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Thread: Trip Report W/ Pics: Wreck of the Doc De Millie All Day 4th of July Trip

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    Trip Report W/ Pics: Wreck of the Doc De Millie All Day 4th of July Trip

    In the United States, most people celebrate the 4th of July by barbecuing with the family and watching fireworks. However, the Florida S.C.R.U.B.'s do things a bit different, because we're addicted to diving our rebreathere while seeing the beauty of the underwater world; consequently, we celebrate by donning our rebreathers, charging the batteries in our underwater digital cameras and spending the day diving and photographing beautiful wrecks and reefs with friends.

    This fourth of July, myself and a few other Florida S.C.R.U.B.'s boarded RJ Diving Ventures' 46í Newton dive boat, the Big Com Ė Ocean in Miami, for an all day trip down south to dive three South Florida wrecks.

    The plan was to spend the entire day on the ocean and to dive the Doc De Mille (the ďDocĒ), the Almirante and the St. Anne DíAuray. Captain Mike arranged for a catered lunch, which turned out to be better than anyone anticipated, and the chicken and ribs were amazing Ė Yes folks, you heard it right, we had delicious chicken and ribs for lunch on the open ocean after our first dive!

    For those of you not familiar with the Doc, it's a wreck that sits in approximately 150 feet of water and it always seems to deliver amazing diving, as our previous May 20th dive on it reflects:

    http://www.rebreatherworld.com/showthread.php?t=19391

    Well today was no different, as we had a great dive and got to again see a variety of large marine life. Unfortunately, diving this wreck often involves fighting strong currents, which is why it is also often a challenging dive, unfortunately, today was also no exception, as both the Doc and the Almirante had strong currents we had to contend with that made the descent and ascent/deco hangs no picnic - But it was worth it!

    Besides the five regular Florida S.C.R.U.B.'s divers onboard (mempilot, PadiPro, ScubaDadMiami, Netmage and me, SFLDiver), we also had one Revo diver diving with us, and about 14 other friendly open circuit divers which only added to the fun onboard and made the day a great success!

    For those of you that were not able to make it, fear not, because as is always the case, strong current or not, I had my underwter camera in hand and I managed to take a few pictures, both on the boat and underwater, so you could all share the experience with us. I was breaking in a new camera on this dive, so the pictures will reflect my work in progress in that area, but I still managed to snap a few interesting pictures, which should give you an idea of how are day went. I wasnít able to snap any pictures of the Bull Sharks we saw on the Doc, because they were keeping themselves on the outside perimeter of our line of sight from the wreck, so they managed to stay far enough from me that shooting them with the wide angle lens I was using wouldnít really of worked, however, I did manage to get a few shots of some Eagle Rays and Goliath Groupers.

    For your viewing pleasure...

    Hereís a few shots of the boat.








    Howard (ScubaDadMiami) off-loading his Optima Rebreather.



    Tim (Netmage) securing his Meg Rebreather onto the boat.



    Scott (PadiPro) contemplating the sweet diving we were about to do.

    [img]http://www.scubaboard.com/gallery/data/3224/medium/Doc_De_Milly-
    Amirante_-_Topside_07-04-2008_016.jpg[/img]

    My Dive Rite Optima Rebreather ready for action.



    Eric (mempilot) preparing his Drager Full Face Mask on the drive to the Doc.



    Captain Mike giving his pre-dive briefing.



    Thereís always quite a few large Barracudas and Goliath Groupers on the Doc.









    Scott on the bottom near the stern of the Doc.



    Thereís usually lots of large Eagle Rays on the Doc, however, they didnít get close to us until were had already racked up lotís of decompression and were heading up the line, but I did manage to get a few shots of them.









    I did manage to take a couple of shots on the ascent, even though the current wasnít really onboard with the idea.






    What better way to end the dive and the long decompression in the current then with a lite snack!









    After a great dive and a delicious snack, a dip in the pool is always quite relaxing.







