Archive for April, 2009

April 25 on the Mohawk

Saturday, April 25th, 2009

Let’s see, a forecast for warm air, cold water, and no wind. That translates into fog. Thick fog. Driving down to the shore, the fog quickly slowed traffic to a craw. As we slowly headed out the inlet we could barely see both sides. Once away from the beach, the fog cleared and the sun came out.

Our destination for the day was the Mohawk. The wreck lies in 75 ft of water which allows for some longer bottom time. Danny had us tied into the stern on the starboard side. With only a slight wind and minimal current, the anchor like dropped nearly straight down to the wreck. Reports came back of 44 degrees, and and only 15 ft of vis. That leaves the camera is out. I jumped in to see what the winter storms had done to the wreck. Franky jumped in with Franky Cam 2.0. The addition of a chin strap to prevent loss of the camera.

Sean left his pole spear by the anchor for me, but I left it in favor of just having fun. Perhaps the sun was up higher in the sky, but the vis looked more like 25-30. I swam down the port side inspecting an nook with evidence of excavation. There were a few small bugs, but no keepers. Many holes were occupied by eel pouts rather than lobsters. A few seabass popped up here and there, and gonfiabili a number of smaller tog. Up by the pilot house there were a few nice size tog hanging out. There seemed to be a lot of yellow sponge laying in the debris field. Here and there whole sections of the wreckage were covered with large anemones, outstretched in the still water.

Clearing the wheelhouse, I heard engines off in the distance. Time to get off the wreck. On the way back to the stern, I inspected pieces out in the sand. Again, the holes were mostly empty, with only shorts left. Divers brought up winter flounder, tog Seabass and pictures.

The breeze had picked up enough to blow out the fog, and we had a smooth ride home.

The Independence is heading out May 2 and 3. Contact Capt Dan for spots @ 732-232-7878

Opening day at Dutch

Sunday, April 5th, 2009
The Silver Comet

With all the rain and storms in March, we were not able to get out on the water.   A few of us broke down and headed to Dutch Springs for opening day.  It was great to see everyone, and finally get wet.  I expected the water to be around 38 degrees, but instead it was more like 43.  Not bad for early April.

Vis was good, and like everyone else, I was checking out some gear modifications.   There was a new reel, patches on eastyl the drysuit (I finally found all the holes), and a new dome port for the camera.   Shooting a bag worked well, and I was able to get a few shots in before the camera started complaining about a leak.   Better fresh water than salt water.

Keeping warm

Thursday, April 2nd, 2009

Back in my collage days, my parents owned a place up in New Hampshire. My dad had built a summer cottage on a hillside with a gorgeous view of Mount Washington (the tallest peak in the Northeast). After taking up skiing, I went up there during the winter breaks to hit some of the slopes just 15 minutes away. As a summer cottage, it was not well insulated. The strategic purchase of a quality sleeping bag made the stay tolerable. On one trip, we found out that gasoline will not evaporate below -45 degrees (F). How did we determine this? It was -45 degrees and the cars would not start. Once the sun came up a little higher in the sky the temps soared to a sweltering 20 below.

After surviving these winter trips, the sleeping bag has stayed with me for years. It has came in very handy. One weekend, I decided to stay on board, and the temp outside dropped to around 20 degrees. A few other crew members had east jump also decided to stay the night, and seemed to be more affected by the cold. Keep in mind that a boats fiberglass hull does not have much insulation. If you’re planning on staying on a boat overnight, make sure you have the proper gear for the task.

The same can be said about keeping warm underwater. A quality wetsuit or drysuit / undergarment will keep you warm! This past weekend I was diving in 38 degree water for over an hour. I was comfortable the whole time. Other divers were complaining of about the cold. If you purchase the proper gear, and maintain the gear properly, it should keep you warm, and last for years.