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View Full Version : My first NC Coastal Dive - Spar and U-352



Scotttyd
05-26-2008, 12:25
I ended up booking a last minute trip to the Spar on 5/25 with Discovery. Just finished up my nitrox class and due to a last minute cancellation I was able to make the trip with Juan. The plan was for a 2:30 departure, things started out a little late, but no worries the wait was worth it. As we approached the Spar, the dive gods were smiling with 1 ft seas - a big change from the previous day where dives were canceled. The captain made a decision to try the U-352 then the Spar. Excellent choice. The viz on the sub was 50-60 ft. I got a little narced when I first descended, but a short pause at the anchor line and I was good to go. The was a monster grouper at the stern and a blue eel hiding out in one of the hatches. The were tons of the usual bait fish and a few lion fish hanging out as well. One of the divers went off in the sand and was playing with some large rays. After 30 minutes we ascended.
Dive #2 - We made it to the Spar and descended down the anchor line and were greeted by more sand tigers than I could imagine. Remember I have never seen a shark (outside of the aquarium) before. This was an experience of a lifetime. I have no idea how many there were, but there was always at least one within sight at all times, may times there were two or more. Including one especially large (8-10 ft I am unsure) When Juan took a picture of one, the flash startled in, it whipped around and quickly swam away. This was a little heart pounding adrenaline rush. A lap of the Spar and poking around in the wheel house, the dive lasted 33 minutes with viz at 30-40 ft. The viz would have been greater but the sun was going down - I am not sure if a night dive with sandies in on my agenda anytime soon. We surfaced just in time to catch the sunset, and made it back to the dock at 10:30. All in all it was a great dive for my first NC offshore dive.
This was my first dive were I reached my NDL and was not air limited - thank you 130's. I surfaced with 1100 PSI after each dive, but you can never have too much air.

Largo
05-26-2008, 13:33
The diving in NC is really amazing.

Plus, if you have a problem, DAN is right there.

You going to post photos?

Scotttyd
05-26-2008, 17:44
The diving in NC is really amazing.

Plus, if you have a problem, DAN is right there.

You going to post photos?

I did not take my camera with me, since it was my first NC coast dive, things are known to get a rough and I though it would be better to focus on the diving before adding in the camera. My dive buddy had a camera, I will see if he has some.

emcbride81
05-26-2008, 18:25
Rock on man...getting my wreck certification in August in NC...diving out of Morehead City with Olympus...cannot wait! This will be my first NC boat dive.

Crimediver
05-26-2008, 21:20
I have dove a lot of locations but it would be hard to beat NC diving. Real wrecks with a bunch of history, much history and no artificial reefs need apply!

BouzoukiJoe A.K.A. wrecker130 AKA Chuck Norris AKA joeforbroke (banned)
05-26-2008, 22:52
His dive #2, the Spar, happens to be part of the artificial reef project. The large number of sharks that hang out there, make up for it not being a "real" wreck, though.

Glad you had some great dives! Will post my report from this weekend. It's already up at ncdivers. A little bit of everything. Will add photos when I get them.

Scotttyd
05-27-2008, 06:10
I have dove a lot of locations but it would be hard to beat NC diving. Real wrecks with a bunch of history, much history and no artificial reefs need apply!

Like Joe said the Spar is artificial, but the dozen or so sand tigers makes it well worth it. Most were in the 6 foot range, but there was one big female, had to be close to 10 ft. Nothing like a good shark two feet from your face to get you heart pounding.

Crimediver
05-27-2008, 14:55
Have not heard of the SPAR. How far offshore is it and how deep?

BouzoukiJoe A.K.A. wrecker130 AKA Chuck Norris AKA joeforbroke (banned)
05-27-2008, 15:21
The Spar is a former U.S. Coast Guard Cutter that sits upright and intact in 110 fsw with the deck at about 90. She was sunk in 2004 and lies about 25 (?) nm south of the Beaufort inlet. She lies only about 400 feet from the Aeolus which has been there since 1988. The Spar is home to many Atlantic Sand Tiger sharks that like to hang out near the bow but they do swim around the wreck. I've seen them ranging from about 3 feet to 10 ft in length.