    Of course mempilot took advantage of the free time and played with his scooter a bit.



    I was one of the last divers in the water for the Almirante dive, which also had a very strong surface current, so I didnít see anything big, although ScubaDadMiami and me did hear the thumping of a large Goliath Grouper, but never actually saw him. I also saw a nice green moray eel, but the pictures I took didnít really come out too well. Being the cave diver that he is at heart, ScubaDadMiami had to poke around a bit inside the wreck, so I followed him and snapped a few pictures along the way as well.













    On the third dive, the visibility was pretty sour once all the divers arrived, so I didnít take too many interesting shots, however, I did manage to take an interesting shot of a Spotted Scorpionfish.



    Mempilot and ScubaDadMiami appeared to be having a blast on the third dive with their scooter, so I decided to snap a few action shots of them as they zoomed by me with their toys!





    By the end of the third dive, we were all beat, as it had been a long day, but a fun one. Since we all ate our fair share of the delicious food onboard, as there was plenty of it too, we passed on the traditional post trip meal, so unfortunatley, not pictures of that.

    I want to thank Captain Mike and the entire crew for taking us out on such a great trip and for allowing us rebreather divers to spend extra time on the wrecks. If you ever want to dive in the Miami area on a comfortable and professional dive boat, tht enjoys having rebreathers onboard, give RJ Ventures a shot (RJ Diving Ventures - The Best Wreck and Reef Diving in Miami).

    Keep an eye out for future reports, as summer diving is in full swing in South Florida and the Florida S.C.R.U.B.'s will be out there as often as possible, as will I with my trusty p&s documenting the events as they unfold!

    Enjoy!

    Adrian

  2. #2
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    Re: Trip Report W/ Pics: Wreck of the Doc De Millie All Day 4th of July Trip

    Adrian

    Great report as usual. Sorry I missed it but I think I prefer the small CCR only trip we had. Do you think it was the OC noise that kept the Bull Sharks away? I guess there was no drift deco this time.

    Is that a Single tank OC diver on the line w/o any b/o?

    John

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    Re: Trip Report W/ Pics: Wreck of the Doc De Millie All Day 4th of July Trip

    dude, her octo is right by her knee...........................
    Marv

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    Re: Trip Report W/ Pics: Wreck of the Doc De Millie All Day 4th of July Trip

    Quote Originally Posted by jkaterenchuk  View Original Post
    Adrian

    Great report as usual. Sorry I missed it but I think I prefer the small CCR only trip we had. Do you think it was the OC noise that kept the Bull Sharks away? I guess there was no drift deco this time.

    Is that a Single tank OC diver on the line w/o any b/o?

    John
    Hi John, I do have to agree that diving on a small boat with only a few ccr divers onboard, as we did in May, definitely has it's advantages, but being on a large boat, as were yesterday, difinitely has it's advantages as well - Both were a lot of fun!

    I suspect that the noise made from 20 divers, 14 of which were on open circuit, probably had something to do with why the Bull Sharks stayed just outside our line of clear line of sight, but then again, Bull Sharks can be skiddish, even when diving cc around them.

    And yes, that definitely is an oc diver with no bailout. Most of the divers onboard yesterday were diving single tanks and had no bailout to speak of, other than their buddy, but there were a few with double tanks and/or bailout bottles too.

    Adrian

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    Re: Trip Report W/ Pics: Wreck of the Doc De Millie All Day 4th of July Trip

