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Author Topic:   Am I nuts?
DamselFly posted 04-19-2002 03:31 PM ET (US)   Profile for DamselFly   Send Email to DamselFly  
Ok, the water is getting warm. And I'm wanting to take my 13' 3 miles offshore to the nearest wreck for some scuba diving. I've done some inshore diving already to test the Whaler out, and although a little cramped, she did just fine. Am I crazy for thinking about taking the 13' offshore 3 miles in good weather? Now, to preface, I'm in SE NC, and growing up here, I've been offshore diving and fishing in bigger boats all my life. I've learned to read the weather and when and when not to go. Given that, on flat mornings I don't think it would be a problem. We hope to do a one tank dive and head for the hill. I'm hoping to be in the sound before the wind gets on the water. I'm going to outfit the 13 with a bigger gas tank and a VHF. Not sure if I should go with a fixed or handheld on the VHF tho.
whalerron posted 04-19-2002 04:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalerron  Send Email to whalerron     
Heck no, you aren't nuts! I heard there is a guy in Ocean City, MD who takes his 13 footer 50 miles out into the Atlantic to Baltimore Canyon. He is nuts....

I hear that he only goes when the weather is good and there is lots of other boat traffic going to the same place.

triblet posted 04-19-2002 04:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
3 miles is about the limit for a handheld. If
someone to hear you is up or down the coast,
it grows a bit.

As a minimum, put an 8' 6 dB gain antenna on.
And get a radio that's rated "submersible"
(= 3', 30 minutes), not "waterproof" (=
splashproof, if the splash isn't too big).

The upside of a handheld is that it will work
when the boat battery is flat. The down side
is 5W vs 25W.

Me: I have have one of each.


JFM posted 04-19-2002 04:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for JFM  Send Email to JFM     
DamesFly, I have been out 3-5 miles offshore fishing in the gulf in a 13. I'm getting ready to head back and do it again in June. I have a hand held and a cell phone. We watch the weather and use common sense. Regards, Jay: P.S. There is no other 13 I would do this with.
Draftmanswife posted 04-19-2002 05:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for Draftmanswife  Send Email to Draftmanswife     
I just love diving out of my 13'. If you have a model with a "front seat", take it out, and you'll be amazed in the extra gear room. Take care,
DamselFly posted 04-20-2002 06:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for DamselFly  Send Email to DamselFly     
Thanks for the replies! That settles it, I'm gonna take the 13 out. I bought a depthfinder today and hope to mount it tonight so I can find the wrecks. I bought a Humminbird Piranha. I really wanted the 3D model but I bought the smallest unit I could find, as the console of the 13 is spartan to say the least. I already have my Etrex mounted there and I'm almost out of room! I'm still not sure If I want to go with a fixed radio. I'm hoping to sell this boat next year and upgrade to a Montauk. I'm not sure if I would get my money out of the radio when I sell the 13. With a handheld, I can just use it with the Montauk. I will definately get a fixed radio with the 17' tho. Another factor is that there is a USCG station with a big radio tower right smack dab next to the inlet. I don't think I would have a problem raising them with a handheld. What do ya'll think?
Wreckdiver posted 04-20-2002 08:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for Wreckdiver  Send Email to Wreckdiver     
The biggest problem isn’t the boat ride. It’s loosing the boat while you are down. You can take a third person if you are all light enough, or run with a second boat so you have someone on the surface to watch for problems like a hook coming out of the wreck. I have left an empty boat on occasion, but the wrecks in the Great Lakes are usually tied with mooring lines. I only do this if the weather is perfect (flat calm).
EasyE posted 04-20-2002 08:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for EasyE  Send Email to EasyE     
I think you should go with the fixed radio. If you are definately getting a fixed radio for the montauk then when your ready to sell the 13 take the radio out. Its not like the radio is going to be welded to the console.

Or, you could push the limits of a handheld for now and when you buy the montauk you will have two VHF's...extra insurance with extra cost.

