One of the Welsh 100 activities is ‘Dive the Wrecks off the Dale Peninsula”. There are hundreds of ship wrecks off the coast of Pembrokeshire, and the Dale Peninsula is a rich area for wrecks, the water is crystal clear and it’s an easy place to get to. For a full list visit the Dive Pembrokeshire website – http://www.dive-pembrokeshire.com/wreck1.html. Therefore, logic suggests that this an ideal place to go diving. Hmmm…Well I’ve done my PADI 1 diving certificate, but that was in a swimming pool, and nowhere near the open sea. Neither Aunty nor I have any diving equipment other than a wet suit each. So doing the actual diving was never really an option. But if we bend the rules and pretend that we couldn’t dive because the tide was out, will you let us off and allow us to claim this one?
On a recent walk around the Dale Peninsula with friends we had lunch, an important activity, on Mill Bay beach. This small hidden beach has a played it’s part in history, but more on this in another blog. Now back to the what we found. Sticking out of the sand near a bank of rocks wreckage was strewn across the flat expanse. These were the remains of HMS Barking, a Boom Defence Vessel built during the Second World War, being commissioned in December 1941. A Boom Defence Vessel was responsible for laying, maintaining and removing defensive booms and nets across harbours and sometime around individual or groups of ships, to protect them from attack by submarines. After the war finished she finished her service in Freetown, until 1964 she was sold for scrap. Then on route to Briton Ferry she broke free from the towing tug and was wrecked of Mill Bay. After being heavily salvaged, only the base plates remained to mark her ships grave. We had a mooch around but there really wasn’t much to see, and so after lunch we moved on.