Togo was born at the Robert Thompson and Sons shipyard in Newcastle (England) in 1882 . A pioneer of modern ships, its construction is innovative: steel, five watertight bulkheads, double hull. She is sailing and steaming : 3 masts and a 208 HP engine . Togo measures 76 m long by 10.35 m wide and has a tonnage of 1,640 tons. It is a large ship and its crew is accordingly: 25 men. The Compagnie Havraise Péninsulaire bought the ship and renamed it Ville de Valence. This company will own up to 16 ships, the largest of which was the City of Paris measuring 3,500 tons. In 1906 it was sold to the Becchi Lalagno Company of Savona. He therefore sailed under the name of Amor. It was in 1912 that he was baptized Togo after the acquisition made by the Genoese company Ilva. After the fruits, it is the charcoal that Togo transports throughout the Mediterranean. He came out of the First World War almost unscathed, but on May 12, 1918, he struck a 150 kg mine left by the submarine UC 35 (coastal minelayer). Like the Donator and the Greek later, Togo is cut in half and sank immediately.
Fifty nine years later the biologist and diver Richard Calmes found it : “That day, I was instructed by the Cavalaire Nautical Club to anchor 3 buoys for a regatta. On my way to the prescribed area, I suddenly read an echo 10 to 12 m high on my sonar. I thought it was a rock. The fishermen too, because they successfully wedged their nets there. But sometimes the fishing gear got stuck despite the tranquility of the site. When I got off I was surprised to find a boat covered in netting. What emotion ! The boat was completely pristine. "
Another mythical wreck with the Donator and the Ruby. It is a difficult dive to prepare carefully because the depth is important . The Togo is placed flat on a sandy bottom sloping slightly, the bow towards the beach of Cavalaire. The wreck requires several dives because it is vast: 60 m long, and deep .
The descent into the blue for 47 m is a pure moment of happiness. Finally the immense metal carcass appears. The foredeck is 47-48 m . It is fun to step forward a few meters in front of the bow and turn around towards the ship. We have the impression that Togo is rushing on you . The prospect with the sand 8 m lower is sumptuous. Going along the flanks of Togo does not bring much (apart from the vision of the gorgonians) and reduces the diving time. It is best to stick to the openings along the bridge. On the bow two magnificent jas anchors are still visible . You can enter the front castle which is lit very dimly by four portholes. A little further towards the stern the open hatches lead to the holds . These are empty except for the remains of coal. A huge winch occupies the axis of the ship. Togo's central superstructures have disappeared. They were probably made of wood, as were the slats of the bridge. Behind the superstructures you can visit the galley . The cast iron stove blistered by rust is still present as well as some utensils. You can also see the sanitary facilities. Outside the davits seem to be waiting for their rowboat . The chimney has disappeared, the hole is gigantic, two divers could almost enter it. After the superstructures and passageways, you come to the aft deck across which a mast rests. Then it is the break at 61 m in the sand . You can enter Togo and carefully visit the engine room which is gigantic . Huge devices, grilles bathe in a sublime blue-green glow. The stern is about 300 meters on a bottom of 68 m. You can see the rudder and the propeller .
GORGONS! Indeed the main attraction of Togo concerning fauna and flora are the huge red gorgonians which colonized it. These are sometimes a meter wide and give it a ghostly appearance . They are sometimes so dense that you have to find another passage to visit the passageways of the ship. The holds conceal some congers . We dive among clouds of anthias and castagnoles closely watched by dentis . It is possible to see grouper , but these unlike other sites remain very suspicious. On the sand at the level of the break you can have the chance by turning around in the blue to surprise a sunfish .