Finally! After several weeks of blow-outs after we resumed charters in March, we finally made it out for not one, but two days of diving!
On Saturday, we were headed to the wreck of the New York Central 14-2 (NYC14-2). Coincidentally, we recently learned the wreck had recently collapsed from the engine forward, leaving a heap of twisted hull and a partially intact bow over on it’s side. We were certainly keen to check out the changes, as it sounded quite dramatic. The weather was naturally a question mark and we weren’t sure what Saturday would bring – there was a heavy ground swell, fog and the conditions seemed generally crummy. However, Saturday looked to be an improvement and we decided we’d just go for it.
Saturday arrived with overcast, but clearing skies and fog. However the wind was light and the ground swell was down to about 3 feet. No one expected good visibility, but it was good enough to check out the NYC14-2, which we also heard still had a mooring. We cruised out to the wreck, in and out of fog banks along the way and indeed located a mooring present on the wreck. We got settled and everyone began splashing. Dave and Eric headed in first. When they returned, we got the visibility report: excellent vis all the way to the bottom where it was 5 feet, maybe 10 if you were squinting. I decided to leave the camera behind despite wanting to get some photos of the changes. Tim, Scott and I jumped in for our dive and explored the remnants of the NYC14-2 as we knew it. The wreck is 1 maybe 2 storms away from complete collapse. The section forward of the engine is completely collapsed with only the engine standing, the water tanks and the partially intact bow. It is otherwise a heap of metal. Moving aft, the stern is still intact, but there’s nothing really supporting it. The hull is swiss cheese. It won’t be long now before this looks a lot like the Herbert but with more debris. The visibility was quite bad and it was cold (39F) so we headed up and did a short deco. It was a good dive, but it is a bummer to see the wreck change so dramatically. It’s a deeper average depth dive now for sure with less relief.
On Sunday, we were again spinning the weather dial to see what we’d get. Although the wind looked light for Sunday, we still had ground swell and rain and fog were in the forecast. And overnight it became windy. I was almost anticipating an early morning cancellation, but the weather held and we had light wind and clear skies on Sunday morning. We were scheduled for the Holmes and that was our plan. We got loaded up and off the dock early. The skies were clouding over but it was much better than expected–the fog bank stayed away and we had a nice ride out to the wreck. We did need to put in a mooring so Dave and Bob jumped in to do that. It was a fast tie in–4 minutes per their clock, 5 according to mine when the bag hit the surface. We did not have high hopes for the visibility but thought it might be better where this wreck is deeper. We were wrong.
Dave and Bob returned and did their best to put a positive spin on the visibility so that we wouldn’t be completely discouraged from diving. All Dave said was it was worse than Saturday. Gulp. Oye. Anyway, Scott and I suited up and splashed. We dropped down–the water column was murky and not as good as the day prior. When we hit about 120′ it went black and to about 3 feet of heavy particulate and for all practical purposes, no visibility. I think I laughed when we got to the bottom knowing it was not going to be a long dive. We did a short swim along the rail and then concluded it was utterly pointless to be down there and headed up. When we surfaced we put in our opinion as to where we were tied in–basically no one knows for sure. Maybe we’ll find out this weekend. With the rain starting to come down, we pulled the lines and headed in. All in all a good start to the season, at last.