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T.L.S. More dives than posts
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<font color='#0000FF'>Hi all,Just returned from sunny Florida where we (Nigel W and myself) tried to consentrate on diving the wrecks at the Keys.
Our first dive saw us heading off for our first dive on the Duane.This is a 318ft long Ex coastguard cutter lying upright at 110ft.Her conning tower being at 55ft,absolutely teeming with life and a turtle thrown in for good measure.
She was scuttled in 1987 and is in v.good condition.
our second dive was on the Speagal Grove. A 510 ft long and 85ft wide US navy landing ship dock, the largest ship ever intentionally sunk as an artificial reef on June 10 2002.Lying on her starboard side at 130ft.There has been a number of entry/exit holes cut into this ship with guide ropes to take the diver through the various parts of the ships interior.Another impressive sight is the five bladed propeller which is aprox 15ft across.
We could have dived this wreck all week and not seen it all.
The next wreck visited was the Bibb. This is the sister ship to the Duane and identical however the Bibb lies at120ft and on its starboard side which makes it an altogether different dive.
We returned to redive the Duane next followed by two more dives on the Spiegal Grove,these extra dives gave us a good overall picture of this wreck.
All the above dives were with Island Ventures.Key Largo.
The next three days diving were first dive on a wreck followed by long shallow scenic dives.
The Thunderbolt,Originally the USS Randolph a cable layer later sold to the Florida power and light Co for lightning research hence her new name.actually sank at her dock on the Miami river was raised and relocated to her present position in 1986.Upright,188ft long and 37ft wide lying in about 130ft makes this an impressive sight.
This dive was with an outfit called The Diving Site out of Marathon Key.
Florida Keys Reef Divers next and the Adolphus Busch.110ft deep with her mast at 50ft, main deck 80ft and holds at 100ft makes this a dive for every grade.Upright and easily accessible teeming with fish (at times so many you could hardly see where you were going).
The last wreck we visited was the Eagle.120ft deep and another wreck lying on its starboard side.This vessel is a good example of exactly what the sea/weather is capable of,in 1998 hurricane Georges broke this ship in two.
Ocean Quest being our hosts for this one.
We were lucky enough for our dives on the Duane,Bibb and the first dive on the Spiegal grove to be the only divers in the water.
The three reef dives we did were Shark reef (no sharks).Looe reef (no loo's) and fishnet reef (no fishnets)but i'm not a lover of reefs so i'm not going to tell you about them.
What we found was that the american dive plan is see you tommorrow and we will sort out our divesites then,but if you book in advance you can dictate which sites you go to. eg with Island Ventures the first people to make a booking pick the sites and any other divers must then follow suit.
Nitrox: we found that all dive operators claimed to work on a ppo of 1.4 and recommended a standard 32% on all dives, which when penetrating some of the wrecks would have not given us the required depth.We had to insist on different mixes (mainly 30%)
Finally the weather temps were 89-90 degrees water temps 28 degres and humidity up in the 90's.in't life a bitch.
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