Submerged https://www.submerged.co.uk Shipwrecks and diving around Devon and the world Wed, 13 Jun 2018 16:01:08 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8 The Longest Wreck Walk https://www.submerged.co.uk/longest-wreck-walk.php https://www.submerged.co.uk/longest-wreck-walk.php#respond Tue, 08 Mar 2016 01:01:52 +0000 http://www.submerged.co.uk/?p=4146 Written by David Page

For many years my good friend and diving partner, Peter Mitchell and I, had been intrigued by the many “Myths and Legends”, circulating in the South West of England, concerning visits supposedly made to the region by Jesus, Joseph of Arimathea, Pontius Pilate, and their various retinues. Even the popular hymn “Jerusalem” asks the same question. The intention had always been to attempt to piece together that which we have been able to discover, from various sources, and for Peter to then “write it up” as one of his “Wreck Walks”.

Sadly, he passed away at the end of June 2015, so, as a “Tribute” to Peter, I shall attempt to put together the many notes we have made into something more “readable”, and hopefully spark off an interest in those others who read it.

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Punches Cross, Polruan

Punches Cross, Polruan

About 2006 or 2007 we were making passage down the coast of Southern Cornwall and decided to enter Fowey Harbour. On the headland to our right, beneath the ruins of St Saviours church at Polruan, was seen a large white cross. It is called “Punches Cross” and, so legend has it, is where “Jesus, Joseph of Arimithea, and Pontius Pilate and their retinues” are reputed to have landed whilst visiting their “Mining Interests” down here in Cornwall. Joseph was Jesus’ uncle and had been his guardian since Joseph of Nazareth had died.

There has supposedly been a “cross” here for many hundreds of years, and its true origins have been lost in the mists of time. It was this cross that ignited our interest, and had led us both into areas of research we had never before thought possible.

It was at first thought that “Punches Cross” was so named as a local attempt at saying “Pontius”. We soon found, however, that it was more than likely to be a “marker” to denote entry or exit from “Church owned” lands further upriver, and thus a “Toll” was payable to the local “Bishop” at Tywardreath, as pilgrims journeyed North and South between Ireland, Wales, and across the English Channel to various holy sites in France and Spain during early Medieval times.

But the Legends and Myths were many and widespread, and as they often contain a fairly large “Grain of Truth”, we both felt they were worth looking deeper into. We soon found out about “The Saints Way”, a path leading across country to the North Coast of Cornwall around the River Camel Estuary. Here are many more legends, and an ancient well, named “Jesus Well” is easily found on the “O.S. 1:25,000 Explorer Map 106” just North West of Rock at “SW 937764”.

Jesus Well

Jesus Well

Once again though, this pathway across Cornwall, Jesus’ well, and the many ancient churches found along the route, such as the one half mile west of “Jesus’ Well”, St Enodoc’s, were found to be more than likely a part of one of the many “Pilgrimage” routes across Cornwall that had developed from around 700 – 800 A.D.

We soon were confronted by “Conventional Archaeology” seeming to have no interest whatsoever in the subject, being intent instead on constructing whole “civilizations” on a piece of broken pot or discarded arrow head. It soon became apparent that no “formal investigations” had ever been carried out, nor were they ever likely to be so.

We therefore had to enter into some really “strange places” via the books we read, and the Internet searches we carried out. Some were quite plausible, even if our credibility was stretched at times !

The most interesting book by far, “The Missing Years of Jesus”, was written by an ex-policeman, Mr. Dennis Price. He had also looked at the many available books and articles, and had decided to investigate further. He had looked into the “Means, Motive, and Opportunity” as if it were a real Police investigation. It must be said that he has convinced me !!

To hopefully get a better understanding and insight into this matter, we must leave our present “modern” ideas behind. We must put aside our presumed “Historical knowledge” for the moment, as it now seems as if the history we have long been taught has been heavily “censored”, and only that which the “Church” wished to be known has been allowed.

We must start way back in history, around 8 – 7,000 B.C. at a time when civilisation was first developing in the “Tigris and Euphrates basin” in what is now modern day Iraq. The peoples there were the “Sumerians”, and later the “Babylonians”. These peoples soon expanded outwards into Egypt and Eastwards into India. They took their knowledge of the “sciences”, their civilizing ideals and their religions with them. The peoples of those areas they moved into were heavily influenced by them and their religions, and even today “Hinduism”, Buddhism, and the now almost extinct “Druidism”, reflects the reverence for nature held by the incoming culture into ancient Egypt.

It has long been accepted that “Phoenician, Early Greek, and Pre-Roman conquest” trading in Tin, Copper, Lead, and even Gold, had been carried out between the South West of England and the Mediterranean cultures for many hundreds of years, well back into the Bronze age.

What was not expected to find was that there had seemingly existed an earlier “Egyptian Trade” in those same commodities, and through the same area of Southern France around Marseille, and then Northwards up through the Rhone Valley to the land the Egyptians had called “Hyperborea” (literally the Land beyond the Celts – Britain).

The Celts were (and some still are) “Druidic”, through their contact with Egyptian traders, and the by now long altered religious ideas held by them. This contact soon spread across the English Channel into Britain. Major Druidic religious centres soon developed in Britain, notably at Avebury, Glastonbury, and Stonehenge. These places will figure once again as this narrative progresses.

Having now established a possible connection with Eastern Mediterranean culture and ideas, we can now move forward in time to when Jesus appears to be missing from the scriptures from when he was around 12 years old, to his re-appearance in them, 18 years later, when he was 30.

Judea, at that time was under “Roman occupation”, and they didn’t take too kindly to anyone questioning their pantheon of Gods. It is often stated in various scriptures that Jesus had an amazing intellect, and would often be found in various temples in deep discussion with many religious teachers. It is felt that it was around this time that he began to question, perhaps a bit too strongly, the current establishment and its leading figures. Bear in mind that he was not a “modern” young teenager, but a product of his time.

Moses, it must be remembered, had earlier led the “Israelites” out of Egypt, and had also had to deal with the “Worship” of the Golden Calf, the result being a set of rules by which we all should abide, “The Ten Commandments”.

What seems to be being ignored in many instances is that “Cattle” are held in esteem in many religions, most of which have evolved from the early Sumerian influence into ancient Egypt and other Mediterranean cultures. In light of this it can also be assumed that many of the other religious ideals, which would have eventually influenced the young Jesus, would have also travelled out of Egypt with Moses and the Israelites, mainly a reverence for nature and a “Love” for all mankind.

