After a torpedo strike to its port side, the 3,600-tonne steamship Maine came to rest less than 1 nm off Bolt Head where it now sits upright on a white sandy sea bed, the deck at 22m with the stern at 34m.
There’s good water clarity and it’s reasonably intact, apart from amidships where it has collapsed. The fore and aft holds are filled with fish. There seems to be different fish here to elsewhere – a lot of tompot blennies and schools of bib, with lobsters, crabs, scallops and an old conger at the bow.
First dived in 1961 by Torbay BSAC – who purchased the wreck for £100 – the Maine is a slack-water dive due to the strong current. At springs, it should be dived two hours after high water or two and a half hours after low water. It’s a long drive out of Plymouth to get to the Maine and Plymouth Sound Dive Club get to make it three or four times a year. When conditions are right, a dive can be planned to catch slack water – we just need to keep an eye on our e-mails.