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Dutch Springs Labor Day weekend
ScouterJT - 8/31/2008 8:26 PM
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Category: Travel
Comments: 3

Saturday morning ... zero o’dark ... light rain falling ... I manage to fall out of bed and load up my caffeine delivery device before backing the car out of the garage and heading off to Dutch Springs.

I arrived before 7:30, so was in line with the other season pass holders ready to head in as soon as the gates up. Once inside, headed straight over to the peninsula side and snagged a table in the grove. Got my self situated and waited for my buddies to show up.

Andrew ("Nurek") arrived at 9. We got geared up and headed off to explore the trolley (but not before Jackie arrived with her 2-student private class). Second dive took us to the Silver Comet, Cessna, and school bus.

Maurice ("Mostest Ganpa") arrived around 12:30, as we were exiting from that dive.

The three of us then went in. Saw the crane, rounded the far side of the island to the Cessna and then back to the Silver Comet and platforms.

Andrew left. Maurice and I had time for one more daylight dive. We went to the trolley, over to the junked out car below the trolley, back past the trolley and boat to the platform. We had plenty of air, so headed over to the Silver Comet and then over to platforms While we doing our safety stop, Jackie and her students came by. Add two more certified divers to the roster; congratulations Tom and Annie!

While waiting for the night dive, Maurice and I each set up our tents. The night dive was a nice slow circuit around the ’north cove’ (=student area).

Lots of folks were camping out Saturday night, but everyone quieted down by 10:30 or 11pm. Got a great night’s sleep and woke up refreshed and ready for a day of diving.

Maurice and I headed to the 6x on way to the "hole" for our first dive on Sunday; I stuck my wrist in the muck and registered 101 feet, water level may be down a little bit ... Then it was back past the dynamite shack to the island. Turned left around the island to the crane and back to the platform. This was a great dive.

Dive Two, we "explored" the north cove, trying to find the helicopter. My best guess is that we swam past it two or three times, but not close enough to spot it through the "fog". We finally surface swam over to it and descended for a quick look.

We decided to go back to the Sikorsky for the third dive; and glad we did. Maurice shot some nice video and pictures, and I was able to play a bit with my new camera. We finished the dive by swimming over to the Cessna, then back to the Silver Comet and a free swim over the platform and out.

Maurice decided to head home; Baltimore would be a long drive and he wanted to avoid traffic. I still had some more dives in me ... Fortunately, some folks on the next table over were gearing up and I asked if I could join them. So I joined John, Faith, and Nick on a nice dive; platform, Silver Comet, Cessna, then all the way out to the Cement Mixer and return.

Could I do one more dive? It was just 3pm and I would need to be "under water" by 5pm (Dutch Springs rules). So, while waiting to see who might show up, I decided to pack up all "non-essential" gear. Soon enough, Jackie comes back with Mark; Chris and Greg soon to follow. The four of them are camping out to dive Monday, and I was able to talk Jackie, Mark and Greg into a quick dive. We all managed to gear up and get "under water" by 5pm (just barely ...). We decided on the Silver Comet to Cessna to school bus. On the way to the school bus, I decided to try swimming upside down (that was a fun experience). At the school bus, I decided to head in so I could pack up and be out of the gates before they were locked. The others decided to continue on, since they were camping, they were in no big rush to surface.

Back on dry land, Chris helped me break down my gear and load up the car. I was able to get out the gate at 5:59. A quick stop at "The Spot" for a milk shake, and I was on my way home. Arrived home about 7:45, with the car unloaded by 8:30.

A nice weekend of diving. Met a new dive buddy (great diving, Maurice); completed my 100th hour underwater! Coming up on my second anniversary of certification and closing in on 200 dives. Life is good.

Dive on.


jfhuard - 9/01/2008 10:18 AM
Great dive report. I was at Dutch this weekend with Sterling Silver. Did similar dives. I’m always looking for a buddy who rather splash 6 times a day... We’re going back Sept 20-21, let’s make sure we get together. Cheers.
Scout - 9/01/2008 7:38 AM

Fine report, JT. I’m very surprised that there were so many members who had other things to do on Saturday and Sunday.

I’m heading up into the hills to check on a couple of remote lakes which look like promising dive sites. You know one of them - used to be a scout camp operated by the Robert Treat Council. Crystal clear water, possibly bottomless! Should get a letter tomorrow from the NJ Div of Fish and Wildlife to do a zebra mussel survey. - Best/YIS - TC
GypsyDiver - 8/31/2008 8:39 PM
well, Glad to see you had a great weekend! I am sorry that I missed it. Uncle Sugar filled my schedule this weekend. Hope to be up there in the next couple of weeks.