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Diving Stoney Cove, England Inland Dive Site
Dive Site: The Galleon
Depth: 5 to 7 metres (21 feet)
Rating: See Stoney Cove overview
Location: From the Bus Stop entry take a 185 degree bearing, or from the Slipway entry take a 205 degree bearing and expect around a 30 minute swim in open water if intending to head directly to the wreckage. There are other attractions which could be done on route, such as the bus, Wessex helicopter, Bedford van or the Stanegarth. From the bus take a 175 bearing, from the Wessex a 195 bearing, from the Bedford van a 200 degree bearing and from the stern or propeller of the Stanegarth take a 180 degree bearing and expect a 20 minute slow swim across a flat 21m silt floor with little to see. You could head to the galleon after a deep dive to the 36m hydro-box by setting a bearing of 165 degrees. Another way to reach the galleon is by making a perimeter dive from the entry points (Bus Stop or Slipway) with the wall on your left shoulder. The galleon is a 40 minute swim from the slipway, past the 4m blockhouse and crane drum (both located between 4 and 7 meters depth). The shortest route back to the exit points from the galleon is a 5 to 15 degree bearing and a 30 minute slow swim in open water.
History & Description:
The “Galleon” conjures up all sorts of swashbuckling images of an underwater treasure ship whose decks were once trodden by pirates. In reality what remains is little more than some piles of wood and shaped struts which give the desired effect and conjure up an image of the remains of an ancient ship. In fact the Galleon was constructed by the Midlands Underwater Archaeology Group from 17 th century timbers salvaged and shaped from a cottage in Northamptonshire. It was used for instruction in underwater archaeological skills such as drawing and measuring. Located in the south east corner on a convenient 6 meter ledge, the galleon is visited less often than most of the attractions in Stoney Cove, due in most part to its more distant location and also because there simply isn’t much to see. Fish life on this side of the quarry is however plentiful with roach and large pike lurking in the nearby weeds. If you want to dive the galleon be prepared for a long underwater swim or potentially an even longer surface swim.
Rik Vercoe, BSAC Advanced Instructor
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