Holly is in the process of certifying Jaime and I as advanced divers! So, today we went out on the Ocean Quest dive boat to get in three of our dives! We did our boat dive, deep dive, and wreck dive! It was my first ever wreck dive, and it was amazing. We dove twice on the PLM 27, one of the four Bell Island shipwrecks in Newfoundland sunk as a result of torpedo hits by German submarines sneaking into Conception Bay during WW2. I wanted to bring my Gates video camera down, but seeing as it was my first time doing a deep dive, and my first time on a wreck, we decided it was safer if I left the camera on the boat for now.
Jason and two of his students were also on the boat with us for the day, so we had two groups of divers going down on the PLM 27 at the same time. We did our deep dive first with a destination of the completely in-tact propeller and the bottom of the sea floor: 100ft down. Going down you enter a sort of limbo stage where the only thing you can see is the rope you are following, and the divers around you. Otherwise, it’s just you and the big blue. Then, out of the depths you see this hazy outline. As you go deeper it begins to take on a shape; A shape that just keeps getting bigger and bigger until you suddenly realize that you are looking at a ship more than 400feet long. It’s startling and breathtaking at the same time. Because the water is so cold the wreck has been very well preserved, and due to the iron in its cargo when it was sunk, the ship is sitting perfectly upright. The decks are still in-tact, the stairs and walkways seem to just be waiting for the sailors to come running about their tasks. It’s so easy to imagine people bustling about on this ship. It’s earie and beautiful all at the same time.
However sad it might be that her days of supporting human life are over, she is by no means dead. Her entire body is covered in a new kind of life. Anemones are everywhere, like a field of exotic blooming flowers in the shape of a ship. Sea urchins, jellyfish, flounder, cod, and any manner of other sea critters have made their home here. I now completely understand how divers can forgo reef diving in favor of wreck diving. There is just SO much to see! Whether it be nature or human-made, it is all new and exciting.
We continued our dive down to the propeller, which is enormous, and down to the bottom of the ocean, where Jason showed us a plastic water bottle that he brought down from the surface. It looked like someone had squeezed it and then shrunk it. After we finished all of our deep dive tasks, we returned to the surface for an interval, then came right back down! But, this time we explored more of the upper decks of the ship. I couldn’t get enough of it, and didn’t want to go back up!
For our third dive, the boat dive, we went over to Chimney cove and just did a short, shallow dive. The bottom of the ocean here was really neat because it was all rock. It was fun to follow the cracks and look at the critters that blended into the rock. We got cold pretty quickly because we had been in the water so much, and I was SO grateful to Arthur, one of the boat captains, who had poured hot water into my gloves before the dive. I swear, it was like a hot bubble bath for my hands 🙂 When we were all done we were a crew of seriously content divers (that really wanted showers!) I can’t wait to see what we do tomorrow! 😀
(Happy Birthday Emily! <3 )