Miami Wreck Exploration Project

Technical diving in Miami since 1990

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Posted by Joel Svendsen on January 23, 2012 at 7:30 PM Comments comments (0)

We had an awesome Rec(wreck)/Tec dive Saturday morning on the Blue Fire off Fowey Light. The four of us (David Matt, Jody and I) did a beautiful scooter dive in 120-feet. The water was 74 to 76-degrees bottom to top with about 60-70-ft of visibility, about 2-kt current at the surface, a bit less on the bottom. We did an easy hot-drop and landed right on the wreck (Thanks Carlos)!! There is an incredible amount of soft corals growing all over the wreck. The schools of bait fish/grunts swimming and schooling around the wreck reminded me of a scene from NatGeo's Blue Ocean. Amazing to see. Most of us saw an exceptionally large Lionfish in the sand just off the bow. I noticed a couple large barracuda standing watch over the wreck. After 18-min on the wreck Jody and I scootered off to the south, looking for a second wreck. We didn't find it, but enjoyed another 24-minutes of scootering over the reefs in 90-70-feet. We saw a green Moray eel making a home in a lobster trap. We also swam over an amazingly large stingray with eyes the size of golf balls! I was staying to the west parallelling the reef and Jody was east of me. Now I understand why; the wreck he was looking for was going to be found east of the reefline. After 38-minutes we thumbed the dive. Average depth was 85-feet. Our maximum depth back on the wreck of the Blue Fire was 119-feet. Remember the Rule of 130? At this point in the dive we had no real obligation. Shot our bag and still did a short deco on Os. At 10-feet Jody got squared away and dumped his back-gas down to 500-psi in order to check out the buoyancy charisteristics of his new X7-100s. Beautiful way to enjoy a warm south Florida morning on Biscayne Bay.


Dive safe~


Berry Patch

Posted by Joel Svendsen on January 3, 2012 at 12:35 AM Comments comments (0)

Last Saturday, in truly outstanding dive conditions, we dropped on the Berry Patch (150ft), and sucessfully blazed a scooter trail to the Doc De Milly. We can now confidently scooter between the Doc De Milly, Hugo's April Fool, and the Berry Patch, all on the same dive.

Matt has some great pictures on his facebook page:


Nick C Dive Report

Posted by Joel Svendsen on January 3, 2012 at 12:30 AM Comments comments (0)

Carlos, Jody, Alex and I agreed this morning that we had probably the best diving conditions of the year. It was cool this morning, about 52-degrees, so Jody decided to take the Tiara out. Very civilized. The seas were flat calm, sky without a cloud, no wind to speak of. We got out to the dive site off Haulover Beach fairly quickly, and spent a few minutes looking for the Nick-C, AKA Merci Rabi, AKA Skeeter with the bottom finder. She's not a big target, only about 90-feet, sitting in 178-feet on a hard bottom. we found her after a couple passes. Within about 30 minutes of arriving on site, we were suited up and ready to go. Did our pre-dive check, the hot drop, not much surface current at all, powered down. As we got towards the bottom we encountered about 1.5-kts of northerly current, so we pointed the scooters south and went into the current for about three minutes. We were at the right depth, and sure enough, just as the seeds of doubt were starting to ma nifest, she started to come into view. Visibility was about 60-feet, and the light at depth was fairly bright, not as gloomy as typical for this depth today. We came up around midship on her port side, scootered aft along her port side, went to the sand near her shrouded propeller, and as we came around her stern intruded upon the serenity of a 7-ft Nurse Shark laying on the bottom. Nice. Scootered up to the bow, and moved aft again along her port side main deck companionway. On her aft deck is a hatch opening to take you into her interior, today guarded by a very large Lionfish! Here we clipped off our scooters. Jody, always the gentleman allowed me to go in in the number one position. He (the Lionfish) flaired his fins, but then backed down into a hole, then tried to come back out as I passed over him, but my fins knocked him back down, and he stayed away as Alex and Jody followed me into the ship. Good sized generator mounted on centerline just forward of t he hatch, swam over it and went through a doorway into the forward space, aft of the chain locker. Easy swim-thru. Popped-up on the foredeck, and swam back aft to collect our scooters. We moved aft again over the transom, and here Alex and I compared the performance of our T-16 scooters, his with the original three-bladed prop, and mine with a new four-bladed prop. We did a run along the starboard length of the ship. Once we were back up near the bow, we called the dive on time (:20), and started our ascent.
At our switch, Alex shot the large yellow marker, Jody ran the deco. There was great visibility and virtually no Moon Jellies!! Water was about the same temperature, 76-degrees top to bottom, I felt no thermocline. I was warm the entire dive in my 3mm wetsuit, with hooded vest. Alex's TLS seemed to be less of a "Leaky Suit" today.
For my last dive of the year, it sure was a good one. Wish you were here!!!
Enjoy your trip.
Stay in touch.
Best regards,

