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Thread: Trip report – 9-14-08 with Emerald Charters (formerly Rankin/Muliphen trip)

  1. #1
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    Optima, Megalodon, KISS, rEvo

    Trip report – 9-14-08 with Emerald Charters (formerly Rankin/Muliphen trip)

    Sunday, we made the trip up to Jupiter to dive the wrecks of the USS Rankin and USS Muliphen.

    In attendance was:

    Don – Optima
    Jeff – Optima
    Marty – Optima
    And myself – Optima

    Also with us were a group of OC from Team GUE, which included Brian, Ron, Dave, Matt, and Henry. On the boat also was a guy who I assumed was the owner, and another staff member, both of whom were spear fishing (with some typical Florida spear fishing configurations.)

    The trip started off on a down note for Don, who after loading up his gear, observed thick smoke rolling out from under the hood of his truck – his alternator shorted out. Fortunately, since Don’s personality is coated with Teflon, he did not let this affect him, and went on the dive as planned, leaving his smoldering truck in the parking lot, while a staff member of the dive shop called around to find a new alternator.

    We loaded up and headed out – about 30 seconds after the lines were slipped and we were underway, the owner tells us “The conditions on the Rankin and Muliphen are most likely crap thanks to the dumping of Lake Okeechobee. Do we want to do something else? After a brief discussion, it was decided we would dive the wreck of the Ande, which sits in 180 feet instead.

    We arrived, and prepared for a hot-drop. Most of the GUE folk were scootering, and entered first. Don was diving a solo profile, and entered next. Myself, Jeff and Marty were scootering as well, and jumped in. We all pitched over, and shot straight down with the scooters. During my decent, one of the bungees on my stage bottle came lose, and the bottle flopped around. Once I found the wreck, I was able to re-clip it without incident.

    The wreck was very nice, very big, with a VERY strong current. Even the N-19’s were not strong enough without some fining. Vis was decent, with blue water and could see horizontally about 50 feet. We zipped around the wreck, shielding ourselves from the current as best we could. I passed our OC divers a few times, flying their scooters in perfect formation. I did cruise by Matt, who managed to snap a rather nice shot of me. (Thanks Matt)

    Our GUE friends began their ascent – in their perfect circle formation, with perfect trim and perfect stops. No doubt that during the remainder of their deco, they each wrote essays about diving on their wet notes, and then exchanged them for critique and grading.

    After 30 minutes of bottom time, we began our ascent. Right before we popped our lift bags, Jeff and I managed to catch a glimpse of a large Bull shark cruising below us. An uneventful deco, our total runtime ended up being 81 minutes.

    Back on the boat, we had a surprisingly good box lunch. The GUE’s discussed what they each did wrong, and we motored off to a site called “Hole in the wall.”

    This time we left the scooters behind, and all the Optima guys jumped in together. Hole in the wall is just what is sounds like – a hole in the side of the reef wall at 130 feet or so. The reef itself was boring – nothing but sea grass, however the Goliath Grouper were mating, so we kept running into large groups of them. We must have seen at least 50 of them, and thank god for that, or it would have been a boring dive. Vis was about the same – 40-50 feet. The current was still ripping, and blew us along the reef quickly, validating our decision to leave the N-19’s behind.

    After 35 minutes, we all began our ascent, and 35 minutes of deco. Why 35 minutes? Well it could have been that our tissues were still loaded from the previous dive. It could have been that the water was nice, and we had no time constraints on us. Or it could have been that Jeff’s VR3 kept him on a deco schedule that never ended, and we all just stayed with him.

    Emerald charters is decent. Friendly crew, even though most of it is self-service. The owner is laid back and puts no time constraints on us whatsoever.

    Overall a nice day, even though we didn’t get to do the dives we wanted. Back at the dock, Jeff and Marty unloaded for us, while Don and I tore off in my car to find his alternator. Once back, Don had it swapped out and running in about 30 minutes.


    PS: All GUE shots/insults were made in good fun. We know all of them and they are a great group of guys to dive with. Since there were no megs on board, we had to make fun of someone ;)
    Last edited by Tienuts; 16th September 2008 at 16:07.

  2. #2
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    Optima, Megalodon, KISS, rEvo

    Re: Trip report – 9-14-08 with Emerald Charters (formerly Rankin/Muliphen trip)

    Some photos:

    Matt's gallery

    Don's Gallery

    And some surface shots I took:


    Dave, Matt, and Ron





    Dave (GUE) trying to figure out how to use a rebreather.









    Matt





    Dave "We are supposed to be a team!!! Help me change my tanks you assholes!!!"





    Don, Jeff and Dave, girl-watching




    Marty, Jeff, Don and Tony





    The photo of me, taken by Matt

    Last edited by Tienuts; 16th September 2008 at 16:05.

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