Gulf Trade trip on the Independence II

Saturday the Independence II headed out to the Gulf Trade. We enjoyed flat seas, little to no breeze, and clear skies on the way out. This should be a great day! Frankie had us tied into the wreck quickly, and the divers started to jump in.

In addition to lobster and Sea Bass, reports came up of 48 degree bottom temp, and visibility of 25ft. I opted to bring in the camera rather than the pole spear. It was not clear enough to get an panoramic shots, but the anemones were all out, and the schools of small fish co-operated.

The wreck is the aft end of a tanker blown in two by a mine. The bow section drifted off toward shore, while the stern sank 12 miles off the beach in less than 90 ft of water.

There is still about 20 ft of relief in the bridge section. The engine and boilers also stand up prominently off the bottom. The rest of the wreck is a jumble of twisted hull plates forming a large debris field. The wreck appears to be covered in a new skin of mussels. In a few years they will be large enough to eat. There are also groupings of anemones here and there. A few large Tog popped in and out of the wreck, nibbling on the older mussels still remaining.

The bridge can be penetrated from several locations. The compartments are small with little room to maneuver. Entering one section, a group of Pollock darted away, spooked by the video lights. The bottom is covered in mussels shells from the years of growth. Other than that, the compartments are just bulkheads. Not that interesting on video.

After running out of video tape, I headed for the line. The rest of the divers were finishing their second dive, and we were soon ready to get underway.

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