Diving the Keys and Pompano Beach 2012
Paula and I flew down to Florida with Doug K and Dennis K. We were joined by Mike E. and Tom C. We traveled down to Key Largo to dive at
Simple Picture Slideshow:
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Diving the Virgin Islands - Jan 2012
Paula and I had the opportunity to dive the Virgin Islands in January aboard the sailboat Juliet.
We prefer diving the U.S.. Virgin Islands but we were only able to dive just a few dives there. We did manage to dive the Whitshoal, an LST. We are always humbled to dive this shio since Paula's father served on a LSI during WWII.
Paula and I were disappointed we din't sail to St. Croix to dive the Frederiksted Pier. It is one of the best dives in the Virgin Islands.That evening, we crossed over to the British Virgin Islands. We circled an area for several hours before Captain Rudy anchored. We were able to dive the Rhone and a couple of other wrecks.
The rest were reef dives. The condition of the reefs in the British Virgin Islands was not near a good as the US Virgin Islands. Paula and I did one night dive and were talked out of the rest. We were told that we were the only two who wanted to do the night dive, then we heard one of the crew telling another pair that they were the only one that wanted to do the night dive.
The Wreck of the Cartanza
Overall we had a good time. It did not compare though to the trip we had with Captain Brandon a couple of years before. Our first trip to the Virgin Islands with Captain John was also great.
Kyle was home on leave from the Navy. Kyle, Mark, Paula and I took this opportunity to go pheasant hunting at Thornbottom which is around Grover Hill Ohio. We shot 9 pheasants. It was fun watching the dogs work. Watching the dogs come to point was quite the adrenalin rush. We would walk up to the dogs knowing their was a pheasant somewhere between the three dogs. The flushing pheasant always seemed to surprise us even though we knew it was there. Below is a short slide show. The score when we finished was: Kyle 3; Paula 2; Mark 2; Denny 1. Kyle and Paula split one since it was to close to call.
The Felvers (Denny and Paula) traveled to Morehead City for a long weekend of diving. We started our diving on June 9th with Olympus Dive Center. We were leaving the protection of the barrier islands when the waves would push the boat to a stop while we climbed the wave. It was decided that the wind wa
s just too strong to proceed. ·
We went back to Morehead City. It was suggested we go to the aquarium or go see the lighthouse and wild horses. We decided as a group to see the lighthouse and wild horses. That turned out to be a great idea.
Friday June 10th, 2011, we arrived early at Olympus Dive Center. The wind was not quite as bad as on Thursday. We were going to dive but not on the outer banks. Soon we were told to gear up. The dive briefing told us about a wreck named the Indra.
The Indra is a 328' Landing Craft Repair Ship, sunk in 1992 just off Morehead City as part of the artificial reef system. It sits in appox. 65-70' depth. The wreck was intact with good marine growth.
The second dive of the day was the W. E. Hutton. It was sunk March 18, 1942 by the German U-boat, U-124. Thirteen lives were lost during the sinking. Further information about the W. E. Hutton can be found here. ·
e the U -352 a few years ago. Paula and I were excited to be diving a wreck of a submarine that stalked the coast during WWII. The wreck of the U-352 did not disappoint us. We were in awe of this wreck. We stuck the cameras in every nook and cranny attemping to get a look inside the submarine.
The last dive of the trip was on the USCG Spar that was sunk as an artifical reef June of 2004. The wreck is at the 100 foot level. The ship has plenty of marine life and is easy to penetrate.
Panama City Beach May 2011
Paula and I traveled to Panama City Beach May of 2011. ·We call these trips "Drive, Drive, Drive - Dive, Dive, Dive. ·We did not drive straight through, but left in the evening and traveled down to Kentucky. ·We drove the remainder of the trip on Friday.
We dove with Panama City Divers on the dive boat Steel Stringer.· Paula and I got our gear ready.· I (Denny) threw my mask in the common mask·bucket with everyone else's mask.· I know better than that.· Stupid won again.·· While writing the article I am suffering from Bronchitis.· We had a similar problem in Cozumel one time and it took out our entire club.· I will never put my mask in the common bucket again.· It contains snot from every diver that has used it.· ·One of the diver's whose mask was in the basket said he had a terrible cold and couldn't do the second dive.
The first dive was on the Liberty Ship.· Two things stand out about the Liberty Ship.· First, its size was much larger that I expected.· Second was the lifeless turtle laying on the deck where the boat was tied off.·The divemaster had seen the turtle laying there when he tied the chain to the Liberty Ship.· Paula and I examined the turtle visually and she took many pictures.· I signalled her that the turtle was dead; she agreed.· I thought about rolling the turtle over to see if I could determine cause of death.· I have watched way too much CSI.· Look at the picture below and determine for yourself if the turtle is dead.
We were back on board the boat and the dive master went in to remove the chain from the Liberty Ship.· The turtle was gone.· Everyone thought it was dead.· Other divers said they touched it.· It never moved until we left. Glad I didn't touch it. ·It was the deadest looking turtle I have ever seen.
The second dive was on the Red Sea.· The Red Sea is a 125 foot tug that was sunk June of 2009 as an artificial reef for divers and fisherman.· This is a great wreck to dive with easy penetrations and a maximum depth of around 75 feet.· The engine compartment was open and Paula got some great pictures.
There were spectacular silverside bait ball fish around the Red Sea with jacks zooming in and out of the bait balls.·There were several baracuda hanging around, just waiting for some unfortunate silverside to be stunned making it·easy prey for the baracuda.
Bridge Span 12
The bridge spans are always great dives.· The amount of sea life on each bridge span is amazing.· If I was a spear fisherman, the bridge span is where I would hunt.· The bait fish are plentiful.
On the second day we switched dive boats to the "Better Bottom Time". Paula and I liked this boat the most. The first dive was to a wreck site named "Twin Tugs". Two tugs were placed side by side as an artificial reef. A winter storm came up and placed the tugs one on top of the other making the site look like a true shipweck. There was a huge Cobia on the wreck that no one could get close to. I guess that is why he is a big Cobia.
Both pictures show the tugs on top of each other. Nature is still the best at placing artificial reefs.
The last dive of the trip was back at Bridgespan 12. We would have rather done a different dive but thought it would be nice for the othere divers to see the life on the bridge span. Oh the way back in to the dock we were met by friendly dolphins. One mother dolphin brought her baby to the boat for us to see. A second big male came up to the boat and came out of water just feet from me. It was the closest wild dolphin encounter I have ever had.