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Trip Report: USS Oriskany

Discussion in 'Deep Dixie Divers' started by Lefty Writer, Jun 23, 2013.

  1. Lefty Writer

    Lefty Writer Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: League City, Texas, United States
    This past week, several of us from my dive club, the Bay Area Divers, took a road trip from the Houston area to experience diving in Florida. The absolute highlight, at least for me, was diving the Mighty O.

    We booked this dive with the Scuba Shack several weeks before our trip. Our original booking was for Sunday, 9 June, but this got cancelled due to the weather/sea state. We decided to alter our itinerary and try again later in the week.

    Joy of joys, we were able to re-book for Saturday the 15th.

    Our group showed up at the dive shop Saturday morning and Gene and his wife got us all checked in in very short order. For those of us wishing to use Nitrox, he recommended Nitrox 30, which we all used.

    Pre-departure briefing was thorough and professional and we were soon underway aboard the Wet Dream for the two hour transit to the dive site.

    There were mild swells, about 1 - 2 feet, and this caused a few of our members to be a bit sick. All were troopers, though, and insisted on diving.

    Our pre-dive brief was also very thorough and professional. The two DMs aboard had a large photo of the carrier's "island," and pointed out specific landmarks and depths to keep us oriented once we were on the wreck. All throughout the day, the Wet Dream staff ensured we were well hydrated by encouraging all to drink from the cooler. There was an ice chest aboard for those who brought their own drinks.

    Once on location, the mooring line was attached to the wreck itself and we were ready to splash. One of the unique ideas the dive op had was to attach a rubber chicken to the ascent line near the wreck. Since there were other dive boats on site, with their own lines, the rubber chicken made the Wet Dream's line really stand out.

    Heading down the line for our first dive, around 50 feet or so, I noticed what I thought looked like a couple of dolphins, but with shorter beaks. I was so surprised by this, that I looked around to see if any others noticed this. When I looked back, they were gone! I didn't think I was narc'd at that depth, but hhhhmmmm. I decided not to say anything about this to avoid any potential ridicule later.

    It seemed like just a few minutes on the wreck before I was reaching my turn around pressure and it was time to start back up. As large as this wreck is, it was almost sensory overload trying to take in all the sights. Between the wreck itself and the abundant fish, there was wayyyyy too much to see in the time we had. All of us did a deep stop at 40' per recommendation from the dive op, and the normal safety stop prior to exiting the water.

    During our surface interval, two divers mentioned seeing the dolphins, so I added my observations as well. After talking it over, and with help from Google, it appears as though we saw some Risso's dolphins. We could very well be mistaken, but this is our best guess. Unfortunately, none of us managed to get any photos of these critters.

    We were offered freshly sliced oranges and pineapples, as well as grilled hot dogs for lunch. The pineapples were especially sweet, and I definitely ate my fill of them.

    After a nice surface interval, it was time for our second dive. We decided to have one of the DMs take a group photo of us around one of the flags during the dive. Once again, we headed down the line and swam around taking in the wreck. Towards the end of the dive, we (our dive club) gathered around the flag for the group photo, then started towards the line. I gave the chicken a customary choke and started up. Again, we did a 40' deep stop followed by the standard safety stop and called it a day.

    Wow, there is definitely more to see than what two dives can provide! I'm already trying to figure out when we can go back.

    During the trip back to the dock, we were treated to homemade strawberry ice cream and freshly sliced watermelon.

    I will absolutely use the Scuba Shack next time I'm in Pensacola!

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    tylerinflorida, Hetland and Bhtmec2 like this.
  2. Bhtmec2

    Bhtmec2 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Puerto Rico
    Thanks I hope on my next trip up there to dive the O....
  3. bbarnett51

    bbarnett51 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Little Rock, Ar
    You're right about sensory overload. The ship itself is so interesting and huge then you have awesome marine life as well. It's a long ride for short dives (if u arent tec diving) but well worth it. I really love that dive.

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