Super Bowl Sunday Diving on the Eureka
It all started at our debriefing on Wednesday Night at Vets. Carl Martin says “hey guys (of course Donna is one of the guys) Pacific Star is going to the oil rigs on super bowl Sunday for $75, anyone want to go?” Most said no, they are going to watch the game. Carl told the group that the boat leaves at 7am and will be back at the dock at noonish. So, I’m thinking, dive the rigs and watch the game, count me in. Donna, Edwin, Slick are in, Psycho joins the group and our photographer buddy, Carolyn Wang does so as well.
The Pacific Star is now at 22nd Street Landing. I get there at 6am. The Pacific Star is a big comfortable boat, about 75 feet long and wide. One of the boat’s great services is that the crew meets you at the parking lot and hauls your gear to the boat for you. When you get back to the dock, the crew hauls your gear back to the parking lot. Love this service. Remember to tip this crew.
I look on the boat, see my gear set up (thank you crew) but I don’t see many others. Seems odd that the boat is almost empty. I go into the galley for waivers. No one in the galley but Capt Dave, a deck hand and the cook. Bacon is cooking. Yum. Carl shows up, Donna, Edwin and Slick. Carolyn is here. Psycho comes in the galley and he looks different. He has cleaned up and gotten a haircut. I mean the type of haircut you get your hairy dog for the summer. Shaved head almost, looks like a chubby marine. Good to have him on the boat.
There is only one other couple and one dude on this boat as the clock approaches 7am. Captain, says “time to go”. Awesome, we have the boat to ourselves. Deck hand asks for our breakfast order. We get to pick our individual meals. Eggs, bacon, burritos, hash browns, bagels, toast, fruit. Donna tells me she brought beer. Not for breakfast but good to know for later.
Half way to the rigs the boat stops and the captain announces that a couple whales are off the port side. All 8 of us go watch 2 baby grey whales playing on the surface while a pod of dolphins jump around them. They stayed on the surface a long time.
If you know the Pacific Star, imagine what the boat looks like with just a couple people on it. After breakfast we arrive at the rigs. The captain told us to be ready to enter the water at 8:30. At 8:30, the captain backs the boat to the rig. We splash, Carl, Donna, Psycho and I are a 4 person buddy team. Water is cold and there is a green tint. Viz only about 10 feet at the surface. I’m thinking I hope it is better deeper. Inside the structure of the rig, we descend slowly. Viz is clearing up, I can see from one level to the next so I estimate about 30 foot viz. Life is everywhere. Lots of fish, small jellies and life on every inch of the rig legs. Slick and Edwin go after scallops. They are everywhere as well. Our group keeps getting deeper. We stop at the 125 foot platform and begin a slow ascent. Now it is starting to get cold, I had 57 degrees. Lots to see. Slowly we make our way back to around 50 feet. We swim along the various legs of the structure. We do a 5 minute safety stop and surface. Dive time, probably 30 minutes, we all had a lot of air remaining. The boat backs up to the rig, picks us up and we decide as a group (pretty easy when there is just a couple of us) that we want to stay on the Eureka instead of going to a different rig. Why? Because there was lots of life here and the captain said viz would be best here.
After an hour surface interval, we get ready for dive 2. Same drill, the boat backs up, we jump off and we agree to limit our depth on this dive to 60 feet. We slowly descend to 55 feet and check out a couple sections of the legs on the rig. After 20 or 25 minutes we make our way up the legs of the rig. The viz is about 10 feet better on this dive than the first dive, but I am getting cold. We do a safety stop, surface, boat picks us up. No waiting for hot shower. I get warm, pack my gear and it is 11am. The cook is making homemade chocolate chip cookies and Donna brings out the cooler.
Fun day, awesome boat dives. We get back to the dock at about 12:15pm. Crew brings gear to parking lot and I am home by 12:45. Donna took some pictures and video of the whales and her dives. If they turn out I’m sure she will post them, or send them to Kenneth to post.
Fun day. If you guys want to do more rig dives or lobster boat dives, Captain Dave said he will accommodate our group.
– Dan Rood