Filmmakers from Sakhalin, together with divers, dived to the bottom of Aniva Bay and filmed the Japanese escort ship CD112, which sank in 1945 near Cape Anastasia. One of the divers went around the ship on a scooter.
We conducted the first expedition, the purpose of which was to obtain video footage of the sunken ship, at the beginning of June. Of the former participants who searched for the ship in 2020, three remained – me, Yan Dyatlov and Alexey Nesmeev. One of our searchers, diving instructor Alexey Ilin, died in Ukraine in March of this year.
When we gathered to photograph the ship in June, we formed a matriarchal search and dive community. Two girls and Jan. The rest is a support group.
I have to admit that we didn’t think everything through then and we prepared very well, which affected the result. Such immersion requires a concentration of forces – moral, physical, intellectual. It requires serious organization. However, there were limitations that determined the level of funding. Too much had to be done “on bare enthusiasm”.
As a result, when on the third day of the expedition we finally started the main event – diving, it turned out that there was a strong current in the right place. So strong that divers could not overcome it, and descent to the ship was possible only with the help of a guide cable.
Basically, if we consider this expedition as exploratory and the dive as trial, then we have achieved our goals. Conducted observations, measured the speed and direction of the current, clarified the location of the ship. Mounted buoy.
CD112 lies at a depth of 37 meters. With conventional compressed air, a diver can stay at this depth for only 10 minutes. After that, when you climb, you still need to perform “decastops” – hang at different depths for 15 and 5 minutes.
There is a strong current at the bottom, additional currents twisting around the ship, raising a turbidity from the mud. At that time, the divers were unable to photograph the ship, although they had two cameras equipped with powerful underwater lights. But I was able to see it!
All summer long, the “Pirates of the Sea of Okhotsk” drove and dunked visiting tourists into the sea. They didn’t like the pictures. I also spent half a summer traveling through film studios and labs working on two other films.
In September, Jan ran into a log while avoiding Cape Krylon. The boat’s propeller blades were bent. While Jan repaired the propellers, I puzzled over the movement of water masses in the waters of the Sakhalin region. An interesting lecture was given to me by the professor from the laboratory of the Sakhalin State University Vladimir Mikhailovich Pishtalnik.
I learned that the water movement in Aniva Bay is made up of two currents. One comes from the Sea of Okhotsk, bypassing Cape Aniva, and the other from Japan (Kuroshio branch – Soya current). The eddies are formed at the junction of the currents, but at different times of the year, depending on the temperatures, these eddies change. They spawn, spawn paired vortices, spin around hills (eg near the Peril Stone) and disintegrate.
A simple current forecast is provided by Windy. But the most interesting thing is that at the time of the change of tide there should be a change of currents. This is a short period of time in which we should have time to make a dive to the sunken ship.
Finally Jan fixed the propellers, lowered the boat into the water. At the end of September, autumn weather began to be felt. But the weekend turned out to be a quiet few days. At our ship’s location, six kilometers from Cape Anastasia, Windy is forecasting a wind of 4 m/s, a wave of 0.4 meters, a current of 0.1 knots. Perfect weather in our harsh autumn Sakhalin realities.
There is no doubt yet, we are going to the yacht club in Pervaya padi. We left here twice in 2020. The plan is this – with minimal supplies and equipment we quickly get to the point, dive and immediately return.
This time the Pirates of the Sea of Okhotsk team recruited divers: Captain Yan, Evgenia with her husband Sergey and Vadim. I became a trader. traditional patriarchy.
The sea is super calm. We flew to the point in two hours, as opposed to six hours of “television” in July (then we overloaded the boat). But closer to Laperouse Strait, the wave is more erratic. On the approach to Anastasia, from the kingship, everyone except the captain fell into a doze.
The sea is rocking the boat, but we are used to it and can work. While preparing to trawl, a border patrol vessel appeared from behind the bow. Leaving behind a fountain, he instantly appeared near us. VHF request. Answered according to the rules.