St Enodocs Church

St Enodoc’s Church

We can now try and connect the parts into what is, hopefully, a relevant story. Pontius Pilate, the local Roman governor of Judea, was a very wealthy man by the days standards, and had “Interests and connections” with many of the Tin, Copper, Gold and Lead mines in Pre-occupation Britain. The earlier unsuccessful “Roman” invasion attempt by Julius Ceasar in 55 – 54 B.C. had resulted in many trading connections being made between the then continental Roman Empire and Britain, and Pontius Pilate had taken full advantage of them.

Joseph of Arimathea was also a very wealthy man, as well as being high up in the Jewish Sanhedrin, the local Jewish Governing body, and in charge of Trading and Mining interests alongside Pontius Pilate. He had also been made guardian of Jesus by virtue of being his uncle, Mary’s brother.

It therefore seems natural for him and Pontius Pilate to visit those interests and, given who they were, they would have both had large retinues with them. This would have all been well before the finally successful “Roman” invasion of Britain by Claudius, and the later expansion carried out by Vespasian in 43 A.D.

It is felt that Pontius Pilate tipped his friend and business partner, Joseph, off over Jesus’ growing adverse impact he was having in Judean religious circles, and advised the family to flee to Egypt. It would have been here, if he hadn’t already heard of it, that Jesus learnt of the far off land that had not only held off the supposedly invincible Roman Army 60 odd years earlier, but also that its peoples had very similar spiritual ideals and beliefs as his own.

What teenager could resist a visit to such a place, and this is where Dennis Price’s book “The Missing Years of Jesus” and his use of “Means, Motive and Opportunity” becomes so believable.

Means:- Yes, he certainly had the means to visit Britain. His uncle Joseph was well placed within the Judean regional government, had a close financial and personal contact with the local Roman Governor, “Pontius Pilate”, and was also part of the Roman controlling body in charge of mines and mineral extraction.

With this in mind, Joseph would have had access to shipping and transport to anywhere within the then known “Roman world”, and would have had firm contacts with traders beyond it. Jesus’ father, Joseph of Nazareth, had for some reason disappeared from mention in the scriptures, and had been assumed to have already have died.

Joseph of Arimathea, being Jesus’ uncle, would have therefore taken on a role as the young Jesus’ guardian, and thus it is only natural that he would have taken the 12 year old Jesus along with him on any visits to the many mines he had an interest in. Along with Jesus, he would also have taken a large retinue of Clerks, Slaves, and possibly even other family members, such as his sister Mary, Jesus’ mother, given his governmental status.

Given the involvement of “Pontius Pilate”, and the quite probably large retinue he also would have had with him, we can now see that this would certainly not have been a “small group on a weekend visit”, and the memory of it would certainly have passed into record of some sort, even if only as a set of “Legends and Myths”.

Motivation:- As has often been stated in the scriptures, Jesus, as a youngster, had an exceptional intellect and was often to be found in discussions with religious leaders and scholars in his local temples. Through these he would have undoubtedly heard of the stories of the Island peoples on the edge of the then known “Roman” world who had, 60 -70 odd years previously, successfully thwarted 2 invasion attempts by the supposedly “invincible” Roman Army.

There was already a “resistance movement” amongst the population of Judea to the occupying Roman Army, and the chance to “rebel” is a potent force for a young and very receptive mind. He would have understood that “military action” was a non-starter, but to alter the religious mind-set of the Romans pagan beliefs from within, and even that of the ruling Jewish “Pharisees” ? Now that would have been a different matter completely.

He would have heard of the “Druids” of that land and their similar “monotheistic” beliefs as those held by his own people. He would also have heard of “Stonehenge” and it’s design similarities with the “Labyrinth” under the Greek temple at Knossos.

He would have heard of the stories of the Minotaur, half man and half bull who lived in that Labyrinth, and would have been told of the “Bull” worship that had its origins in Greek and even earlier Egyptian religions. A reflection of this “Bull” worship can still be seen in the “Hindu” religion of India, and the reverence placed on all living things amongst “Buddhists”

The connection would then have been easily made, in his mind, when told of a similar belief in, and sacrifice of, “White Oxen” by the Druids at Stonehenge, along with their worship of the “natural world”. Many of our present religious celebrations have been developed from earlier Druid beliefs, and the stories of the “Green Man”, and the habit of “Touching wood” for good luck being with us to this day.!. What young lad, soon to become a teenager, could resist the chance of travelling to such a remote and mystical land, and to learn from, and be educated by, the people living there ?

Opportunity:- These must have been many, given his uncles status, but it would seem that the largest incentive would have been when Joseph was forced to flee with his family to “Egypt”. As this region was also under Roman control at the time, and so therefore also under local Judean overview, it was not a place of complete safety, even if their religious views were, by now, similar to his own.

It is more than likely that this was the spur leading to the family coming to Britain, for Joseph to be in close touch with his mining and trading interests, and for Jesus to study under, and to eventually live amongst, the similarly minded Druids at the great religious centres of Glastonbury and Avebury. The site of Stonehenge is only 30 miles to the east, a good days walk, and it is inconceivable that he did not visit the place and learn of its mysteries during his reputed 18 years living here.

The “Druids” were renowned for their skills at “Oratory and argument”, and their “priests” were known to have walked without fear between warring factions and to have calmed down serious situations, a skill that Jesus is often stated to have put to use in his later ministry.

This book by Dennis Price is, as stated before, a very compelling read and would go a long way in convincing one that Jesus did really spend his “Missing Years” here in Britain before returning to Judea with his ideas fully formed.

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St Saviours Church, Polruan

St Saviours Church, Polruan

To the ruling religious leaders of Judea he would have been looked on as a major “trouble maker”, a certainly unwanted “voice of the people”, and they would have tried to minimise his influence as much as possible. His teachings in the 3 years after his return certainly did not sit well with them. Jesus finally forced their hand with his return to Jerusalem during “Passover” and his disruption of the temple money-lenders. He was arrested and sentenced to death.

Now the strange part of this is that the “normal” method of execution, for the perceived crimes he had carried out against the ruling classes and religious leaders, would have been “stoning to death”, a method reserved for petty criminals and women, and would probably have resulted in his lifetimes teachings, and manner of death, being completely forgotten about in a matter of days.

To really make his voice and teachings echo down the centuries to follow, he had to “Martyr” himself and to be killed by his own people in the most horrendous manner available,-“Crucifixion”. Jesus had chosen his place and moment well. Jerusalem during “Passover” was then, as it is still now, a place of considerable “tension”, and the occupying Romans had to take great care that these “tensions” did not escalate into major rioting.

