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Thread: Deep wrecks of the Dry Tortugas

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    RBW Member Down4fun is a name known to all Down4fun is a name known to all Down4fun is a name known to all Down4fun is a name known to all Down4fun is a name known to all Down4fun is a name known to all Down4fun is a name known to all Down4fun is a name known to all Down4fun is a name known to all Down4fun is a name known to all Down4fun is a name known to all Down4fun's Avatar
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    Deep wrecks of the Dry Tortugas

    Wednesday Sept 5th 13 rebreather divers boarded the MV Spree for a 4 day trip to dive the wrecks of the tortugas and the ghost fleet. We had divers join us from California, Arizona, Nebraska, Washington as well as the south Florida contingent. After enjoying dinner with the crew, we shoved off to head south to the MS Rhein.
    Thursday morning we awoke to flat seas, It looked more like a lake than the Atlantic ocean. The sun was shinning and early reports were saying slight current. The MS Rhein is a 439 foot freighter. Once on the wreck we were treated to schools of silver sides, goliath groupers, black groupers, pompanos, and some large amber jacks. Viz was 50 feet give or take. The wreck has some nice growth on it and provided a great opportunity for the photog's in the group. 2 dives were done on the Rhein.
    Friday we moved over to the Araby Maid. This is a old steel over wood triple masted ship. It was truly amazing to still see wood planking on the deck. This wreck has been down a long time and is starting to really disintegrate. The entire sub-structuce or ribs of the vessel are visible. We again had large schools of jacks, a couple of nurse sharks, 6-10 stingrays. We did 2 dives here also.
    Saturday found us on the USS Wilkes Barre. This was a light cruiser (I am told) she is an impressive wreck with the big guns still on her. The wreck is torn in half just about midship with the bow section laying about 150 feet east of the stern, and laying on it's side. This was my kind of wreck. Lots of superstructure and lots of opportunity for penetration. I am told that is was a great scooter dive, however i spent my time inside exploring. We got our first taste of the florida cold water upwellings that those of us who live here are familiar with. We had 68F inside and near the sand, but deco was a toasty 85F.
    Sunday we made our way to the USS Kendrick. She was a destroyer and sits perfectly upright in 320 feet of water. I am told this i s a difficult wreck to dive as mother nature rarely cooperates. We were blessed with a golden window of flat seas and no current. The trade off...55F on the deck. Most of us were so awe inspired by the wreck we braved the cold water in our wetsuits, except the west coast peeps, they dove dry. But all of us came back very impressed by this wreck. She was my favorite. I don't know if it was the depth, the cold testing my determination to stay and cruise her infrequently seen decks or the stunning visual as we descended into 100+ feet of viz and could see her standing upright and mighty amongst the sand. She was just a great dive. and when i got above 200 feet and the pins and needles went away in my arms and i could again feel my fingers I knew i had had one of my bucket list dives. One of those one that just strikes you deep in the heart.

    As always the MV Spree is a great platform for this kind of diving. They are organized and meet your every need. Fills are handled between dives while we feasted. The food was plenty and tasty too. Frank and Melanie are experienced at these kind of trips and pull it off with ease. We also had the Dr Neal Pollock from DAN and Jenna and Mitch assisting him. They did post dive trans thoracic echocardiograms studying and tracking bubbles in repetitive deep dives by rebreather divers. They also did some pulmonary function testing looking at the effects of these types of dives and O2 exposure on our pulmonary functions, and urine collection looking at hydration.

    It was an amazing trip. The weather couldn't have been better, the current behaved and the wrecks were awesome.

  2. #2
    Underwater Paparazzi sfldiver has much to be proud of sfldiver has much to be proud of sfldiver has much to be proud of sfldiver has much to be proud of sfldiver has much to be proud of sfldiver has much to be proud of sfldiver has much to be proud of sfldiver has much to be proud of sfldiver has much to be proud of sfldiver has much to be proud of sfldiver has much to be proud of sfldiver's Avatar
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    Re: Deep wrecks of the Dry Tortugas

    Great write-up Kim!

