Posted by Ross-O on June 22, 2005 at 00:15:30:
In Reply to: How small is the sea to you? posted by kylecawaza on June 21, 2005 at 19:49:52:
Like Phil said, there are places that we have dove dozens of times. The Olympic wreck is among these. Every time I dive there it feels like I'm stepping into the house and arms of an old friend. A big smile always stretches across my face when I see her. She's happy to see me too and usually embraces me with a big school of blacksmiths. There's a certain intimacy that many of us feel with the ocean that's terribly difficult to put into words.
Some of our wrecks hold the same fish for years on end. It's great to see the same bull sheepsheads or same wolf eel on trip after trip. It's also a great disappointment to see one plastered across a dive club newsletter with a spear hole in his side...
Then there are new friends.
Sometimes we get lucky and someone introduces us to a new friend. The other route is to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on software to interpret GIS data and then invest hundreds of hours into learning to use it, pouring over data, or otherwise doing research to learn what MIGHT be out there. The next step is to actually drive a boat over these spots and through the use of various technologies including drop cams or SONAR try to determine if it's a site worth diving. To really be sure, you have to put a warm body on the site. All of this is terribly expensive and requires at least a 10:1 ratio of prep time to dive time. Most people find this to be exactly the opposite of why they like to dive in the first place so it's hard to find others share this rather odd passion with.
Most of the "targets" turn out to be rock piles. Some of these turn out to be sand where we'll do a 20 min search and then have to do a half-hour or more of deco. Some are sand with a just few hints of something more nearby such as metridiums in the sand or a few small rusty artifacts scattered about - in other words, just enough evidence to keep you coming back to find nothing again! Ocasionally, you see a large dark object looming in the shadows that you know is something big and man-made. My heart rate stirs just thinking about it!
Meeting new friends is a pleasure that is hard to match. Then again, old friends really know how to show you love and know what turns you on. Deciding which is better is a really tough call - I guess I'll have to do some more dives, run a study, and report back!
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