Type of dive: Shore dive on a Motor Yacht
Wreck Information: 1920s luxury motor yacht, built for Sir Thomas Sopwith. Later sold to the Shelley family. Commandeered by the Royal Navy in 1939 and used as a supply ship. In 1946, while being refitted in Ringhaddy Sound, she caught fire and sank.
Travel directions: Distance from Belfast 19 Miles 45 Mins The Alastor is on the East side of Strangford Lough. From the A22 on the East of Strangford lough follow the Ballymorran Road (2.5 miles south of the Balloo House) to a T junction, turn left, then right at the top of the hill. Follow the road to Ringhaddy Quay.
Parking directions: Park in the lay-by before the pier. Do not block access to driveways or the slip. If the layby is full park considerately along the road before the layby, tight to the hedge to allow access.
How to find the wreck: Enter the water from the beach alongside the pier (do not use the pier, it is private property), swim to the end of the pier and locate the metal pipe which leads from the north-east corner of the pier. Follow the pipe to a junction with a cable and follow the cable which runs approximately east to the stern of the wreck. The wreck is located in the sound approximately under the old lifeboat.
Lat & Long: 54 27.06 N 05 37.71 W Google map Postcode BT23 6PA
Tides; Tide tables
Depth: 20-25 m (seabed)
Dive Shop: D V Diving
Other comments: Popular shore dive. The line reaches wreck on the port side of the stern deck, which sits upright and is quite complete, making navigation easy. After exploring the stern deck, swim forwards over the superstructure There are lifeboat davits on either side of the funnel. The funnel (a mock-up to conceal the much smaller exhaust inside) is intact, and often a Conger eel can be found living at its top. Around the funnel base, several compartments and cabins can be seen from above. Continuing forward, the superstructure beams can be seen, having collapsed inwards. Nothing remains of the bridge. The spacious foredeck leads to the atmospheric bow. One notable swim-through is possible in the after part of the superstructure, which passes through a bathroom, entering and exiting through the doorways at the ends of the port and starboard galleries. Limited penetration is possible elsewhere, the hull of the wreck being filled with silt. Visibility can vary from <1 m to a stunning 10+ m (rare), usually, 2 to 3 m can be expected. Finish with a pint in the Balloo House.
Pub: Balloo House.
Created by: Penguin
Date: 24 July 2011
Wreck diagram: Contact me