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Shetlands – day 5

Divers on the stern of the Gwladmina

On our cruise back south to Lerwick from Unst, our first stop was the Gwladmina, a large Victorian steam ship which sank upright in 38m. Most of the cargo seems to have been recovered and, descending the shot line amidships, we were able to complete a circuit of the ship – bow first and then astern along the exposed prop shaft and then to stern with rudder blown off to salvage the prop.

Our first sight was the Gwladmina’s substantial boiler
Wreckage as we move aft
Deck gear fallen into the wreck, as the tops decayed during their century underwater
Almost to the stern (see top image)
We had time to view the bow as well
Is this what remains of the bosun’s stores, or perhaps the remnants of previous buoylines to the site of Gwladmina?
A brief inspection of the triple expansion steam engine as we return to the shotline for our reluctant ascent to the surface (not forgetting the deco stops…)

The second dive was not a wreck, but a scenic site for a change. The Giant’s Legs is an iconic geological feature at the southern end of Bressay, where the headland has been eroded into a series of broken stacks. Underwater, the terrain consists of series of submerged stacks. We saw many nudibranchs, but I had camera problems and had to return to the boat, before getting back into the water agains. Two dives for the price of one!

Polycera faeroensis munching on the abundant bryozoans
A tiny juvenile scorpion fish hiding amongst the kelp
An impressive Dendronotus frondosus feasting on the bryozoan mat covering the weed

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