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Thread: Trip Report W/ Pics: Another Great Dive The Wreck Of Hydro Atlantic In South Florida

  1. #1
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    Trip Report W/ Pics: Another Great Dive The Wreck Of Hydro Atlantic In South Florida

    Despite the recent update on the deteriorating state of Jeff Addis (A.K.A., SWADiver or Captain Addis) and his dive boat the Trophy Hunter, I decided to brave it and head out on Saturday morning with Captain Addis for a dive to the ever-popular Wreck of the Hydro Atlantic. My concerns were however eased a bit when I arrived at the dock and saw that Daniele (A.K.A., Mrs. SWADiver) was joining us on this trip. For those of you who have never had the pleasure of meeting Mrs. SWADiver, suffice to say that she is definitely the voice of reason in that relationship!

    As we made our way out of the Boca Raton Inlet, we were pleasantly surprised to find flat seas and sunny skies. The wreck is only a short distance from the inlet, so we were there in no time. Upon arrival, Captain Addis did his captain thing, and evaluated the current. Initially, it appeared as though we were going to luck out and dive with no current; however, after attempting to hook the wreck once, the conditions mysteriously changed on us and the current picked up considerably. We made the decision to throw the anchor one more time – boy was that a mistake! After hooking the wreck, the anchor line immediately turned into a long steel rod and the blue water began zipping past the boat like a fast moving stream.

    It was then decision time. We could either splash into the water and fight the 2+ knot wall of water all the way down to the wreck, or sacrifice our anchor and line and have Mrs. SWADiver hot drop us ahead of the wreck, which would allow us to retrieve the line once we were on the wreck. Captain Addis made the decision to go with the latter option. Fortunately Mrs. SWADiver was still nursing a two week old diving injury to her leg, so she was just along for the ride and was happy to be the captain while we were underwater.

    We splashed down approximately 8/10ths of a mile ahead of the wreck, and after a few minutes of descent, we saw the bow of the Hydro right below us. The plan was to seek out the anchor, which wasn’t too difficult a task because it had a couple of hundred feet of bright white line attached to it, then secure it in a safe place and we would either shoot it up with a bag or carry it up at the conclusion of the dive. Prior to the dive, Captain Addis volunteered to leave his camera behind and deal with the anchor. That certainly worked for me, because those of you who know me understand that I’m not a big fan of diving without my camera in hand.

    There was a fair amount of current on the deck of the wreck, but fortunately it was not as intense as the current topside. We immediately headed astern in search of the anchor. As we approached and passed the wheel house, I couldn’t help but notice the concentration of large Goliath Groupers within and around the wheel house – By my estimate, there has to have been at least six or seven inside the actual wheel house, and another four or five swimming in and out of the sub-structure below the wheel house. I hadn’t yet opened up the strobe arms of my camera at that point, because I wanted to make sure that when we found the anchor, the task of securing it would be manageable for Jeff.

    With the current working to our favor, we made it mid-ship in no time. Jeff spotted the anchor along the port side, and immediately went into action to secure it. When I saw he had the situation under control, I setup my camera and was ready for action. Here’s a shot of Jeff dealing with the anchor:


    After the Jeff had the anchor under control, he moved it back to the stern of the wreck, so it would be ready for us once it was time to head for the surface. Here’s a shot of Jeff and the anchor at the stern of the wreck:


    Jeff then decided to go ahead and put an SMB on the anchor and tie it off while he floated it off the wreck. Here are a couple of shots of Jeff dealing with the anchor and the SMB:



    After securing the anchor, we turned and started to head in the direction of the bow to explore a bit. We immediately noticed a large Goliath Grouper hovering at the top of the mast located near the stern of the wreck. Here’s a shot I took of that Grouper:


    We then continued on to explore the wreck. I couldn’t help but notice the continued growth of the bright orange Cub Corals all over the wreck. Since Jeff didn’t bring his camera, he also volunteered to pose as my model throughout the dive, and I have to say, he did an awesome job! Here are a few shots I took of Jeff around the wreck:




    We then arrived at the wheelhouse, and we immediately noticed it was still filled with Goliath Groupers. As we approached it, most of the Groupers slowly made their way out of the windows of the wheel house, especially as Jeff made his way into the wheel house through the side doors. Here’s a shot of Jeff inside the wheel house:


    Once Jeff was done hanging with the Groupers inside the wheel house, we explored the bow section (just ahead of the wheel house). Here’s a shot of Jeff with the wheel house behind him:


    At that point, we again rode the current back to the stern of the wreck, where Jeff sent the heavy anchor and chain towards the surface. This made for a great ascent line for us complete our deco and ride to the surface. At about 60 feet I shot another SMB on my reel, so Daniele would know we were both together and on our way up.

