The recent reports of the discovery of the wreck on HMS Gloucester brought back memories of finding the wreck of HMS Dartmouth back in 1973. We found it on the first dive of a two week diving holiday in Oban - how lucky can you get! It is hard to describe the feeling of excitement when you find a 16 inch high bell stuck to the side of a cannon.
Details of the wreck are here
The Dartmouth was the second wreck to be scheduled under the 1973 Protection of Wrecks Act.
We did a lot of research into the wreck and its history and that was really fascinating as well. One of our group, John Adnams was a very keen researcher and uncovered a paper in Kings College libaray in Cambridge called 'Ye Vitualling of Ye Majesties Ships of Warre'. This used the Dartmouth as an example of a 5th rate frigate and it listed every item of stores that it carried, including 9 tuns of ale - an allowance of 8 pints per man per day, albeit of fairly low alcohol strength. Water would go bad but the hops in the ale preserved it.