Archive for July, 2012

Project Journal, July 2nd, 2012: “Toughest diving day of my life!”

 
 

Hello all,

Well, when I told you last week that the “Wrecks” episode would be the hardest one of all, even I did not know how true those words would be. We just spent the last 2 days diving on the USS Spiegel Grove and those have been the hardest diving days of my life. The Spiegel is the largest artificial wreck in the world, at 510 ft long, and during its day, it was a dock boat, which means, it would take other smaller navy boats inside of it and float them like a dock so they could be repaired. It could also hold up to 8 helicopters and a variety of vehicles like train cars, 18 wheelers and anything else that needed to be transported or repaired by the navy. That should give you an idea of how huge this boat is. It lies off Key Largo in a location where it is constantly hammered by super strong currents and not the best of visibility. The current is so strong that by the time I leave the surface and arrive at the deck, 28 meters below, I have traveled easily 70-80 meters at a very steep angle, kicking very hard to keep my body from being blown away. Then, once I’m on the boat, I sometimes need to pull myself over handrails and other objects, and you can imagine how slow it is to move like that, pull by pull, on such a massive boat. The worst thing is the lack of orientation, the boat is so long and visibility so bad that I never know exactly where I am, and it is difficult to orient myself. Eventually, I reached the bottom of the wreck at the bow section, 43 meters to the sand, but it felt like a 150 meters dive instead! Take a look at the anchor chains that sink into the sand as I follow them. It was very difficult to dive, but what a fantastic experience this wreck was, you never truly understand how massive these ships are until you can dive on one of them. The giant size and the mysterious feel gives this wreck a spectacular look. While we continue to work on the wrecks episode, we will put together a short video update to show you some of the amazing images from the USS Spiegel Grove. This is truly one of the amazing dives of the world!

[nggallery id=16]