    Adrian, As always, awesome pics! We all had a great time yesterday, and also as usual, the Doc never dissapoints. The amount of large life in and around the wreck makes it my favorite site in S. FL at the moment. The distance from port and the current make it a challenging and, therefore, less often dived wreck in the area, but hey, we are spoiled, eh? The caliber of divers aboard yesterday, both closed and open circuit circuit, made for a great experience and a lot of fun! John, Once all the OC divers were clear of the deep line, the big life came back to the wreck. The eagle rays came fairly close, as if to say hi and thank you for not making noise. The large bull stayed at a distance, but made his presence known. I spotted another smaller one circling the wreck below after we were well into our decompression. It was just a shadow moving around the bottom the way they cruise their domain. I'm glad Howard and I got a chance to use our scooters yesterday on the third dive. I enjoyed giving a few divers rides around the wreck, and Scott and Tim owe me rental dollars for their excursions with it! All in all, one couldn't ask for a better way to spend a holiday. The weather, the seas, the animal life, and the friends all made for a great trip. And, I can't forget the crew! Mike, Amy, and Keith put on a great show as usual. Thanks for all the help with bailout and deco bottles, and thanks for schlepping the scooters out for us! See you guys next week! It's time to go earn some money. Eric

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    Re: Trip Report W/ Pics: Wreck of the Doc De Millie All Day 4th of July Trip

    Tim shot some video with his new setup. I can't wait to see what he edits for us. Some of it will defineatly need to be edited out!

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    Re: Trip Report W/ Pics: Wreck of the Doc De Millie All Day 4th of July Trip

    Adrian,

    Fantastic shots and a great report. It's to bad we couldn't get Da Bulls to come in a litter closer and pose for a picture but there's always next time. This was my first trip to the Doc, as well as the other two wrecks, and it couldn't have been better. Beautiful day, calm seas, great vis, and good food and friends. It doesn't get much better then that.

    Thanks to the crew of the Big Com - Ocean for all their help into and out of the water as well as the food.

    It's rare that we have even one dive where everything is so perfect let alone three, the weather cooperates, the seas are calm, your rig works perfectly and no one has issues with anything; this was one of those days and was one of the best dives I've done in a long time.

    Tim...I hope you're not off diving again today, there's video that needs editing.

    Lets plan an all CCR trip to these wrecks again soon and see if we can get the Bulls to pose for us.

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    Re: Trip Report W/ Pics: Wreck of the Doc De Millie All Day 4th of July Trip

    Quote Originally Posted by Padipro  View Original Post
    Lets plan an all CCR trip to these wrecks again soon and see if we can get the Bulls to pose for us.
    I agree Scott, as a weekend Florida S.C.R.U.B.'s all day ccr trip to this wreck is long overdue!

    There was some talk of potentially doing one in August, during Silent World's Wreckfest, but nothing has been formalized yet.

  9. #9
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    Re: Trip Report W/ Pics: Wreck of the Doc De Millie All Day 4th of July Trip

    Quote Originally Posted by sfldiver  View Original Post
    Hi John, I do have to agree that diving on a small boat with only a few ccr divers onboard, as we did in May, definitely has it's advantages, but being on a large boat, as were yesterday, difinitely has it's advantages as well - Both were a lot of fun!

    I suspect that the noise made from 20 divers, 14 of which were on open circuit, probably had something to do with why the Bull Sharks stayed just outside our line of clear line of sight, but then again, Bull Sharks can be skiddish, even when diving cc around them.

    And yes, that definitely is an oc diver with no bailout. Most of the divers onboard yesterday were diving single tanks and had no bailout to speak of, other than their buddy, but there were a few with double tanks and/or bailout bottles too.

    Adrian

    Adrian

    Yes it looks like a great day.

    So your telling me the captain let a single tank OC diver with no BO and stong current do a 150ft dive. I have a pretty low RMV and I would not have the balls to do that kind of dive. Besides whats the point. Unless of course your tell me they also racked up a deco obligation and were using an AL80 then I would understand completely given the easily accessible octo located at knee level. I guess the buddy must have been located above you since I do not see anyone on the line below. I guess you were prepared to give up your bo in an emergency.

    Maybe I am out of line here but I'm glad nothing went wrong for that diver and the Captain.

    John

  10. #10
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    Re: Trip Report W/ Pics: Wreck of the Doc De Millie All Day 4th of July Trip

    What a day it was! The boat will gladly run a Rebreather Only trip for us if we get the group together. Just let us know, and we will do it.

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