The SS Sphene near Port Isaac has been on the ocean floor since 1946 resulting in excellent anemone coverage and fishlife.
|Name Dive Site:||S.S. Sphene|
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The S.S. Sphene was a 57m long 815 ton coal carrying coaster that sank on 6 Feb 1946 after striking the Mouls in bad weather. It has been the mainstay of many BSAC clubs every time they come to dive the north coast of Cornwall. Lying on a sandy bottom and in a ship shape it makes it an easy site to navigate, being relatively shallow at between 23-29m, depending on the tide, gives you a reasonable bottom time.
Standing up nearly 4m at the stern and around 3m at the bow the midships have now collapsed, the starboard side has folded over on itself and the port side has fallen over the hull itself. The bow section is starting to collapse and while you can swim into it, it isn't recommended with the weight of chain and winches above it. The stern section is still fairly intact, the deck has gone leaving the single boiler and expansion engine exposed with all the associated pipework. The rudder and propellor are also still in place.
There is always plenty of life on the wreck, from Lobsters to Congers and from Tompot Blennies to Pollack, all in their masses. The stern section is covered in Plumose Anemones with some Dahlia Anemones, Jewel Anemones can be found plentiful along the port side. The flat areas where the port side has fallen over is covered in a smattering of pink Sea Fans.
Whilst it is an easy and pleasant dive, due to it's depth it is required that you have an Advanced Open Water qualification or equivalent with a wreck speciality. It is best dived at slack water, 1 hour after HW/LW on spring tides or 30 minutes after HW/LW on neap tides. Although we have found that slack water can start a lot earlier and last a very long time on this site. Suggested launch sites are either Port Gaverne or Rock, beware launching at LW spring tides in Rock now.
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