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Old 11-27-2009, 08:05 AM
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Default Dive Stories From Back In The Day

Undersea stories go back millennia, most lost to time. You can have a great diving experience at anytime still what interesting, great things happened back in the day? No end of stories, near misses, great discoveries, so tell us about it.


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Old 11-27-2009, 08:27 AM
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I had forgotten about this, just came back to me yesterday, really don't know why either. I was 16 solo free diving on a familiar reef off Ft. Lauderdale Beach in 1973. I was using a long classic Greg Noll, 9' 2" tanker surfboard. Wish I still had the board but soon left it in the garage, it was easier just to swim over the reefs than to deal with the board.


Greg with a creation and its intended playground

This was an usual morning as there was thick fog down to the water with very limited visibility. May have had a couple of days a year like that. While on the reef, I kept hearing ships horns go off to the east. Port Everglades was a few miles to the south, strange. Couldn't see anything above water, so might as well keep looking below.

In time the fog started to lift, looking seaward what should I find? A cruise ship, a big one, it was the Costa Line, "Federico C." It was about a 1/4 mile east of me and was hard aground with some tugs trying to pull it off.


From: http://www.timetableimages.com/

The ship ran in and out of the Port for many years, it was a regular feature on the water.

I paddled out to check it out. It was aimed due west and hard aground. The waterline at the bow was ten feet above the water and submerged by the same amount at the stern. Seems they may have thought they were steaming into Pt. Everglades, just three miles too far north? There was no GPS in those days, just Loran, RDF's and of course radar. With all that makes you wonder how they messed up still they did.




I anchored the Greg Noll off to the bottom and then swam and dove along the hull. It hit the second reef and snow plowed a ton of sand up to the north and south of the hull. Corals were thrown all over the place included formerly bleached heads that had been buried. The bow was just west of the second reef terrace and stern lay just to the east. It was a relict elkhorn reef from about 10,000 years ago when we still had prolific elkhorn on barrier reefs off Ft. Lauderdale. Around mid ships I could go completely under the ship to the other side. There was about a 3 ft. gap between the bottom of the hull and the trench the ship plowed up. You could pause down there and hear ship noises and vibrations from within the hull, surreal place to hang out. Some live hard and soft coral had been buried in the process.





The ships officers called down to me, so I filled them in with what I saw about how the ship was lying on the bottom. Passengers threw some key fobs down to me. Still have one somewhere too. I dove around a bit longer until they said they were going to run up the ships screws to try to refloat her with the tugs help. I had felt a light current heading sternward previously from lesser attempts. So, I headed back to shore. Came out the next day but the USCG chased me off that time.



People being transferred from the ship with the help of the Captain Bill long time Lauderdale drift fishing boat. Photo from Shirley A. Menditto, FB page, "South Florida The Way We Remember It."


It took five days to remove the vessel from the reef, first removing passengers (up to 800), then crew (up to 400), then all the luggage and eventually fuel into a barge to be able to float it free. They had a bunch of tugs pulling on it throughout. An interesting experience for a teen back in the day. It was quite a sight seeing this thing just off the house. The Fredrico C is gone now, understand the Costa line was bought out sometime back. Wonder if it is still afloat somewhere?


The ship at dock over in Nassau, a regular stop back in the day.

PS - the Fredrico C came to a bad end under suspicious circumstances. It was sold in 1983 to Premier Cruises and subsequently to Dolphin Cruise Lines. It was sold a last time, before sinking off the Carolina coast as detailed below: "Sinking[edit]

SeaBreeze sinking near Cape Charles.
On December 17, 2000, the ship sank off the coast of North Carolina/Virginia. The boiler allegedly broke off and damaged the ship.[8]

The investigation into the sinking of Seabreeze I caused international concern, based upon numerous suspicious incidents, including the fact that the ship was likely to fetch only between $5 and $6 million for scrap, but had a $20 million insurance policy on it. The cruise ship sank in international waters flying the Panamanian flag, making Panama responsible for the investigation of the sinking.

