By Dave Moran, underwater images Pete Mesley
Pete’s cheeky face peeked into our cabin, ‘Hey guys how about the engine room tomorrow?’
‘Sure’ I reply.
My son-in-law, Tim Prestidge in the bunk above said ‘wow’.
Pete replied, ‘Mate it will be awesome, blow your socks off!’
Tim and I had been diving the wreck for three days. It was Tim’s first wreck dive.
Diving the Lermi (Lermontov) can sometimes be challenging due to water temperature, visibility on the outside of the wreck being limited to three to four metres which was the case on this early September expedition.
Inside the wreck visibility was pushing a dusty 10 metres depending if you were the first divers to enter a particular area.
Tim and I had spent most of our dives exploring the outside of the wreck and ducking into easily accessible
areas such as the bridge, Bolshoi lounge, radio room and detouring out to the end of the amazing horizontal-lying
funnel with its many exhaust pipes.
We zipped down to 25 metres to check out the gash which runs over 12 metres in the ship’s hull which ended the life of one of the Soviet Union’s prestige cruiseliners.
The 176m long liner is lying on her starboard side in 36 metres with her shallowest super structure at 12 metres in Port Gore, which is situated on the northern end of New Zealand’s South Island’s west coast.
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