This probably goes a long way in explaining why “Pontius Pilate” who, as outlined above, knew Jesus during his youth, and who more than likely still had mining and other business dealings with Jesus’ Uncle, “Joseph of Arimathea”, refused to take any part whatsoever in his conviction and subsequent execution and, basically, “washed his hands” of the whole affair.

This would therefore ensure Jesus’ terrible death at the hands of his own people, the memory of his killing being retained for centuries down to the present day, and the start of one of the worlds major religions.

Hopefully, one day, a proper “Forensic examination” of all existing subject matter will be undertaken but, until that takes place, and unlikely as that examination will be, given the power of censorship still wielded by the “Roman Catholic” church, we are stuck with what we have at present.

There are probably many other “Internet searches” and books available for research into this subject but, given the 2000 year time scale involved, much will now be obscured by Legend, Folklore, and Myth, as well as the obvious resistance in peoples minds to altering their whole historical perception. This is a very intriguing subject though, and it could occupy ones time in searching for years to come, even if it is doubtful that a definitive answer could ever be reached !!

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My friend Peter would have loved to have been able to put this story into his own words, but sadly he was unable to. I hope therefore that my “precis” of the copious notes we had collected have done the job for him. Only he will now know whether there is any truth in all the Legends and Myths, or whether they will forever remain just that – “Legends and Myths”.

You, the reader, however, can form your own opinion as you follow in our footsteps, and those of the many thousands of “Pilgrims” who have journeyed along “The Saints Way”, and have been captured by the story and think to yourself – “I wonder” !!!

“R.I.P. Peter”.

David Page,
July 2015.

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The Wreck of the Liberty at Pendeen Watch https://www.submerged.co.uk/the-wreck-of-the-liberty-at-pendeen-watch.php https://www.submerged.co.uk/the-wreck-of-the-liberty-at-pendeen-watch.php#respond Fri, 20 Mar 2015 17:21:06 +0000 http://www.submerged.co.uk/?p=3376 Pendeen Watch on the rugged coast of Cornwall is a notorious graveyard for ships. For instance in the decade between 1890 and 1900 seven steamers were lost,one of them being the nearly new steamer, Busby, three stranded and twenty six poor sailors died. As a result of all this death and destruction Trinity House decided to build a lighthouse on the Pendeen headland and its light finally shone out in 1900. It was to be another decade before ships once again started to pile up on the rocks below Pendeen Watch, ships like the William Cory full of pit props which struck the Enys Rock spewing her pit props into the sea beating back the boats coming to rescue them.

A fantastic shot of Pendeen Watch sadly not my own. It just about tells you all you need to know about this coast.

A fantastic shot of Pendeen Watch sadly not my own. It just about tells you all you need to know about this coast.

Fog of course was the main reason for ships to come to grief at Pendeen, but during the First World War it was the German U-boats sinking vessels as they rounded Cape Cornwall or steered for the Longships. After the two Wars wrecks still continued to pile up, but the ship we are interested in is the Liberian tramp streamer Liberty, ex War Camel, Ex Cairndhu Ex Styrmion. She had the dubious distinction of being the first wreck at Pendeen Watch, since the St.Ives Lugger, Twin Boys struck the delightfully named Three Stone Oar in March 1924.

The William Cory, Sept 1910.

The William Cory, Sept 1910.
The almost new steamer Busby, June 1894.

The almost new steamer Busby, June 1894.

Launched by Palmers of Hebburn-on-Tyne in December 1918 as the War Camel she became the Cairndhu for the Cairns Line of Dundee. Her main beat was between St.Lawence, Leith, and Tyne with cargos of canned goods and wheat, returning often with china clay in ballast. In August 1927 she was laid up sold to a Greek line and renamed as the Styrmion. After the Second World War she was placed on the French North Africa run, and then transferred to Hoogli, Chittagong and Kararchi trade until 1951, when finally as the Liberty she gravitated to the Baltic, hauling iron ore. She had one or two mishaps along the way like stranding near Stockholm, but on the evening of 16 January 1952 the Liberty was leaving Newport in ballast for La Goulette. By the next evening she was off Pendeen Watch in the teeth of a north westerly gale pushing her bows through the violent snow squalls. As her elderly engines raced to keep her on track the steam pressure started to fall alarmingly, so Captain Filinos radioed for a tug and the lifeboat, but is was to be too late for the Liberty. As the tug Merchantman searched in vain for the stricken ship, the Liberty was dangerously wallowing broadside too, near Portheras Cove, right under the cliffs of Pendeen Watch.

The ill fated Liberty.

The ill fated Liberty.

The mate and the bosun escaped down a rope ladder and twenty others, including the Captain, were rescued by breeches buoy. Thirteen of the crew were so overwhelmed by the disaster that they hid on board the sinking ship until the evening, only coming out on deck, after they were furiously harangued by Captain Filinos with a mixture of Arabic and Greek. By now the LSA had turned up and they rescued these poor souls amidst much shouting and gesticulation from the Captain, other crew and the LSA.

The Walk Pendeen Light is well signposted from St Just and on arrival you can either stop at the top car park, or turn to your right to go down to the lower car. The grassy slope in front of the car park is where the L.S.A. (rocket brigade) launched the breeches buoy to rescue some of the crew, and it is here that you will find a track that will lead you down onto the rocks by most of the wreckage. Its not very steep, but since you want to be there at a spring low tide to see most of he wreckage, bear in mind that the tide will come back in quite quickly. Easily identifiable are the crankshaft, engine block and some of the larger pieces of the ships framing. On the sand of the cove is a half buried anchor and a bollard set amidst other iron work half buried in the sand. Right out in front of you is the wonderfully named Three Stone Oar reef and with a stiff onshore breeze, which we had, you can immediately see why so many ships have piled up around these rocks.

The track down to the cove.

The track down to the cove.
The wreckage to the left, mind the returning tide.

The wreckage to the left, mind the returning tide.
The main wreckage to the right of the cove.

The main wreckage to the right of the cove.
The main body of wreckage.

The main body of wreckage.
Part of the prop shaft.

Part of the prop shaft.
Anchor.

Anchor.
photos courtesy of ‘Dave’ Page

The Lighthouse is quite standard for this part of Cornwall and is unmanned, so not open to the public. Usually the gates are locked shut, but you can walk from the top car park along the enclosure wall down to where it all juts out over the cliff. There is a platform there that allows you very good views of the front of the lighthouse. One of its nice features is the huge pair of bats ear fog horns. Don’t be near these when they go off, as they are likely to give you a heart attack. They are beyond loud. Over to the right of the lighthouse you will see lots of mine chimneys dotted around the cliffs. If you are interested, there are plenty of tourist tours in the area, the closest being the Levant mine, with its working beam engine.