The ship's captain told the United States Coast Guard rescuers that his boat was in imminent danger of sinking as a result of its engine room being flooded in high winds and 25-foot (7.6 m) seas.[9] At the time, the Coast Guard rescuers believed that it was highly unlikely for a ship that large to sink that quickly, and were astonished when the Greek captain demanded that all hands be extracted from the ship, instead of requesting salvage tugs and trying to tow it to shore for recovery. Subsequently, all 34 crewmembers were rescued; there were no passengers on board.[3][4]

At the time of the sinking, Steven Cotton of the International Transport Workers' Federation in London stated that he wished that the ship, which went down 225 nautical miles (417 km) off the Virginia coast, had gone down 25 nautical miles (46 km) closer to the coast because that would have put the case in the hands of American investigators. According to Cotton, "Panama's track record of carrying out comprehensive investigations into vessel sinkings is not very good."[10]

The vessel had just been purchased by Cruise Ventures III, a subsidiary of New York-based DLJ Capital Funding and was traveling from Halifax, Nova Scotia to Charleston, South Carolina.[9]" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SS_SeaBreeze
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Old 12-01-2009, 03:59 PM
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No other stories out there? Has to be, I know there are some incredible experiences out there. To prime things, here's a few from my end, just one liners only from 1980 and before.


- Diving/drilling on the barrier reef looking for Columbus' Santa Maria in a mound of coral off Cap Haitian in 1970's Baby Doc Haiti.

- Looking for a scuttled Hatteras sportsfisherman with a load of drugs along the reefs in 90 ft., with dead baby hammerhead sharks laying around on the bottom in lousy viz.

- Taking the Florida Secretary of State free diving on a 1830's shipwreck with media.

- Filming a crazy french guy with an electronic shark repelling device in a feeding behavior stirred up over the graveyard off Gun Cay in the Bahamas.

- Searching for and finding a $1M high definition side scan sonar fish in deeper water.

- Being a dive escort for a girl on her family's yacht for trips to the Bahamas at 16, she was crazier about diving extremes than I was too.

- A bounce dive to 265 ft. for black coral off Cozumel at 16 into intense narcosis and O2 toxicity.

- A bounce dive to 275 ft. because (... no good reason) at 17, fighting off a narc'd out diver and again sliding into O2 toxicity.

- Doing a photogrammetric survey of dredging reef damage in 90 ft. with a wetsub.

- Night dives in 180 ft. looking for spiny oysters in the sand drifting into the third reef at 90 ft.

- Designing a training course for the Sheriff's office for UW drug interdiction at night at 90 ft. using a wetsub in 1977.

- Almost getting castrated by a hungry permit while carrying a bunch of bugs in my hands conveniently but unwisely protected by my bathing suit.

- Doing a bounce dive to 250 ft. on a wall off the Biminis at 16 with 2/3rds full 72 cft tank, like an idiot. Resulted in a low grade DCS hit, earned that one.


and lots of other strange, sometimes unwise but otherwise interesting stuff. So how about it, what strange, interesting and hopefully not too shocking experiences can you relate?
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Old 12-01-2009, 09:21 PM
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Here's another diving story, one not listed above, from about 1978. We were bidding on a National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFs) project to study king mackerel or kingfish "fallout" from gillnets as they migrated around the Florida peninsula. Gillnets have a fixed net apertures, fish vary in size of course. If a fish swims into an aperture, it gets "gilled" or stuck when the net catches behind their gills. The net is pulled in and the fish are pulled out into the boat.



King Mackerel or Kingfish
From: http://www.landbigfish.com/


If this fish is too large, as in the case of some King Mackerel, it might just get its nose stuck momentarily. This apparently sent some mackerel into something akin to a fish heart attack, killing them on the spot, they "fallout" of the net and were lost. Bycatch was and still is a serious concern related to netting, fallout was another resource depletion issue as well. It wasn't well understood at the time, hence the study was proposed.



