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Dive Report: New Year's Eve Trip On The Giant Stride 2017


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Posted by J. Reeb on January 01, 2018 at 08:03:26:

With dive conditions peaking in Southern California I could not resist the opportunity to go back out on the Giant Stride on New Years Eve. Especially since Cindy Shaw was joining us. Cindy is an accomplished underwater photographer and her late husband Pat Smith was a principal in CA Wreck Divers (http://www.cawreckdivers.org/).

At 6:30 in the morning a thick layer of damp fog swirled around the boat as we got our gear squared away. Capt. Jim tempered our enthusiasm to dive the Olympic Wreck by explaining that the fog might prevent us from diving there as it's location near active shipping lanes is not place to anchor when visibility is poor. Fortunately, as we cleared the breakwater and got a few miles out the fog lifted somewhat and off to the wreck it was!

Surface conditions were once again the absolute best. No wind, no swell and the water above the wreck look blue-bell. Unlike Fri., the sun was still shrouded by the lifting fog so the surface light was grey tinged, but I figured it might burn off while we were below.

There are few moments in diving like dropping down onto a deep wreck. Although well within sport limits, at 100' the Olympic is considered a deep dive and demands respect. It's always dark down there, the site can be swept by currents, the viz can be zero, and there are numerous sharp edges to bump into. As we descended the anchor line the wreck revealed itself I thought; "...the viz looks really good".

The anchor chain was near the Bow and we could clearly see all the way to the middle of the wreck. The vizibility was even better than Friday's, with less suspended material in the water. The water was a few degrees cooler than Friday's so perhaps some clear, cold water moved in with the high tide. Cindy set up to take photos and I gave a tour of the bow area to Tom and Lisa and made sure they located the anchor line when their bottom time was up.

We have a running joke on the Giant Stride about describing the vizibility on our dives and if you join us we'll let you in on the humor. I dove the wreck frequently in 2017 and this was the best visibility and conditions I've ever seen there, Cindy who has many, many dives on the wreck put the vizibility at 80'.

During our surface interval we motored out to the Elly Platform and did dive Two there. Conditions were good, no swell and only a slight current with vizibility "fourty-ish". Lisa who was hoping to have her first sea-lion encounter was not disappointed as the local crew cavorted about.

Divemetrics: Dive One, 98', 58F, 43 mins. Dive Two: 73', 60F, 37 mins

See a glimpse of Cindy's NYE photos here: https://flic.kr/s/aHskzFmZ1Z

See all of Cindy's collections here: www.flickr.com/photos/cindiver

J. Reeb
Dark-Thirty Divers



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