The Foghorns.

The Foghorns.
View of the front of the Light.

View of the front of the Light.

There are a few pubs near the Pendeen Light,but we decided to go back to St Just. Four pubs in the square, and a great pasty shop. All the pubs serve good food and we chose the Kings Arms at random. It sells ‘Tribute’ and ‘Proper Job’ amongst its beers and loads of good sandwiches and other food. If you want a complete alternative there is a ‘Fair trade’ cafe just up from the square. What’s not to like

name of ship/subject of story

Google Map showing The Lighthouse to the left of the cove where the wreckage is.

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buster crabb https://www.submerged.co.uk/buster-crabb-2.php https://www.submerged.co.uk/buster-crabb-2.php#respond Sun, 08 Mar 2015 18:50:20 +0000 http://www.submerged.co.uk/?p=3373 aaaa

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Buster Crabb the untold story https://www.submerged.co.uk/buster-crabb-untold-story.php https://www.submerged.co.uk/buster-crabb-untold-story.php#respond Sun, 08 Mar 2015 18:45:59 +0000 http://www.submerged.co.uk/?p=3371 review of this book

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Project Glaucus https://www.submerged.co.uk/project-glaucus.php https://www.submerged.co.uk/project-glaucus.php#respond Tue, 20 Jan 2015 17:05:12 +0000 http://www.submerged.co.uk/?p=3335 Well over fifty years ago I learned how to dive. It was the time that Hans Hass was making his inspirational TV films, closely followed by Cousteau who truly showed everybody the wonders of the undersea world. Cousteau became for a while obsessed with living underwater, convinced that ‘Inner Space’ was the way forward for mankind. His underwater houses, Conshelf 1 and Conshelf 2 inspired projects all over the world with probably the largest, Sealab being American. Britain was not left out and made its own modest contribution with Project Glaucus, an entirely amateur effort (in the best sense of the word).

The steel cylinder.

The steel cylinder.

Whilst the Sealab and Conshelf projects had huge budgets, Glaucus cost was around £2000, but what it achieved was truly remarkable. The project was the brainchild of Colin Iwin, who in 1965 was 19 years old and the Science Officer of the Bournemouth and Poole S.A.C. Inspired by Cousteau, he decided to set up a project to put an undersea habitat in place near the Plymouth’s Breakwater Fort and occupy it for a week, along with fellow club member, John Heath, aged 21.

The Sealab habitat.

The Sealab habitat.

The steel cylinder was built from scratch in a friends boatyard. It weighed two tons, was 3.7 meters long, and 2.1 meters in diameter. The whole structure stood on legs and was ballasted by weight in a tray beneath it. The Cylinder had two compartments, a main living area and separate toilet facilities. Entry was made via a tube fitted to the underneath of the habitat, which was open to the water, thus ensuring that the pressure inside would be the same as the surrounding water resulting in the divers being kept at pressure for the duration of the exercise. Once inside the two men used an old ex army wind up field telephone to keep in touch with their surface team, and there was also an early small CCTV camera to allow the occupants to be constantly monitored.

Colin Iwin

Colin Iwin
John Heath

John Heath

The big difference between Glaucus and the likes of Conshelf and Sealab, was that the cylinder was completely self sufficient for air. It had no airline but relied on its own artificially maintained environment, with a chemical scrubber to remove the carbon dioxide. It was for this reason that the length of time that the two men spent underwater, still has its place in the Guinness Book of Records.

The Glaucus being towed into place by Plymouth's Breakwater.

The Glaucus being towed into place by Plymouth’s Breakwater.

Living conditions in the habitat must have been very rough. The temperature was around 16 degrees with almost 100% humidity. The huge amount of condensation meant that keeping anything dry was nigh on impossible. Food and drink were brought down in army pressure cookers, so even the meals must have been a bit of a disappointment. Even so with all that discomfort, Colin and John determined to continue with the exercise, even venturing outside the cylinder to do a number of surveys to show that divers could not only live at depth, but that they could do some work as well.

After the seven days were up, efforts to bring the habitat slowly to the surface were abandoned due to buoyancy problems. The two aquanauts made their own way safely to the surface wearing scuba gear. As far as I know nobody else ever did anything comparable, and in a few years everybody abandoned the idea of underwater living as a life changing concept. Today the remains of the Glaucus habitat lie on the seabed close by the Breakwater Fort, not far from where the original experiment was conducted. It is quite easy to find, along with other objects placed on the seabed, to train divers at the now defunct, Fort Bovisand. (see map) because the bottom is silty, the vis is often impaired, but even so it is an interesting dive just to see the Habitat and all the other structures lying around. There is even a cannon to play with. Photographers like the area because it has lots of Jewel Annemones, usually only found much further out.

Map of the seabed around front of Fort.

Map of the seabed around front of Fort.

Years ago I used to do a fair bit of night diving around the Fort (can’t get lost) and found it fascinating with all sorts of small creatures making their homes in the cracks of the huge stone blocks that make up the construction of the Breakwater Fort.

The Breakwater Fort.

The Breakwater Fort.

The Glaucus Habitat shows what can be done with a bit of imagination and determination. I am surprised that we all did not make more of it.

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The lugger Victory https://www.submerged.co.uk/lugger-victory.php https://www.submerged.co.uk/lugger-victory.php#comments Thu, 15 Jan 2015 12:43:24 +0000 http://www.submerged.co.uk/?p=3326 Set into the wall of the jetty at Margate is a marble tombstone to nine Margate men who lost their lives on the Lugger ‘Victory’ on January 5th 1857. The ‘Victory had been to the aid of the crew of the American sailing ship Northern Belle. The disaster prompted a silver medal to be struck and given to those involved in the rescue, by Franklin Pierce, the President of the United States of America.

Tombstone set into the jetty.

Tombstone set into the jetty.

So what happened on that fateful night so many years ago? The northern belle was en-route from New York to London when it encountered a fierce blizzard that drove it partially on to rocks off the coast of Kent. The twenty eight men on board set the anchor to stop the ship from completely foundering, said their prayers, and waited for rescue. In the early hours of the morning three luggers from Margate, Ocean, Eclipse and Victory arrived on site and soon Ocean managed to get five men on board the sailing ship to help with the salvage, and make sure that the ship did not go further up onto the shore. Unfortunately the weather was worsening all the time. The wind was now a screaming gale, mixed with hail sleet and snow. Soon the anchors dragged, and the Northern Belle found herself completely stuck on the rocks with the crew in a very perilous situation.