Gillnets
From: Drifting net, http://www.fao.org/ and Secured net, http://www.cnsm.csulb.edu/


The Request For Proposal stated that divers using a wetsub were to document the interaction of larger king mackerel with gill nets, documenting fallout process and estimating quantities of fallout per netting run. We were also to recover fallout specimens for evaluation by NMFS. This was to be repeated around the migration along the Florida coast. As shark have trailed the migration since time began and now having strugging, dying and dead, large king mackerel around the nets boosted the risk of negative shark interactions. NMPS likely anticipated the successful bidder using something like the "Sharkhunter" popular in some areas in those days.



The Sharkhunter wetsub
From: http://www.psubs.org/


I recall that Walter Stark formerly of RSMAS may have used one of these for studying sharks in off some Pacific atolls. This may have lent some support for using these two man subs in this application.

Well, we didn't have a Sharkhunter, but we did have a Rebikoff Remora. So, decided to construct a cage around the diver and propose using this. Talk about flight modification! As you have a power umbilical, you have the added advantage of using surface air supply, a comlink, even video feed to the surface. I seem to recall portable video cameras had yet to come out for UW use. Camera heads with surface feed were still in use. So, it presented some key advantages over the Sharkhunter and a few disadvantages as well.



The Remora closely resembled the Rebikoff Pegasus shown above


Visualize this, you are motoring in poor visibility, in cold water, in waves, variable current, mackerel are schooling thick about you with all that detritus they expel. The odd shark or pack roils through the school from time to time but largely are invisible due to poor viz. and lots of fish in the way. Then the net shows up, barely. You see struggling fish, sharks again yanking the off buffet item off the net. If you're lucky, you might even see some particularly large mackerel nose in, explode into spasms, expire and fall out of the net. If you're really lucky you be able to keep it in sight without getting netted yourself as it settles to the bottom. There you can pick it up, assuming you don't have to beat sharks off to grab your specimen. Then get the lot including yourself and your Remora safely on the rocking boat. Easy, right?

Spent a ton of time thinking this over, planning and on project design. Despite making a good bid, we didn't get it. The firm that did, never put any divers in the water, with or without a wetsub. I understand they towed a video camera with a ruler scale inset, that was the bulk of their study?! Well, they probably didn't lose any divers, then again, they never hired any in the first place. Your public dollars at work, back in the day. In hindsight, I'm thinking, well it would have been real interesting but maybe we lucked out after all in not getting the project?


A bit more about the controversy dealing with gillnetting king mackerel appears at:
http://www.thefreelibrary.com/40+Yea...g.-a0212034487

and about the mackerel migration at:
http://spo.nmfs.noaa.gov/mfr563/mfr5632.pdf

So, there's another one, see they don't even have to happen, completely. A good tale with a near miss works too. Over to you ...
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Old 12-02-2009, 10:22 PM
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A post and response from: http://www.scubaboard.com/forums/new...eply&p=4886246

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paladin954 View Post
I pulled this one over from another thread I posted on:

(It happened in the summer of 1978. The equipment consisted of a Healthways steel 72, Aqua-Lung Aquarius reg, White Stag Deep SPG, USD Atlantis mask, USD Otarie fins, 5 pounds on a USD weight belt, USD diver's knife. I had just bought the Aquarius and this was my first dive with a single hose reg.)

One year, when I was just a kid, my family went to Tennessee for vacation. While we were there, we visited Tuckaleechee (sp?) Caverns. From that time on, I was fascinated by caves. By the time I reached my early twenties, I had spent thousands of hours exploring underground and crawling through some pretty tight places. I even became a member of the Tri-State Search and Rescue Team, specializing in cave rescue.

So, when my friend and I discovered a cave in the rock wall of a man-made lake where we were diving (I'm not going to say where because I don't want to tempt anyone), we decided to check it out.

