Archive for April, 2007

Stolt Dagali, Independence II, April 22, 2007

Sunday, April 22nd, 2007

Between the 12 ft seas and Northeasters, it’s been tough to get out diving this spring. This weekend the weather finally cooperated, and the Independence II made a run for it. Blue sky, flat clear water, who could ask for anything else? OK, maybe a few degrees warmer.

The NOAA buoys read 3 ft seas. When we headed out of Manasquan inlet the ocean was flat. Those buoys need to be checked! There was a slight swell, but not more than a foot, and that was inshore. When we arrived at the Stolt, the ocean was mirror flat. There was a slight current at the surface, and you could see the light penetrating deep into the water.

Rumors of 44 degree water had been circulated. Maybe on the surface, but not on the bottom. Lets talk about 41. At this temp, the suit is fine, but neoprene gloves are just not adequate. Dry gloves would have worked better. A clam dredge a little bit away was having it’s way with the bottom vis.

Well it is what is its, and we make due with what we have. My buddy and I jumped in and headed down the line. On the top of the wreck the vis was 30 +, but on the sand it dropped to about 10. The line was tied in at the top of the Stolt. We headed down to the bottom for a look around. Lobster would be nice, anything else is a bonus. My buddy looked under the wreck, while I looked under debris around the wreck. No joy! I did see a small Monkfish and a good size cod, but my knife was not up to the task.

Next thing I know my buddies gone inside the wreck. In 10 foo vis, I’m a bit nervous, but followed after him. The wreck is still opening up. Light can been seen from most holes. It turns out the vis inside was a bit better than out side. At one point my buddy was on the other side of a bulkhead from me. I could see his light through a line of vacant port holes, but I could not see how he got in there. After a few tense minutes on my part, he appeared waving his light, asking if I was OK. I’m fine, and glad to know you are! We poked around in a few more rooms. While I tried to pry a few tiles off the wall/floor, he was digging in the silt.

By this point my computer was wracking up Deco, and at this temp, I was not interested. We both signaled up, and headed for the line. By the time we arrive I was looking at a 20 minutes hang. I could feel my fingers, but they were cold! This was going to hurt! By the time we broke th surface it was a 70 + minute dive. We opted out of the repeat performance. The other divers kept the second dive short.

We headed home in flat seas. A few lobsters in the cooler, and a group of divers happy to start the season. You could not have asked for a better day, top side, or a better group of divers! A great day of diving!