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cynwydb - 8/25/2008 8:44 AM
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Category: Travel
Comments: 1

Dove the wreck of the Chappara off of New Jersey with Scout (aka Tim). The charter was with Atlantic Divers and the dive boat was the Dina Dee out of Barnegat Light, New Jersey. The wreck is of a Cuban freighter that was sunk in 1918 by a mine laid by a German U boat. Most of the guys on the trip were hunters, or diggers. Scout and I were the only people diving with singles (but we did have ponies). Conditions were great with almost flat seas and very mild current. Visibility near the surface was at least 30 ft, but on the bottom dropped to 10-15, bottom temp was 54F. In the water column on way down their was a lot of life, interesting jelly’s and a variety of iridescent ctenophores. In addition a small sea horse, about 2 -3 inches drifted by as we were descending the line. The wreck is at about 80 feet, with up to 10 ft elevation above the sand. Boiler is intact and there is a pretty good size debris field. The wreck has a lot of polyps and stars. Never dug before on a dive, but I picked up a clam shell and dug for a bit. Some of the guys got some goodies, several flounders and one sea bass made their way to the boat along with a soap dish and a brass lantern fitting (none from me). All in all a great group of people to dive with. I used a Scubapro Nova Scotia semi-dry and was very comfortable.


Scout - 8/25/2008 1:05 PM

A most excellent adventure from beginning to end.

Few people would go off on low-viz wreck dive with someone they never dived with before. Especially off New Jersey. I already knew that Frank and I have similar experience and training, his correspondence was always level-headed and coherent, and some of his dive buddies are on my list too. Besides, he volunteered to help at BTS in March, so I knew we’d work out fine.

As it turned out, he was a model dive buddy. Full gear check on the boat, reviewed signals and out-of-air plan; descended and ascended together; on the bottom was always within a few kicks. Remembered air checks, followed the dive plan, and recovered my forgotten mask from the suds bucket just as I was about to drive off. Now, here’s a candidate for Dive Buddy of the Year.

Take-home message: Things work out much better when your dive buddy is really paying attention. Makes look good, too!