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NC Divers Support
NC Coastal Dive Reports
Posted: Fri Nov 29, 2013 9:02 pm
So Al and I are going diving at Fantasy lake today. Air is 43. Water is 53. We get suited up and into the water and Al informs me that his computer has died. There is an E8 error message and the battery that was 70% yesterday is now dead. Now we really don't need the computer since we know we will be within NDL but this also means that he has no way to monitor his air supply which we are not willing to dive without tracking air supply.
After checking over the phone and confirming that E8 is really death we think about it for a minute. Al goes up to the house and asks Doay (sp) if there is a reg available. He is lent one at no charge.
Correct Fantasy Lake regulator service goes as follows.
1. Wipe the layers of dust and dirt off the regs.
2. Hook to tank and confirm the air pressure reads correctly.
3. Breath on the primary reg spitting out any dust sucked in.
4. Try the secondary reg. No joy. No air flows.
5. Push purge. Reg freeflows.
6. Turn reg upside down and hit a couple times and some sand falls out and free flow stops.
7. Breath again but still does not flow.
8. Peer inside and see some clay/sand down inside.
9. Take screwdriver push inside and chop at clay/sand.
10. Turn upside down and shake as a pile of clay and insect parts fall out.
11. Repeat steps 9, 10 until nothing more falls out.
12. Get bottle of water, pour into mouth piece and shake and pour out the dark brown muddy water.
13. Repeat step 12 about 6 times until the the water runs out somewhat clear.
14. Breath on regulator and confirm that it now works.
15. Alter dive plan so that we do not go deeper than 30 ft.
16. Have a nice 46 minute dive.
Posted: Sat Oct 19, 2013 9:04 pm
Some photos may now be found at
Posted: Sun Oct 13, 2013 10:36 pm
Dove Saturday and Sunday (Oct 12, 13) with Aquatic Safaris. As planned Saturday was Sue's Ledge followed by the Hyde with Scuba Dave and Michael Martin. Viz at both sites around 35 ft on the bottom. Water temp in the low low 70s. Lots of tropicals on Sue's. Cardinal Fish, Lots of Angels, Immature parrot fish (either striped or princess, not sure but very pretty), rays, turtles (others saw it), several schools of blue chromis. Sue's ledge was teeming with life. On Sunday the wind was building too much for the planned dive to City of Houston so we dove the Gill (bow) and then back to the Hyde. Very nice Gill dive. Little current and reasonable viz. Usual critters. Number of doctorfish.
The Hyde dives were good. Lots of grouper but no sharks that we saw. School of very big spades. Several big cuda and amberjack. Looking in the sand I found a nice fossil tooth (nice for the Hyde) and a very nice fresh sand tiger. While doing so I dug up a reticulated brittle star. Very cool animal. Could not get a photo since the little sucker was fast. As quick as I could get it out of the sand it would slither back in. In fact at first with all the withering arms I thought I had found a tiny octopus until I got a good view of the whole critter. On the Hang bar I got a couple good pictures of a big jelly thing. Could not tell if it was a new creature or a damaged jelly. Part reminded me of a moon jelly but the ones I had seen before had a pink cast.
Viz was good enough to shoot good pictures within 5 ft. Beyond that particulate became an issue but lots of good stuff to take photos of within 5 ft.
Spear fisherman picked up a few groupers at Gill and Sue's.
Great way for me to wrap up my 2013 NC diving. There is still good diving to be had but time for family stuff.
The first dive on Saturday was a minor milestone. It was my 100th dive with Aquatic Safaris.
Posted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 6:39 am
Posted: Sun Sep 22, 2013 8:34 pm
Did two dives on the Hyde. Started a bit choppy but seas ssettled down to 1-2 ft. Fairly heavy overcast which cut down on the light. Gorgeous water. Clean blue water on top. Did not sense any significant thermocline. Water close to 80 degrees. Down on the wreck you could look up and clearly see the ASII. Even when the clouds were heaviest you could see a good 40 ft or more horizontal. When sun peaked out it was 70 ft or more. Visibility equally good down on the sand.
Lots of fish on the wreck. One large bait ball. Couple of Sandys lurking inside. Every few minutes they would could out and swim around and give us all some nice close encounters. Young one around 4-5 ft and another in the 6-7 ft range. Number of small cudas along the anchor line. Couple very big ones in the wreck. Lots of grouper. You could look out on the flats and there were at least 20 of them waiting for us to leave their wreck alone. One nice nudibranch of the usual variety that we see. Some small tropicals. Saw a pair of greenblotch parrotfish. Now think that was what I shot picture of over in what's this critter.
