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Need advice about a wreck
Monilite - 5/25/2007 12:00 AM
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Category: Travel
Comments: 19
I’m new to diving, so I just wanted to get some input about my last dive. Everybody’s dive buddy, Greg said I should put this on a thread for everybody to see. I didn’t intend to go wreck diving, but I just had to check out a strange sight. My buddy and I were descending to our intended reef site, but I saw that the water looked more green than blue off towards the east side of the reef. I remembered a dive documentary once where Phillip Cousteau saw an unusual color in water from his helicopter and when they landed and investigated it turned out to be a ridiculously huge school of fish. I wondered if that may be the case in what I saw. There was nothing really going on at the reef it seemed relatively inactive and I decided to investigate the green water. As we swam further away from the reef to the east the green became even more pronounced and seemed to be coming from a single spot on the bottom ahead. As we got closer to the source my first thought was that there was a detailed model of a ship that somebody had put in a green bottle. As we continued to swim it became obvious that the ship was full size and much further away than I thought the vis would allow us to see. The ship was obviously not in a bottle, but surrounded by some kind of green glow. I’ve heard of phosphorescent algae and seen wisps of it, but never so much at once. I was really concerned that we were getting too far from our boat, so we turned back. Like I said, I’m not real familiar with actual wreck diving, but I’ve seen quite a few documentaries and such. Isn’t a shipwreck supposed to look...well wrecked? This ship looked so good, that, as I said, at first I thought it was a model. The ship looked like some kind of commercial vessel as it had what appeared to be football goalposts near the front just to the rear of a boxy looking bridge and a structure that looked like a really large radio broadcast tower laying on its side covering the span of the flat deck. Just behind the tower like structure were two smoke stacks side by side and several “J” shaped ducts behind them. Does anybody know what I may have been looking at?


