Dive Trip Report to:
Urca de Lima
Purpose: To Beach Dive Florida for old wrecks, cannon, ships, bugs etc!
Date / Dive #:
Saturday , Morning Dive. My Dive #358
A. Dive Beach Location: Beach Dive - Ft. Pierce / Urca de Lima (sunk in 1715)
Visibility: at least 30 feet - Absolutely GREAT for beach diving. The Pepper Park life guards said this was the best vis they've seen in 5 years!!
Water Temp: 76 deg
Skies: Typical Florida Sunny Clear Blue Skies!!
Air Temp: 80's
C. Dive Information:
Depth & Time: Me: Genesis Nitrox Dive Computer - about that much! (Got to go look it up)
Air consumption: Me: 3400 - 2000, 120 cu ft, partial Nitrox!
Current: Slight current and wind out of the west.
Description: Well, this was the 1st Official Beach Dive for the Bacardi Limon Beach Dive Team . We had lots of new members. Being early in the season, we needed to dive the southern areas for good vis. The Urca de Lima is always a good dive location. It was a wooden ship that sunk in 1715 and there is an anchor, several cannon, round ballast stone, and the ships keel and some ribs that can be seen. The wreck is marked with two buoys. We normally dive out of a private lot just to the south of the wreck. It's a long walk from Pepper Park to the wreck, especially with lots of dive gear on. Our plan was to meet at 8:00 am and enter the water at 8:30 am. We made our times. We had the normal dive crew of the Irishman and Scubagirl. And the Irishman brought along Laura and her children as snorkelers. There were several Trailblazer's along for diving, snorkeling and beach sitting. Rick B came down in his California Boat from Satellite Beach - a 2 hour boat ride each way.
We started to look at the weather from Wednesday on. At first it didn't look to good, winds out of the east. But, by Saturday, the weather was OK, in fact it was perfect. Conditions were the best we've ever had for a beach dive. Flat seas, warm weather, absolutely clear visibility etc.
The Irishman had a new twist for the snorkeling Flooze et al in 9 ft inflatable boat. We always recommend the snorkelers have a snorkel vest - as we were sometimes 1/4 to 1/2 mile off shore and this could save your life. As a backup, the boat was used to get out to the dive location and as an extra safety measure (Pictures to follow).
Well, on looking at the ocean, the first item we noticed was the two buoy's marking the wreck were gone. We did spot a boat in the general area and radioed Rick to move his boat over towards this area. Hand Held radio's do come in handy! This was about in the center to south end of the 1st condo south of Pepper Park. We entered the water and swam out - no wreck. Well, we all played around for a while and then some divers decided to go south on one reef line. After a little while, ScubaGirl surfaced to say she found the wreck. It is about 100 - 200 feet SOUTH of the 1st condo between the 2nd and 3rd reef line. See the map on Urca de Lima We've called the state and asked them to put out new buoys. We saw the 15 ft long 300 year old anchor. The snorkelers also could easily see it from the surface, it's in 11 feet of water about 100 yards off shore. 100 feet to the east is the cement slab for marking the second buoy. This marks some cannon, ballast stone and the ship's keel. The keel is covered with sand, but you can wipe the sand away to see the wood. We stayed at this location for about an hour. It was an awesome dive!!
At this time, many of the divers split up. We ended up in Pepper Park and joined Laura et al for lunch. We then spent the rest of the day on the beach, resting!
ScubaGirl's Dive Trip Report:
Hey there! had a great weekend of beach diving! After we left you all [from the Urca dive] we took Walter and met our friends to do the Breconshire. Had to run up to a friends house in Palm Bay, but returned in the early evening and we did the Breconshire again with our friends Mark and Alison. Then we went and did Riomar Sunday morning with them. All the dives were very good, even saw a turtle on the Breconshire. However, Riomar was phenomenal! Dave and mark went one way searching for emeralds and slipper lobster and Alison went on a fish hunt. We saw amongst the usual tropicals: a big school of lookdowns, a school of the biggest snook I have ever seen (bigger then those on the Breconshire), a big sleeping turtle, a huge nurse shark, a small moray (yes!), a guitar fish, and two huge made-me-drool lobsters.
Talking to Dan our Dive shop guy, he was saying with this kind of vis, now is the time to explore those places that don't always have the best vis. Therefore....I humbly suggest (provided vis stays good) that we do this weekend'd dive in Vero or Sebastian. My line of reasoning is if we've got the vis, why waste it at a place (Pepper Park) that we
A. went to last week, and
B. is the one spot that we got to when the vis is crappy every where else.
Hear what I'm saying? Riomar was very very cool, the ledges there rule, personally I CANNOT believe I have only ever gone there once before.
You do all the computer work to call the dive, so it's your choice....but IF the vis is still good I won't be going to Pepper Park this weekend, I'm really itching to do some of the places we don't get to as much before the vis goes crappy again.
Patti (who really thought she was growing gills this weekend)
Last Updated: 10-July-2002