New Jersey Underwater Explorers LLC

New Jersey Scuba Diving New Jersey Team / DIR Diving

Diving the Spartan Tug...by touch!

Posted by Sherwood on March 24, 2010 at 6:22 AM

Date: Friday 3/19/2010

Boat: the Poseidon

Divers: Steph, Ken, Dave, John and myself

Location: Spartan Tug

Description: Spartan Tug was sunk as part of the Sea Girt Artificial Reef system

Surface Temps: mid to upper 60’s

Bottom temps: were around 41 degrees

Visibility: was only 3 to 5 feet at best

Ocean Condition: Flat Seas!


 

On my first dive I followed the shot line down into the murky green water with no visibility to speak of; I could barely see my computer let alone the shot line on the way down. When I had reached the bottom I knew I must have been pretty close to the wreck as something was blocking almost all the sunlight from above making it almost pitch black. I could barely make out the line going over the wreck; at this point I let go of the line briefly and checked my PO2 before continuing to tie in. That was a mistake! In that brief time I had lost sight of the shot line. I knew I didn’t move as I was solidly planted on the ocean floor, so where the heck did the line go! Okay, no worries I just headed straight for the big shadow and then bam there was the Spartan, or at least what little I could see of her. At this point I found a good place to tie my reel in so that I could do a sweep to find the missing shot line and finish up my tie in, easier said than done. With little to no visibility, trying to find your missed place shot line is like finding a needle in a haystack. After about 30 minutes or so I finally ran into it on the other side of the wreck. Prior to this thoughts were going through my head as to should I just shoot a lift bag from the wreck and come up and try again, but luckily that wasn’t needed. Once I was able to tie in and shoot the shot weight back up to the surface I contemplated staying down and continuing the dive, but decided to go back up and let the others know what they were in for and to let them know I was alright after the long ordeal with the tie in process. Once back on the surface I was greeted with everyone staring at me! “What? I had to hide my loot I had found down on the wreck before sending up the bag :’)” Anyway, they were thinking the worst; I believe it was Steph who thought that I had stumbled upon a Russian sub that had sucked me up and moved on. That’s because after I had went down they had lost the sonar hit of the wreck and were seeing nothing on the bottom at all.

 


On the next dive I went in with Ken who was on a set of doubles, of all things! I think he said that he hated his Optima and rebreathers in general and was going back to open circuit? Just kidding, he was in the process of sending his Optima back for its annual maintenance. So anyway, down we went into the darkness till we hit the wreck and from there we did some searching. We found a couple of grapnel hooks lying along the wreck in the sand but no sea life to speak of. After about 50 minutes on the bottom and some minor “weighting” issues that my “dive buddy” was having we called it quits, untied from the wreck, and headed for the surface.

 


Once back on board we fired up the grill and cooked up some good old hamburgers and hotdogs along with all the other munchies that everyone brought; you would have thought we were feeding a crew of 20!

 


Once again, even though the visibility was, well…it sucked; we all had a great time on what was truly Lake Atlantic.


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