Monilite - 6/08/2007 12:00 AM
I`m ending this blog subject, please go to 08/04 dive plan for the follow-up.
Monilite - 6/04/2007 12:00 AM
If I were handwriting this it would be illegible from the shakes I still have! This past Sunday I was able to get into the water again and look for that wreck (Cyclops?). We went to the same reef and as soon as we began our descent I did a 360deg visual scan, but saw no green. I didn’t want to waste my air so aborted the dive and returned to the boat. My buddy (who from the beginning of all this insisted I not use his name) was a little upset & wanted to just do the reef & forget the “foolishness”. We moved the boat to the sandy flats in the vicinity that we guessed we had seen the wreck, but we saw nothing and came up in less than 10 minutes. I managed to persuade him to take the boat a little further offshore. I wanted to do a search pattern, but he gave me a cold, hard stare and said we’d go no more than a mile further out, turn around and come back, period. We kept an eye on the depth finder, but I kept looking into the water for a green glow.
Monilite - 6/04/2007 12:00 AM
We went a mile out, turned toward the south and came back. The depth finder showed nothing but smooth sand. It was very cloudy, and in the shadow of a cloud on the surface of the water to the south of our heading I thought I saw green. I begged him to indulge me and see what the depth finder did when we went over the area where I saw green. The depth gauge died just as we got to the area. We anchored & went down to explore while ____ tried to figure out what was wrong with the depth finder. We descended to 65 ft, we could clearly see the bottom, & headed to the greenish glow. I had a Gamma-Scout Geiger counter (in an acrylic case rated for 200ft) in my hand in front of me all the way! The wreck was at the center of the green glow just like last time. We both looked in each others mask and saw nothing unusual & pointed at the same thing in the same spot on the bottom. Narc-ed divers don’t share a hallucination! We approached & descended to 85ft.
Monilite - 6/04/2007 12:00 AM
I had to hold the Geiger with both hands to keep it steady enough to read. The green glow seemed to be a shell about 30 feet off all sides of the wreck including under it. The green shell was on the bottom, but the ship was not. At this point I really had to concentrate on my breathing or my SAC would have been shot! My buddy took hold of the Geiger and held it so we could both read it at the same time. We stopped at the edge of the green shell, I reached out to touch it & my hand went through it like it wasn’t even there. I then stuck out the Geiger (my buddy instantly let it go) and the reading rose only a little as it went through, but dropped to background normal once inside. My buddy pointed up, but I shook my head, no, so violently I got water in my mask. I hadn’t come this far to wuss out! I stuck my head through and pulled it back; no problem. I gave an okay sign, did a lazy scissors kick towards the wreck and focused intently on the Geiger.
Monilite - 6/04/2007 12:00 AM
A couple seconds later I heard a loud clicking and turned to see my buddy outside the shell banging his air tank with his knife and waving me back. I tried to turn around but couldn’t. My body and legs were moving, but nothing was happening! I’m not ashamed to say I freaked-out; who wouldn’t?! No matter what I did I kept inching slowly towards the wreck; out of control. I was thinking: Okay, this is a dream. I tried to conjure up Paris Hilton in badly torn prison jumpers promising me anything to save her, but no dice. I closed my eyes and brought my breathing back to dive normal. I wriggled around & slung my arms different ways to keep me at least facing the wreck. I heard a beep and thought, good the alarm’s ringing and I’ll be awake in a second. No such luck, my dive comp had reset to surface mode. That’s when I realized I just felt like I was underwater, but was actually floating in the air weightless.
Monilite - 6/04/2007 12:00 AM
If I were watching a SciFi movie I would expect a character in such a situation to remove their regulator and test the air. I had no idea if the dive shop guy thought Nitrous Oxide was Nitrox, was smoking something when he filled my tank and I was having the mother of all contact highs, or I was somehow narc-ed even though I didn’t think I was any where near deep enough for that. Anyway my last clear, normal memory was leaving the boat and descending into the Atlantic Ocean. No angel from heaven, or demon from hell was going to get my regulator out of my clenched teeth! Calming myself again I looked around and noticed for the first time that I could see outside the green shell like I was looking through air. I could see for miles. I could see the bottom gradually descend to the cliff of the continental shelf. I looked to the east-south-east and saw a distant mountain rising all the way out of the water (Haiti, a Caribbean island?).
Monilite - 6/04/2007 12:00 AM
I saw shipwrecks of all types and eras strewn along the bottom like forgotten toys; a couple of them relatively close by. I looked up and to the west and saw the coral reefs, but they looked like the dead pieces of coral you see in a pet store. I could see no living thing except my buddy hanging outside the shell watching me. I manage to get facing away from the wreck and curled myself up in a crouching position. As soon as the soles of my feet touched the hull of that ship I jumped away and towards my buddy. This whole thing seemed to take an extraordinary amount of time, but was only a few minutes (my dive buddy told me later on the boat). Once again I went through the green shell like it wasn’t even there, but slowed to a stop right away as I was again in the water. I looked to the north and below my buddy, but the wooden sailing ship that I saw from inside the green shell was not there.
Monilite - 6/04/2007 12:00 AM
There was a slight dune in the sand on the bottom in that area, but I was definitely done with this dive and had no intention of checking it out. We were still in no-deco mode (according to my buddy’s dive comp), so we ascended, did the normal safety stop at 20 feet (which also seemed like at least an hour to me) and surfaced not far from the still anchored boat. I know that I’m probably not going to be believed, but I had to write this all out while it was fresh in my mind. Next week I’ll add something to this Blog to assure you all that I’m not locked-up in an asylum somewhere. I learned to dive hoping for adventure, but this is just too, too much!
PadiCakes - 5/29/2007 12:00 AM
This is the only glow I have heard of regarding coral reefs, "a specific type of bioluminescent bacteria that emits a glow as well." Check out this site to read more. I would actually call the coast guard and ask them if they know of any wreck in that location and how new it is- maybe someything on board that may cause a reaction to the water and it may not be safe. Be careful and safe diving!
hectorj84 - 5/28/2007 12:00 AM
wow that sounds really interesting. please keep us posted on the progress of your "research" and also whenever you go back, is it still there? and if at the end it isn`t of that much value to you, maybe you can tell us where it can be found?
Monilite - 5/28/2007 12:00 AM
NOTE: My last 3 comments are in reverse order. I always compose on MSWord before I put anything online, so I had to break-up this entry into 3 parts and didn`t think to start at the end and add from there.
Monilite - 5/28/2007 12:00 AM
If this turns out to be a practical joke I’m going to be very upset! I should add here that I never went deeper than 71feet on that dive, so I really don’t think narcosis is a factor. How does one subjectively tell if they’re narc-ed? I’ve done the tilting the head back, close the eyes and touch the nose routine on land after I’d had a few drinks and was questioning my sobriety; does that work underwater? If I get narc-ed I really hope that I see a mermaid, or something more tantalizing like that and not just a work boat! I was not diving in the Bermuda Triangle, but not really that far north of it come to think of it; hmmmm. I am not anxious to share this location at this time till I get a chance to go back there; they do call this are the Treasure Coast. Well, as soon as the surf gets a little less extreme I’ll go back out and see. Hopefully, whether permitting, I’ll get a chance next weekend. I’ll keep everybody here posted.
Monilite - 5/28/2007 12:00 AM
I’m beginning to worry more about that green glow! I can hardly believe this myself. I have a friend who’s a professor at a major university. He said he could find an underwater Geiger counter I can borrow on a week-end between semesters. Maybe that glow was phosphorescent algae, maybe something else, but I’ve always been of the opinion better safe than sorry. The next time I go diving I won’t go inside regardless, but I would like to get a closer look at it as long as the clicker stays quiet; maybe I can get a different ID on it. Yes, I did see the movie “Philadelphia Experiment”, and no, I have no problem separating fact from fiction; maybe I’m a little too imaginative for my own good, but in this case I’m willing to indulge myself.
Monilite - 5/28/2007 12:00 AM
I did lots of online research over the Memorial weekend. I started at the association of underwater explorers ( followed their link to the naval historical center (the first actual Internet wreck research resource) to the dictionary of American naval fighting ships and began to go through their alphabetical photo index. I thought this ship was a freighter of some kind, but the Navy does have work boats too and I wanted to be methodical in my research and not go skipping around through resources on a whim. In the last segment of photos in the “C” directory ( I nearly fell out of my chair when I saw a photo of the USS Cyclops ( That was the ship I saw and it was lost on March 4th 1918!!!! I looked up photos of all the ships called colliers and saw only one that looked right; the Cyclops again (
prodiver - 5/27/2007 12:00 AM
Where were you diving? In the Burnuda triangle? If so it could`ve been an alien spacecraft. Sounds kind of like it, with that green sort of glow around it. then again you might have been narc`d
DiveRex - 5/25/2007 12:00 AM
I wonder where you were and how deep you were? Sounds to me like you might have been Narc`d! :)

