Sun, 20/21-Sept-1997, Subject: Dive Report Last Updated 04-July-98

Dive Trip Report to Maimi Beach - Wreck Dives

The Down-Under Dive Club, Palm Bay, Florida.

Boat - Diver's Paradise, Key Biscayne (305)-361-3483 Hotel - Winter Haven, Ocean Ave., Miami Beach

Dive # 1 , 20-Sept-97, afternoon dive a. Dive Location: Miami Beech, Deep Freeze b. Conditions: Typical Florida Clear Blue Skies (CBS), calm seas (CS) and Clear Green Water (CGW) c. Dive Information: 127' analog depth gauge, 122' Cochran dive computer, dive time 18 min Vis 40', temp at bottom 84 degrees (skin, no shortie suit) d. Dive Comments: Big freighter , I landed on the top deck, there'snot much superstructure. We went into a hold and had very little bottom time. You really need to go down with your dive partner and stay together to get the most of the very short bottom time. This dive is of such a short time duration that my 120 cu. Ft. dive tank was a waste (except for emergency backup usage)! Interesting deep dive, but little to see except for plain flat deck and open holds. e. Reference Notes: 210' freighter resting E/W on her keel in 135' of water, top deck at 100'. Sunk Oct 1976, companionways are open. Andrew caused the stern quarter to break away, otherwise there is little damage.

Dive #2 , 20-Sept-97, early evening dive a. Dive Location: Tortuga b. Conditions: CBS, CS, CGW c. Dive Information: 110' analog depth gauge, 105' Cochran dive computer, dive time 24 min, Vis 40', temp at bottom 81 degrees, d. Comments: REALLY GREAT SHIP TO DIVE ON, this is a must dive. This ship would make a whole day of diving. Dive deep first around the outside, then work your way up for successive dives. e. Reference Notes: Sunk in 1995, the 180' freighter is in 100' of water. She was sunk as part of the Cindy Crawford / Bill Baldwin movie "Tortuga". The ship is easily penetrated and is suppose to have lots of barracuda and other marine life.

Dive #3 , 20-Sept-97, night dive a. Dive Location: Miss Patricia & Miss Karline b. Conditions: CBS, CS, CGW c. Dive Information: 65' analog dive gauge, 28 minutes, Vis 40'. d. Comments: We visited the Miss Patricia for a while then went off her bow about 100' to the Miss Karline. It took two attempts to find her, the first attempt, we did not get a good navigation fix with our compass. On the route, there was a large hermit crab in it's shell (10" long). We spent only a few minutes on the Miss Karline due to air running low and concern about finding our way back to the Miss Patricia. There was a mild current and it was at night, we wanted to come up the anchor line. There was an underwater strobe that could be seen from about 60'. There was one bug on the stern of the Miss Patricia, that I attempted to catch with my hands, he got away - fast little buggers. The night part of the dive really used up air, this should have been a 40 minute dive at that depth, but we were swimming a lot instead of drift diving. Both flashlights were running low on battery power on this dive. It's a good idea to put in new batteries before a night dive - these were reading 1.3 volts prior to the dive. My dive partner had a real cool LED light system with about 5 LED's that flashed in sequence - very visible from a distance and above. During night dives it's very difficult to find your dive buddy at times, most people wear black and have a green glow stick on the back of their tanks - almost impossible to tell who-is-who! I wear a striped green skin, very visible from a distance, even at night. e. Reference Notes: The Miss Patricia is a 100' fishing vessel with the wheelhouse intact - a classic tug in 55' of water. The collapses hull of the Miss Karline is 100' SE of the Miss Patricia.

Dive #4 , 21-Sept-97 a. Dive Location: Orion b. Conditions: CBS, CS, Clear Blue Water (CBW) c. Dive Information: 97' analog depth gauge, 93' Cochran dive computer, dive time 26 min, Vis 50', temp on bottom 80 degrees on the bottom. d. Comments: Great ship, the pilot house is at the side of the ship on the sandy bottom. Lots and lots of new growth on the ship, very pretty - but don't touch!! e. Reference Notes: Located in Key Biscayne Artificial Reef Site, this 118' tug use to work the Panama Canal. She's in 95' of water with her twin engines and 10' propellers intact (Note: we did not see them, I did see what looked like a real big piston rod off the stern in the sand) and was stripped for save diving. She was sunk in 1981.

Dive #5 , 21-Sept-97 a. Dive Location: Rio Miami b. Conditions: CBS, CS, CBW c. Dive Information: 80' analog dive gauge, 76' Cochran dive computer, dive time 29 min, Vis 50', water temp 80 degrees on the bottom. d. Comments: There was a strong current. At the beginning of the dive, my partner tried to let go of the drift line attached to the anchor line at the front of the boat and swim to the anchor line. After many strokes, he was still at the dive ladder! We really had to pull ourselves up the drift line and down the anchor line. This tug was on it's side and interesting to pull yourself around. You can go in the hold in the stern and look around. There is a swim-through behind the pilot house, but be careful. Again coming up the anchor line, the current really swung you out to the side, you had to hold on. e. Reference Notes: The 105' tug was sunk in Nov 1989 in the Key Biscayne Artificial Reef Site in 67' of water. She is upright, cabin, ladders et al are intact.

Notes: Some of my past dive reports discuss the problem with the Cochran dive computer reading much less than the analog. The analog has been verified in two dive shops and dozen's of times against fellow divers and the boats depth gauge. This trip had two other divers that also had Cochran dive computers. There's also read less than the other analogs and computers (5-7' I believe).

Saturday night , night life on Ocean Drive at Miami Beach was something else. A usually quite street, it is a continuous line of sightseeing cars moving about 1 mph on the average. We did eat on the porch of a French restaurant on the Trail - the sights were unreal! Lots of Great-Looking Females, all dressed in Black!?. Thousands of people walking the streets, with police every 10' along the street. The land side had bar - restaurant - bar - restaurant etc. The east side were either condo's (starting at $1,000,000 an up) or ocean view. The area was still booming when we called it quits at 2:30 am and up at 6:30, we continued our dive trip!

Last Updated: 10-July-2002

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