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Northern Light – 8/7/09

Wreckfest Party!I’m wakened in the morning by this rude German banging on my door! I open up the door groggily and find David grinning at me. After blearily brewing a cup of coffee, we head out to the dock for another wonderful day of wreck diving with Silent World. I’m hoping I’ll have a chance to redeem myself today after my “silly cave diver” antics from the previous day. Today, we’ve decided to dive a wreck that’s dove fairly infrequently called the Northern Light that sits in about 190’ of water.

Having had a strict diet of no shellfish the night before supplanted with a couple of happy drinks, I’m feeling great and ready to try this wreck diving thing again. We meet up with Les at the dock, as we’ll be diving as a loose team of four on this dive and pack all the scooters, deco bottles and doubles onto the dive boat, which over the ten years that I’ve spent away from it, has turned into some kind of cave diver hating machine! We’ve got a pretty full boat today, but as usual there’s plenty of room for all. We motor out to the site, while I enjoy some spectacular views of the Keys. We go through our predive checks before we hop in and finally we’re descending down into the gorgeous blue of the open ocean. The current is howling and I’m glad that we have the scooters, as are a couple of swimmers that we end up “helping” to the wreck and what a spectacular one it is. It’s sort of folded in half with one half lying on top of the other, and it’s nice to drop into the “shade” of the wreck and get out of the current.

David and Ron aka "the Germans" :)Immediately I notice a couple of big bull sharks swimming around and for a second I think of the shark free overhead I’m used to at home, but then I start getting this kick ass diving buzz. The bulls continue dozily on their way and I start noticing the soft corals everywhere, the little feather dusters and all the small stuff you don’t normally pay attention to and I marvel about how a little wreck like this in the middle of a barren ocean floor can harbor so much life. We do a little bit of penetration, but not too much, as the gas goes quick at these depths, swim once around the wreck and all too quickly decide to head back to the boat.

I pair off with Ron for the deco, David goes with Les and we start drifting at the whim of the current. Once in a while, AJ runs the boat close by so we know he’s watching the bag and just a little while later we’re climbing into the back of the boat, removing gear and starting the story telling. We’re going to dive the Vandenburg tomorrow and my buddy Dave is giving a presentation tonight on it at the official Wreckfest party so we start coming up with crazy dive plans and ideas. Eventually we make it back to the dock, and while we’re unloading gear I suddenly realize that I’m really starting to like this crazy, boat diving stuff…

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