Yeah, I know. We were young and stupid. I should've known better.

Anyway, Fuzz led the way and I followed him into the cave. The passage was tight and Fuzz kicked up the sediment to the point where I couldn't see squat. I groped along behind him, hands out in front, trying to keep up. Then, I suddenly found myself in clear water and Fuzz was nowhere in sight. I switched off my light to see if I could detect his light. Nada. Black as Hades. At that moment, I felt my tank grate against the ceiling for an instant, then come free.

I realized that I must have taken a side passage and was separated from Fuzz. I started to back out, but couldn't. I was stuck. My tank was lodged in a depression in the ceiling and I couldn't move. My first thought was to simply unbuckle my harness and slip out from under the tank, then pull it out of the cave after me, but the passage was too tight and I couldn't get my hand down to my waist to release the buckle. I thought about cutting the harness away at the shoulders but my knife was strapped to my leg, out reach.

Out of options, all I could do was watch the needle of my SPG as my air slowly ran out. I thought about my parents and my girlfriend. I thought about how stupid I was and I wondered how long it would be before someone found my body.

At 500 psi, my J valve started honking its low air warning. At 300 psi it would cut off and I couldn't reach the rod to turn on the reserve. Panic was about to set in when I felt something moving along my left leg. It moved up to my waist and I felt a tug at my harness buckle. Then, something grabbed my ankles and yanked me backward and free. I pulled my tank after me and followed Fuzz back out to open water. On the way, I had to open the reserve. When we were back on the boat, I had this overwhelming urge to give ugly ol' Fuzz a kiss. I settled for a hug and a handshake.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RickI View Post
Great story, congratulations on making it out! A number of us have had a Fuzz intercede when we needed it most. Glad he was able to find you. Do you recall his side of the story, i.e. when he discovered you weren't there and how he went about finding you?

My first dive in Warm Mineral Springs in 1977 or so, I did a tour of sorts with the lead archaeologist, Sonny C0ckerell. Went down a bunch of the fixed lines to various paleo and archeo digs in the springs. More about that later. Anyway, I recall standing on the bottom near one of the sources at around 230 ft. with an inclined rock ceiling overhead and pretty narc'd. I was checking out the scenery, on air, looking at the pressure gage, etc.. but felt no compulsion to move or ascend. Was ok just to stand there, not sure if I would have moved or not. Sonny came along gave a thumbs up and that is what we did. A lot milder than your experience, still narcosis can do that sometimes. Keep you somewhat aware in la la land but lacking the incentive to get out of Dodge. Had it another time at about 170 ft., even forgot I had a large hogfish on a spear. Had been away at school and deep diving for many months contributing to things.

Please keep the stories coming. High drama, a narrow miss or just an unusual but memorable experience, lots of great tales from back in the day.
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Old 12-02-2009, 10:25 PM
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and another from: http://www.scubaboard.com/forums/vin...stories-3.html

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Wilson View Post
Here's an anecdote I've retrieved from a forum other than Scubaboard. It relates to a recent event when I was vintage snorkelling.

For many years I did my swimming in the lakes of Minneapolis in the American Upper Midwest, where I travelled each summer to spend time with my brother, who lives and works there. During the very hot summers there, an hour's dip in one of the lakes was just "what the doctor ordered".

In 2005, the doctor ordered something different, an operation to remove my cancerous prostate gland. After years of never darkening a medical practitioner's door, I found myself undergoing major abdominal surgery for the first time in my life. Fortunately for me, I had a full recovery. As I was then in my late 50s, the health professionals began to take more of an interest in me and I began to get annual checkups. I was advised during one of these sessions to take more exercise.

I've never seen any point in exercise just for the sake of it, so I decided to pursue the two physical activities that appealed to me most: walking and swimming. In the case of walking, I soon found an old colliery waggonway with agreeable views and pleasant rural surroundings, a walk several miles in length, ending with a visit to a shop where I could buy my morning newspaper. As for swimming, I tried my local swimming pool, but hated the excessive heat, the fact that I was expected to swim up and down roped-off lanes in the same boring way as I had done in my youth, and that I wasn't allowed to swim with fins, which I love using.

