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Sea Hunt

Discussion in 'Vintage Equipment Diving' started by gcbryan, Dec 25, 2009.

  1. John C. Ratliff

    John C. Ratliff Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Beaverton, Oregon
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    oldmossback,

    One slight correction--the wet suits were better then as most were custom-made to the diver. They also were very nice and warm in the 1960s. My dive buddy in high school was Elaine McGinnis, and she was a great diver. So girls (we weren't that old yet) were in the sport and diving at that time.

    Mike Nelson was Hollywood, and this was Hollywood talking. When I went through the U.S. Navy School for Underwater Swimmers in 1967, one of the favorite things for the Navy instructors to say was "Don't do what Mike Nelson did," especially putting the mask on the forehead. If we did that, we got to either do 20 pushups with our tanks on (twin 90s--this was the lesser punishment) or carry the "buddy line" for 24 hours. This line was about 8 feet of 6" diameter boat mooring line.

    SeaRat
     
  2. oldmossback

    oldmossback Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Texas by God!
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    SeaRat,

    Agreed they were custom made, if you could afford that.......mine was a hand me down from two sources.......bottoms were just rubber, no lining and about 1/4 thick I think, the top was a short sleeve 1/8 inch.....most of my early gear was given to me or I constructed my own......I remember nearly freezing to death in the winter, even in central Texas where it should have been warm but wasn't.........and I was just 19 and home on leave from Boot Camp.......still, had to keep the image, so I did not complain.........the same in Okinawa.....65 of us were going thru the Provost Marshall's diver program in March. 1971, just to be able to dive in Okinawa...........not enough gear to go around from the base activities store room (old age prevents me from remembering the actual name), so most of us went without wet suits.......and being Marines......who needed a wet suit?........at least that's what we told the Corpman the next Monday at sick call..........later there was a run on Turtleskins at the PX, they cost $60 if I remember correctly. But I always borrowed one, never bought one until I was transfered to my last duty station at El Torro.......

    Never saw a female diving in Okinawa though......or very many in Southern Cal. for that matter in 72.........

    As for Mike Nelson, we were told the same thing..........
     
  3. John C. Ratliff

    John C. Ratliff Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Beaverton, Oregon
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    oldmossback,

    It sound like you were diving off White Beach in Okinawa; is that correct? I had some really wonderful dives in Okinawa, and we did not use wet suits much except on actual missions. Here are a few photos of our diving in Okinawa:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    We dove off the reefs on one side (the east side?) of the island, and off Naha Air Force Base, where we were stationed. We made parascuba jumps off White Beach.
    [​IMG]
    Usually, we jumped with a shorty wet suit.

    SeaRat
     
  4. oldmossback

    oldmossback Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Texas by God!
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    SeaRat

    Yes, I've made several dives off white beach, Monza beach and off the beach at Camp Swabbe, the Marine Recon camp. Fell off a cliff a short distance on the little island just behind the reefs..landed on my back and have had problems with it since..beautiful places these were........however, most of my diving was off the Horseshoe, next to the Airforce Antenna Farm.......deep water, many caves!

    I saw a show on TV the other day about diving in Okinawa.......there are many places they take divers now.....it has blossomed quite a bit for diving.........even diving a sunken WWII ship that some kamakazies hit......three, if I remember correctly, they said. Ship was a mess......120 ft dive.
    I'd like to go back there and do some diving again.........water is so clear and blue........
     
  5. Lone Frogman

    Lone Frogman Amphibious ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: West Georgia
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    Sea Serpent, Nerve Gas, Hermes and Water Ski Show.
     
  6. John C. Ratliff

    John C. Ratliff Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Beaverton, Oregon
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    Even though the US Navy was kinda down on Sea Hunt, I started watching it way before I got into the service. I was on the YMCA swim team in Salem, Oregon in the 1950s, and would watch Sea Hunt before my practice. So watching these programs brings back a lot of good memories.

    I just watched the Sea Hunt show called "Amphibian" which talks about a diver with a scooter going into a restricted area to photograph a secret underwater missile launching setup. What was very interesting to me was the amphibian plane that was used, a charter from the Catalina Islands. It appeared to be an early model of the Albatross amphibian, before they extended the wings. I believe it was then known as the SA-16. When I crewed it out of Naha, Okinawa in 1968, we had the military rescue version, known as the HU-16B. It had extended wings, and a very long range. We flew it from Naha, Okinawa to Osan, South Korea in response to the loss of the USS Pueblo in 1968 (I believe--have to check the dates).

    What interested me about the Sea Hunt part was that the noise levels were low enough to talk in the plane--that wasn't true in the military version. The hatch was in a different place (nearer the wing), but other than that, it looked much the same.

    I was also interested in the scooter used, as it looked a lot like the ones Cousteau used in The Silent World. Mike Nelson said in the discussion that the scooter could reach 12 knots--I don't believe that figure, but it makes a good Hollywood story. I think maybe 2-4 knots, tops for one of those. I don't think a diver with a double hose regulator could easily keep the mouthpiece in his mouth at 12 knots.

    Anyway, it was a good story, with lots of good vintage gear, especially the USD triple tank set.

    SeaRat

    PS--Sorry we hijacked the thread for a while.
     
  7. AfterDark

    AfterDark Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
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    12 knots! I agree no way! I've had my mask ripped off working in a 7 knot current and yes I had to bite down on the mouthpiece to keep the reg in my mouth.
     
  8. Paladin

    Paladin Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: West Virginia
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    The type of plane used in several Sea Hunt episodes, including The Amphibian, was the Grumman Goose. One of those Goose Amphibians went on to star in Tales of The Gold Monkey.
     
  9. John C. Ratliff

    John C. Ratliff Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Beaverton, Oregon
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    I was not aware of the number of amphibian aircraft Grumman made until we started this discussion concerning the episode The Amphibian. Here is a Wikipedia page that details all the different Grumman amphibians:

    Grumman - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    What now is interesting to me is the similarity of the aircraft. I know how well-built the HU-16B was, as it is battle-tested in Vietnam.

    Aircraft: Grumman SA-16B (HU-16B) Albatross

    These were real rescues, not Hollywood, Mike Nelson ones, and many were under fire. I crewed these birds when they came out of DaNang, and went to Okinawa. Parascuba jumping out of them was a chore, due to the small size of the hatch. In photo #7 of this series on Bill Pitsenbarger, you can see him in the hatch of an Albatross. (I wanted to link this to get Bill's story out anyway.)

    Factsheets : Airman 1st Class William H. Pitsenbarger

    The Sea Hunt series The Amphibian does bring back memories of those days on a slightly larger Grumman amphibian, the HU-16B Albatross. I enjoyed the shots of the Goose flying, the scenes on the wing, and the interior flight shots.

    SeaRat
     

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