This month I flew to NC to do some wreck diving with my dad and uncle Gene. We got some great tips from Divin` Dawgs in New Bern about where, how and when to dive.
On our first day, the water was pretty bad (over 6` waves, very choopy and windy)...but that wasn`t going to stop us. My dad, uncle and brother Chuck (co-captain of the boat) and his girlfriend, headed out of Beaufort Inlet towards the Indra, a 400` cargo ship about 10 miles off shore in 60` of water. We quickly got soaked from all the crashing waves. When our gps told us we were there, Chuck and dad set the anchor (special grappling hook wreck anchor). The anchor caught on something and we hoped it was the Indra. My uncle and I were suited up and in the water waiting for my dad. I had to throw up from all the waves (better to do it now than underwater). My dad got in and my uncle got out due to his uneasiness with the dive and water conditions. I knew it would get better once underwater.
My Dad and I descended on the anchor line and within 15` the ship came into view. I saw two sharks at the bottom, but didn`t see them again once at the ship. We secured our anchor and continue around the bow of the ship. The viz was great, at least 40`, no current either. LOTS of fish everywhere. Coral covered the entire ship.
We got back to the boat, switched out tanks and went down again (no deco issues due to shallow water). The second dive brought us around the stern of the ship. We collected some shells, dead coral and fishing lures.
The second day was much better. Just my dad and Chuck went this time. The seas were only 2-3 feet and not real choppy. We headed to the Novelty this time, about 3 miles offshore in about 50` of water. We anchored on the old Atlantic Beach Bridge and had another two great dives. The viz wasn`t as good as the Indra, but still better than I`m used to, at least 20`.
The third day was rough again and Gene came with us again. We went to the Liberty (Theodore Parker) this time, almost right by the Novelty. We anchored right in the middle of the ship where they blew it up. The viz was about 20` again. My dad, Gene and I dove this time...we explored the deck, bow, sides and some holes of the bow portion of the ship. Gene brought his gig but there weren`t many large fish. Again, another two great dives! Tips:
- Get a wreck anchor and extra chain to secure the anchor to the wreck if you are going to dive from a personal boat.
- Go early in the morning as the waves pick up in the afternoon.
- Bring a light with you as your anchor may drop inside a hole in the wreck.
- Always leave someone on the boat when you are underwater.
- Don`t go on a personal boat if the wind is greater than 10mph, the waves are higher than 4` and the wave interval is less than 6 seconds.
by Greg Davis