Then again, you could get the fix radio alone as I said first and have a dual battery setup that will give you the same insurance with less cost plus you will have an extra battery for starting the outboard.
Just some suggestions-EasyE

DamselFly posted 04-20-2002 10:27 PM ET (US)     Profile for DamselFly  Send Email to DamselFly     

We used to take a 13' sport out to the nearshore wrecks and leave her unattended in my college years. Now that I look back on it, we were tempting fate. I know lots of divers do it, but you are risking losing the boat. I don't think I would do it now. We used 2 anchors, but we were still kinda wondering if the boat would still be there when we surfaced! Now we take 3 divers, and one diver gets to go twice, so there is always someone topside. I saw your website, BTW. Those are some nice dives you guys have up there! Do you do those deep dives on air? Trimix?

Wreckdiver posted 04-21-2002 05:46 AM ET (US)     Profile for Wreckdiver  Send Email to Wreckdiver     
Most of the photos on the web site were taken while diving from a 13 Dauntless. I used a single HP 100 with air and slung an OMS 46 pumped a little past 50 for back up. The OMS is hung over the side on a lanyard before and after the dive. I clip it on while in the water so I can enter and exit like a sport diver. The deepest wreck on the site is the J. B. Cowle in 220 feet, but none of the photos were taken below 190. I have dove trimix since 1992, but those depth are pushing the Nikonos V
Done Fudgin posted 04-22-2002 02:21 AM ET (US)     Profile for Done Fudgin  Send Email to Done Fudgin     
In 1970 I took my 13' Whaler From Gloucester,Ma to Boston for a Red Sox Game. South thru Mass. Bay, thru the locks of the Charles river and pulled my Whaler up a grass embankment which I "bicycle chained" her to a tree! About 65 miles round trip. That same year I went from Cape Ann to Cape Cod. Arrived in Provincetown,ate a hot dog,got fuel then headed back to Gloucester! About 85 miles round trip. I was 14 at the time and have yet to tell my parents!
gunnelgrabber posted 04-22-2002 08:41 AM ET (US)     Profile for gunnelgrabber  Send Email to gunnelgrabber     
done fudging: good story! thanks.
damselfly/wreckdiver: the solo diver surfacing to experience "the lost boat syndrome" really does happen.solo fishing/diving/swimming is probably risky behavior.
even if securely anchored,you can easily get into a wind /current change that'll make it impossible to get back on the boat..(mark spitz or johnny weissmuller not withstanding)it's tempting though. be careful...lm
triblet posted 04-22-2002 01:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
A GOOD buddy team is great BUT: It
depends on the buddy. I'm safer diving solo
than I am with SOME buddies. And I wouldn't
take 90% of divers to some of the sites I do,
and they aren't THAT hard. And there are some
dives I won't do solo.

And when I've got my face buried in the camera
for 10 minutes waiting for the critter to stick
it's head back out, my buddy IS solo. Ditto me
when my buddy's got her face burried in the
camera. So I'm mentally and physically
prepared and equipped to dive solo.

Given the current level of SCUBA certification,
where you are "certified" after four easy
dives, and an "advanced diver" after four more,
(it ought to be called "learner's permit") I'm
NOT ecouraging newbies to dive solo.

Getting blown off the site by the current is
a conern, but that's why I have a long floating
current line to trail behind the boat, and I'm
REAL careful to navigate back to the achor and
ascend the anchor line. The anchor line is
tied to the boat two ways (bitter end to the
liftin eye, tied off to the norman pin) and
well maintained. The first order of business
for me on the dive is to check the anchor. I
put out enought scope so that even if the
anchor drags into deeper water, it will still
be on the bottom.

Being able to navigate underwater is cruicial.
I did a dive recently where I was solo, the
other guy off my boat was solo, and two
friends off an inflatable were buddied. We
had my anchor down, and the inflatable tied
up to my boat. The other solo diver left a
sonar boat finder and a strobe 20 feet off the
bottom on the anchor line. The buddy team
also left a sonar boat finder there. I
navigated by DR and VHF techniques on the
bottom, and got back to the anchor line no
problem. All three of the other divers were
unable to find it.

There's risk in everything in life, from
getting out of bed to diving and fishing and
whatever. The trick is to maximize the area
under the fun curve. If you do stupid things,
the fun curve has a short X axis. If you never
do anything fun, the Y axis is zero. Both are
bad things. What you do is a personal choice.

BTW, when Wreckdiver mentioned an HP 100, no,
his 13' isn't WAY overpowered, he meant he
uses an High Pressure 100 cu. foot. SCUBA tank.


