were pretty close to it. Most of the dives were in the 18 - 20m range. We had a weighted line to the deck of the wreck and an anchor warp with a very well positioned (fluke) dropped right next to it. We used these to follow down to the wreck.

On the safety front we were diving in groups of 3 or so with one of each group diving at a time and one of the others acting as "safety" although the vis made it tricky to see the diver until they were back closer to the surface.

Moss and Guy had cameras and did a few swim throughs - not sure if a video will make it to YouTube. Phil took is Canon DSLR down too but I haven't seen the stills he took yet.

One of the guys brought the ingredients for an awesome seafood gumbo style dish for Saturday night and we were very well fed (and tired - asleep by 9:30pm)

Sunday morning some of us headed to the Bay of Islands and launched at Opito Bay to head out to Nine Pin for a swim. We should have stayed north as the visibility was hopeless but we did scout some new ground and had dolphins playing round the boat on the way out.

Most notable fish for the weekend was a 6.7kg snapper shot by Lindsay - he swam over the top of it on Sunday in the shyte vis and shot it. Rob got a few good ones too with one of his weighing 6.45kg.
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