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PADI Pro Weekend: Diving the America June 18, 2009

Posted by Chris Sullivan in Dive Log, Shipwrecks.
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The America is a common second dive after the Keystorm. It’s a medium depth dive with lots of nooks and crannies to explore. Care is required not to touch the bottom in the wrong places as there is an oily residue that clings to a diver’s equipment if touched.

Buddy Steve Irwin and I splashed in just after 1 PM on Saturday June 13th, 2009 after a one hour surface interval. He had a fresh new steel 95 to hold his Nitrox while I used my doubles again (also with EAN32), having about the same number of cubic feet left as he, starting the dive with 1700 PSI.

The lines leading down to the wreck forked a couple of times and I made a note of the configuration. I’d dived the wreck in 2008 and remembered having to backtrack along the lines at one point after trying to exit a different way than we’d entered.

The wreck is a barge, which exploded during a blasting operation. There are 4 stabilization posts on the ship, 3 of which are still upright, and I took a close look at one while exploring the top side of the wreck, which otherwise didn’t seem to have much to look at.

Underneath is another story. There are lots of wide open spaces under the wreck with easy penetrations that don’t require (in my opinion, be your own judge) penetration lines. There are several places where you can easily cross from one side of the wreck to the other, and lots of fixtures still attached to look at. Steve and I did this several time in several ways in the course of the dive.

Navigating back to the entry point is pretty easy since it’s close to a ladder which sticks up from the bottom near the side of the wreck. On the way back up I remembered one of the T-intersections that we’d seen on the way down, and made sure we went back the same way. I was a little unsure of myself as a little further on there was a huge anchor lying by the line which I hadn’t noticed on the way down. Fortunately, we emerged from our 45 minute dive at the same place where we’d started. The maximum depth of this dive was 79 feet and the current was quite mild that day.

I tried to snap some pictures but nothing really turned out. My camera doesn’t behave well in low light and most of the deeper dives in Ontario are poorly lit. Eyes adapt much better than cameras. About all I have to show for the dive is this close-up of one of the props.

The America

The America

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