Horsea Island, Port Solent, Portsmouth
Whats it all about Horsea Island is no longer an island. The Portsmouth Harbour Reclamation Scheme, begun in 1970, included the filling of about 160 acres of mudland which had separated it from the mainland. Initially, there were two islands, Little Horsea Island and Great Horsea Island. The Navy, needing somewhere to test and develop torpedos purchased the islands, and joined them together, finally a strip was excavated down the middle to produce a torpedo range of some 800 yards in length, this was known locally as Hush Hush Island
Horsea is a good 2 and half hours away from Kent so we met in the car park at 10.00, giving everyone a chance to find it. We had pre booked Area 2 which makes a change as this area is normally full, but due to a slight problem of a lost key for the changing rooms, we were offered Area 1. We jumped at the chance as this area is normally only open to the navy training teams.
Area 1 is right at the beginning of the site and has its own jetty, car park and showers/toilet block. The only downside was the snack van was a good 10 minutes walk away, but that’s a small price to pay when you have a whole usually restricted area to yourself.
There were 13 of us, and we got into our buddy pairs and jumped into the icy cold water (well 8 degrees isn’t that bad). There were a number buoys on the surface which marked out some of the attractions, we were able to find the Elizabethan wreck (not sure as to the authenticity of the age!) Which consisted of a number of wooden hull beams and floor boards, quite cool really. We also found the row boat and a couple of training platforms, along with what looked like magic wands, which I latter found out were welding sticks!
Dive 2 what pretty much the same as the first, there were quite a lot of moon jellyfish about and we saw a couple of crabs hiding beneath rocks. This was a good start to the 2007 season and gave everyone the chance to brush off the cobwebs in a safe environment and to get correctly weighted after the Christmas period.
Maximum depth was 8M Visibility was around 2M Water Temperature 8 Degrees