USCG Cutter SPAR (http://www.discoverydiving.com/spar.htm)

cogrwy
05-27-2008, 15:56
Haven't made it to NC yet, but there are lots of good wrecks off Lynnhaven Inlet in Virginia Beach.

Crimediver
05-27-2008, 17:50
And the wreck of my old mahogany duck hunting boat is just inside the mouth of the Lynnhaven Inlet along with a 1957 Evinrude 35 HP motor. Sunk just north of the big marsh...

Scotttyd
05-28-2008, 14:40
And the wreck of my old mahogany duck hunting boat is just inside the mouth of the Lynnhaven Inlet along with a 1957 Evinrude 35 HP motor. Sunk just north of the big marsh...
Is this a "real wreck" or an artificial reef wreck:smiley19:

Rainer
05-28-2008, 14:53
Sounds like you hit some pretty nice dives.

rktman26
05-28-2008, 19:10
I've done both the Spar and the sub. Both are great dives.

I thought the Spar was great, as it sits upright and is still very recognizable.

If you divve a wreck here, you're pretty much guaranteed to see sand tigers. I've seen at least one on every dive I've done.

diver-wife
06-01-2008, 12:44
gotta love NC diving, one of my favorite spots to dive

scootermcfly
06-02-2008, 10:27
NC is on my list...from what I have heard the diving is great and there are tons of wrecks to hit. I hope to plan a trip down that way for at least a week of diving next year. I know...the sooner the better but I want to get Nitrox and AOW out of the way first.

BouzoukiJoe A.K.A. wrecker130 AKA Chuck Norris AKA joeforbroke (banned)
06-02-2008, 11:12
I want to get Nitrox and AOW out of the way first.

Good plan. Having your AOW will let you on the regular day trips. Diving nitrox will get you a little more time on the wrecks.

Crimediver
06-02-2008, 17:20
And the wreck of my old mahogany duck hunting boat is just inside the mouth of the Lynnhaven Inlet along with a 1957 Evinrude 35 HP motor. Sunk just north of the big marsh...
Is this a "real wreck" or an artificial reef wreck:smiley19:
It is a really small wreck. It is my old duck hunting boat that sank after hitting a submerged piling around 1976. Lost near the big marsh near Lesner's Bridge. Doubt anything is left. of it but memories...

georoc01
06-30-2008, 10:53
Thanks for sharing..

Headed to NC this week. Its my first trip to the outer banks.

BouzoukiJoe A.K.A. wrecker130 AKA Chuck Norris AKA joeforbroke (banned)
06-30-2008, 11:09
Where you headed?

georoc01
06-30-2008, 11:19
Where you headed?


Staying in Morehead City..Diving with Bobby Cox of Diver Down.

SOLD OUT!!! NC July 3-7, 2008...SD's Farewell to the Graveyard of the Atlantic! - SingleDivers.com Surface Interval INDEX (http://www.singledivers.com/surfaceinterval/index.php?showtopic=15289)

BouzoukiJoe A.K.A. wrecker130 AKA Chuck Norris AKA joeforbroke (banned)
06-30-2008, 11:38
Great. I hope you enjoy.

FWIW, we don't really consider the Morehead City area part of the Outer Banks. The Outer Banks are the chain of barrier islands that run from Ocracoke Island to the Virginia border. The area you are going to is known as the Crystal Coast. Both have good wreck diving. The water is warmer and clearer where you will be going as its influenced by the Gulf Stream. In summer you can expect good visibility, warm temperatures, and tropical species on the wrecks, North of Cape Hatteras the cold Labrador current prevails. It would still be drysuit for me up there.