Posted by Max Bottomtime on March 20, 2004 at 17:58:23:
First, the good. The boat runs fine and the ocean was a lake. Brian Basura, Brian Burney and Don Sheppard joined me for a trip to the Minesweeper wreck to try for some Wolf eel video. The conditions were good, but halfway through the dive, we hadn't found Wolfie. All of a sudden, Brian Burney signalled with his light that he had found it. While shooting some video, Dr. Don signalled that he had found another one! A cute little Wolfie next to the wreck. It was Don's first Wolf eel, and he saw two on the same dive.
The bad; The net covering half the wreck had trapped a large Lingcod. Brian Burney cut the net just enough to free the fish right at the end of the dive. After surfacing we decided to go back down and cut away the rest of the net. Don noticed that his second tank had mysteriously drained to 400psi overnight, so he sat out the second dive. After over an hour on the surface the two Brians and I went back and removed a lot of the net, but there is a lot more work to do.
The UGLY!!!; The wind chop was heavy as we motored our way back. Less than three miles to Angel's Gate the anchor came loose when we hit a swell. The line tangled in the props and before we could shut down the engine the entire length of chain and anchor became wrapped in the props. Brian Basura got in the water and freed the anchor, but the damage had already been done. There is some damage to the shaft, as the engine runs fine but the props don't spin. We had to call Vessel Assist for a tow. While waiting for the red rescue boat we saw my liftbag, which had come loose from the anchor float away in the wind and swells. Doing my best Tom Hanks, I yelled,"Wilson!"
The bright side is that we didn't need a lifeguard or the Coast Guard, but my mechanic is putting his grandkids through college thanks to me.
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