Even though it wasn’t planned as a Total Dive Xperience trip, we found ourselves together with the whole team on the Divestar vessel, together with a number of other divers.
The whole team has been diving from the Divestar a (great) number of times. We love the vessel as it allows us to sleep on board, which is very convenient since we regularly head out in the wee hours of the morning. It also has comfortable spacing to eat inside in case of bad weather.
Since the weekend consisted out of 2 day trips, we slept onboard of the Divestar the whole weekend (Friday to Saturday and Saturday to Sunday).
We greatly appreciate the whole Divestar crew…. The captain Yves in which we have unlimited trust, supported by his wife Anja who takes care of the catering (legendary spaghetti) and the deckhands assisting the captain and divers on deck. Couldn’t wish for a better setting to go diving…
We set sail at 5AM, although the team barely noticed while sleeping. The diving circumstances were very good. There were some waves, as you might expect on the North Sea. Visibility looked promising from above the surface, so we all had high hopes for some good dives.
The first wreck we headed for the SS Pepinella. This is a Italian cargo ship that sunk after a collision with another ship in 1958 during it’s first journey under Italian flag as the ship has been sold several times. Not one of the typical wrecks we visit during these day trips, even a new wreck to some of us.
The wreck was being guarded by a huge amount of spider crabs, called araignée in French, which was not a name that everyone had heared of before…
Also because of the good visibility we really were able to explore the wreck. A very nice wreck that we would be happy to visit again!
This day’s second wreck we visited was the SS Trifels, a German cargo ship that got torpedoed in 1941. This is a well known cargo ship that we dived regularly.
The wreck has a big whole at the port side. There are plenty options to penetrate the wreck. The masts are still up and offer a nice way to start resurfacing.
Getting back to Nieuwpoort went smooth as usual. Under the setting sun and with a beer in hand, we didn’t have any reason to complain…
The crew recommended a nearby restaurant. It was greatly appreciated since it is not easy to make bookings in restaurants during these COVID restrained times.
During dinner on the first evening we discussed our TDX project with a diver that we have all dived with and everybody respects for his diving experience and expertise. He will be considering joining our team shortly, so if he joins the team you will find out immediately on this site.
We couldn’t be more fortunate with the weather on this day… As you can tell by the pictures below, the sun was out and the wind wasn’t. It made the North Sea flat as a pancake, creating great diving circumstances.
The Divestar headed out to sea at 6AM. Since the sea was so calm, there was almost no way of telling bellow deck when we actually reached the sea after a short trip through the harbor.
First up was the MV Birkenfels. This cargo ship collided with another ship in 1966 and sunk immediately.
This wreck is great fun to dive since you can easily enter into the huge cargo holds. The are some great swim through possibilities and there is always a lot of marine life in and around the wreck.
The second wreck on this day (and the last one for this weekend) was one of our favorites. The Bruno Heinemann was a German destroyer that hit 2 mines in 1942 and sunk.
The wreck is popular since the cannons are still standing up, with some depth charges next to them. But there are also still some torpedoes in their launch tubes. You can imagine why this makes it a popular diving attraction.
After the dive we went back to Nieuwpoort, while having a beer in the setting sun (as you can see in the pictures below).
Pepinella (cargo ship)
More info: https://www.wrecksite.eu/wreck.aspx?37
Trifels (cargo ship)
More info: https://www.wrecksite.eu/wreck.aspx?46
Birkenfels (cargo ship)
More info: https://www.wrecksite.eu/wreck.aspx?5
Bruno Heinemann (German destroyer)
More info: https://www.wrecksite.eu/wreck.aspx?7
A huge thanks as usual to the whole Divestar crew. We cannot express how grateful the whole team is to have them managing the diving, catering, music, … They just create the perfect circumstances for some relax wreck diving at the North Sea.
Also thanks for the TDX team for the great atmosphere and the safe dives!
We didn’t bring our video equipment this trip, so unfortunately we don’t have any under water footage. We just have some pictures capturing the great circumstances and atmosphere on board.