    Yes, it was an awesome trip. Thanks to Tony and Add Helium for putting it together. Also thanks to the captain and crew of the Spree for once again hosting another great tech trip.

    With regards to the caliber of the diving, I think it's best summed up by the smile on Terri's face within this image I captured during the trip of her diving on the Wreck of the Rhein:


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    Re: Deep wrecks of the Dry Tortugas

    Nice shot Adrian!!!

    Wow Terry! Wish I could have your smile:)

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    Muffin Meg Diver tecterri will become famous soon enough tecterri will become famous soon enough tecterri will become famous soon enough tecterri will become famous soon enough tecterri's Avatar
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    Great trip report Kim! I enjoyed all of the wrecks, the fabulous crew on the MV Spree and the company of great friends! It was especially nice to see some of the people I had met at Inner Space. I have to say the Kendrick was my favorite.... hanging at 250 feet, in complete silence and seeing all the way to the end of this wreck I had that moment when one realizes why we train and practice to dive to these depths. It was spectacular!!

    Thanks to Adrian for capturing my joy of wreck diving!!

    BIG thanks to Tony, Kim and Add Helium for putting this trip together, it was awesome! Thanks to Frank and Melanie and all of the crew of the MV Spree, everything about your operation is top notch!

  5. #5
    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: Deep wrecks of the Dry Tortugas

    awesome trip. here are some pics Daniele took of the Rhein and the the Araby Maid.
    Attached Images

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    Re: Deep wrecks of the Dry Tortugas

    and two more pics, from the Wilkes Barre
    Attached Images

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    Banned zirk is an unknown quantity at this point zirk's Avatar
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    Re: Deep wrecks of the Dry Tortugas

    I'm glad you guys had such a great dive trip. I would love to go on one of these deep wreck trips, but need a bit more experience and training on my unit first. Next year for sure.

    Z

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    RBW Member pwl4476 has a spectacular aura about pwl4476 has a spectacular aura about pwl4476 has a spectacular aura about pwl4476 has a spectacular aura about pwl4476 has a spectacular aura about pwl4476 has a spectacular aura about pwl4476's Avatar
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    Re: Deep wrecks of the Dry Tortugas

    It was a great trip. They do a great job on the Spree and Tony and Kim went through a lot of effort putting it all together for those of us that just had to sign up and show up.

    The diving was very cool for a guy that doesn't get to the ocean much. The Spree team let us dive our own profiles, so we had some dives that topped out at at almost 4 hours, which is great for a lazy diver like me that wants to only get suited up once a day.

    One eye opening aspect of the trip was the DAN research. We could all watch the motion pictures of our hearts and bubbles while the DAN team took the echocaridiograms. It's eye opening to see how many bubbles were going through the heart at rest and surprising to see how many went through when doing simple movements like contracting arm or leg muscles. It makes you think a little more about your profile, deco, and computer.

    Thanks for the good time.

    One thing: My computer measured the temp at 51.4 on the deck of the US Kendrick at 300 fsw and it felt just like Lake Superior.
    Last edited by pwl4476; 12th September 2012 at 18:46.

  9. #9
    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: Deep wrecks of the Dry Tortugas

    a couple more pics from the Rhein and The Araby Maid
    Attached Images

  10. #10
    Randy Thornton Mixaddict has much to be proud of Mixaddict has much to be proud of Mixaddict has much to be proud of Mixaddict has much to be proud of Mixaddict has much to be proud of Mixaddict has much to be proud of Mixaddict has much to be proud of Mixaddict has much to be proud of Mixaddict has much to be proud of Mixaddict has much to be proud of Mixaddict has much to be proud of Mixaddict's Avatar
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    Re: Deep wrecks of the Dry Tortugas

    Thanks for the write up and pictures! Sounds like you guys had some great dives!

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