Northern Belle with the lifeboat,'Mary White'.

Northern Belle with the lifeboat,’Mary White’.

The Ocean closed the wreck and managed to take off five of the crew, but the Victory was completely swamped by the heavy seas and disappeared, drowning all nine of its crew. The Ocean and Eclipse could do no more, so the crew of the Northern Belle had to stay where they were for the night, lashed to the rigging of the only mast left standing. Because of the wind direction, the lifeboats at Broadstairs a few miles down the coast, could not be launched, so they were hitched up to teams of horses and dragged two miles over the hills to a place where they could be launched in daylight. When dawn broke the lifeboats, ‘Mary White’ and Culmer White managed to make three trips between them, taking off all of the Northern belles crew and the men that Ocean had put aboard. One of the lifeboat men, George Emptage, made three trips to the stricken vessel, in part to persuade the Captain to leave. He was all for going down with his ship, but was eventually talked out of it.

Crowds watching from the cliffs.

Crowds watching from the cliffs.

The whole rescue was watched by huge crowds from Margate and Broadstairs who gathered on the beach and cliff tops, some no doubt the relatives of the men lost on the Victory. When everybody was safely ashore, the Second mate was heard to declare that ‘none but Englishmen would have come to our rescue on such a night as this’.

Margate jetty.

Margate jetty.

The United States Consul in London launched an appeal to raise funds for the widows and more than 40 children of the nine men who had drowned when the lugger Victory was swamped. Each family received money plus a bible, with the cover embossed with the details of the disaster.

The medal presented by the President Pierce.

The medal presented by the President Pierce.
Comemorative Bible.

Comemorative Bible.
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HMS Warspite. https://www.submerged.co.uk/hms-warspite-3.php https://www.submerged.co.uk/hms-warspite-3.php#comments Tue, 02 Dec 2014 16:03:08 +0000 http://www.submerged.co.uk/?p=3219 It seems almost inconceivable now, but this short stretch of Cornish coast between Marazion and St Michaels Mount should have witnessed the death of one of the Royal Navy’s most famous battleships, H.M.S. Warspite, During her 32 years service she had endured bombing, shellfire, ramming, mines and a missile attack, and fought all over the world from Jutland in the Great War, to the Normandy Landings in the Second World War. Sailors often say that a ship embodies all their hopes, aspiration and experiences, and because of this, she becomes more than just an expression of sea power, or another collection of men, iron and steel. The Warspite was certainly much more than that, and became known to everyone who served on her as ‘The Grand Old Lady’.

Warspite in the Indian Ocean 1942.

Warspite in the Indian Ocean 1942.

Laid down in Devonport Dockyard Plymouth, in October 1915, she was launched into the River Tamar a year later. Her first Captain, Edward Phillpotts, took command when she commissioned in 1915. The Warspite was one of five Queen Elizabeth class Battleships which were built to combat the threat of new faster German battleships. She was 639 feet long, had a beam of over ninety feet with a draught of thirty feet six inches and a crew which varied in size from about 995 to 1200. Her initial armament consisted of eight 15inch guns in four twin turrets, fourteen single six inch guns, two single QF three inch anti aircraft guns, and four twenty one inch submerged torpedo tubes. When she was commissioned, she was one of the most powerful and flexible super dreadnoughts afloat.

HMS Warspite being launched in 1915

HMS Warspite being launched in 1915

In 1916, at the Battle of Jutland, the Warspite was attached to the 5th Battle Squadron under the overall command of Admiral Beatty. She managed to to score a direct hit on the German Battle Cruiser, Von der Tan, before a stray shell damaged her steering. By the time she was back to full readiness, the German High Seas Fleet had slipped away in the rain and mist. During the battle the Warspite was holed one hundred and fifty times and had fourteen of her crew killed, with another sixteen wounded. Although seriously damaged she was still afloat and was ordered back to Rosyth. On her way she was attacked by a German U boat which missed with all three torpedo’s. Shortly after this lucky escape, she was attacked again by another U boat, which she tried to ram. The submarine however, was too quick for her and managed to speed away undamaged. It must have been with a sigh of relief that the crew safely entered the port of Rosyth. The Warspite had a revenge of sorts, as at the end of the War, she was part of the force that escorted the surrendered High Seas Fleet into internment at Scapa Flow in 1918.

German Battle Cruiser,Von der Tan.

German Battle Cruiser,Von der Tan.
Warspite's damage.

Warspite’s damage.

From 1919 to 1939, she joined the 2nd battle Squadron as part of the newly formed Atlantic Fleet. During this time the Warspite regularly showed the Flag all over the Mediterranean reinforcing the Royal navy’s supremacy as the worlds foremost sea power. After being rammed by a Romanian passenger ship off Portugal she had some minor repairs, but it was between 1934 and 1937 that she underwent major reconstruction, giving the Royal navy a virtually new ship with much enhanced capabilities. As the Second World War unfolded, the Warspite was in the thick of it, taking a significant role in the two battles of Narvik where she destroyed the Z13 Erich Koellner with broadsides and severely damaged the Z17 Dieter von Roeder, together with the Z12 Erich Giese. Between 1940 and 1941 she became engaged in several major sea battles. In 1940 she took part in the battle of Calabria against the Italian Navy (Regina Marina). It was during this battle that the Warspite achieved the longest range gunnery hit on a moving target in history, when she damaged the Italian battleship Giulio Cesare at a range of 26 KM (26000yards).

The Italian Battleship, Giulio Cesare.

The Italian Battleship, Giulio Cesare.

In mid August of the same year, she was involved in the Battle of Taranto, where she was slightly damaged by a single bomb during Operation Excess. In March 1941 Admiral Cunningham took his fleet to sea against the Regina Marina on board his flagship H.M.S. Warspite. The Italian navy was supporting the German Invasion of the Balkans and had sailed to intercept Allied convoys between Egypt and Greece. Cunningham caught up with them near Cape Matapan and ordered airstrikes on the Italian Battleships to save his Cruisers from their heavier gunfire. Meanwhile Warspite, Barham, and Valient closed on the heavy cruisers Fiume and Zara and destroyed them and two destroyers at point blank range. This battle destroyed the Regina Marina’s moral, and allowed the British to tighten their grip on the Mediterranean just in time for the German invasion of Crete. Here she was used as a floating anti aircraft battery, until a 500 pound bomb dropped by Oberleutenant Kurt Ubben damaged her four and six inch gun batteries, ripped open her side and killed thirty eight of the crew. The damage was too severe to be repaired at Alexandria so the Warspite was sent to Bremerton on the West Coast of the United States of America.

