Posted by: mcjangles | October 22, 2007

Stolt Dagali 10-21-2007

The Independence headed to the Stolt Sunday for some sweet late season dives. When the weather cooperates, this really is my favorite time of year to dive. We had a full boat of 10 customers +crew, including some folks that came down from Boston. The original destination was the Lillian, but with 6 foot ground swells the day before and this wreck’s proximity to the Mud Hole, Capt Dan opted for the Stolt which has enough relief to get up out of the bottom haze. There was some pea soup on the surface but below 40 or 50 feet it opened up to a solid 25 feet on top of the wreck where we were tied in at about 60 feet. The warm 65o surface water was on the top of the wreck and down as far as 80 feet where the 55oF bottom water kicked in. I heard reports of 5-10 feet of vis on the bottom, so we were glad we opted out of going to the Lillian.

In between dives Charlie relayed his story about the “biggest lobster he’s ever seen” and formulated an attack plan to go back for the bug with claws “bigger than his head”. With an assembled crew and a new “tickle stick” he went back down for it but was unsuccessful in bagging the beast. He did however get a nice 4-5 pounder and a few other bugs came up.

For as often as the Stolt gets hit I think I have only managed to get on her once before so I was looking forward to doing some more exploration. For my dive I dropped down into the engine room which is pretty wide open from the continued deterioration of the wreck. I erred on the side of caution and tied my line off since this would be my first time in this area. I took my time scanning the machinery and engine spaces for goodies and it wasn’t long before a came across a nice stainless and brass gauge with the glass face still intact but cracked. After some mild coaxing I managed to break the copper pipe it was attached to and into my goodie bag it went. I continued my journey in and down and hit about 120 fsw before turning and heading back. Back outside the wreck I spent some time poking around some of the opened up areas up top and was surprised at the number of brass backing plates still present. Just goes to show even the popular wrecks that get hit weekly during the summer still have goodies for the taking.

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