One early morning I decided to drive to the coast to go swimming off a sandy North Sea beach. Clad in my Hydroglove replica vintage drysuit and wearing an oval dive mask, all-rubber full-foot fins and a simple J-shaped snorkel, I enjoyed one of the best hours of my life swimming about in the waves. The bay where I swam was almost devoid of wildlife, despite public notices warning of the possible presence of seal pups and requesting dogwalkers to keep their pets under control. Strands of seaweed and a few small jellyfish were the only flora and fauna I came across and I felt pretty safe from the latter thanks to my drysuit and the fins on my feet. After my swim I emerged warm and refreshed, determined to repeat the experience each weekend morning, weather and sea-state permitting.

One subsequent weekend morning I went down to the coast for my swim in the early morning, the sun barely above the horizon. I chose to swim at dawn because I valued the solitude and I didn't like an audience. I put on my suit and other gear, walked down to the sea's edge and proceeded to swim. A while later I turned round to face the coast and spotted two policemen gazing seawards at me. They waved and I slowly came ashore. They came over and explained that they had observed me in the water and wondered what I was doing. They presumed that I was either attempting suicide or that I was a North Korean spy landing from an enemy ship far out to sea. The North Korean spy idea wasn't too far-fetched, considering I still swim with the old-fashioned black snorkelling gear that was popular in the 1950s and 1960s. The two bobbies expressed surprise that I had chosen that particular bay to swim as there were no fish, or any other wildlife for that matter, to observe. I replied that the idea was to get fit and that the glorious view of the rising sun was enough of an incentive for me to swim there and at such an early hour. The policemen and I then parted company, I relieved that I hadn't broken some obscure by-law or "health and safety" regulation, they pleased to have had a "human seal" break the monotony of their night-shift.

I've swum regularly in the same spot for over four years now, but never again have I had an encounter with our "boys in blue". However, I'm still regarded with some suspicion by the local beach dogwalkers. I'm always concerned when I see their canines being let off the leash because they always seem to rush, barking in my direction when I'm splashing away above the waves. I have to say, though, that the worst that's ever happened to me dog-wise is when one pooch picked up and ran away with one of my spare fins. The owner retrieved it and replaced it, sheepishly, on my pile of clothing.

I'm looking forward to resuming normal business as soon as spring comes round. My suit, fins, mask and snorkel are waiting in the cupboard, ready to come out of hibernation when it's time. The great thing is that I'm now retired and don't have to wait until the weekend if the weather's good and the sea's calm!
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Old 12-04-2009, 03:57 PM
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Quote:
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These are great stories! As a youth I dived with a group called The Bay State Frogmen.
A great bunch guys ranging from the 30's to 40's old men to a 16 year old pup. One guy who kinda took me under his wing was Charlie he was at the tail end of the greatest generation. Old enough to remember WWII but not old enough to have served. Still forged from the same mettle as the rest,hard as nails but a kind and generous nature.
He always took me on dives he knew I was ready for even if I didn't think so! "Come on you ain't gona learn to dive unless you do it, just stay with me and if you feel like your gona s--- yourself let me know and we'll go up". So anyway the years go by and one day I was free diving / spearfishing around 1978 near a place called Kings Beach in Newport RI ...
Continued at:
http://www.scubaboard.com/forums/vin...ml#post4892271
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Old 12-04-2009, 03:58 PM
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Another from the wayback machine, my first overseas dive trip. It was with an old Ft. Lauderdale dive club, the Aqua Addicts in 1972. Used to meet at the Hall Of Fame, rode my bike over there past all the old fishing charter boats, sea scouts house boat, old time Lauderdale haunts. Dive clubs like ski clubs in Florida are unusual in some respects. I have a theory, the less accessible a sport is, the more people like to get together to talk about it. For that reason, Florida has some of the largest ski clubs in the US while the dive clubs come and go. Understand Colorado has a large dive club. Go figure. The Addicts are long gone today but for a new 15 year old diver and new to Florida it was just the ticket. A weekend dive trip to Cay Sal Banks in the Bahamas was laid on departing out of Islamorada in the Keys.