The Italian Cruiser Fiume.

The Italian Cruiser Fiume.

After her refit in 1942 the Warspite joined the Eastern Fleet, as the Flagship of Admiral Sir James Somerville, who had commanded her in 1927. Although she was involved in various operations in the Far East against the Japanese Navy, her role was largely uneventful, and she returned to England in 1943 in time for the Allied invasions of Sicily and Italy, taking part in Operation Husky and covering the landings at Salerno. Although the Germans fought fiercely, the Italians had had enough, and on the 3rd of September signed an Armistice. Anxious to ensure that the Germans did not annex the Italian Fleet of two hundred warships, the Allies insisted that they sail for Allied ports. Later the Warspite met, and led elements of the Fleet into Malta for internment. On the 11 September, Warspite and Valiant were detached to provide support to the Allied forces at Salerno. Although the Italians had surrendered, the Germans were still determined to stop the Allied advance. Overnight the Fleet came under intense air attack, and later, three Dornier Bombers, attacked the Warspite with an early type of guided missile. This struck near the funnel, cutting through the decks, and making a twenty foot hole in the bottom of her hull. Nine of her crew were killed and fourteen were injured, but the Warspite was crippled. Escorted by elements of the Allied Fleet, and towed by tugs from the U.S.Navy, the Warspite was eventually safely docked in Malta for emergency repairs, before being towed to Gibraltar for more substantial repairs. She finally arrived back in England in March 1944 and went to Rosyth to complete her repairs.

Warspite entering Malta in 1932.

Warspite entering Malta in 1932.

At Rosyth, Warspite’s six inch guns were removed and a giant caisson covered the hole left by the German missile. One of the boiler rooms could not be repaired, but she had to be made ready as the main event of the War was about to begin. Every man and ship was needed for Operation Overlord, D.Day, The invasion of Europe. At 0500 H.M.S. Warspite was the first ship to open fire, bombarding the German Battery at Villerville to support the British landings at Sword Beach. After firing three hundred shells, she went back to Portsmouth to reload, and returned on 9th June to support American Forces at Utah Beach. Then on 11th June she took up position on Gold Beach to support the British 69th Infantry Brigade. By now having fired so many shells continuously the gun barrels were worn out, so she was ordered back to Rosyth, where she hit a mine twenty eight miles off Harwich, early on 13th June. Repairs to her propeller shafts took until early August when she sailed to Scapa Flow to recalibrate her armament. Used now as a floating gun battery she was sent to Ushant in time for the Battle for Brest. She shelled the towns of Le Conquet and Pointe Sainte-Mathieu before moving to the Scheld Estuary with the Monitors Erebus and Roberts. Here she cleared out the German strongholds and gun emplacements before bombarding targets on Walcheron Island. The next day she left for Deal, never to fire her guns again.

Warspite firing her guns at the Normandy Beaches.

Warspite firing her guns at the Normandy Beaches.

Although the War still raged, the Warspite’s part in it had ended. Time and the enemy had taken it’s toll, and newer, more modern ships were needed to continue the War in the Far East. Although there were proposals to keep her as a museum, the Admiralty finally approved her scrapping in July 1946 and she sailed from Spithead to Portsmouth to have her guns removed.

Towed away to have her guns removed.

Towed away to have her guns removed.

On a grey day in April 1947, the Warspite embarked on her last voyage from Portsmouth to Faslane on the River Clyde for scrapping. On the way she ran into a fierce storm, broke her tows and ended up on Mount Mopus Ledge near Cudden Point. On the next high tide she re floated herself, only to go hard aground a few yards away in Prussia Cove. The Skeleton crew of seven were all saved by the Penlee Lifeboat, but for the Warspite there was to be no reprieve. There were several attempts to re float her, but she was by now too badly damaged.

Hard aground in Prussia Cove.

Hard aground in Prussia Cove.

In 1950 a final attempt was made to re float her using two tugs and twenty four compressors to pump air into her hull. Watched by a large crowd the tugs were unable to tow her. One ended up on the rocks and the other got a hawser wrapped around her prop. By now it was obvious that the Warspite would never be taken to the Clyde for scrapping so it was decided to cut her up where she lay. For ease of access they manage to move her the short distance to a beach alongside St. Michael’s Mount. Over the next five years she was chopped up, until she disappeared from view.

H.M.S. Warspite's final resting place alongside St. Michael's Mount.

H.M.S. Warspite’s final resting place alongside St. Michael’s Mount.

The Walk Really this walk has two parts, and you don’t have to do then concurrently, but the distances are a bit long between the two areas, so nipping between the two by car is probably best as you can spend quite a bit of time at each, if the sun is shining. To give you an idea of where everything is have a look at this superb photo below. I did not take it unfortunately, I wish I had, and I don’t know who did, but it puts Prussia Cove, seen here in the forfront, and St. Michaels Mount in context.

What a stunning photo.

What a stunning photo.

Prussia Cove is a prime example of what the Cornish coast is all about, and why so many visitors come. It hasn’t changed much in years, and was once the home of the notorious smuggling, Carter family. One of then was known as the King of Prussia, and there are pubs dotted around named ater him, most notably the one on the waterfront at Fowey. There is car parking and toilets at the top and acces to the cove is by a steepish track. Takes about five mins to walk down and although there is no lifeguard, there is some life saving equipiment, so get in and have a lovely swim. There also is another momento of the Warspite at the top in the shape of a wooded spar from the ship stuck upright on the top.

Prussia Cove today.

Prussia Cove today.
Prussia Cove with the Warspite.

Prussia Cove with the Warspite.

Marazion is a small place but extremely picturesque, mainly because of the looming presence of St. Michael’s Mount, just a few hundred yards offshore. The town has plenty of galleries and craft shops to poke about in, and you can catch the ferry to the island from near the Goldolphin Hotel when the tide is in. Otherwise you can walk across the tidal causeway to the island, which is always something of a thrill. The island is run by the National Trust and it is well worth a visit to get to see the castle at the top. Also, from here you will get a panoramic view of where the Warspite was finally cut up.

The superb view from the Goldolphin Hotel.

The superb view from the Goldolphin Hotel.

Another reminder of those days is a memorial stone to H.M.S. Warspite on the coast path near the end of the causeway on the mainland.

The memorial stone near the end of the causeway.

The memorial stone near the end of the causeway.

