|SS Undola 05-05-07|
The seas were absolutely flat and no wind and with high tied at 10am, all looked good. We planned to put a mooring on the Undola using 2 15L detergent drums, a length of old 12mm rope and some chain recovered from lost anchors. It was a quick run down to the Undola and the current was running out to sea, despite the incoming tide. We dropped anchor and the boat settled 30m from the wreck. With the anchor rope heading down in the right direction we knew it would be either on or close to the wreck. We set up deco bar, cross over rope and a tie line from stern to bow. We dropped the chain for the mooring over the side with the other end secured to the boat. I towed one of the 15L containers, full of water and with a 6lb weight attached to it to make it slightly negative. Viz was great all the way down and we found our anchor 5 meters from the wreck on the port side. The chain had dropped one meter from the toilet. I had already looked at photos that we had taken and we had picked a location on the starboard side forward of the boiler for the mooring. Here is a substantial metal piece that sticks out from the wreck, about 1/2 meter from the bottom. I lifted the chain across while towing the container. Wayne quickly secured the chain around the beam and secured the U bolt to hold it all together. We put a loop around the now secured mooring rope and the container float and then took the 6lb weight off the container and part filled it with air. It slowly headed up to the surface, dragging a short (about 10) rope with it. Our mission done we were able to explore the wreck a bit. Too quickly we hit the 15 min asc time on out Vytec dive computers and slowly headed up. On deep dives I take a very slow ascent, taking 5 mins to get back to 10m. along the way we encouraged out float further up the mooring line.
Back at 10m Wayne proceeded to splice a rope into the mooring rope that the handle of the float would sit in. We drifted down to about 14m during some of this so our deco time became quite lengthy. Or aim was to have this float about 5 meters from the surface. It's role was to support the chain and mooring rope and if the top float was cut off, the mooring would not be lost. We're not sure whether this one should be deeper say 10m which would put it well out of reach of fishers unless they had scuba.
Once back on the surface we measured out a good length of rope for the surface float, secured it, leaving a big loop which can be used to secure the boat and let the float go. We recovered out anchor, then returned and hooked up onto our new mooring.
Some time later we had visitors, Geoff Cook who was just back from Truk and his mate. They tied off to us and headed down on twins. We had felt that the bottom float we too close the the surface. With no tension on it was bobbing just below the surface so we had intended to secure it a bit deeper.
Well, a second dive to the wreck was in order. Having done the first dive on 27% and a 1hr 20 surface interval we knew our time would be short but it was worth it. We still managed around 13 mins on the wreck, enough for Wayne to slowly circumnavigate it.
This was wonderful day, and with a bit of fine tuning we can place inexpensive but secure moorings with relative ease.
This site was last updated 28/10/11