The trip that never seem to give us the opportunity to take…the Mighty “O”. This has been a dive trip that me and my long time dive buddy have been planning forever it seems. It was one of those trips you have always wanted to do but for some reason timing was never on your side. I’m one that believes everything happens for a reason, and that perhaps things don’t transpire quite as soon as you would like for that reason…whatever it may be?
This trip happen to be the first “official” club trip of the newly formed Bottom’s UP Dive Club (www.bottomsupdiveclub.com). As a self proclaimed veteran of offshore Gulf of Mexico diving, I consider this one of the top diving spots located in the southern US. Not only a diving spot, but an adventure and overall good time all around…as long as you have good friends and dive buddies to share the experience with.
Our dive planning started with MBT divers located in Pensacola, FL and was carried to the finish line so to speak with Capt. Doug and the H2O Below. Having been on several boat dives, not necessarily in early April in the Gulf of Mexico, I can say we made the RIGHT choice in dive accommodations. The sea was particularly rough that day needless to say, but our Captain and crew got us through it with no problems.
We splashed on our first dive around mid morning and what a relief it was to get off that rocking boat! Going down the decent line slowly as everyone follows the next, the dark shadow of the Mighty “O” finally comes into view. After several years of thinking about this moment it is finally upon us. Every bit as majestic as I thought she would be. The visibility was only about 75 ft or so, but on a ship as large as the Oriskany you could still see a massive superstructure. As you got closer, the surreal takes hold and the history that is associated with this ship just grabs you. Being able to touch a piece of history such as this was worth the long wait I can assure you. I think the pinnacle of the dive for me was seeing the American Flag and the POW Flag moving with the current as if they were blowing in the wind and the ship was still a float. It was almost a ghostly, but calming experience.
This is defiantly a trip we are going to plan as a club in the future, albeit in the summer when the seas aren’t quite so rough. I would highly recommend using MBT Divers, and Capt. Doug and the H2O Below when you make this trip. Our lead Instructor Josh, of MBT Divers did an excellent job of briefing and accommodating us for this dive. This is an awe inspiring dive and I hope you will have a chance as we did to explore and touch a piece of history that is the USS Oriskany. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention there is a lot of fish life around there too…lol
If you would like to contact MBT Divers you can find them at www.mbtdivers.com