Cave Diving, Cave Exploration and Cave Mapping in Yucatan, Mexico
The Salt Lick in Austin, Texas. All you can eat BBQ

Hydro Atlantic and Lowrance Wrecks.

On Sunday, I flew up to Florida for a little diving vacation.  Andrew Driver had put together a wreck diving trip with plans to dive the Hydro Atlantic, Lowrance and the RB Johnson.  And if the team jelled nicely, we might get to dive some more interesting wrecks.  The cast of characters would include Eric Goldstein, Jim Moore and me.  Luckily, we all arrived on time with all our gear undamaged.  We would be diving on the Avid Diver captained by Oliver.

The first challenge was re-assembling my rebreather and finding the right amount of weight for saltwater and a bit more underwear then I would wear in Florida.  After some struggling to find the requisite lead, the rebreather came together.  The only other challenge was that there were no tanks with the valves in the correct position to de-invert the tanks.  So, once again I had to change my configuration and go valves down.  I find traveling with the rebreather very frustrating.   I loath changing my configuration, especially when I spent so much time dialing the unit in Mexico.  The addition of the weight for saltwater and the changing of the tanks really throws the whole thing out of balance and kills my trim.  I think when I go back to Mexico, I am going to return  to diving with inverted tanks and figure out how to balance the unit that way.  I need to find a way to mitigate this frustration and time spent changing my configuration around based on my location.  Enough of that, now on to the diving.

On Monday, we visited the Hydro Atlantic.  The Hydro Atlantic sits in 170ft of water.  It is a real wreck, not an artificial reef.  It was originally a cable laying ship.

The plan was to hot drop on the wreck.  It would be the first time that either Eric or I had done a hot drop and the current was really ripping.  The first attempt we missed the wreck. Visibility was about 25ft, I think we may have just drifted by the wreck as it lies south/north and the same direction of the current.  We surfaced and starting looking for the solo diver that went ahead of us. We he turned up we retrieved him.  Once we had him in the boat, we made a second drop and did a 25min BT.  It was a very cool dive.  RT was about 50 minutes.  Our max depth was 160ft on the second dive.

Today, the forecast was calling for 5-7 and building.  We elected to head out and try for the Lowrance.  It was questionable when we arrived, there were some 5-6 rollers though the chop wasn’t too bad.  After some discussion, we decided to dive but curtail our bottom time.

We hot dropped and landed right on the wreck, it was an awesome experience!  I felt like we really had done something pretty cool.  We did about 25min on the wreck.  Run time was about 70minutes.  Our max depth was 190ft.  We had planned on 40min but curtailed it due to weather.  The big bonus was the big, 5-6ft tall, sun fish hanging out on the wheel house at 140ft.  We were 2-3 feet away and he was just hanging out.  The deco went smoothly, Jim sent the bag.  The three of us hovered around him.  When we got out the seas had built a little, but not to anything unmanageable.

I guess that is all for today.  Tomorrow, we are planning to dive the Lowrance again.  I am looking forward to another dive on the wreck.


1 Patrick { 02.18.09 at 8:03 am }

Awesome, I never saw a sunfish man…for the tanks though I have to say you should have organized that in advance no? It takes only about 30min to switch the tanks around and O2 clean the dil tank…If you would have dropped them a mail some days before with the request I figure andrew would have been able to get them for you…would I change my configuration to smth less suitet for the kind of diving I do because of that…well I guess no but would maybe organize myself a bit better for my next trip…
I am glad you have a great time, but get your ass back down here asap.

mini you

2 Paul aka Hammerhead { 02.18.09 at 8:18 am }

I dove both those wrecks, and “hot dropped” on both. I believe I did 3 dives on each. I also did a nearby wreck named the Sucre in 220 fsw. Hot dropping, or “smart bombing” as we referred to it is awesome! But not for the faint of heart.