Rick Thomas

Dove the Doc De Milly today

Posted by Joel Svendsen on December 17, 2011 at 8:45 PM Comments comments (0)

Good vis, only a slight current and finally no jellyfish! Found Hugo's April Fool, but missed the "Berry Patch". Will have to try again for that one :).

Another big, shallow scooter dive

Posted by Joel Svendsen on September 25, 2011 at 8:10 PM Comments comments (0)

This weekend found blue water, and a little bit of current.  On one dive, 80ft average, 110FT maximum depth, 45minutes bottom time, we scootered:

727 Tail Section
Princess Britney
Paraiso III
Rio Miami
Sarah Jane
DEMA Trader

The 727 mid fusealage section was missing from the 727 site in 115FT.  I'm pretty sure that this is the same section which we recently found sitting next to the Sea Taxi in 110FT.  So we now know where the wingbox, tail, and main fuselage are sitting.  The missing piece is the must be out there somewhere......

Big shallow scooter dive

Posted by Joel Svendsen on September 18, 2011 at 5:45 PM Comments comments (0)

This Saturday we did a big scooter dive.  60 minutes bottom time, average depth just over 70ft.  We started on the Orion, in 100FT, and continued to the Belzona One, Belzona Three, Belzona Two, Belcher Barge, Parker III Barge, Schruger's Barge, Ultra Quiz houseboat, 727 wingbox, South Seas, and the Princess Britney, so a total of 11 wrecks in one dive!

The vis was not very good, seems like the clear, cool water starts at around 100ft. 

Tortuga scooter dive

Posted by Joel Svendsen on September 7, 2011 at 12:25 AM Comments comments (0)

Dove the Tortuga (110ft), and scootered to 4 other wrecks on the same dive.  Excellent dive.  Jellyfish still a problem, but much less bad than two weeks ago.   Matt and I did 30 minutes bottom time, but really needed more; 40 minutes would have been more like it. 

Pictures from Alex

Posted by Joel Svendsen on September 1, 2011 at 3:45 AM Comments comments (0)

I added some of Alex's pictures from our recent scooter adventure from the Tacoma (120ft) to the ZT202 and Sea Taxi to the Photos section:


Customs Reef and Lakeland

Posted by Joel Svendsen on August 20, 2011 at 9:20 PM Comments comments (0)

Made a scooter dive today, hitting all three wrecks of the customs reef, plus the Lakeland and Lakeland debris field.  140FT average for 35 minutes.  Great water on the bottom, 78 degrees or so with 60+ft of vis, but very heavy jellyfish and murky vis from 70ft to the surface.   Thankful the really cold upwelling water seems to be passing....

Watson Island and ZT202

Posted by Matthew W. Hoelscher on March 23, 2011 at 10:57 AM Comments comments (0)

Saturday March 19th we dove the Watson Island Barge in 156ft of water. Visibility was good at 60ft and the seas were calm, no current. The barge has some good growth and is perfect for Lionfish. We found over 25 in all shapes and sizes. Mostly in the corners, but some were also hanging around the deepwater seafans. 

On the way up, a Bull shark circled us at the edge of visual range from 50 to 30ft to make things more interesting. 

2nd dive was on the ZT202 barge. Visiblity was green at about 40ft. The water cleared as we moved shallower to the Sara Jane. We hit the Dema Trader and then ended on the Proteus.

Our dive plan with the captain had us heading to the Sheri-lynn but we got off corse. After shooting the liftbag, a small fishing boat buzzed our bag while we were at 40ft. Our team came over and was greeted with profanity and claims to the life bag, "We saw it first! We saw it first!" Followed by accusations of shooting "jewfish" and threats of calling the Coast Guard. 

Like the Bull shark, this little fishing boat circled our support boat until after we boarded safely. We politely gestured to the over boat to invite them over and show them what a Gavin scooter is. They declined the opportunity to be proven wrong. 

Speacial thanks to David and Carlos for going above and beyond the call of surface support duty by fighting off wacky fisherman!