On July 8, a group of three brave divers ventured out to try a new charter. Our new friend Kris turned us onto C-View charters and we felt obliged to try it out.
The club members have been looking for new wrecks and new locations to augment our existing bank of great diving. When Kris forwarded me C-View’s FaceBook post about an open boat on July 8, I had to get in on it.
Corry runs a great charter, and his boat holds six divers with four tanks very comfortably.
We dove the Yakima first. Yakima is a long wreck, very flattened out, but a good dive for sure.
We dove the Sachem next, and this wreck is really cool. The sides of the boat up to the main deck are still mostly in-tact, and the pillars that used to hold the main deck are mostly in place as well. This makes for a very cool “tunnel” effect where you can swim within the hull and between all the posts.
Our next dive proved to be the most interesting, as we never saw the wreck! When we pulled up on the dive site, there was no mooring buoy, so we dropped a line and one of the divers went down to tie us off. Once tied off, a pair of divers went down the line, followed about 5 minutes later by our group of three. When we reached near the end of the line, we noticed the mooring pin was not in the concrete block, but was floating along the bottom with us.
We immediately surfaced (no faster than 30 feet per minute, of course) and were surprised to find a fender tied to the end of the rope, with no boat!
The first pair of divers was several hundred yards away in one direction, while the boat was a couple hundred yards farther in the opposite direction. It turns out the boat lost it’s mooring, and they were unable to get it started again.
The pair of divers eventually floated/swam their way to our group, and the five of us engaged in humour about whom we would eat first if left out on the lake and other such cheerful things. We had a running bet on who would have to pee in their suit first.
We could see the boat, and the boat could see us, but they weren’t coming to get us. This situation persisted for almost two hours before we noticed a US Coast Guard vessel heading towards the boat. We assume they went to the boat first because that’s where all our snacks were.
Once the Coast Guard knew our boat was safe, they came and pulled us from the drink. The water was 70F, and we were all dressed properly so none of us were cold or otherwise concerned. It is definitely a story we will enjoy telling over, and over again.
Lessons learned that day:
- Every diver needs an SMB (surface marker buoy) – We had two for five divers.
- Every diver needs a torch, with a strobe setting – The Coast Guard saw the light on the boat from 2 miles away
- If there is no mooring buoy on the wreck, always question, why?