    We made it back onto the boat without incident – Thanks Daniele! And thanks again to Jeff for being a great dive buddy!
    Last edited by sfldiver; 2nd October 2011 at 23:19.

  2. #2
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    Re: Trip Report W/ Pics: Another Great Dive The Wreck Of Hydro Atlantic In South Flor

    Great shots & report.... Thanks for posting. Conditions up here have been lees than stellar lately...

    Richie

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    Re: Trip Report W/ Pics: Another Great Dive The Wreck Of Hydro Atlantic In South Flor

    Great shots! Thanks for sharing. :)

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    Re: Trip Report W/ Pics: Another Great Dive The Wreck Of Hydro Atlantic In South Flor

    Nice shots! Looks like the clear blue water is back - better than the dusty green-blue stuff the past couple of days....

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    Re: Trip Report W/ Pics: Another Great Dive The Wreck Of Hydro Atlantic In South Flor

    Nice report.

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    Re: Trip Report W/ Pics: Another Great Dive The Wreck Of Hydro Atlantic In South Flor

    I'm curious about this as a lot of US trip reports flag up the same issue. Are the tides irregular over on your side of the pond as our skippers know to the minute when slack water will be and get it right most of the time which makes me wonder why that isn't the case for you guys?



    Quote Originally Posted by sfldiver  View Original Post
    Upon arrival, Captain Addis did his captain thing, and evaluated the current. Initially, it appeared as though we were going to luck out and dive with no current; however, after attempting to hook the wreck once, the conditions mysteriously changed on us and the current picked up considerably.

  7. #7
    jeff addis swadiver has a brilliant future swadiver has a brilliant future swadiver has a brilliant future swadiver has a brilliant future swadiver has a brilliant future swadiver has a brilliant future swadiver has a brilliant future swadiver has a brilliant future swadiver has a brilliant future swadiver has a brilliant future swadiver has a brilliant future swadiver's Avatar
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    Re: Trip Report W/ Pics: Another Great Dive The Wreck Of Hydro Atlantic In South Flor

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Bailey  View Original Post
    I'm curious about this as a lot of US trip reports flag up the same issue. Are the tides irregular over on your side of the pond as our skippers know to the minute when slack water will be and get it right most of the time which makes me wonder why that isn't the case for you guys?

    there really is no reliable way for current prediction here in South Florida. Many factors are at play here, including Gulf Stream forcing, position and eddys from the stream, tidal forces and surface wind. on this dive, when we arrived over the wreck, there was apparently little current but very green water. Meanwhile, dive boats less than a mile away at depths shallower than ours were reporting a 2 knot current. within a few minutes, we had very blue water around us and a raging current. this quick change is not unusual here, and the current at depth can be completing different in speed and direction as well. we threw the dice on the anchoring and lost, but the hot drop was a blast and the anchor and line recovered, so no worries.

    great shots, Adrian. i think i have a new career as an underwater model!
    Last edited by swadiver; 3rd October 2011 at 15:00.

  8. #8
    Team HPDW Paul Bailey is a jewel in the rough Paul Bailey is a jewel in the rough Paul Bailey is a jewel in the rough Paul Bailey is a jewel in the rough Paul Bailey is a jewel in the rough Paul Bailey is a jewel in the rough Paul Bailey is a jewel in the rough Paul Bailey is a jewel in the rough Paul Bailey's Avatar
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    Re: Trip Report W/ Pics: Another Great Dive The Wreck Of Hydro Atlantic In South Flor

    Thanks to a PM I now have the mystery explained.
    It's all down to the gulf stream.
    Thanks for the info John.
    Cheers
    Paul

  9. #9
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    Re: Trip Report W/ Pics: Another Great Dive The Wreck Of Hydro Atlantic In South Flor

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Bailey  View Original Post
    I'm curious about this as a lot of US trip reports flag up the same issue. Are the tides irregular over on your side of the pond as our skippers know to the minute when slack water will be and get it right most of the time which makes me wonder why that isn't the case for you guys?
    HE HE. No slack water here mate. The currents are often insane!

    STill, every time I go to Pompano its flat calm and zero current. Guess Im just lucky.

    The Hydro was great. Easiest engine room penetration Ive ever seen!

  10. #10
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    Re: Trip Report W/ Pics: Another Great Dive The Wreck Of Hydro Atlantic In South Flor

    Nice Pics Adrian. Addis charters is a good operation. I need to get back down there soon.

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