The Double Headed Shot Cays on the NW quadrant of the Bank lay about 53 miles from Islamorada. Cuba is just 30 miles south of Cay Sal Bank. Little known but centrally located.


Doc Golden, long time Addict and notable Ft. Lauderdale diver volunteered to drive myself and another diver down to the boat in Islamorada. The 55 ft. steel hauled power yacht was tied up by the commercial fishing boats at Holiday Isle. It was captained by a self-avowed "beat-nik." True story, perhaps the only one I ever met. They sort of vanished in the 1950's and early 60's by accounts.


We head down to the Double Headed Shot Cays along the NW part of Cay Sal.


Even today, Cay Sal is off the path for many. It is remote, a "pseudo atoll" framed by the Florida Keys to the northwest, the Bahamian plateau to the east and Cuba to the south. Some have even theorized that Cay Sal was created by a large meteorite impact. It resembles a normal coral atoll common to tropical areas of the Pacific but I understand it was not formed in that fashion.

We had some pretty good rolling seas on the way down. Also, I recall they must have oversold the boat as there were guys in sleeping bags on the aft deck dead to the world snoring away in the morning. Being the only dry land for some miles, migrating warblers stopped by to rest. I was amazed to see them nosing around the guys faces passed out on the deck. One stuck its head in a guys mouth and even stepped in? Talk about wanting someplace dark to hang out. Bird, I would keep looking.

Eventually we were shadowed and then boarded by an armed crew from a USCG ship. The Bay of Pigs had happened just 11 years previously, the Cold War and enmity between the Cuba and the United States governments were in full swing. It was a routine search for contraband and shortly there after we were sent on our way. We were told the last time the vessel was in these waters it was boarded by crews from two Cuban gunboats. Wonder if there were any attack subs or boomers in the area? Unstable time and dicey area of the Straits in those days.



The long abandoned lighthouse station, like so many others in the islands


We made it to the cay and anchored off before the lighthouse. The lighthouse is not only abandoned but pretty much shredded by countless hurricanes. The buildings were built tough, just not tough enough for all the pounding. Cay Sal has been a layover spot for smugglers running north, more often south for a coons age. Weapons were the contraband of choice for a long time. We even saw some cartridge dumps underwater around the island. A bit of the Wild West in Cay Sal in those days. I understand rafters heading north from Cuba lay over there at times.


A view of the cays from the southwest.
https://wikimedia.org/

Gun running for the numerous revolutions going way back concluding with Castro's revolt of the late 1950's was a common thing. Not sure but it may have played a role in rum running during prohibition. It is a pretty remote area after all. Recall the rum runners would moor in cities off major ports waiting for night and speedboats to hull the hooch into shore. In more recent times running people and drugs has taken over.

The visibility was great, 100 ft. plus with an incredible cobalt blue cast to the water as I recall. It was this way in the Florida Current waters frequently in those days. Sadly, no longer at least not as often, climate change at work, you've got me?

We dove our single 72 cft and regs. with dinky vests for a couple of days. I recall being particularly impressed by a heavier guy's only slightly larger vest that had TWO CO2 cartridges. Blinded by science ... or was it technology? We didn't do any real deep stuff, that had to wait until I came back with a young lady and her family almost two years later. That's another story though.





