This is a copy of a trip report I wrote a few years back. A few of us were talking about it in the chat room the other day, so I thought I would post it. Unfortunately, I’ve heard Dolphin Dive Charters is no longer running trips, but the dive sites are still there. This is the trip I video’d the Hebe and BP-25 videos on my profile.
I had to laugh reading it, as in the text, I complain about the cost to fill up my truck with gas...$46.00, It cost me $92.00 on Monday...same truck.
Hope you enjoy.One amazing weekend diving with new D2D friends on the wrecks off Myrtle Beach, South CarolinaDay 1
One o’clock in the afternoon on Wednesday July 14, 2004 couldn’t come fast enough for me. It would finally be time to skip work and head north to South Carolina (I like the way that sounds!). Unfortunately, it came and went and I was still working, fighting fires (figuratively) until almost 1:45. A stop at the local Gate store (convenience/gas store for those of you not lucky enough to live in Florida!) for fuel ($46.00...OUCH!), soda (Diet Coke, 2 twelves for $5.00) and beer (twelve pack, $6.49) and I was on the road.
Set my GPS to guide me right to the boat (more on that later) and I’m cruising I-95 north, ETA 7:20. That is until I get a mile from the Georgia line, then 95 becomes a parking lot. I’m NEVER going to get there. 45 min. later I pass the two motor homes that tried to occupy the same space on the highway at the same time. What a mess. New ETA 8:05 Dambit! (more on that later too).
Smooth trip the rest of the way to S.C. and I get right to my destination. Well, if my destination had been a brick ranch house on SC-9 Business route. Seems Dolphin Dive Charters lists the Captains house address rather than the marina. Quick call to Requin and I’m off again, new ETA 8:40. New destination: The condo some of our trippers have rented. "It’s easy, just come in the condos and look for the dive flag" says LarryF. Well, I didn’t start looking soon enought and took a nice tour of the complex. Stopping to scream, I see the dive flag waving between two other buildings, how the heck to I get to that parking lot? ATA (Actual time of Arrival) 9:15. Anyone ready for dinner?Night 1
The Seafood Buffet - I have mentally blocked out the name of this restaurant. I’m sure one of the others can name it in the comments below.
Attendees: LarryF, Requin, Thebes11, SCDiver072102, Dive_SC, Baker, Stephen, Augustadivediva, Pat
Food: The best I’d ever eatin’ If I had spent my entire life up to that point in prison
Comments: The buffet had raw oysters, but the restaurant only had one (uno, 1, less than two) shucking knife.
Finally arriving at the boat, I met Captain Tuck Rion. Man, what a beautiful boat. Tuck is obviously very proud of it, and spent time telling us it’s history along with all the reasons the boat is better than any other in Myrtle Beach and why he is hands down the best captain. And you know what, it ain’t braggin’ if it’s true. During the next three dive days, I was treated better by the captain and crew than on any other dive boat. More on the dive operation later. After a couple of beers to help me wind down from the long day, it was time to hit the sack, a nice little bunk in the bow of the ship.
Photo Courtesy Pat Bradshaw
Just after bedtime, Hydrophilicity arrived, but I was too tired to do much more than say hi and go to sleep.Day 2
Six thirty doesn’t seem to arrive nearly as early on a dive day than on a work day. I popped fully awake and made my way up to the deck. The condo dwellers had to get up even earlier since they had to make their way to the boat. Chalk one up for staying on the boat! By 7, everyone had arrived. We were joined by Fireflock and I actually met Hydrophilicity.
The Dive Op: Dolphin Dive Charters. I can’t say enough about these guys. The safety briefing was thourough, the crew competent,efficient, helpful and entertaining. The safety system was very impressive, as I handed in my waiver form, my name was written on a white board. Each line on the white board has a number, I was number 8 to hand in my form. I was asked who my buddy was and it was Requin who handed in her form next. Following my name, the crew wrote in the line number of my buddy. Following that, there are several more columns broken up into sets of three: Time In, Time Out, Surface Interval. As I entered the water, the DM called out my name and the other DM or the Captain wrote the time I entered the water. Upon exiting, the DM would call out my name again and that time was noted. After the board showed all divers back on board, a roll call was taken. All this and we weren’t even changing dive sites! Very impressive. This procedure was followed every dive of every day.
Photo Courtesy Pat Bradshaw
Everyone sets up their own tanks (I rented AL100s, LOVED the extra bottom time!), but that’s the only time you really have to struggle with any gear. The dive deck is ultra wide and set up with four rows of tanks. Rather than try to wiggle into a bc, put on fins, and stumble between people to the rear entry point, you simply carry your fins to the back, sit down and put them on. The crew brings you the BC and helps you put it on. Don your mask, giant stride, OK sign and your good to go. Our DM’s for most ot the trip were Tony and Brady. They had most of us in stitches the entire weekend. They compliment each other perfectly, Brady breaks stuff and Tony fixes it. This happens so often in fact, Brady’s nickname is Dambit (well, actually, Dammit, but it has been officially changed, but again, more on that later).Diving on Day 1
The Hebe: 42 miles offshore, 3 hour boat ride
The water was a bit rough, but not too bad. I think I’ve figured out my seasick problem. I was fine the whole way out, not even a twinge. I made the mistake of going to the back of the boat and got a huge lung full of diesel, instant green. I fed the fish for a few minutes and was fine the rest of the day. Fireflock had the same problem coming up from the first dive. He got a whiff of exhaust from the generator. I just need to stay away from diesel fumes I guess. Only problem is some of the boats I’ve been on have a pervasive diesel odor throughout the dive deck. Hmmmmmm.
Here’s info on the Hebe I got from http://www.mikey.net/aue/sc.html
The Hebe lies offshore South Carolina in the Myrtle Beach area, and can be reached from both Little River Inlet and Murrell’s Inlet. Lying in about 110 feet of water, this Portuguese freighter was sunk in a collision by the St. Cathan on April 11, 1942, as both vessels were running in blackout conditions during World War II; the St. Cathan also sunk from the collision and is a few miles away. Composite in construction, the Hebe lies spread across a clean sand bottom, bathed by generally clear offshore waters. Portions of her cargo, beer bottles and rat poison, are spread out in the sand on the starboard side. Various sizes of brown embossed beer bottles can be found, as well as green rat poison bottles and plethora of other glass and ceramic containers. Large schools of juvenile