Vobster Quay is home to not one but two Wheelhouses - the bridge sections of former coasters. Originally used to ferry goods between one place and another, these shallow-hulled in-shore vessels were real workhorses in their day.
Sitting just a few fin kicks from the Jacquin II is the first of our Wheelhouses. Lying in just 19 metres of water, this sizeable all-metal structure once sat proudly on the deck of a much larger vessel. With its maritime days long past, it now offers a fascinating playground for divers of all levels. Visting instructors will find the roof area particularly useful - with hand rails running around all four sides, it's a useful spot to 'contain' students during diver training.
Those with overhead training will relish the opportunity to penetrate the structure via doorways on either side - just remember to tuck those hoses in and have a torch ready as it's quite dark in there! Once inside, care should be taken to not stir up the fine silt as visibility can be reduced very quickly. If in doubt, stay out.
For divers happy to venture a little deeper and further afield, our second Wheelhouse can be found at a depth of 24 metres not far out from the Sea King helicopter. Much smaller in size than it's shallow brethen, this Wheelhouse can be penetrated but we'd recommend that only those with overhead environment training squeeze themselves into this attraction. Less experienced divers are advised to enjoy the wheelhouse from the outside only.
INFORMATION FOR DIVERS
Our wheelhouses are solid structures that have much to offer. Offering a great opportunity for divers to build up depth experience and take in a pair of fascinating maritime wrecks, they're well worth a visit.
The shallowest of our two wheelhouses (buoy #3) also happens to be the easiest of the two structures to access. Located not far out from the quayside, the most popular way to visit the shallow wheelhouse is to add it as a waypoint between the Jacquin wooden boat cruiser (buoy #6) and the many other dive attractions. Simply drop down onto the Jacquin II and, after a few minutes exploring it, swim to the bow and then head off in an easterly direction and you'll soon see the wheelhouse looming up ahead of you. In good viz, you can often see the wheelhouse from the Jacquin II.
Locating the second, deeper wheelhouse is a little bit more involved. By far the easiest method is to simply surface swim out to buoy #7 and drop down the line - this will put you directly on top of the structure. From here you can explore at your leisure before heading south west towards the helicopter. Look carefully and you'll discover a line tied off near the bottom of the wheelhouse which will take you back to the base of the Crushing Works.
You'd be forgiven for feeling not entirely alone near the deep wheelhouse as dotted around it are a cluster of our more unusual dive attractions - fairground Jesters. These enigmatic figures stand over 7 foot tall and have eyes that seem to follow you. Rumours of them moving of their own accord are greatly exaggerated but we don't advise you to take your eyes off them...
16 metres - Shallow wheelhouse
20 metres - Deep wheelhouse
20 metres - Shallow wheelhouse
24 metres - Deep wheelhouse
Roof of shallow wheelhouse
Loss of visibility
SAFETY FIRST: Only very experienced divers with overhead environment training should enter this dive attraction. Movement inside is restricted and the cold, darkness and depth can be very disorientating. If in doubt, DO NOT ENTER!