Lord of the Flies?

Sunday May 22nd started out warm and sunny.  We loaded up our boatload of divers and motored on over to the fuel dock to top-off the tanks of the Aquatica, as we were headed off-shore to the Thomas Hume.  After a little “sticker shock” ($5.69/gallon for regular) we headed East out to the middle of the Lake.  Along the way the air temp dropped and we dealt with fog, but with radar and auto fog horn the trip was a breeze.  Once on site we were somewhat disappointed that the mooring line did not survive the winter.  So we suited up Myron from Elmer’s and Steve S., located the wreck with the Humminbird, dropped marker buoy smacked dab in the middle of the wreck and sent our two divers over the side with a temporary mooring line.  In short order we were tied into the wreck and our five other divers had an amazing dive on this beautiful little wreck.  1Ft Seas, 80-100 Ft of viz and a chilly 39F.

While our divers were down I was besieged by flies.  In fact, I have never seen so many flies.  There were probably 1,000 flies on the boat and they stayed with us the rest of the day.  Fortunately, for the most part they didn’t bite, but I did get a few bites on my ankles.  Next stop NEW WRECK …the Searcher.  Over the winter I came across some numbers for the an old commercial fishing boat that sunk back in 1987.  She is about 70Ft and rests upright in about 145Ft of water.  Being around 20 miles off-shore she is not visited a lot, so Captain Mike and Steve S. were really excited about diving her. After a couple passes with the sonar we got a good fix on her and dropped a surface marker and then our divers.  Mike shot some video so we hope to have that up on the website soon, but his wife is expecting their first child this week so I’m not sure how quick that will happen.  There are quite a few fishing nets on board so a good buoyancy skill-set is a must to dive her.  When she sank in ’87 she took three crew members with her.  80-100Ft Viz, 39F, No Thermocline and 1Ft seas.  My plan is to offer trips here on occasion and to offer a second dive on the Rotarian or Buccaneer.  If your interested give me a call.

Next stop the Buccaneer.  The flies are still with us during the hour ride to the Buccaneer.  Surprising many of the divers on this “lite-Tec” trip had not been to the Buccaneer yet so for most of them this was their first dive on her.  As she is not moored we passed over her and dropped a buoy and then our divers with a mooring line.  While the divers were down the VHF went crazy with weather warnings.  There was a storm cell to south and north of us.  I punched up the radar to the 12-mile range, eye-balled the situation and hoped that we would miss the brunt of the storm.  After our divers returned I cut loose from the mooring and sent Mike down to retrieve the line and thats when the outer fringes of the storm began to buffet us.  There was lightening in the distance but what was more shocking was the hail and horizontal rain.  The winds had to be hitting 35Kts as it took the tops of the waves off and left us with a flat blowing sea.  We zipped up the canvas and kept an eye on the mooring.  Once Mike surfaced we moved in to pick him up and that’s when we learned that Mike did not police the mooring line as he ascended (big mistake) as we drifted over the line and of course fouled a prop.  Just a simple loop over but just enough that we had to throw Mike back in to clear the line.

Next stop Burnham Harbor. We a had clear shot back to the harbor as the storms passed to either side of us.  All an all a great day on the Lake except for the flies that never left.