There are plenty of places to eat and drink in Marazion, but two of my favourites are the Goldolphin Hotel which besides serving Doombar beer (my favourite), and great meals, has a stunning view of St. Michael’s Mount.

The Kings Arms.

The Kings Arms.

Another great pub is the Kings Arms, right in the middle of the town. Again the pub serves tasty meals and has Proper Job and Tribute beer. Between the two establishments you will be able to sample the ‘Holy Trinity’ of Cornish beer. Enjoy.

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The Wreck of the Conqueror https://www.submerged.co.uk/wreck-conqueror.php https://www.submerged.co.uk/wreck-conqueror.php#respond Tue, 25 Nov 2014 16:32:34 +0000 http://www.submerged.co.uk/?p=3187 The Conqueror is the ship that started it all for me. I had always been interested in shipwrecks, and had already dived on many. But until the Conqueror, I had not really thought about documenting them. In the 70’s and 80’s, Devon and Cornwall seemed to attract an abnormal amount of shipwrecks, and I spent many happy hours climbing precariously down cliffs and scrambling over rocks to examine them.
The Conqueror was the first of these wrecks, stranded on the rocks off Penzer Point near Mousehole.

The Conqueror.

The Conqueror.

The Conqueror was a modern freezer trawler built by Hall, Russel & Co Ltd in Aberdeen1965, for the Northern Trawlers Company. By 1977 she had undergone a major refit to extend her freezer capacity, and left her home port of Hull to go mackerel fishing in Cornwall. On the 26 December 1977 she was off Penzer Point with 250 tons of mackerel on board when she ran into bad weather, and ran aground on the rocks nearby, in the darkness of the early morning. None of her 27 crew were hurt or injured and it was something of a mystery why the wrecking took place, as although the winds were blowing force eight, the sea was relatively calm. In any event the Penlee lifeboat was called and swiftly took of most of the crew to nearby Newlyn, leaving the skipper, Charles Thresh, and three others on board to see if they could help refloat her. By now the engineering steering flat and the tunnel to the engine room was full of water, with the stern firmly aground on the rocks.

Hard aground off Penzer Point.

Hard aground off Penzer Point.

The Trinity House vessel Stella, and the trawlers Farnella and Junella stood by the stricken vessel until the salvage tug Biscay Sky turned up with some huge water pumps. Meanwhile the skipper and his mates had tried to patch some of the worst holes and got the pumps working. The salvage team continued the hard work, and were within a couple of days of being ready to pull her off, when the weather turned nasty again. A sudden gale blew up, and left the Conqueror with a 45 degree list, and submerged from the stern to midships. On the 21 January 1978 the salvage divers reported that she was now too badly holed to get off, so they packed up their gear and the Conqueror was abandoned to the sea.

They had already removed some of the engine.

They had already removed some of the engine.

It was a few days after she had been abandoned that I went to see her for myself. If you look closely at the photos, you will see a rope ladder hanging from the bow. I scrambled up that with my mate, and together we made our way towards part of the engine room. Although the stern was firmly grounded it was still twisting in the waves, and as the tide set in the waves bounced off the stern plates with a noise like a gong. The water right at the stern was pulsing up towards us with every new wave and the deck was slippery with oil. With the whole ship canted over on her starboard side, it was hard to keep our footing. All thought of getting a souvenir disappeared as the water got closer to us. The stern seemed to be twisting even more, and the banging got louder. We slipped and slid back to the rope ladder and thankfully climbed down to the safety of the rocks.

This was taken about five years after she stranded.

This was taken about five years after she stranded.

The Conqueror stayed stuck on the rocks for some years before she finally slipped beneath the waves. She became something of a local tourist attraction, so much so, that in the early days the Police had to re- route traffic around Mousehole as it was getting completely grid locked.

What a sorry end to a fine ship.

What a sorry end to a fine ship.

I finally got to dive the wreck in August 1990, so anything I say here will be ancient history. Parts of it must have been quite shallow, as my Logbook states that there was quite a lot of kelp on her, and that she was quite broken up, but in big pieces, and lots of them, with a few nets wrapped around the crane areas. The wreck is lying more or less upright, and the deepest part is in about 20 meters. Vis was about 20 feet, so for the photographer it will be quite interesting.

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Cyprus Shipwreck Trail https://www.submerged.co.uk/cyprus-shipwreck-trail.php https://www.submerged.co.uk/cyprus-shipwreck-trail.php#comments Fri, 17 Oct 2014 15:21:27 +0000 http://www.submerged.co.uk/?p=3123 Within easy reach of Paphos are two shipwrecks. The first is on the road out towards Coral Bay at a hotel called the Capital Coast. You cant miss it, and there is plenty of room to park off road. At first sight you might think that it is just another ship anchored in the Bay. However, it is in fact stuck upright on a low reef, that just shows above the waves. The ship is called the Demetrios 11 and was a cargo ship, built in 1964 by J. J. Sietas, at their shipbuilding yard in Hamburg-Neuenfelde, Germany. The Honduran-flagged M/V Demetrios II ran aground off Paphos Lighthouse on 23 March 1998 in heavy seas, during a voyage from Greece to Syria with a cargo of timber.

The Demetrios,easily seen from many places on the road to Coral bay.

The Demetrios,easily seen from many places on the road to Coral bay.

At the time of the accident, the ship had eight crew members, 4 Greeks, 2 Pakistanis and 2 Syrians. The crew were rescued and airlifted to the safety of Paphos by a British Military Helicopter. In the investigation that followed it was found that the Greek Captain and the Pakistani First officer were operating with forged competency certificates. It was considered to expensive to drag the ship off the reef and so it has been left to break up, but astonishingly it has survived many storms and a small earthquake and is still stuck fast sixteen years later.(I saw it in 2014) The map starts at the Bus station, but anywhere along the front will do.

A plan was proposed to drag the wreck off the reef and sink it as an attraction for divers, but the authorities concluded that it was in too bad a state and might well disintegrate and end up on the beach. So there she sits waiting for her end.

Here you can see the reef she is stuck on.

Here you can see the reef she is stuck on.

Although she is some way offshore you can take good photos of her with any half decent camera, and if you are really keen for a close up, you can get a boat trip around her from Phaphos harbour. The second shipwreck, the Edro 111, is a few miles along the same road towards Peyia and the beautiful Sea Caves area. This wreck is right on the shore and at first glance from the road above, it looks as if it is at the bottom of someone’s garden, and it almost is.

The Edro 111, almost at the bottom of this Villa's garden.

The Edro 111, almost at the bottom of this Villa’s garden.