Saw something I had never seen before in over 100 NC coastal dives. Michael and I were drifting over the flats looking for teeth or small critters and in the somewhat dusky light I saw something about 6 feet away glowing brightly in yellow/orange/red. i drifted over and it was a tube dwelling anemone but glowing very brightly like it was made of fiber optic cables. The inner mouth was a deep bright yellow. The end of the outer tentacles were a bright orange/red. Took a photo which did not capture the colors but it is not the kind we usually see. The last part of the tentacle is fatter and lighter colored than the rest of the tentacle.
I have no clue what species it was. I have never seen any large marine organism lit up like that in NC.
Great laid back couple of dives.
Favorite photo of the trip was of a pigfish of all things. They really do have some nice colors.
Posted: Sun Sep 22, 2013 12:53 pm
That I am giving any Sept. dive report for the outer banks is pretty cool, for the past 3 years dive season has been brought to an abrupt end by storms. One of them cut off Hatteras Island for 6 weeks, so it has been really awesome that we have been able to dive past August this year. We have had some great trips to the Proteus, Manuela, Dixie Arrow, British Splendour, Tamaulipas, Keshena, F.W Abrams, and others on the Under Pressure and the Lions Paw out of Hatteras. On friday on the Under Pressure we dove the Dixie Arrow, and the F W Abrams. Strangely the closer inshore F W Abrams was the better dive that day, with 70 foot or so visibility and 81 degree water. Lots and lots of sealife with MASSIVE clouds of baitfish all over both wrecks The Arrow was covered in sandtigers and we even saw a nurse shark out near the wheelhouse. Also seen that day was a very large Cubera. The location will be kept secret but it was a big one. Saturday we dove the Tarpon and it was really good. over 70 feet of vis and lots of groupers on the wreck. Strangely the sandtigers were not there in force. Dave Sommers on the Lions Paw however was diving over on the Proteus then and reported seeing tons of sandtigers and they had an actual Tiger shark sighting! We then went to the Dixie Arrow for a second dive and found 70+ feet of vis there also. We had a slight maybe 1/2 know of current on both wrecks Sunday with 81 degree water.
It has been proving to be a really good month for diving, so I would recommend you should think about trying to get on a charter if it is in the cards for you. We haven't been able to dive like this in Sept. for quite some time........... Take advantage of it if you can! Hatteras diving is really good if you can get it this time of year. The gulf stream pushes a bit further out to sea so the current becomes less of an issue and the vis has been quite good lately. JT tells me they had a day last week on the British Splendour with over 150 feet of vis and no current whatsoever.
I also will note that I did some diving out of Oregon Inlet Sunday of last week with a friend of mine on some towers and the AR 145 wrecks spearing some fish. While of course the water was a bit cooler and greener on the bottom, which is to be expected north of Diamond Shoals I have to say that is was still excellent diving.
Get out there, dive season is still happening!
Posted: Wed Sep 11, 2013 10:04 am
Got a late start Sunday (~930AM) but with calm seas and a 40kt cruise in the new to me 36' Contender it was a breeze arriving at our first mark ~ 1045AM, saw a couple terrapins on the way out. Stuart and me went down first, live bottom in 105-115', lobster crawling on the anchor, shot a 25" scamp before I had time to neutralize buoyancy. More bugs, red grouper, hog snapper, more lobster, more lobster, tropicals, more lobster. As we started to ascend a red grouper decided unwisely to follow Stuart and we bagged one more.
Told the guys they would be well served to go to the same spot, came up with enough bugs to finish the boats limit and left plenty down there along with a 5# lion fish.
Moved over to Ed's which I have never dove, it was pretty full of life, small groupers, several I didn't recognize, I popped a band on my decent and was shooting on one only, allowing several hogs to get away. Nice nurse shark napping under the boilers, spade fish galore, tons of cudas, fun dive but about 2kts of current. On our ascent Stuart got a nice African Pompano, bounced a spear off the one I shot at.
Told the guys to not dive the wreck, tried to find some ledges nearby, no dice, ran in and ~40 miles from home saw a nice 3' ledge (105-108), dropped the guys down and they came back with a 19# red grouper, said there were bugs galore but we were already limited. A mack daddy hog was down there but escaped.
Cruised in at 38kts in a little choppier water, great day, good people, terrific diving! 76-80 degree water, 40-60'+ vis (worst on Ed's), very alive out there and the biggest dang lion fish I have ever seen. Saw one the same size as my scamp.
About NC Divers
NC DIVERS is a group formed in October, 2004 by residents of North Carolina, to encourage scuba diving in and around North Carolina. We pride ourselves on our " scuba diving get-togethers" where divers of all skill levels and ages may come and enjoy "gettin wet" - and maybe some great burgers and dogs!
Our diving is extremely varied and includes the ship wrecks of NC, NC lakes, quarries, the Springs of FL. Our dives and get-togethers take us all over the South Atlantic States . Trip reports, from our dives, range from the FL Keys to Honduras and the Pacific!
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