Monday Morning on the Moody

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Posted by tleemay on August 11, 2003 at 22:41:55:

The GE took a group to the Moody, Palawan and the
Dominator on Sunday. I had the day off to attend
a wedding of a friend of my girlfriend. Well things
happened and the primary anchor got stuck on the GE
after the first dive on the Moody.

Now if you were looking for a report about diving
Sunday and the other wrecks, I can't help you there.
IBut I am able to discuss today's conditions on the Moody though.

Flash back to yesterday

After losing the anchor on the Moody, Mikey
rigged up the back-up Bruce, chain and line
so that he and Tim could continued on with the

Flash forward back to this morning .

We left the dock and motored on out at around
9:30am. No wind and calm inside the breakwater.

Tim snuck a sub-level float on the anchor line
Sunday which had been re-secured to the boat and
wrapped on the cathead when we arrived.

Just before getting in, Kendel and Mikey tried to pull
it just one more time - without success. Greg and I hit
the water about 10:45am. There was absolutely no swell
and only a very slight current. The report from the
charters on Sunday was that the anchor was stuck in a
hatch inside the wreck towards the stern. Just before
getting in, Kendel and Mikey tried to pull it just one
more time without success.

The water was reasonably clear the first 20', better than 30'.
Lots of salp and jellies in the water.
At 50 the vis went to less than 10 of greeness
and then near 0 at 80. I was a bit concerned that we
would be doing another recovery by Braille. We used the
down anchor line right to the anchor.

There is was at 147' laying almost amid deck about 10ft
from the part of the ship that was blown off when it separated
and sunk. It wasn't inside a hatch after all,
but rather wrapped up in another lost anchor (junk tube
welded) and it s chain.

MEMO: never trust a narc'd charter's description of
your hooked anchor ;-).

The fluke of the GE's anchor was also caught in that steel
ground plating that's been used as temporary loading ramps
or runways on soft ground by the military. The metal was shiny
in places where it had been "exercised" during the past attempts
to pull it from the deck and cat head.

It was easy tying off the 500 lb lift bag to the eye
of the anchor, relatively easy un-tangling the chain,
but a genuine bitch pulling the plate steel from the

Aired up the bag to get the anchor positive. Greg and I
then muscled the steel plates back and forth to get the
fluke clear. After about 7 minutes of working on the
steel plates, the fluke came free and up it gently and
very slowly lifted, about 20' off the wreck's deck.

"Too much air in the bag" I though to myself. Oh
well .

At that point it was too late to solve the problem, so I
released the marker to Tim signaling the anchor was clear
and to pull it up about 30 and hold as we planned. This gives
us a line to hang on and keeps the anchor off the wreck until
we get out and pull it out.

Greg and I swam over the wreck towards the stern where
we hooked up with the anchor chain and the GE to
start deco. The current was pulling the GE, and anchor
off the wreck.

That s good I though to myself. At least it won t get
re-hung if the chain slips off the cathead for any reason.

Enroute to the chain we saw the usual lings, rather
LARGE tree fish, and what Greg and I considered to be
one big-ass massive bait ball that seemed to follow us
as we left. That same old lift bag some salvager
bolt chained to a steam pipe fitting set is still
there, where it's been for the past 7 years I've been
noticing it. Scallops are becoming more common
on the wreck too. The ones I saw were small, but
plentiful. I checked the temp at the top of the
wreck 55*.

The vis on the bottom at the wreck was better than 40'
or 50' when we were not stirring up the bottom with
anchor chain or anchor. When the anchor
lifted off, we did have a big orange cloud in the
water, but it dissipated quickly because now... the
current had come up.

While on the line at 90 , I saw what first looked like
a huge yellow jelly gently floating up towards us.
As it got closer I was able to make out what seemed
to be letters stenciled on the jelly.

SUBSALVE 500 was printed on the jelly . Our
newly freed anchor was heading for the surface.

Awwww shit I said to myself as I pointed out the
now lifting bag and trailing anchor to Greg. Things
could get dicey at this point.

We continued to move on up the line all the while
keeping ourselves orientated with where we suspected
e anchor was floating, about 10 ft off our line on
the surface. Good thing too.

At our 40' stop there it came, dropping like a freight
train back down.

Obviously the bag hit the surface and burped, dumping
the air and losing it s bouyancy. Fortunately
Tim had Mikey and Kendel pull the anchor up
off the bottom to 125 . The anchor never hit bottom
again. Greg and I hated to think what would have
happened if we weren t looking for the anchor to
come down.

We did our deco after a light 12 minute BT. Since we
had tons of gas left, I decided to do deco for a 15. We
did work pretty hard for a time on the bottom, so
since I was running the deco, I decided to be safer
than sorry. We were out of the water with a run
time of 35 minutes. I even added in a 1 stop at 90 and
an extra 2 at 10 just to be safe.

From the time we freed the anchor to the time we
climbed out of the water, the GE had drifted almost
a qtr mile off the wreck.

Yep, just another Monday Morning on the Moody.

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