The Cay has all these great rock solution features, caverns, blowholes, you name it. In good viz, lots of marine life it was quite a playground to explore. There was a wreck of a sidewheeler vessel there, the Steamship Marion of the Mitchell Line. Didn't figure out that it was a sidewheeler until sometime later by the giveaway cast iron support hoops laying on the bottom. It may have resembled one of the sidewheelers in the engraving above this. The Marion was traveling with passengers and cargo from Key West to New Orleans when it struck bottom off the Double Headed Shot Cays on April 2, 1863. The vessel was sinking so the captain elected to run the ship into the rocks of the cay. More about the wreck and circumstances at http://www.forensicgenealogy.info/co...3_results.html


A illustration of the Steamship Marion, the one that gained fame at Ft. Sumter during the outbreak of the Civil War. It may resemble the vessel sunk off Cay Sal but is apparently a different ship.
http://www.nysl.nysed.gov/mssc/ftsumter/marion.htm

Did some free diving may even made 50 ft, maybe. Would be a few more decades before I figured out long fins are a world better for free diving than my first Jet Fins. Time tells all, if we pay attention.

It was a great first trip, more to come. Would like to go back there and checkout some of those blue holes, kite in the lagoon and in some of the swell areas. Scooter free diving the drop offs would be a blast too. These days lots of other folks have been there, what sort of things did you see?
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Old 12-05-2009, 01:35 PM
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Still more going up at:
http://www.scubaboard.com/forums/vin...stories-4.html

including ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by VooDooGasMan View Post
In lower michigan we had a lake cottage, in 76' I was there in the winter, out playing hockey. At this time Ice was froze thick in most areas, I shoveld my rink and flooded it at knight and had a great rink. The trick was to flood it quickly, So I got big plastic barrels from the pepsi plant, they were the only place you could find them back then, and were filled with caffine. A neighbor on the lake worked there. Any ways you fillled in the corners, and dumped at same time to get an even thick coat.

Shootin the puck from one end to the other in the net, is what I was doin one morning. there are Ice shanty's all over and vehicles, out Ice fishing and you would park at the shanty. I noticed alot of trucks and then a wrecker showed up. I hopped on my sled and shot across the lake to see what was up, the shanty was floating in broken Ice, in the middle there is not much snow as the wind blows it off, you can see the ice was thin. Every one had less a view than I, for I had my skates on and keeped circling it, I have had tons of experience of thin Ice getting the puck next to the waters edge as the lake was freezing.

I ended up skating around the shanty with a rope and then hooked to wrecker and pulled it out, It was destroyed. There was bubbles still coming up through the broken Ice hole,
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Old 12-05-2009, 04:57 PM
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Here's another one. We were doing a reef survey about 20 miles off Tampa Bay in December decades back. We were staying on an EPA support ship, a big one, think it was a former oversized gunboat or something in the Vietnam War. The goal was to survey quadrants on the bottom, a coral patch reef, for type and percent coverage. I recall it had something to do with a dredging project related to the Port of Tampa. The corals looked pretty good surprising me at the time. We were two man teams in Zodiacs with no comlink, usually no big deal but this day there was fog. Another fog story? Fog, especially the real thick variety isn't that common in the SE coast but is more common in the Tampa area. There weren't any waves or wind to speak of fortunately. Anyway, here we were 20 miles offshore heading out in a small inflatable and at about a ships length out, the mothership vanishes? Not very comforting particularly considering how routinely I used to have outboard failures in those years. Twenty miles offshore, no power, no mothership in sight and no communications lost in a fog? Hope the consultant we were working for worked up a bit more contingency management for future projects. Can't recall another time had to so a survey in the fog, heavy seas, cold water, after dark, curious sharks, stupid deco but not fog. Good news is, no outboard failure or getting lost either. The viz.UW was pretty good about 40 ft., the water was only about 18 ft. and a lot warmer than I would have thought possible for that time of year. I had made a snowman in Tampa a few years prior at USF and was firmly convinced at just how nippy it can get over there. It was an interesting project with no real problems. Regarding attire, recall I had on a 72 cft with USD Conshelf Reg, a Aquatech BCD (think I still have it too) and a 4 or 5 mm farmer john. Hope the reef is still doing ok out there.
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