View Full Version : Trip Report Memorial weekend

Dive bunny
06-02-2008, 10:52
Wow what a busy weekend onboard the H2O Below. Saturday 5.25.08 we went to the Oriskany with a boat load of divers. The algae layer was still out there so the vis at the surface was somewhere between a dark amber beer and Folgers dark roast coffee. It was so dark that we saw the little marine life that you generally only see on a night dive. It was so dark I heard “Dark side of the moon” playing in my head. IT WAS SO DARK… no just kidding but it was dark in the algae layer. Then when you got to about 60 feet the dark roast coffee turned to weak ice tea and we had vis around 60 feet. My dive buddy Nate and I visited the Octopus and discovered a third named Angelina. She has eggs and was sitting in front of them. You don’t notice them when you first see her but if you look very close she is hiding them behind her. We also looked in on Ofilia and Fallon. We think that Fallon may actually be a Frank but it is hard to tell. Anybody know how to tell the sex of an Octopus without getting way to personal?

Nate and I then did the standards swim-throughs and found a really nice stool reel. It is amazing how much gear is dropped on the Oriskany. It is like going to the local dive shop, only you don’t have to pay for it. Could somebody please drop a new spear gun? Or a video camera? My birthday is coming up in August!

Sunday we had two trips. The first left the dock with a full boat heading to the Pete’s Tide and then the PC Barge. The vis on the Pete’s Tide was around 40 feet. I was hunting for Easter Eggs (lead weights left by fishing boats) and found a ditty bag full. I cut up a bunch of mono but there is still plenty on it for the next diver who gets sick of this stuff and wants to help. We looked for the Goliath Grouper but didn’t find him. He is a bashful dude named Mongo. He generally likes to wait until all the customers are heading up the line and I’m down all by myself doing the untie and then he starts talking to me, scaring the living crap out of me.

The second dive of the first trip was to the PC Barge. Because it was Memorial weekend, every fishing boat in the Gulf of Mexico was sitting on top the Russian Freighter, so Captain Douglas elected to go to the PC Barge. It is a little closer inshore than Pete’s so the vis was next to nothing. It was sooo bad! How bad was it? IT WAS SOO BAD that when the dive master Rich went down to check he had to swim around from the anchor to find the wreck. While doing his 360 degree sweep, he literally ran face to face into a shark. They were less than six inches apart when they saw each other – nose to nose. It is a toss up you was more surprised. Rich said they looked at each other for a few very hard heart beats and the shark turned and swam off like his tail was on fire. Rich was so close to him that the backwash from the shark’s tail pushed him backwards. He recovered and got tied in and everybody went down. It was a short dive with the vis so bad but still fun.

We came back to the dock, changed out tanks, gear and divers and headed back to the Pete’s Tide with a whole new group of divers. These crazy nuts were from Canada – a very funny group of divers that have traveled all over the world as a team. We had great fun with them. They are diving with the H2O Below all week and had been diving on this boat last year so this was their check out dive day. The waves and wind had picked up and the ride out was a bit rocky but these guys are ice divers, tech divers, North Carolina divers, Great Lakes Divers. They were not scared of anything! They did two check out dives on the Pete’s Tide and the totally exhausted crew headed home.

Monday was Memorial Day and we went with the Canadian group and a second group from Texas and Indiana to the Oriskany. Vis was a little better but the seas, they were a rocking. We stopped once and everybody decided that we were going to pull up our big girl panties and go diving! So off we went. It turned out to be a really fun time. We got to visit the Octopus and harvest enough lobster for a meal later that afternoon. The hot dogs were rolling with the seas on the way back in but everybody had a couple and most people actually kept them down! Great day everyone.

Thanks to the crew –Nate (love you man and you know why!), Rich, Josh, Grant and Sleppy. You guys ran with the big dogs this weekend even when we were all bruised and exhausted. Try loading and unloading 60 tanks in one day and you’ll be exhausted too. The H2O Below crew is the best. Thanks to the Captain for making a great weekend for us all.