To get down to the shipwreck you have to get off the main road and go down Sea Caves Avenue. This unsurprisingly takes you past the Sea Caves hollowed out of the cliffs. The water here is gin clear and azure blue and I found the whole area very atmospheric. (again you can get a boat trip for a closer inspection) The road weaves its way down through fields of banana plantations, with villas dotted around, covered in brilliantly coloured bougainvillea, towards the shore where the Edro 111 lies hard up against the rocks. So how did she manage to fetch up there? The Edro 111, of 2517 tons, is eighty three meters long and was on a voyage from Limasol to Rhodes carrying a cargo of plasterboard. She left on 7 December 2011 in bad weather and soon the strong winds and heavy seas caused the vessel to drift off course. About ten miles from Paphos, she struck a rock and became disabled, drifting at the mercy of the storm until she finally went ashore near Peyia about 5 o clock on the morning of 8th December.

You can easily view this wreck from all angles.

You can easily view this wreck from all angles.
You can easily view this wreck from all angles.

You can easily view this wreck from all angles.
You can easily view this wreck from all angles.

You can easily view this wreck from all angles.
You can easily view this wreck from all angles.

You can easily view this wreck from all angles.

A helicopter of the British Army stationed in Limassol, winched seven of the nine crew members of the ship up. They were brought ashore where they were given precautionary medical check-ups. The captain and the chief engineer remained on board. The crew comprised seven Albanians and two Egyptians. The Edro III was built in 1966 by Kaldnes Mekaniske Verksted at Tonsberg in Norway, and at the time of the accident was registered at Freetown in Sierra Leone. Although it is not clear how they will get the ship off the rocks (they don’t have our tide range) the plan is still to refloat and repair her.

The atmospheric Sea Caves.

The atmospheric Sea Caves.
The great beach at Agios Georgios.

The great beach at Agios Georgios.

By this time you will probably be ready for a drink and a swim, so I recommend that you get back on the main road and continue up to Agios Georgios a couple of miles away. This has a great monastery, a fabulous sandy beach, with beautiful clear water to swim in, with a small beach café. It also has free parking. Enjoy. If you zoom the bit of the map with the red mark, you can see the Edro111

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Wreck of Romanie at Polridmouth Bay https://www.submerged.co.uk/wreck-romanie-polridmouth-bay.php https://www.submerged.co.uk/wreck-romanie-polridmouth-bay.php#respond Wed, 02 Apr 2014 16:26:53 +0000 http://www.submerged.co.uk/?p=3052 Cornwall has so many wrecks that you can literally trip over them, and that’s just what I did with the wreck of the Romanie whilst I was on a walk out to the Daymark on Gribben head. I had often seen the Daymark from the sea as I pottered around Fowey in my boat, and so decided to struggle up to the top of Gribben Head to see it properly.

Gribben Head

Gribben Head

The walk of about two miles, started in the car park near Menabilly farm. This is provided by the farmer, and as you make your way along the footpath down to Polridmouth Bay, you come across his farm with a milk churn on the path for you to pay the 50p parking fee. The path is well signed and easy walking down to the bay, with lots of sheep and cows in the adjacent fields, and masses of primroses in the grassy walls lining the path. (I was there in the early spring) When I got to Polridmouth bay, locally pronounced Pridmouth, I saw that the path led off to the right for Gribben Head, so I wandered down to the beach to have a look around. Over to the right of the bay I saw some strangely shaped rocks, and when I looked at them through the tele-photo lens of my camera, I saw that they were not rocks at all, but the twisted metal of a shipwreck. I was delighted. A walk is all very well, but a shipwreck is far more interesting, especially one with an unusual connection.

Wreckage.

Wreckage.

This part of Cornwall is Du Maurier country, because Daphne du Maurier, the world famous author, lived here for many years, and used the county as a backdrop for most of her books. One of her most famous books is ‘Rebecca’ written in 1938. Years ago when Du Maurier had first visited Fowey, she had walked across to Pridmouth bay and seen a wrecked boat on the beach. Years later she made that beach the setting for Rebecca’s murder and the wreck of her boat.

Rebecca

Rebecca

So what was the boat, and how did it come to be wrecked on the beach?

Wreckage on the beach.

Wreckage on the beach.

The wreck was called the Romanie and she was a steel three masted sailing vessel with an auxillary engine. Built in 1918 in Holland, she was originally called the Ymuiden. She was just over a hundred feet long, and around 260 tons. On January 16th 1930 she was on a voyage from Fowey to Par in ballast. Caught out by a sudden storm, she lost power and was flung up on the rocks a Polridmouth bay. Her Captain, H.Tielemans and all of his crew managed to get off the boat and safely to shore. There was no point in trying to salvage her, so she was left to go to pieces.

Gribben Head

Gribben Head

After the excitement of finding the wreck, it was time to wend my way up the path towards the Daymark on Gribben Head. It’s a bit of a climb, but the views out across the sea, especially towards the Dodman are spectacular and well worth the effort. The daymark is a sort of castelated Greco Gothic square tower which was erected in 1832, enabling seafarers to easily find the entrance to Fowey harbour.However it is not the first beacon to be on the site. Iron Age people and medieval farmers used it as a lookout point and in Elizabethan times Gribben Head was one of the chain of beacon sites, which in 1588, helped carry the news to London of the approaching Spanish Armarda.

Inscription

Inscription

Just north west of the daymark are the remains of an old signal station, one of many established along the south coast to bring warning of a possible French invasion. During daytime, signals were relayed with flags and balls, and at night they used lights and fires.

Old Signal Station.

Old Signal Station.

During the Second World War, Polridmouth bay was used as a decoy site with lights placed around a large ornamental lake to the left of the bay. The object of this was to lure ennemy bombers away from Falmouth Harbour, particularly during the build up to the D.Day landings, when over 2000 American troops were stationed in and around the town. The tower is painted every seven years, and on selected sundays you can climb to the top. Good luck to you. (see National Trust)

The Tower.

The Tower.

Once you are back at the car park you will be in need of a drink and something to eat, and you can get all that at nearby Polkerris. The Pub is called the Rashleigh Arms and serves excellent food andale, and some rather nice wine as well. You can have everything from pasty and chips to sea bass with blushed tomatoes, or a selection of sanwiches, so you are in for a treat.

The beach at Polkerris is great for kids with lots of sand and an ancient jetty studded with old cannons.

The beach at Polkerris is great for kids with lots of sand and an ancient jetty studded with old cannons.
Old Cannons.

Old Cannons.
Map.

Map.
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