|Posted by Joel Svendsen on May 8, 2012 at 12:25 AM|
Saturday Morning; Cinco de Mayo-2012. Carlos at the helm; a dive team of three: Jody, David and myself. Seas were 2-3 with the occasional 4, but diminishing. We arrived on-site just before 9am to beautiful dive conditions: half-knot of current, 78-degree water and about 40-50-feet of visibility.
We splashed in, formed up fairly quickly and descended as a team to the bottom at 135-feet. Carlos dropped us almost directly on top of the Tacoma; she was only about 20-feet to the south of us. We scootered over to the Tacoma, and swam along its port-side going aft just above the sand. Saw a couple Lion Fish near the rudder-posts, a queen angel, some nice live corals as well. We went up onto the wreck, and entered the superstructure for a quick swim thru (around), came back out and went forward on the wreck. Visibility was around 50-feet so team awareness wasn't difficult. Good thing, I brought out my Sealife 1200 camera for the first time. (Photos of the dive are uploaed onto our Yahoo Group Page; http://groups.yahoo.com/group/miamiwreck/photos/album/601488635/pic/list).
Jody lead us off the Tacoma to what I believe is the wreck of the Sherry-Lynn. On the way we passed by a large steel cylinder, about eight-feet diameter x about 20-ft long. We didn't spend much time on the second wreck. Enough so we could do a circuit around her, noticing large schools of spade-fish, a couple small baracuda as well. Jody took a heading from the Sherry-Lynn and we scootered across the desolate sand bottom towards the Sea Taxi (we hoped). About three minutes into the transit Jody adjusted course a little more easterly... and two minutes later we swam right up to the bow of the wreck. She's not been down very long, only about three years, so all-in-all she looks pristine. We swam down into the large cargo holds (nothing much to see there) and then swam up the aft engine room exhaust riser to the upper deck. From here Jody asked us if we wanted to extend our planned 40-min BT by 5-minutes, we all entheusastically said yes! The water was warm enough that even after the long scooter transits we weren't cold. We had plenty of gas. We swam forward, followed a flight of stairs up into the wheelhouse, then back down onto the main deck. We swam back aft again where we hit "time" and needed to shoot the bag. Jody ran the deco, I shot the bag with David's assistance. Our bag went up at :47 Run Time, using my large 78" yellow Halcyon marker buoy.
We made our ascent and were only about two or three minutes into our 20-foot stop when we had a visitor. (Of course my camera was put away in my pocket)!! A Loggerhead sea turtle, maybe about 5-ft tip-to-tip came up to check us out. We were strung out in a line, with maybe eight feet between each of us. The turtle comes first to Jody, eye-to-eye, maybe three feet away... then languidly swims over to me; same thing, eye-to-eye about two-to-three feet away from me... then a moment later swam over to the Oracle. No sooner did he look into David's eyes, the turtle turned and swam back down towards the bottom, making haste!! This was a nice 'moment' in deco, it doesn't happen very often. We were out of the water after :72 run time.
All back on board with plenty of gas. Awesome dive my friends!
~ Rick Thomas