Done Fudgin posted 04-22-2002 06:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for Done Fudgin  Send Email to Done Fudgin     
Damselfly: One thing I should have added: While cod fishing with my buddy in 1973 we were about 8 mile offshore when the wind changed and before we knew it we were in 15 foot seas! And it was getting worse. On the way back in we saw a tugboat about a half mile away and didn't think much of it. A few minutes later I heard a "rrrrip" in the water and shooting up from the foam a steel cable across my bow! I gunned the engine and climbed the crest of the wave as the cable "shot" back down into the seas about two feet astern!After I climbed the next crest we were amazed to see a barge of about 300' which was being towed by the tug!I'm glad my 40hp Evinrude had the power to get us out of there. At about a half mile away from the dock my engine started to sputter.She kept going but at only 3 mph. By that time we were in the protected harbor. It turned out that the lower cylinder sparkplug was wet.I'm glad it didn't happen while at sea.
pmc posted 04-22-2002 07:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for pmc  Send Email to pmc     
I assume you're talking about diving the Liberty Ship of Wrightsville Beach, I'll see you out there in my 13 ft'r
Wreckdiver posted 04-22-2002 07:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for Wreckdiver  Send Email to Wreckdiver     
I really shouldn’t say that I leave the boat empty. Mike Nelson (my Dachshund) is always in the boat.
triblet posted 04-23-2002 03:04 AM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
A couple of years ago some divers I
know went to do a night dive off Monterey.
IIRC, they had three divers and a Golden
Retreiver on their inflatable. The wind was
blowing from the land side, which is unusual
in Monterey. They anchored, did the dive,
couldn't find the anchor, and surfaced. They
could barely see the masthead light on the
inflatable WAY offshore. Fortunately, they
were only a couple of hundred yards off the
beach and could swim in. One of the divers
was quite concerned about the dog and talked
the CG into a ride out to her boat. The
dog was sound asleep, but on his way to
Santa Cruz. ;-)


Wreckdiver posted 04-23-2002 06:17 AM ET (US)     Profile for Wreckdiver  Send Email to Wreckdiver     
I tell everyone that Mike’s job is to bark at Lake Freighters, and get them to steer around the Whaler.
daverdla posted 04-23-2002 08:05 AM ET (US)     Profile for daverdla  Send Email to daverdla     
I was wondering if divers take a portable vhf radio on their dives, in a suitable case since even submersibles ones wouldn't survive a dive, to call for help in case they surface too far from their boat?

Mike Nelson - I like it!
What was the name of his boat?


gunnelgrabber posted 04-23-2002 10:18 AM ET (US)     Profile for gunnelgrabber  Send Email to gunnelgrabber     
ah yes!!,...mike nelson...lloyd bridges...jacques c..good dive buddies like good boatwomen(and men)....are rare treasures indeed....lm
triblet posted 04-23-2002 11:24 AM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
A very few divers, usually those doing remote
and offshore sites, carry a VHF or an EPIRB
in a waterproof tube. It's overkill for the
sites I do. There are a reasonable number of
boats around, and I carry: a whistle, an air
horn attached to my scuba tank, a bright orange
inflatable tube, two flashlights, and two
camera strobes. I figure I can attract lots of
attention if need be.

And there's a 100' line floating behind the
boat if there's any question of current.

Some divers carry flares. And the serious
tech divers carry a small lift bag and a line,
and will shoot the bag to the surface while
doing deco.

But prevention is first: good navigation, and
calling the dive if there's any question.
Anybody can call any dive at any time for any
reason without fear of repercussions.

This conversation is probably more appropriate
on some dive list.


Wreckdiver posted 04-23-2002 05:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for Wreckdiver  Send Email to Wreckdiver     
Mike Nelson patrols on a 17 Montauk named “Raptured Loon”.

The dog was named by one of my dive buddies. We were diving a lot of antique gear, from the 50’s and 60’s at the time. We called ourselves the Mike Nelson dive team. I need to find a blue 13 so I can use my Royal Aquamaster in style.

daverdla posted 04-23-2002 08:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for daverdla  Send Email to daverdla     
The first Mike Nelson dove from the Argonaut. Check out
Wreckdiver posted 04-24-2002 09:29 AM ET (US)     Profile for Wreckdiver  Send Email to Wreckdiver     
¾” Mahogany planking, Teak decks, diver were real men, and boats were real boats in that day. I wouldn’t have the guts to name my small glass Montauk after that boat.

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