June 4, 2016

Another round of unsettled weather arrived just in time for the weekend continuing the pattern of getting out only one day. We had made a change in the schedule to dive the Baleen on Saturday to make up some dives for a CCR trimix class, and then if all went according to plan, we’d dive the Snetind on Sunday as scheduled. Saturday was an overcast day, but with some periods of sun expected. However, we were also going to be dealing with fog, and at times very dense fog.

Saturday arrived and we loaded up with a good group of divers, and one loaf of banana bread. Although almost any food will be consumed on a boat, certain foods are very popular. With banana bread baked by our friend Marcia (delivered by Gary), there is high likelihood of it wiped out before the last divers have finished their dives. So, you have to get while the getting is good. Once fully loaded, we got off the dock and headed out for the Baleen. Yes, the banana bread had already been opened and a few pieces had been sliced off with a dirty “little Vicky” knife.

Not far off Marblehead we ran into a solid fog bank, which stayed with us all the way out to the Baleen. The seas were pretty calm, but the fog was thick. As we approached the Baleen we noticed one end of a gill net high flyer buoy. We groaned at the thought there might be a gill net on/near the wreck. Sure enough, when we arrived and located the mooring, we saw the other end of the gill net marked with a double flagged high flyer. It was very close and the net was either running along side or off one of the ends. We puttered around for a few minutes before deciding not to dive there. We headed back inshore to the Holmes where we had a mooring.

Scott and Gary explore the wreck of the Holmes in great conditions.

Scott and Gary explore the wreck of the Holmes in great conditions.

We headed back to the Holmes where we had a mooring and the area was clear of nets. The fog was patchy and so it cleared a bit. We got the lines set and the first group of divers headed in. The visibility looked good on the surface, but since that usually means it will be lousy on the bottom, we didn’t get too excited. However, when Dave returned, we got a positive visibility report and everyone was thrilled. The sun even began to come out!

I suited up with Scott and Gary and we splashed last. We knew we’d have to say farewell to the banana bread, which had little pieces shaved off all sides of the remaining chunk. We dropped down and found the visibility to be good. A little cloudy perhaps, but good. I’d give it 20 feet with ambient light. We headed for the bow first, then back to the stern. We took some photos and just generally enjoyed a nice dive in good conditions.

We headed up, completed an uneventful deco in fairly “warm” (50s) water and then called it a dive. Indeed the banana bread was long gone. But the fog was back and it was thick. We motored back to Beverly with a lookout posted since the visibility wasn’t more than a few hundred feet all the way back, including through Beverly Harbor, where there were lots of recreational boaters popping out without radar or a clue for that matter. We got back to the dock and called it a day. Unfortunately, poor weather did indeed sink our plans for Sunday, as rain, fog and SE wind forced a cancellation.

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