|The M/V Olympus heading out to sea through|
the Morehead City Waterfront.
|John Thompson returning to the|
"Midnight Express" for the 2011
season. Welcome back John!
|A few of the ECU dive clan.|
Once again we were blessed with great weather and it was decided by the group that the wreck of the U-352 followed by a second dive on the USCG Cutter Spar was the order of the day. The visibility on the sub was about 30-40 feet with a temperature on the bottom about 70 degrees from 70 feet to the bottom at 110' with a toasty temp of about 78-79 degrees F from 70 feet to the surface. These temperature differences known as thermoclines are not uncommon occurrences in the ocean waters of the Outer Banks. It is here where the cooler northern waters of the Labrador Current collide with the warmer tropical/sub-tropical waters of the Gulf Stream creating these temperature gradients. It is also not unheard of having 'reverse' thermoclines occur here where the denser heavier cool water sits on top while a warmer lighter layer sits beneath it. How exactly this happens is unknown to me but I have seen it happen or should I say felt it on numerous dives in my career diving the Outer Banks. Generally, in the summer months it is the Gulf Stream that wins over the Labrador creating temperatures from top to bottom in the low eighties with blue water diving to be had.
|Another Sand Tiger Shark. Do I get tired of|
shooting these critters? No way. (Stock Photo)
|By the smile on her face it can be said|
she had a great dive.
|'Red' and his works of art on display.|
The "Midnight Express" on Monday had the good fortune of hosting the Giant Stride Dive Shop from Rhode Island who have been diving with Olympus Dive Center since Friday of last week. Headed up by the owner of Giant Stride, 'Red' Goodin the Rhode Island 'boys' wanted to dive the wreck of the Hutton aka Papoose since they got here and today was to be there last chance for 2011. So without fail I pointed the bow of the 'Midnight' due south to the Hutton at 0700 on Monday morning. As you may have read in previous blogs, the Hutton is one of the further trips offshore but usually well worth the long haul and today would prove to be no exception to that rule. After about two hours and fifteen minutes we arrived at the wreck on a calm and clear day. My mate, Mike got us secured to the wreck and reported at least 60 feet of visibility and plenty of sharks wandering around on the bottom. All the ingredients for a stunning dive were in place. I went to the dive deck at the back of the boat and gave all the divers the 'skinny' on the dive to come and stressed that the max depth was about 120' and to use caution on this deep dive. After giving a few other safety pointers I started to notice the divers eyes beginning to glaze over with there minds inevitably focused on the dive that was to come if I would ever finish the briefing. So without further adieu I dropped the chains that prevent passengers from falling over board while underway and began throwing them overboard. Well maybe not throwing them but guiding them in to the water.
|'Red' and the 'Boys' from Giant Stride Divers.|
See you next year!
|Zach sporting some brand new|
dive gear by SCUBA pro.
|As a photographer, if you can come back|
to the boat with one decent picture then
the dive was a success. (New)
|Just a few Barracuda on the wreck of the|
Hutton aka Papoose. (New)
|Sand Tiger Shark on the wreck of the|
WE Hutton aka Papoose. Not the shot
I wanted but I was happy with it. (New)
|A diver making the splash with a pair of doubles.|
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