After weeks of stormy and windy weather, a starkly cold, but otherwise good weekend of weather finally arrived. It was still too windy for diving on Saturday, and extremely cold too, but both winds and temperatures looked to moderate on Sunday, allowing for a quick sneak dive before gale force winds returned with rain and snow behind it. We gathered at the boat and begin pulling things out for a boat ride. It’s been about a month since our last trip so if felt good to be back on the boat for an ocean dive. Everyone arrived and we got loaded up. It is “trash bag season” so we broke out a new set of trash bags to cover over all the gear to keep it clean and dry on the ride out. Our plan was the City of Salisbury and the wind had dropped out enough that we felt we could make the run down to Graves. We got off the dock a little before 9 am and headed out into the cold, clear air and smoky ocean.
We had a good ride out to the wreck; the seas were mostly calm except for some slight chop. Overall, conditions were good and I was hoping with the prior NW wind, we might have good visibility too. We arrived at the City of Salisbury and our mooring was still intact, which was great because no one was keen to do line work. We picked up the mooring, dropped the lines in and got to diving. Dave, John and Tony headed in first, and the next divers followed. The deck was a little slushy, but nothing was freezing up and thanks to the light wind, it wasn’t too bad out there.
When Dave and the others returned, we got a rather grim visibility report. I suspected it wasn’t going to be good since it looked awfully pea-colored green on the surface, but sometimes it can look that way but then clear up on the bottom in this area. No. The visibility was a dark 5-7 feet. Ugh. Well, at least I didn’t feel badly about not setting up the camera with that report. Scott, Tim and I got suited up and ready for our dive. I finally broke out my new DUI XM450 undergarment. I was looking forward to a nice warm, new undergarment, but I hate breaking in a new undergarment especially a bulky one. However, this undergarment is infinitely better than the old 400G Thinsulate, so I am sure after a few dives it will be all good. I stuffed myself into my suit and got suited.
We splashed in and started down. I’m still getting over a cold, so I was unsure if I could equalize, but things were clearing and I made it all the way down to the bottom. The visibility was crummy. Dave had run a line out, so we had a reel to follow, which was nice. This wreck definitely requires a reel to navigate, especially so on a day with low visibility. Our plan was to swim out to the end of the reel and pull it. We did exactly that. I can’t say too much about the dive other than I squinted through murky visibility and saw the wreck! It was cold (water temp 45F), but I was pretty comfortable in my new undergarment. I also got the DUI 11 mm hood, which is also quite warm. Anyway, after about 30 minutes we were ready to go, so we headed up and called it a dive.
We climbed back aboard, got some of what remained of the coffee and enjoyed a relaxing ride back to the marina. We unloaded, sprung the boat back out in the slip and headed home. It felt good to get a dive in! One weekend of charters left in 2016—hope we get it in!
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