Yukon dive report

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Posted by Jeff Shaw on November 30, 2004 at 13:10:32:

Belated Dive Report

One of the winners of the Chocolate Lobster Dive (he won the bucket of beer that all of the volunteers were pining for) offered to comp me a dive on the boat he was skippering. Normally I would refuse, but an opportunity to dive the Yukon could not be passed up.
So I drove and doved, er drived and dived, OK I went to SD and got wet. (see previous post on dive semantics http://www.diver.net/bbs/messages/47152.shtml).

Now here is an interesting issue. It took two hours for me to drive to SD and 20 minutes for the boat to get to the Yukon. It takes 20 minutes to drive to Pierpoint Landing and 2 hours to get to Catalina. What to do in the future? Sheesh...

So I get to the D&DII really early in the morning and meet up with the captain and the DM. I am usually the first person to get anywhere. The theory is that I can chat and drink coffee. Eventually two divers arrived that were attending a marine symposium from Massachusetts. They had decided to ditch one of the seminars and discover California Kelp. They were both pleasant and attractive smart young ladies who were both marine biologists. Cool, good company and good conversation.

Here one of them and the DM reprize one of the scenes from Open Water... ;-)

Then the captain gets word that the group that had chartered the remainder of the boat had canceled. “Well looks like it is going to be a small group” he didn’t want to leave us on dock bummed out, so we went with only 5 souls on board. Very Cool.

One gal was at her 7th OW dive, so the DM asked if she was comfortable doing the Yukon down to 100FSW. She said yes but he decided to accompany her just to make everything good. We all went as a 4some. Cool again.

The funny thing is that the wreck was around 15 min from the dock, so we had to suit up right when we left.

This is the first time that I have dove a wreck outside the Catalina Dive Park so the anticipation was really high. Descending down the anchor line into the familiar California green heightened the sensation. Then slowly appearing was the outline of the foremost gun turret. I couldn’t help be amazed by engineering and form. Then it struck me that this was a weapon. I wondered if it had ever been fired in anger.

Most of you have probably dove the boat, but for me it was a treat. Gobs of fish everywhere and lots of growth on the ship. We swam down the once was topside. It was fun to swim into the wreck. Now I have read some of the Andrea Doria Dive books. So I knew that I was not able to really penetrate the wreck. So I swam in enough to say that I went inside (yea right). Then headed to the stern. Bout then it was time to go up a bit to avoid a mandatory deco stop.

Please excuse the rotten photography, but what kind of kelp is this?

We traveled along the side of the ship only to be greeted by an outstanding mini kelp forest and massive bait ball. The swim was a lot warmer here. It sure was easier to find the anchor line. Just look for the guns.

Dive 2 was a kelp dive called the Trident. It was where three reefs come together and form a... Trident... duh. This was a standard 60 foot California dive. Saw lots of the favorites. The Gals from Mass loved the kelp forest and Garibaldi. We pointed out lots of lobster and a football sized Seahare. We found a spear, dive knife and a weight belt.

The other gal was a drysuit diving veteran who became horribly seasick. Apparently she was afflicted by this a lot. She elegantly eliminated her stomach belongings. You would not even know that she was puking unless you went over to see what was so interesting over the side. OOPS! Sorry! Felt like I had walked in on someone in the head. She assured me that all was well, and that this was normal for her. Right on, there was a serious diver.

All went well and had a great day. Many thanks to Captain Sean Page.

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