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Roanoke Island Outfitters - Matteo, NC

Discussion in 'Kudos' started by sonofzell, Jul 1, 2019.

  1. sonofzell

    sonofzell Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Philadelphia, PA
    22
    17
    3
    https://roanokeislandoutfittersanddivecenter.com

    Just chartered a wreck dive this past Tuesday (6/25) with ROI, and was completely impressed with the entire experience - from booking to docking. It's a tiny shop with less than half a dozen on staff, but everyone I dealt with could not have been nicer or more eager to help in any way.

    Our DM ("Sara") and Captain ("Mark") were a blast to charter with - keeping a chill, fun vibe but at the same time completely professional and safety-oriented. The patience and help they showed with a couple of miserably seasick passengers (a.k.a. my daughter and I LOL) was simply incredible.

    I'll definitely book with these guys anytime I get a chance to get back to the Outer Banks and highly recommend them to anyone. Surely worthy of kudos based on my experience!
     
  2. Silty Sam

    Silty Sam ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Great State O'Maine
    134
    39
    28
    Nice review. What did you dive on?
     
  3. sonofzell

    sonofzell Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Philadelphia, PA
    22
    17
    3
    It was originally suggested that we might hit the U-85 site, but the conditions of the day led us instead to the USCG "Jackson" and the AR145 "Advance II" wreck sites. The two are actually located less than 500 yards apart, about 7.5mi offshore. We lucked out with a nice clear, sunny day - air temp was around 85 (but seemed more like 105 on the boat lol). Bottom temp was 69F, which everyone aboard agreed was exceptionally warm for mid-June.

    There was (what I'd consider) a more-than-moderate chop; I'd say 2-4' swells. That, combined with our 7m suits in the heat (overkill in hindsight), did put my daughter & I "over the edge" as alluded to with the above seasickness reference. Below the surface, however, both sites were calm and lively. There was no current whatsoever, so taking in the site was a pleasure, of course within the limits of the 10-20' viz (pretty typical we were told)!

    Both wrecks had an abundance of sheepshead and sea bass keeping them company, and massive shoals of spades near the surface made for scenic safety stops. We also spotted a bunch of crabs and these neat super-tiny starfish (see pic) at both sites. The highlight of the day, though, was seeing a group of 8 or 9 sizeable sand tiger sharks hanging out at the Advance! My daughter is obsessed with sharks & rays, so getting a glimpse of them within 6' of us was nothing short of incredible!! We've only encountered sharks once before - black tips in the Bahamas - and while that was also spectacular, those guys definitely kept more of a distance from us.

    DM Sara told us of a massive eagle ray that had been hanging out in the area lately, with a span of about 8', but we weren't fortunate enough to run into it on our dives. She said it's pretty elusive, but believed to still be in the area (apparently, this guy is so big it actually leaves "tracks" along the sand bottom as evidence of its visits).

    IMG_6050.jpg
    [one of our tiny starfish hanging on to the Jackson. I'll be dammed if I got a single decent pic of those sand tigers!]

    IMG_6109.jpg
    [one of our many sheepshead guides]

    IMG_6130.jpg
    [small sea bass keeping an eye on us]

    IMG_6138.jpg
    [the closest thing I have to a shark pic... he's there, I promise!]

    IMG_6174.jpg
    [tons of spadefish around 15']

    IMG_6163.jpg
    [my daughter's universal "I saw a shark!" signal LOL]
     
  4. nippurmagnum

    nippurmagnum Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Washington DC metro
    111
    63
    28
    You mentioned that you were both wearing 7 mm wetsuits and that you both got seasick. At what point in the boat ride did you put on the suits? I'm betting it was pretty early on.

    When I started diving from boats many moons ago, I was always in a hurry to put on my wetsuit as soon as I got on the boat, because I was terrified of not having enough time to put on all my gear once I got to the dive site. In fact, one of my early instructors would insist that we get fully dressed as soon as we boarded, including putting on our WEIGHT BELTS, before the 20 minute boat ride. That was a sure recipe for seasickness. Over time, I learned to ask for a 10-minute warning before reaching the dive site, and to zip up the wetsuit at the last possible moment. The weights especially should only go on your body a few minutes (at most) before you hit the water.

    7 mm is an appropriate thickness of suit for a 65 degree bottom temp, so I suspect the problem was the early donning of the suit, and maybe event the weights . . .
     
  5. sonofzell

    sonofzell Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Philadelphia, PA
    22
    17
    3
    We were actually given a "5-minute warning" as well, at which time I started gearing up. My daughter pretty much lost it moments after embark and doesn't really have a ton of experience on a boat. As for me, the last time I can recall being seasick was probably in the early 90's! I was actually fine on the ride out, just attending to her and trying to make sure she was "chumming" overboard and not on deck. It wasn't until I zipped my suit that it hit me - and it was instantaneous! As soon as my collar zipped tight around my throat, I got sick immediately and completely involuntarily. I struggled through donning my BC fins, mask, etc and the second I hit the water I felt fine.

    Following the first dive, I felt equally sick the moment I started climbing back on deck. After doffing gear and hurling several more times (along with my daughter), our captain suggested jumping overboard with our suits open form the waist-up. I thought he was out of his mind, but sure enough - after a few minutes I heeded his advice and again, felt instant relief the moment I got off the boat! I convinced my daughter to do the same, and we spent the ENTIRE sit just hanging on to the buoy line. It was actually quite enjoyable, as long as I didn't focus on the movement of the boat. :confused:
     
  6. nippurmagnum

    nippurmagnum Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Washington DC metro
    111
    63
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    Were you using a weight belt or integrated weights? I had a much stronger tendency to get nauseous early on in my weight belt phase, which pretty much disappeared when I started using integrated weights rather than cinching lead weights around my waist.
     
  7. sonofzell

    sonofzell Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Philadelphia, PA
    22
    17
    3
    We both use integrated weights. We both only had toast before heading out; I really think it was either just a combination of the heat & motion or perhaps I'm just getting less tolerant in my middle age lol... I know I don't always fare well on amusement park rides in recent years; something that NEVER bothered me at all in my younger days.
     
  8. nippurmagnum

    nippurmagnum Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Washington DC metro
    111
    63
    28
    This is me at space camp daring them to make me nauseous: https://photos.app.goo.gl/6cJMfzzRKjoauoyF9
     
    sonofzell likes this.

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