“Have a nice day,” the border boat wished us and, turning on the fountain again, disappeared in the direction of Otomari.
They sent the cat overboard. Last time we caught the ship on the fifth or sixth time. And this time we can’t hold each other for long.
– The ship is 50 meters away!
– The ship is below us!
“Here,” Yang suggests. “I go in a boat right over it and you drop anchor. And then I’ll go down and look for him on my scooter.
So they did.
Jan with the scooter disappears under the water, and we count down the time on the boat and carefully stare at the rough sea. Suddenly a red vertical buoy appears on the surface. This means that Yang found the ship and marked it.
We are still waiting. Sergey notices bubbles on the surface. Yang and the ship are almost below us.
Twenty minutes pass and Yang appears not far from the buoy. Then he quickly makes his way aboard the boat. We accept the pioneer, drag him on board in our arms.
– Well, do you see the ship?
– It looks very good! There are shells, take them off, something is written on them. Fired projectiles lie.
– And the weapons?
– It lies keel up, so if there are guns, then inside, it is broken in places, there are entrances. But don’t go there,” Yang says. – Corals on it, I have not seen such here.
“There can be no corals here,” says biologist Sergey.
– What is the plan of action if someone gets swept away? Vadim asks his colleagues.
– No draft. I flew it around on a scooter, then ran it over again.
Vadim and Zhenya put on spacesuits. Sergey has seasickness, refuses to dive.
To the right and left, black ichthyanders suspended by cylinders and hoses splash into the sea with a splash. We give them cameras and drag them over the side to the anchor line. Yang recalls having to free the return anchor, which was caught on the side of the sunken ship, and untie the buoy line.
They can no longer speak because they are connected to diving equipment and cannot signal that everything is okay, as divers like to show even on shore, because their hands are busy. They just nod and quickly go down so as not to waste precious air.
We are waiting. We carefully observe the surface, track the position of the buoy, fix the bubbles.
I mentally scroll through the whole project in my head, starting with the idea when in 2019 Alexander Sergeevich Chelnokov told me about the ship that sank off Cape Anastasia, about the submarine “Barb” and its brave commander Lucky Flaky. For the Pacific Lend-Lease and our Transbalt. I remember my grandfather, whom I never saw, but I saw Volodya Pankov, a fireplace man from Transbalt.
Thoughts fly past our CD112 search expeditions. Lech Ilyin, who is not with us. Voyage of “Diabaza”, when a ship with geophysicist Oleg Georgievich was discovered. My flights as a navigator on this route on large ships. How many times have I passed this place! So, the main thing is happening in these moments below us. If all goes well, we’ll finally see the ship.
Finally the boys appear under the bow of the boat and we drag them along the ropes to the stern, help them disarm and get aboard.
Everything happened. As far as possible, an image of the vessel has been obtained. We’re coming back. I ask the guys to show me the video on the camera screen. I celebrate this event with excitement.
The ship can be seen lying upside down, the guns are not visible. There was very little time to shoot. Visibility is poor. But there is the most important thing. Now those who watch the film will experience this story with us until the end, until they touch eternity, as Lyosha Ilyin said, who very much wanted to go with us to the end.
The weather is getting worse and our boat is on the wave towards Korsakov. It seems that the wave is sometimes more than two meters. The boat, now coming up the ridge and out on the glider, picks up speed, then, ahead of the wave, sticks its stern into the water again and the speed drops. Then the waves toss us, tilting so that I hold on so I don’t fly out of the chair. I sit on the upper bridge, watching the struggle with the elements and imagining this sea between two capes as a field. Live field. And here we work, live, create, think about what was and what is.
The day after the expedition, Jan sent a message saying goodbye to Lekha at the temple. Will go.
Video of underwater shooting by Vadim Legenkin and Evgenia Vyatkina.
Music by Alexander Lopatin.