Posted by: mcjangles | August 19, 2008

Bidevind 17-Aug-2008

Sunday found the Independence II tied into the stern section of the Bidevind, over 60 miles from Manasquan Inlet. This large freighter was a victim of U-752 in the second World War. Really the only word that comes to mind to describe this dive is awesome. This huge wreck sits in 190 fsw on a white sandy bottom, and generally has (as we did today) the warm clear Gulf Stream waters lingering overhead making for a relaxing decompression. This was my first time on this wreck and did a nice long swim. The temperature was 48F at depth with the visibility 50 feet or better but with lots of “snot” in the water that pretty much killed my pictures. That, plus the fact that I was too busy taking it all in to mess much with the camera.

The wreck sits on it’s side and is mostly collapsed but has sections that rise 30 feet of more off the bottom. With the good visibility it truly was an impressive sight. I started my dive swimming forward along the keel and noted several openings offering penetration opportunities. I rounded the wreck at a break and found myself overlooking a huge debris field that I’m guessing was the remains of the superstructure. I spent some time poking around and it didn’t take long to locate a compete porthole with intact glass. It was covered by a couple beams and would require more work than I was interested on this dive so I gave it a quick shake test, snapped a picture, noted it’s location for a future trip and moved on.

As I began my trip back aft I could spot Capt Dan a good ways in the distance and watched him disappear into the wreck. I still had some bottom time left as I passed the anchor line and proceeded all the way aft to the prop which is partially buried in the sand but still a pretty sight. There was a lonely bollard sitting upright in the sand off the wreck and for some reason it seamed almost surreal to see this part of a once great ship completely out of place in a vast landscape of sand.

At the end of the day I did a bounce to pull the hook and what should have been a mundane 20 minute routine, turned into more excitement than I had anticipated. On the bottom, one of my cells was reading lower than the other and I suspected it was bad. Well, back at 20 feet I was playing with my handsets when I caught out of the corner of my eye a HUGE tail and about 8 feet ahead of that a HUGE dorsal fin swimming off into the distance. The big fish must have swam right past me when I was fooling around and was at least 15 feet long. I think it was a basking shark, but I didnt get a face shot to confirm. It was definitely an exciting way to end one of my best dive trips this season.

There were TONS of cunners swarming the top of the wreck

Do you see what I see 😉
Not a very good picture but Capt Dan gives a good sense of scale of how big the wreck is and the visibility

Terry does his deco

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Responses

  1. Sounds like a great dive. Any chance you want to do a write up on how you are rigging and using your tripod? It would be helpful to hear your approach, especially in open water up north.

    Thanks for writing,
    Hans

  2. Hey Hans,

    Thanks for all the kind words, and sounds like you are having some fun of your own down there in Mexico.

    I don’t want people to get the impression that I know what I am talking about but am happy to answer questions… I’m not doing anything fancy with the tripod besides a little extra weight strapped to it, to keep it stable in current/surge that we get here. On this dive I had the tripod with me and dragged it around the whole dive (I clip it off to my hip) but couldnt slow myself down long enough to set it up and use it. These were all shot “freehand”.

    -b


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