|Posted by Joel Svendsen on January 3, 2012 at 12:30 AM|
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.