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Oriskany, getting closer March 8, 2009

Posted by Chris Sullivan in Technical Diving.
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Sunday 3:00 pm we got together for another meeting for the trip to the Oriskany. I also needed to get my tanks filled as I’m planning to help teach an Open Water course in two weeks and also need air to keep my right rear tire inflated as it’s been leaking lately. I have a little gadget that affixes to the end of my LP hose that I can use to pump up the tires. It works much faster than the stupid pumps they have in gas stations these days.

We have 12 divers signed up. This presents a bit of a problem as the dive boat holds 16 divers. For about $270 US each we could have our own dive boat with 16 divers, but with 12, we have to pay the group rate of $320, and the charter operator can still sell 4 more seats. We’re doing two dives in total, on Monday April 20th and Tuesday the 21st, although the non-technical divers will get two dives on each trip.

For dive 1, we’re going down to the deck at just under 150 feet, probably go once around the tower then work our way back up through the various levels. That should be an interesting dive planning exercise. The second will likely go to the hangar deck about 20 feet further down. We are still discussing whether to penetrate somewhere in the middle, or swim near the open side of the deck. We’d all like the additional wreck penetration experience but at that depth would need something very straightforward to do so without undue risk, especially as we’ll be on air. Some divers believe that 170 feet is undue risk even without the penetration! I expect we’ll opt for the safest dive plan, when all is said and done. I’ll probably mix 25% O2 Nitrox just because I can. Hopefully US Customs won’t make us drain our tanks for inspection.

The charter operators seem to be very professional. They carry a safety diver with them ready to assist if trouble arises. They want our dive plans in advance. We can take one deco bottle in addition to our doubles. Some of the other divers will be doing two single tank dives instead of one technical dive. If the water is clear even the deco stops will afford this rest of us a pretty good view, I think. I’ll probably take an AL80 with 50% mix.

If anyone living near Toronto wants to take up one of the 4 remaining spaces, send me a message. Our dive shop will want your money up front, of course, and if we get 4 divers by this Friday (the 13th) we can bring the price down.

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