Freesteel Blog » Cosmo’s Boat in Liverpool Bay, Summer 2000

Summer diving in Liverpool Bay June/August 2000.

Cosmo is a Physicist in Liverpool University who owns a nice little boat called “Marlin” and frequently dives in Liverpool Bay. There many wrecks out there, all sunk by war and bad weather since there are no offshore reefs at all. Neglecting the complex channels at the mouth of the Mersey, the Bay slopes away from the land with a mud and sand bottom deepening by about ten metres every ten miles, starting at ten. Cosmo has done all the research, owns all the navigational gadgets and finds his wrecks so easily that I take it for granted. He is the author of The Wrecks of Liverpool Bay for available from Liverpool Marine Press.


Loading the boat in Liverpool Marina. The diving times are restricted by the locks since at low tide there is no water on the outside. Normally he leaves in the morning, stays out during low tide and comes back at the end of the day about ten hours later. There is a three day window for this schedule every a fortnight.


Usually it is quite a good pleasant day out, unless you get seasick, in which case ten hours is a bit too long.


Unloading at the end of the day. Our Diving Officer let a tank roll off the pontoon and had to put his gear on and dive down to get it.


It was less than three metres deep, but the weight of the tank had embedded it firmly in the sludge.


This is me about to dive over the side. My favourite wreck is The Lelia, a paddle steamer built in Liverpool and shipped to the the American Confederacy in a fatal storm to run the blockades in the Civil War.


I’ve even managed to drag Becka out on a couple of occasions in spite of her being a reluctant diver. She breaths like a mouse, so gets the small tank.


There is a not much traffic, even when the weather is fine. The fishing boat captain is giving Cosmo the location of an obstruction he’s found. Apparently the trawlers scrape the sea floor up so often that the only life left anywhere is on wrecks where their nets can’t reach.


There are gas platforms dotted about everywhere in the bay. The wreck we wanted to dive was on the boarder of the 500m exclusion zone, but since an extra platform was parked beside the fixed one, the zone grew enough to exclude us. Cosmo radio wasn’t working so we had to pull up to the guard boat and find out by shouting.


Another sunny shot of me and Becka getting kitted up with our measly single tanks and no funny gas mixtures.


Behind this better equipped diver is the gas platform cluster. I wonder where all the income from this gas mining goes.


In a moment of weakness I got someone to show me how to catch lobsters. Becka wasn’t with me that day, but she unpacked the car. When these beasts hopped out of the bag she screamed and was very disappointed in me for having caught them.


I had to dispose of them immediately, so boiled them down and ate them alone in the corner of the kitchen. It was an unhappy meal.


Liverpool was once the greatest port in the world. Now the Seacat is the only serious boat that goes out of it on a regular basis. One of these passed over us while we were diving. It reminded me of what it would be like to lie between the train tracks with a high speed train passing over.


Cosmo is luckier with his catch. His wife likes lobsters. If I catch another one I will have to find someone else to share it with in secret.