First off, thanks so much to you all for coming down and making it such a great time!
What a great time and what a great group of folks to go down there with!
Over the years I’ve done probably 12-15 days of diving down there in Wilmington. I was first introduced to Aquatic Safaris (AS) by my scuba buddies I met through Channel Island Dive Adventures in Southern California. I dove with them on several trips before I even moved out from the West Coast.
It’s a roughly 6 hour drive from Columbia, MD down to Wilmington, NC so most of us left Friday afternoon. I brought my own tanks so we had to roll in to Aquatic Safaris’ before their 7 pm closing time on Friday night.
Show time was 7:00 am on Saturday morning for our day of wreck diving. While I wasn’t expecting it, I ended up with 4 students who wanted to complete their PADI Wreck Diver specialty while we were down here. One thing about wreck that seems to surprise everybody is that it’s a class that teaches you all about those sort of non-obvious hazards of the activity.
Before students take wreck, I typically talk to them about it and they don’t really get just how hazardous it is to drop down onto a brand new wreck and start penetrating. But by the time we finish up our specialty every one of my students gets just how much preparation it’ll take to do a safe and sane wreck dive…which is kind of the whole point.
The water temperature was actually in the high 70s at the surface and I was plenty toasty in my 5mm wetsuit (no hood or gloves). One of our guys was wearing a 3/2.
There was actually a fairly wicked current at both sites. The Hyde and Markham wrecks are only a few hundred yards away from each other, so not exactly a surprise. Visibility was < 30 feet.
And oh yeah…I saw a flounder too 🙂
After we got back in we met up for a dinner and made our plans for the piles and piles of Megalodon Shark Teeth we planned to find on Sunday.
On Sunday morning showtime was 7:30 am, but we got to go out on the Big Boat..the Aquatic Safaris I. It’s a longer trip of about 2.5 hours each way..and I wish I could say that I didn’t get seasick. I COULD say that, but it wouldn’t be true.
The trip out was longer and a bit rougher than the day before:
Here’s a little clip from our boat ride with Aquatic Safaris from Wilmington, NC out to the Fossil Ledge (Sunday, May 21, 2017). The seas were a bit rougher than they were the day before and my seasickness patch was working overtime. Still a great group and a great day on the water!
We did 2 dives that day. One at the (outer) Fossil Ledge and another one at the In Shore Fossil Ledge.
— Fossil Ledge (90′-105′)
The temps were pretty much unchanged from the day before, and my Enriched Air Nitrox mix of 34% and 33% was just about right for the depth of 100′ at both sites.
Some of our crew had some pretty decent success on the quest for teeth, and some of us will be looking to do better next time. But we all had a pretty good time!
Here are some of the goods!
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