Friday, December 31, 2010

Last Dive of 2010

My phone rang on Tuesday, and I saw on the caller ID it was my buddy Steve.  On the other end I got the invite to go dive on New Years Eve and without hesitation said, "YES!"  This was going to be the first time I have been able to do a winter diver off of New Jersey.  The plan was just to do one dive and head home, so we could all get ready to go out for the night.

When we arrived to the boat, a path had to be shoveled to get from the parking lot down to the boat.  Then we had to shovel the snow off the back of the deck to
load our gear.  Once the boat was clear of snow and gear loaded we headed out.  The weather Gods were with us, with no wind, seas less then 2' and warm weather (lower 50s).

We arrived on site after having to wait for a tugboat pulling a Staten Island Ferry somewhere down south.  What are the chances of a tug crossing over the wreck at the exact time we reached the dive site?   After throwing the hook and anchoring to the wreck (Cleopatra, 90') the divers began to suit up.

I was the last to splash as I was going to pull the hook when I finished my dive.  As I approached the back of the boat to jump in, I was bracing myself for the shock of cold water on my face.  I hit the water and followed the Carolina Rig to the anchor line and was on the bottom in no time.  It was my first time on the wreck and I did not know how long I would last in the cold water.  I checked out our tie in, saw it would be nothing to undo and started my tour of the wreck.

My goal was to swim the whole wreck to check it out and see if I could find any lobsters.  At 30 minutes on the bottom my hands were starting to lose dexterity, and I had seen the whole wreck so it was time to go.  After an uneventful deco, I boarded the boat and by the time my gear was off the guys had the anchor pulled, and engines started.  On the way home we had a few beers to celebrate the New Year and warm up.

All in all it was a great day.  The visibility was 15-20', water temp 39 degrees top to bottom and seas were calm.  I was able to catch one lobster and Steve shot a few nice pictures.

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