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Published: January 17th 2010
We got up really early Friday morning to break camp and be at the dive shop by 7:00 AM. We tried to get another night at Pennecamp's campground, but were told to try later. Once we got to the dive shop, no one was there. When they finally showed up, they said they had equipment problems and we would have to dive with another shop, but they would honor the really great price the first shop had offered us. Of course, that was not the case, so Kerry and Trevor opted out of going, not only because of the price, but also because the wind was really picking up and they knew it would be pretty rough to snorkel.
So Sara and I got aboard with all our gear and headed out with 5 other divers and the videographer, who was going to both feed the creatures and film it all. We got to the site, the City of Washington wreck, and a fishing boat was illegally tied to the mooring bouy. After chasing them off and reporting them for illegal fishing, we got ready and went in the water. The seas were pretty rough, my gear was really heavy,
and I needed two men to support me to the swim platform. But once in the water, I relaxed and swam down to the bottom with Sara and the others. It was so nice down there, though the movement of the water tossed us a little. Due to overfishing in the area, there weren't too many creatures that showed up to be fed, mostly yellow tail snapper and some quite large spotted grouper. We did see a couple of barracuda circling above us, but they never came down to where we were. I sure enjoyed the curious grouper as they nosed around us, looking for handouts. After a while, we swam over the wreck and enjoyed the warmer water and the colorful fish on that artificial reef. After about 40 minutes we surfaced and the fun began. The waves kept knocking me around and the ladder was pretty treacherous. Finally, the others took off my weight belt, my fins, and my bc and I was able to climb out of the water, crawling across the deck in a most ungraceful manner.
Sara was seasick on the way to the next site, as she usually is when wearing her wetsuit,
but is okay once she gets in the water. I opted out of the second dive, knowing I didn't have the strength to fight that exit again, so enjoyed the beauty of the water around us.
When we got back to the dock, Kerry and Trevor were waiting to carry our gear, which was a big relief. Then the good news that Kerry had obtained another night at the campground and they had already set up the camper. After a shower and a nap, we felt much better except for the bruises and strains. I guess you could call it full contact scuba.
Sara and Trevor left early Saturday morning heading back to Chattanooga, and Kerry and I headed to Miami Springs after a more leisurely morning.
Sorry there are so many pictures on this posting, but I wanted to catch you up since I got the film developed.
Tot: 2.532s; Tpl: 0.146s; cc: 13; qc: 29; dbt: 0.0583s; 2; m:saturn w:www (22.214.171.124); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.3mb