Advanced Diver!!!!!!!!!


Holly over the anchor on the Saganaga! (c) Rick Stanley, Ocean Quest, Newfoundland

Today is Saganaga day!  My second Bell Island shipwreck! Today we are doing my official drysuit dive, and this time I got to use my Gates video camera!  When we went down the visibility wasn’t the best, but that had its perks; the anemones were out in full! They must have thought it was night time or something, because they were literally in “full bloom!” It was beautiful. I don’t think I will ever get tired of exploring anemone shaped shipwrecks 🙂 The jelly fish were also everywhere! There were so many, and they were really pretty! My dive light made it so that they appeared to be rainbow colors. I think I may have been looking at some tiny ctenophores as well as jellyfish. The marine biology nerd in me was thoroughly enjoying itself!

A Lion's Maine Jellyfish!! (c) Rick Stanley, Ocean Quest, Newfoundland

The big defining thing about the Saganaga shipwreck is the current placement of one of her front anchors. When she was hit and sunk by the torpedo, the backlash caused one of her front anchors to flip up over the bow and settle on the deck in the middle of the ship! It’s pretty crazy! I can’t get over how easy it is to picture all of the walkways, ladders, and rooms full of people bustling about. When you’re down there, you can’t help but wonder what the ship must have looked like in her prime. Once we reached our time limit, we started ascending up our guide rope. While we were doing our safety stop we got one heck of a close encounter with a lion’s mane jellyfish! I saw it first, they have an orange tinted top, and pointed it out to Holly and Jaime, who promptly went up the rope a few feet. It was headed straight for us! I followed, looking down at the jelly fish the entire time. Its tentacles were over 12 feet long! And you could barely see them all because they were clear. If it hadn’t been for the bit of sun that filtered down this far, I’m not sure if we even would have seen how long they were. Rick got some amazing footage of the jellyfish because he chased after it, and got in front of it. I on the other hand, have the footage of Rick chasing the jellyfish 🙂 Thankfully Rick was more than willing to share his footage with me, and I know this clip will make it into my presentation at the 2012 Boston Sea Rovers Clinic!

Holly (L) and Jaime (R)! 🙂

For our next dive we headed back to chimney cove. This time Jaime and I had to perform our navigation dive. Of all the dives we had to do, I was the most nervous about this one because I had never really tried using a compass underwater. I mean, it makes sense that it would work, but all I could think of was, what if the current pushes us way off course. How would we know unless we came up? Our big task was to swim out with our compass and make a perfect square, ending where we started. After we learned how many of our kicks it took us to move 100meters, it was time for us to try our luck at the square. I think Holly had the best job; she got to sit and wait for us, while attempting to drink a juice box underwater and watching fish fight over scraps. Our first go failed miserably. The current was wicked strong, and ended up pushing us way in the other direction towards shore. We came up about 100meters in front of the boat after initially starting our square away from the back of the boat. But we were not giving up! We swam back to the boat and then back down the line where Holly was very surprised to see us. We had more than enough air to try again, so with new determination, we gave it another shot! It was perfect! We saw Holly before she saw us, so we even got to sneak up and tap her on the shoulder from behind! It was great! After  we had both completed our squares, taking turns being the kickers and compass holders, we climbed back on the boat; officially advanced divers!!!!!!!! :DDD