Diving the Yukon

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Posted by Wayne on November 05, 2000 at 20:57:07:

I thought I would tell of my experiences diving the Yukon yesterday. We did this by private boat rather than through a dive operation. I would have preferred to use Nitrox, but we had to use air, ‘cause that is what was in our tanks. We arrived at about noon, and there was one group of divers down (they were from a commercial 6-pack boat). They came up before we hit the water.

The moorings are awesome. We picked up the one by the bridge. We suited up and the first pair Karen (17-year-old daughter) and I went down. The visibility was thin pea soup 15-20 and there was a bit of current running at the wreck. As we arrived at the bridge, we were greeted by a huge school of legal-size Calico Bass. We dove until the silly little computer said it was time to go. We had checked out most of the outside of the ship and stuck our noses in a few holes. When we surfaced, Julie and Janine (wife and 20-year-old daughter) were ready to go. So we switched places. We also had our usual deck crew of Suzanne and Lisa (12 and 9 year old non-diving daughters) who remained with the boat during both dives. Their main source of entertainment was in watching the other divers from the commercial boats.

Some came up the wrong mooring line. We would watch their bubbles at our bow and see the looks on their faces when they realized they were at the wrong boat. My personal favorite was a fellow who failed to descend with the rest of the pack. This was on a big commercial boat at the bow mooring. Everyone else went down, but he flopped and splashed at the surface unable to get down. My kids thought it was a joke since he was failing to dump air from his fully inflated BC and wondered why he stayed on the surface. It turns out he was not joking around, her really could not figure out how to descend. After a while he tried to pull himself down the line. We were amazed to see him pop up again in less than a minute with his still full BC. The crew of the boat suggested that he should come back aboard and they could help him with his weights and have him ready for the second dive in shallower waters! Can you imagine if this fellow had made it to the wreck!

The wreck was fun to see in its pristine condition. I will be back next weekend for another dive. After that dive, I will probably not go back for a few years. I want it to have some marine life growing on it. All in all, it’s a pretty cool wreck. Super easy to get to and the accommodations are terrific. That being said, this is not a dive for everyone. It is deep. It can be disorienting. My wife reported feeling a bit narced at 95 fsw, which is unusual for her. She thought the funny angles and darkness might have triggered it. This is a dive where if you are not experienced and comfortable at depth, you hook up with an experienced buddy or hire an experienced divemaster to take you. But if you love good old California diving and do it often, this is a fun dive.


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