Arrived at South Padre Island on Thursday at 10:00am, June 19th and hit the bar waiting for the rest of the group. It turned out that their flight was delayed due to the bad weather in Dallas until 2:00pm. Soooo, the bar was an awesome way to start the fun weekend. :)
I dove the Texas Clipper with American Diving outfit on Friday. Arrived at 6:00 am, checked in, the boat took off at 7:00 am for an hour and a half until we reached our destination. We did 3 dives at the wreck. The water was very blue and clear, viz was at about 90’ and the weather was perfect. You could see the ship from the boat! Depth started at around 65’ and went all the way down to about 136’ or so. We went as deep as 105’ on the first dive, 98’ on the second dive and hang around the top at around 75’ or so on the third dive and ended up doing 15 minutes on the safety stop. We hit a thermoclime at around 90’. A 3mm was perfect for the dive and really needed the gloves to hang on to the ship because of the currents and the barnacles will bite (that’s what I was told).
The current was a bit strong in the morning and then all of the sudden the ocean was completely calm for the second morning dive. The Clipper was huge with lots to see. We saw lots of grow considering that it was just sunk last November, tons of arrow crabs (and I mean tons!!!), lots of fishes (on the small size, really), even a couple of octupus.
"She spent time in the Pacific during World War II as an attack transport ferrying fresh troops and supplies into battle and caring for injured Marines during their journeys to hospitals and safe ports. She sailed round trips to the Mediterranean in the 1950’s carrying passengers in first class style and cargo to and from their destinations. She trained sea cadets in the great maritime tradition of Texas A&M University at Galveston for three decades."
Definitelly a must dive spot. There is also a few rigs you can dive in the area such as Little Sara, Seana and others (http://www.divesouthpadre.com/divetrips.html
This is a good long weekend dive trip for the locals in the region, around 5 to 7 hours driving for Texans (from Houston, Dallas, Austin and San Antonio) or a short flight (45 min from Houston). I’ll be doing this trip again soon. Watch for updates on my dive trips.