Expedition to the Andrea Doria
Trip Start Aug 03, 2006
1Trip End Aug 08, 2006
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We arrived on site to find the water flat with no current. As part of the N. California dive team (Rick, Harry, Tony) we planned to get in as many dives as possible. We splashed early on Day 1 to find absolutely incredible conditions. Above 70' or so the viz was ... well over 70' with no current and water temp in the 70's. Deco was comfortable to say the least. Dive 1 we went down and moved toward the stern, explored a bit and came back up. We really didn't know where we were on the wreck because it was so big. This dive we planned for around 220' for about 25-30 min I believe
After a few hours on the surface the water still was flat so we topped off our HP120's and went in for a second dive. Water was still the same, fantastic, and we headed to the stern again. Harry took us into a little crack for some light penetration and on the way in we found a sink with faucets intact. Rick tried to bring it up with a 100lb bag but it was wedged in and we hit our turn pressure so we left a bag on it and ran a line back to the achor. While Rick was messing with the sink I found some tiles which I brought back with me. This was a "shallow" dive... 200' for about 20 min.
Next day and the dive conditions were still fantastic so we splashed in the morning for dive #3 to get that sink. We actually got it out and brought it back to the anchor line where we sent it to the surface on my reel. While we were coming up the anchor line the sink broke free from the bag and fell back down. Luckily we still had a line to the sink, not the bag, so we tied my reel to the anchor line and finished deco in the nice clear warm tropical waters above 70'. Again, we planned for abut 220-230' for about 25 min.
The current started to kick up a little in the afternoon but our team decided to go back in for dive #4
Well we splashed and it really wasn't bad at all when you dropped about 20'. This time headed to the bow to explore. Great viz on the wreck but a little current. Because of the current we turned a little early and pulled ourselves back to the anchor using the portholes. Not much current on deco until we got to about 20'-30' near the end of our deco. Whipped out my jon line at that point for nice easy 20' stop. Prior to boarding we all moved to an equipment line, which was a line about 40-50' hung from the boat with a large weight (about 20-30lbs I believe) to clip off our AL80 deco bottles. While on the equipment line the current had kicked up enough that the drag from our bodies actually caused the line to angle back from the boat, which Capt. Zero described as us "waterskiing". One by one we pulled ourselves on the line back to the boat to board
The last day, Harry and Rick decided to go get that sink. They found it at 230-240' in the sand off the wreck and brought it to the surface then came back. I opted out of the dive. Based on my SAC rate, which is the highest of our team, I knew if the sink was at 250' I would limit the team's bottom time so I stayed on board.
Ride back in was... well pretty bad. The weather started kicking up and I could feel myself get airborne in my bunk many times during the night. We made it back to Montauk 5:00am the following morning.
All in all it was a great trip. Everyone got at least 3 great dives on the wreck. I managed to get in 4 great dives, with Harry, Rick and another diver getting in 5. And the best thing of all... we all got two t-shirts and a hat!
Definitely beats working...