Historians can trace it from the settlement of the Moravian Duke called Wratislaw as far back as 907. In 1217 Bratislava had the freedom of the city (and remained for 200 years under Hungarian rule). In 1405 it became the Hungarian Imperial City and from 1526 to 1784 it was the main city and Crown seat of the Habsburgs in Hungary and was called Pozsony. The Pressburg Austro-French peace treaty ended the Third Coalition War in 1805. From 1825 to 1848 Bratislava was the seat of the Hungarian State Parliament and in 1919 it became Czechoslovakian.


I remember being told by a fisherman friend of mine, Ron Eglinton, who operated a shark- and deep-sea angling boat out of Newquay at the time, that during the winter he used to hand-line for mackerel out of Fowey on the Channel side of Cornwall. His boat was moored a little offshore and he and his son Garry had to cross over to it in a little fibreglass dinghy. Ron said that Donald would very often come up out of the water, propelling himself along while standing on his tail, right alongside his little boat; almost swamping it. Ron said that he knew the dolphin was just being playful but that it was extremely frightening because the water was icy cold and deep! Sadly, I was told some years later that the playful animal had been shot by fishermen. This is the wreck of the German steamer Abessinia, which lies in 16 metres on a sloping stony bank about 10 m west from the northwestern corner of Knavestone. The boilers are fairly close to the reef wall of Knavestone and stand proud of the rocky seabed amidst a huge jumble of wreckage that extends all the way along to the large Seal Gut reef. If you look hard enough there are still a few goodies to be found: brass valves, brass shell casings, the odd porthole and the huge winches still have signs of copper pipe on them. This is an excellent dive with lots of marine life about, both swimming and crawling. On one of my last dives, a very large wolf fish had taken up residence in a boiler, willing to defend itself at any cost and there were four lobsters (albeit small ones) within five square metres of the boiler. Although it is possible to dive on neap tides with care, it really is a slack water dive.

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