It is strongly recommended to do the first dives on the wreck without any penetration, making sure that you can recognise the waypoints and the topography of the site. You can get an impression of the dimensions, layout, and specially, starting to make up your mind for when you’re travelling horizontally, when reality maps a vertical movement on the wreck to horizontal. Something that I didn’t do, and it cost me a few dives more to be aware of the wreck layout.
The first dive into the wreck started descending on the line attached to the bow at the lounge deck. The first thought that crossed my mind when I saw it was: Is this all? This is just a flat metallic plate full of growth! I couldn’t be more wrong, for many reasons!
As soon as we touched ground, we started the penetration, straight into the Bolshoi Lounge where we had a good look around. You can still see some of the tables, and there is a really good backlit image, if you haven’t mess with the silt yet. A good indication of the level of details that this wreck has, is that in this dive, I totally missed the two chandeliers on the virtual ceiling (side wall physically), which I saw on the following dives: there are so many artifacts to look at, and you can’t be on a rush to visit it.
With the first moments of Where am I? thoughts, and the impression of the first dive on this wreck, everything looks spectacular.
We swam towards the bow, making our way directly to the wheelhouse and the main tower, this is a part of wrecks that I always like: it’s where usually the communications antennas, radars, visualization decks and controls are. Also, I think they are really beautiful with the backlight, looking towards the surface from the other side. If you pay attention to this, you can still find some nice details.
Swimming into the massive mast, I was impressed of the size of the radar radome, still there, despite it was probably made of a composite material. From the top of the tower (the most eastern part in reality), we swam back along it until reaching again the compass platform and the bridge deck, to start our way towards the stern, recognizing the top deck. The visibility was only around 5 meters, not allowing taking the proper perspective to map the cruise on your head, as it happened. The trick here is to start building in your head sections of it and connect them later.
Looking into some corners, we saw the elevator door on the upper floor, and wire wheels on the back as well. The elevator seems just like a hatch, as you mind may not associate the horizontal shape. Turn your head, and you will recognize an elevator door.
After having a look at the stern, we swam towards the bow again, but with a brief stop at the pool. You can see the tiles on the pool’s floor, and it’s a beautiful view to look towards the windows, it is a mandatory stop as well the Neptun bar, still with the stools.
Swimming up (so we wouldn’t change decks) we started our way back to the bow trhough the Winter Garden. On this way, I had a chance to stick my head on the hairdresser and the cinema, which really made an impression on me to see how all the seats lining there, and the lights hanging.
Exiting just after passing the Nevsky bar where the lobby is located, and before the door, we went to have a look at the end of the bow. Unfortunately, the name of the wreck is covered by marine growth already. We ended the dive on the line, after swimming twice what it was still for me a massive piece of metal.
Dive technical details:
Dive time: 63 minutes
Maximum depth: 27,4m
Average depth: 18,3m
Water Temperature: 13ºC
Gas: Nx 25%