July 4th NC WreCK Trip
I just returned from the NC Wrecks trip. This trip was through SingleDivers.com. We stayed at the Fisherman’s Inn in Morehead City, North Carolina. We dove with Diver Down.
The trip was 4 nights, with 3 days of diving. We flew into Raleigh Durham and rented a van for the drive up to Morehead. Part of the highlights of this journey was to stop at wilbers for Carolina BBQ.
The next day we began the diving. DIving in Carolina is different than the other diving I have done. Each day started with a wakeup call at 5:30am. We were on the boat by 6:30am rigged up, ready to go for the 2 hour drive out to the wreck. The dives were deep, usually 100 feet+. After the first dive, we would move the boat to the 2nd dive site, do a second dive, then drive back to the to dock, arriving about 4:30. We would go to dinner around 6:30, head to bed afterwards and wake up and do it again tomorrow. Each dive went something like this. We would show up at the dive site and one of the dive masters would drop in and take the anchorline down and hook it to the wrecks. Then each of us would do a giant stride into the water a 6’ drop. Once you are in the water, you would drop in negative and drop down to a line hung at 20’. We would then follow that line down to the wreck.
Day 1 we did two dives on the schurz (http://www.nc-wreckdiving.com/WRECKS/SCHURZ/SCHURZ.HTML
). This was a WW1 wreck. A german boat which the Russians chased to Pearl Harbor and the germans surrended the ship rather than get sunk by the russians. It sank in the Carolinas by a collision with the MMS Florida.
We had many large sand tiger sharks. And some very large sting rays. When you dive these wrecks, the visibility is about 60 feet, so you don’t see the wreck till you are about 1/2 way down the line. When you hit the bottom, you find out that the boat is engulfed in bait fish. Lionfish have definitely taken over in this area.
Day 2 started with a dive of the U-352 (http://www.nc-wreckdiving.com/WRECKS/U352/U352.HTML
). This is one of the signature dives of the graveyard of the atlantic and lived up to the hype. When you realize how small these u-boats actually where, its amazing the damage that they were able to inflict during the way. The only downside was a strong current that you had to fight through to get back to the bow line.
After that, we went out and dove the spar. It is an artificial reef and a fun boat to dive. lots of swim throughs and plenty of fish and sharks. You could get down on the wreck and out of any current. A really fun dive that you could stay more shallow on after diving the U-boat earlier in the day. My highlight was swimming through the baitfish only to go face to face with a 4’ barracuda. Really mean looking guy and quite the rush.
Day 3 started with thunderstorms that came through all night long. So we were about 45 minutes late leaving port as we waited for the weather to clear. Plus the seas were really worked up with the squalls that came through. Dive 1 was the Aoelus (http://www.nc-wreckdiving.com/WRECKS/AEOLUS/AEOLUS.HTML
). This dive was also sunk as an artificial reef and the marine life really showed as it grew on the top deck. But the promenade deck was also wide open so you had plenty of swim throughs. There was plenty to see at different depths making this a very fun dive. Our final dive of the trip was the Hutton (http://www.nc-wreckdiving.com/WRECKS/HUTTON/HUTTON.HTML
). Being an wreck closer to shore, it is in about 60’ of water, and the visibilty was much less than the others (probably about 30’). The debris field for this wreck is all over and the dive masters were great at tying lines to lead us around the wreck. All sorts of marine life here. Saw dogfish and toadfish. It was a great way to finish off the diving on this trip.
As far as topside goes, the Fisherman’s inn is a motel that really catered to our group. We grilled out on their back deck the 2nd night for dinner. The owners were fantastic, from bringing out fresh dive towels every morning and washing them for us every night. A nice touch. We had dinner at Floyds 1921 which was very good and a definite recommend for the area. The Watermark was good, but given the size of our group, we seemed to inconvenience them, as we were asked to vacate the tables as soon as the check was paid.
This was a fun singledivers trip. They have been doing this trip for a while now and it showed with how their contacts handled it. We were picked up at the airport and dropped off when the trip was over. If you haven’t checked out the graveyard of the atlantic, its worth the trip.