MS Mikhail Lermontov

A photo from MS Mikhail Lermontov
Will the luggage fit?
A photo from MS Mikhail Lermontov
Red sky at night...
A photo from MS Mikhail Lermontov
...shepherds delight.
A photo from MS Mikhail Lermontov
Recovering the boats.

The MV Lermontov has to be one of the best wreck dives in the world. Lying intact, on it's port side in 37m of water the 157m long cruise liner, which sank in 1986, offers endless opportunities to explore. However, the notorious weather found in the Marlborough Sound used to make it a frustrating destination with a high chance of getting blown out. All that changed when the Lermontov Dive Lodge opened for business. You can now stay in the remote and stunningly beautiful Port Gore only a 5 min boat ride from the wreck.

Three SSAC tech divers teamed up with TEC Divers Australia and Dive Adventures for a week long expedition with Brent and the crew at Go Dive Marlborough. We flew to Wellington on the North Island and then it was a short hop (flying past the rocky head land where the ship ran aground and over the top of where she now lies) and a memorable landing on grass runway at one end of Port Gore. Follow this link for full account of the sinking. Finally there is a boat transfer to the lodge. It may sound like a bit of a phaff, but catching a mid morning flight we arrived with enough time to sort out the rebreather and then settle down with a sun-downer beer, the first of many great suppers and an evening spend mulling over the deck plans.

A photo from MS Mikhail Lermontov
The landing strip
A photo from MS Mikhail Lermontov
Great food and wine.
A photo from MS Mikhail Lermontov
Plenty of room to gear phaff
A photo from MS Mikhail Lermontov
Lermontov Lodge

Ryan has written up a dive report for the tecdiver blog and this article in Diver will give you a good impression of what the 10 dives were like. We had good vis (ranging from 0m in the stair wells to 20+ in places) and the water was fresh 12-13'C. To get back to civilisation you have the option of the way you came, or a long and windy road to Piction, an overnight stay (good Pizza's at the local Irish pub or add an extra day two if you want to take in the Marlborough Wineries), the ferry to windy Wellington, another nights stay (optional, but it is a nice town with good cafes/restaurants and the local museums are free) and then finally the flight home.

A photo from MS Mikhail Lermontov
Guards Bay and the view north to the Tasman Sea.
A photo from MS Mikhail Lermontov
A Lermontov lifeboat
A photo from MS Mikhail Lermontov
Picton pizza