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Considering a Morehead City August trip

Discussion in 'North Carolina' started by jewelofnile69, Feb 25, 2013.

  1. jewelofnile69

    jewelofnile69 Barracuda

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: The People's Republic of Madison, WI
    200
    68
    0
    Hi Everyone,

    My husband and I are looking to plan a mid/late August 5-day trip to Morehead city dive trip with Olympus. We are both very interested in doing the wrecks there....we are both huge military history buffs. Now, I've yet to see a shark while diving and the majority of the wrecks list sand tigers as a likely site. I will admit that I have an irrational fear of diving with sharks. Any advice for me on this? Now, while I say that I have a fear of sharks, I am not so scared that I don't want to do this...I just don't want to have a freak out in the middle of a dive.

    Also, I get cold easily. I generally dive a 3mm with a hood in the Carribean (Bonaire) but have since decided to switch to a 5mm and do a 3mm without a hood in Key Largo. Do you think I could get away with a 5mm with a hood off Morehead or should I bring along my 7mm? Again, this will be August so it looks like the water temps could be very low 80s. Any advice from those of you that have dove off Morehead and get cold easily is greatly appreciated.
     
  2. lulubelle

    lulubelle Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location:
    862
    96
    28
    Sharks are wonderful! Especially the Sandies. They are generally very serene and oblivious to your existence unless you are holding a freshly speared fish. Maybe you can dive a site or two first which are likely to have one, not 50. Perhaps watching some You Tube videos of the sharks behavior when divers are around will reassure you. You can search them by dive site. And be wary of your breathing when you see your first one. Keep it slow and even so that you won't muck up your CO2 levels and such.

    Topside temps in NC are hot as hell. I can't imagine wearing a hood with a 5mm. Maybe a thin beanie. But I can imagine wearing a 5mm if you are cold natured. But even that you will want to don and wet just before jumping. The bottom will be 75 ish that time of year. I wear a 3mm and a beanie in August and I'd consider myself mildly cold natured. I'd leave the 7mm at home. I have never seen anyone wearing one in August. You will fry topside if you try.

    Watch the forecasts that is storm season. But some great diving when the storms aren't on their way.
     
  3. jewelofnile69

    jewelofnile69 Barracuda

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: The People's Republic of Madison, WI
    200
    68
    0
    OK, 7mm will stay at home...maybe i"ll go with a 5mm with no hood. :)

    I like the idea of doing an easier dive or two that "may" have sharks first. Great thoughts.

    I am really looking forward to this trip. What is typical storm season down there? Thanks for the input!
     
  4. Scubapro67

    Scubapro67 Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Virginia Beach
    99
    20
    8
    Hurricanes can blow through anytime from June through November, with September being the peak of the season. Some years you don't see anything, others a few - you get plenty of warning, and the forecasters are getting pretty good with likely tracks.
     
  5. lilnik10

    lilnik10 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Winston-Salem, NC
    44
    26
    18
    I made my first dives with Olympus last July and August. I was comfortable in a full 3 mm.

    I was also very nervous about seeing sharks for the first time but as soon as I saw the first one on the Aeolus it was pure excitement. Any fear I had completely left and I want to get as close as I could. Can't wait to go back this summer!
     
    AfterDark likes this.
  6. jewelofnile69

    jewelofnile69 Barracuda

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: The People's Republic of Madison, WI
    200
    68
    0
    Thanks!

    Good to know. I'm really looking forward to this...will definitely be something to "write home about" I'm sure. :) Do you normally get cold easily or is a 3mm good for you, say, in the Carribbean? I find that I'm freezing at the end of multiple dives in a 3mm with a hood.
     
  7. Randy g

    Randy g Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Virginia Beach, Va
    1,293
    439
    83
    Late August last year the Caribsea and Atlas wrecks are crawling with big girls.

    144800080.jpg

    And they were that thick 360 degrees around us and below us. It was the most amazing dive I have ever experienced in MHC.
     
    AfterDark, lulubelle and J Easy like this.
  8. J Easy

    J Easy Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: FW, TX
    121
    20
    18
    I really miss being able to drive down to MHC for weekend trips like when I lived in Maryland. The wrecks and sharks are fantastic! Once in the water any fear you have will turn to enthrallment. Have Fun!
     
  9. lilnik10

    lilnik10 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Winston-Salem, NC
    44
    26
    18

    Unfortunately, I have not made it to the Carribbean yet, but when I do, I expect to wear my 3 mm or less. I am used to colder quarry water so I probably have a pretty high tolerance for cold. All I ever wear is my 3mm and don't bring out the hood until the water temp drops below 70. I went back and checked my logs and in July and August, the water temps were around 80 at the surface and gradually dropped to 75 starting around 85 feet. I don't like being cold, so if were you, I would probably do the 5mm just to be safe.
     
  10. herman

    herman Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Raleigh,North Carolina
    9,673
    2,430
    113
    Several off hand thoughts come to mind that might be helpful.

    Unless you KNOW you don't get seasick, consider meds. The short rides on calm seas like Fla or Coz don't count and nothing is worse than turning green half way to the wreck. Unless you are doing the close in wrecks, most of the boat rides are at least 1 1/2 hrs, most are more, each way so plan to be on the water all day. Unlike other places, we still go in seas up to 6 ft or so, plan on rough water and pray for slick conditions.

    Book now unless you are doing mid week charters. It is common for weekend charters to fill up very early.

    Have a large safety sausage (at least 6 ft, the shorter ones are not the best idea) and a loud whistle. If you are unlucky enough to get blown off or miss the anchor line you may have to drift for a fairly long way before the boat can come get you, they MUST stay to get the rest in before coming after you. The bigger your marker is, the easier you are to see. A small finger spool is also a really good idea so you can shoot the SMB from a deco stop depth if you must do a safety stop while drifting.
    Both a knife and shears are a good idea. There is a lot of fishing line on our wrecks and the modern braid lines can be difficult to cut with a knife.

    Have a plan B...and C is not a bad idea. We often get blow out and the charters do not run for a day or 2, that is just the way it is on the NC coast so have a back up plan for something to do.

    As for the sand tigers, we have thousands of divers in the water each year and I do not recall hearing of anyone having a bad encounter that was not spear fishing related. That said, do plan on and expect that they may come very close to you, unlike any other sharks I am aware of, the sand tigers here seem to vary widely in their response to divers. They will at times completely ignore you to the point of running into you and other times apparently like to school with you. I have had them pass by me at less than 5 ft, do a U turn and "school" with me for the length of the ship at maybe 4 to 6 ft beside me. I do not think it is an aggressive move but it is somewhat unnerving to have a 6 to 8 ft shark become your buddy. After you see the first few, they are less intimidating. Above all else, keep your cool.
     
    AfterDark and Bratface like this.

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