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October 15, 2016

By October 15, 2016 No Comments

A classic October forecast loomed all week suggesting the weekend would be either a partial blow out or a complete blow out. However, as the week went on, it wasn’t clear which day that would be. As of Friday, when Dave was out doing shore dives for a class, the wind was up and the visibility was down, like way down—Niles was the only accessible shore site and the visibility was 2 feet at best. Not promising.

The wind dropped out, and the seas started inching down from 4 feet or so, but it still didn’t look good. The tropical storm out in the Atlantic was throwing swell at us and winds were still ENE. We hemmed and hawed, and considered cancelling, but the wind and seas were coming down and the forecast looked improved for Saturday. So we decided to go. We also decided to check the forecast at 4:30 am to be sure. We did and it looked go, so we were going.

We gathered at the dock with the sun slowly rising. It was cool, a little breezy (gulp) and otherwise shaping up to be a nice day. The fishing boats were heading out, so I thought maybe the weather was going to be just fine. Before too long others were arriving and we were loaded and off the dock. Our destination was the Holmes, the closest deeper wreck with a mooring. We headed out into Salem sound and it was OK, but we could see there was surge. By the time we cleared Marblehead, the seas were growing with a heavy ground swell and wind chop on top of it. It was not that nice out there.

Back at the dock unloading after our dive on the Holmes. Despite the crummy conditions, everyone was all smiles!

Back at the dock unloading after our dive on the Holmes. Despite the crummy conditions, everyone was all smiles!

We got on the Holmes and grabbed the mooring. Dave and the first group of divers got suited and headed in. It was really quite nasty out there. The swell was unpleasant and the waves were pushing us around a bit. Plus, the visibility didn’t look great from the surface, and no one thought it was going to be one of those “it’s bad on the surface because it’s good on the bottom days.” No.

When Dave returned, we got the vis report. Grim. He gave it a dark, cloudy 5-10 feet. However, there wasn’t much current and they weren’t getting tossed around on the deco, so it wasn’t completely terrible. We decided to get suited up and splashed. I hit the water with Jessica, Josh and Feng. And as soon as I hit the water, my glove flooded. Despite several attempts to reseat the glove, nothing would stop the water coming in. So, Dave grabbed a fresh glove out of my bag and just completely replaced it. The glove sealed. My hand was wet, but peeling a thinsulate lined wool glove off and putting another one on a damp hand was more than I could deal with standing on the ladder.

Anyway, we dropped down to the wreck and took a swim to the bow and then back to the stern following the rail. I know the wreck pretty well, but I wasn’t keen to get myself and 3 others lost so we kept it simple. The visibility was rough for sure. We headed up, did our deco and climbed aboard. It was very clear at that point we weren’t doing our afternoon CCR dive inshore with the surge and the forecast for Sunday was going to make things worse.

We headed back to the marina, unloaded and gave the weather forecast one final check before throwing in the towel and calling it for Sunday. This time of year, 1 out of 2 ain’t bad. Even if the one isn’t that good!

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