Our worksite yesterday – whilst much of Britain basked in the sunshine, this is what faced us at Lundy. With waves over 2 metres high, it was not a diving day.
Fortunately, we prepare for this eventuality and carried out a condition survey dive of the wreck of the Confederate blockade runner Iona II for Historic England. The wreck of the Iona is on the sheltered eastern side of Lundy. Designated under the Protection of Wrecks Act, the Clyde-built Iona is considered to be a nationally important historic wreck. Caught in a storm at the start of its crossing of the Atlantic in January 1864, the battered ship sank just after it reached the shelter of the island, fortunately without loss of life. Today the wreck is evidence of the extensive covert assistance given by British shipbuilders, businessmen and sailors to the Southern states during the American Civil War. The dependence of the Southern states upon slavery means that this support remains a highly controversial aspect of our history. If you want to dive the wreck or simply know more about it, then visit the Iona II Dive Trail pages on The Landmark Trust website.
With the improving weather, we hope to be on the wreck site of the Montagu today.