Posted by: mcjangles | July 15, 2008

YF-415

Bill inspects the port propeller on the YF-415

Snuck away from my busy schedule for a short road trip with Bedford up to New England this past weekend. I had heard many good things about the Gauntlet which is run by Heather Knowles and Dave Caldwell out of Salem, Massachusetts and took the opportunity to hop on a charter to the USS YF-415. The YF-415 was a Navy lighter that sank when its cargo of ordnance exploded and sent her to the bottom of Massachusetts Bay, 230 feet below. The wreck has been found and identified relatively recently and you can read much more about the ship and discovery on the NADE website.

The ride out to the wreck was short by Jersey diving standards and we were on the wreck in under an hour which was pretty sweet. We splashed into a school of small dogfish who gave us some curious looks as we paused for a bubble check at 20 feet before heading down. The visibility in midwater was great and slowly faded from a bright emerald green to darker and darker shades before finally going lights out with only hints of ambient light remaining and about 15 feet or so of visibility but with a good amount of particulates which made me wonder if dragging the camera was a lost cause. The wreck isnt that big and we did a quick orientation which was easy since we were tied into the large towing bit on the aft deck. I fired up the camera which caused some confusion with my unsuspecting buddy. We dropped over the elliptical stern and checked out the twin props which rise 10-15 feet off the bottom. Coming back up the hull to deck level was a treat as the wreck is completely carpeted in beautiful anemones and little orange fishys. We headed forward and explored what remains of the superstructure. We had just dropped back down to the main deck forward of the superstructure when Bill gave me the light and signal that he was cold enough (it was 42 F from 230 up to 20 feet) and ready to roll a little earlier than our planned bottom time. Deco was uneventful until we met up with our dogfish friends again at the shallow stops who kept us company and made the long hang go quickly (for me at least).

The Gauntlet was a nice boat run by good people and it’s safe to say we’ll be back.

Side view of aft doorway into the superstructure and towing bit (right)
Dropping over the stern, you can just make out Bill’s light

Port side propeller of the YF-415

Heading back up to the main deck level

Inside the deck house

Bedford got a little disoriented by the flashing lights
The remains of the periscope (just kidding this is where the smokestack was)

Looking inside the hole in the above image

Time to go

More info:

North Atlantic Dive Expeditions

Gary Gentile’s newish Shipwrecks of Massachusetts: North

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