Hartford Marina Diving

Porthole Retrieval

Narrow Boat Moorings

About a week or so ago we had a request from a chap called Paul via the enquires. On talking to him, he did not want to dive or learn to dive, but he wanted divers to assist him to retrieve a rather expensive brass porthole glasswork and ring that had fallen from his narrow boat into the marina. The narrow boat was vintage 1912, and the portholes along the side were original. At first he asked us if we were a diving company. We informed him know, but provided we did not infringe any commercial contracts at the marina, we would be prepared to try and assist. So on a very wet Thursday afternoon, Bezz Williams, John Holmes and myself turned up, kitted ready to assist.

The long Walk on the Pontoon

We drove around the marina basin to the pontoon that was access to where the narrow boat ‘Clancy’ was moored. handy trollies made a long lug of kit very easy.


She was a lovely old craft and must have seen some things in its long working life. Beautifully renovated and restored she was a picture. John took on the role of planner and dropped a shot line with strobe down along where the porthole was believed to be.

in the meantime Bezz and myself unloaded our kit and prepared for the unknown.


Preparation for the Dive 1

Preparation for the Dive 2

The depth of the Marina Cut was unknown but likely to only be 5m at most. Plan was a ‘giant stride,’ though neither of us was a giant. As it worked out there was sufficient depth to execute the manouvre text book style. The water temperature was similar to that on the surface at Stoney Cove. The visibility was surprisingly good though that was to change when we went down to do the search. The bottom was similar to that at Guildenburgh, think layer of fine silt. Once in and down location of the porthole was fairly straightforward. Aligning ourselves with the porthole on the other side the shot line and strobe could be seen once we were under the hull. The very top of the porthole glass we were searching for was just visible in the silt. Removal caused a cloud of silt to be generated and the visibility became very much like a normal dive at the ‘muddy puddle.’

FInd the Bubbles

Clutching the trophy it was a quick surface and hand off to John, then back down to locate Bezz. He was not far away and we exited the water via a ladder on the opposite side of the other narrow boat. The event did attract some attention and comment, but doubtful if that will generate more revenue for the club.

John handed the porthole glass to the boat owner who was very grateful. Mission accomplished.

The prize

The Hartford Mill


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