Although we had a great line up of dives planned for the Labor Day holiday weekend, Tropical Storm Hermine saw to it that we’d get almost none of that. With windy conditions on Friday and the early wind from the storm arriving by Sunday, this left only Saturday sandwiched in between for us to get one dive in. Our plan for Saturday was a trip to the Poling, which I suppose was the ideal location to have planned given the wind was still going to be NE, although light.
We got started on Saturday in very cool air temperatures. I might have been pushing it with shorts, a tee shirt and crocs since it was 55 F when I left the house. It was chilly and a sign of approaching fall for sure. I had to throw on a sweatshirt as soon as I could dig it out of my bag. Before too long, the others were arriving and once loaded up, we got off the dock a bit before 7:30 am bound for the Poling. Conditions were pretty good considering the wind we had on Friday. I was not too sure about the visibility, but I had the camera anyway.
We arrived on the Poling and grabbed the stern mooring. Dave and Tony splashed first, and the next groups followed. As divers began returning, we got visibility reports. One said 20 feet, another said “pretty good,” and another said it was lousy at 10 feet. Hmm. Tim, Scott and I suited up and got ready; we’d just find out for ourselves. We splashed and dropped down. I think whoever said it was lousy “won” the prize. The visibility was a very murky 10 feet with a lot of particulate in the water. My favorite conditions for photos. Ugh. Scott set up the slave strobe and Tim got the video camera going and we headed into the wreck. The visibility was a lot worse inside the wreck. I couldn’t even see what I was shooting at times it was so bad inside. The camera can see more than we can.
Anyway, spent a good portion of the dive inside before heading to the break. The wreck is quickly collapsing in this area, the deck is just folding down. My guess is this will continue to collapse until it hits a bulkhead on the other side of the oil hold, and then after that goes it will keep collapsing. In a few years, I predict the Poling is going to be a different dive. Anyway, the visibility was terrible on the bottom too, so we popped back up on top of the wreck and worked our way back to the mooring and headed up. About 15-20 feet off the wreck, we could feel the current picking up. Shortly after reaching our 20 foot stop, the current roared in and we were hanging on and stretched out like flags with the line shaking in our hands. When we surfaced, we could barely pull ourselves to the back of the boat and it was difficult to hand up gear. It was really screaming! We got back aboard and pulled the lines. We headed back to Beverly and called it a weekend. With 15-20 knots of East wind forecast for Sunday, the rest of our plans were out the window…..
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