I once saw what appeared to be a mermaid swimming in the distance on a reef in Florida, when I first started diving. I have a tattoo on my shoulder of her now so that I will never forget what she looked like.

But seriously, if you stumbled onto a new wreck that has never been found, how cool is that?! Thats an adventure that I would love to be a part of! And wrecks come in all sorts of conditions. From a pile of scattered rubble to a perfect ship sitting upright on the bottom. It all depends on the conditions in how it sank.
DalelynnSims - 5/25/2007 12:00 AM
Hi there,

Maybe they are keeping the location a secret just in case there are thousands of gold and silver coins on board :-)

Take care and Best Fishes or better sneaky ones!! [
froggiepatrol - 5/25/2007 12:00 AM
I would like to say that it`s great to hear the common sense and the courage you had to pull away from something so alluring as this ship sounded. I`m sure it was very hard to do. You didn`t mention where you was diving in blog??? Often you can not only find out what ship it was but also pictures of it during it`s prime on the web. Your story has peeked my own interest so if you locate anything on please let me know.
DalelynnSims - 5/25/2007 12:00 AM
Hi there,

Wreck diving can be fun and a study of the wreck your diving on prior to the dive helps one understand what to expect regardless if your looking or penetrating. Wrecks can be complete and many are there on purpose like the Grove and other that are placed as part of an artificial reef. Others are indeed wrecked and may have a large debris field that can stretch for miles for those in deeper waters.

I believe that the ‘J’ shaped ducts that your speaking of are the air intakes. Their shape helps keep water out while at the same time allowing the engines and lower levels of the vessel to receive fresh air.

Wrecks can be a wonderful place to dive and a wreck diving course may help you understand more, or better what to look for and help mitigate the hazards of wreck diving

Hope this helps

Take care and Best Fishes!! `•.¸¸.•´¯`•.¸>