Night Dive on the Hyde

Friday, May 20, 2011 13:41 | Filled in NC diving

Sand Tiger Shark on the Hyde

Sand Tiger Shark on the Hyde

Last night, I had the opportunity to get in the water for the first time since the Safari Hunt, May 7.  I was excited to get in the water again.  This was especially true since 1) I was going to the Hyde, one of my favorite wrecks.  2) This was a night dive, one of my favorite types of dives.  3) I was interested to see the Sand Tiger sharks and take some pictures of them for my portfolio.  As an added bonus, one of the guys I like to dive with, Glenn, was on the boat and I was going to buddy up with him.

 
Glenn just finished his Rescue Diver certification, so I want to say a quick congratulations to him.  I highly recommend this class.  It is one of the most fulfilling scuba classes you can take it you are interested in advanced certifications.  I certainly feel better knowing that my buddy is better prepared to save me if I find myself in unfortunate circumstances and unable to help myself.

 

We are heading out on the Aquatic Safaris I, which is a 48′ Island Hopper.  It is a great boat to dive from.  Roy is our captain and Brad Wessman is our divemaster.  We get our gear on the boat and put everything together as we leave the dock.  The sun is shining and the waters are relatively calm.  It looks like it is going to be a great day to dive.

 

Fixing Glenn's Computer

Fixing Glenn's Computer

It is early evening by the time we get to the dive site, one hour later.  There is still plenty of light as we splash for our first dive.  Glenn and I get to the hang bar on our way down when he calls me over and does not respond positively to my OK query.  He shows me his dive computer and it says ‘FAIL’ on it.  This is normally because his computer has picked up a different transmitter for air pressure information, but he says it typically clears itself out after a minute.  It does not this time.  We head back up and Glenn gets back on board to have it looked at by an expert.  Brad and Roy look it over and after a few minutes, Glenn gets back in the water.  We go down to the hang bar and he shakes his head again.  Up we go and he gets back on board.  I wait in the water and take pictures as he works the problem with Brad.  A few minutes later, they flash an OK sign to me and Glenn splashes again.  This time, his computer works and we head down to the wreck.  Later, they tell me his computer was locked to a different transmitter but would not clear until they turned off the system that was sending the spurious signals.

 

Jellyfish Swimming above the Hyde

Jellyfish Swimming above the Hyde

Visibility is nice.  It looks to be about 40′ and the current is light.  On the way down I see some nice jellyfish and I take some pictures of them.  When we get to the deck of the Hyde, I take a couple test shots as Glenn and I head towards the bow.  There are schools of fish everywhere.  Small bait balls, schools of Spade fish and a large school of Amberjacks.  As we swim forward, taking pictures of various small things, I glimpse my first Sand Tiger shark of the season.  It is a juvenile, approximately 4 feet in length.  He is lazily swimming over the deck, as I approach and take a few pictures.

 

I see another small shark and follow him as I record a short video on my camera.  I am excited since I finally have the shots that I have been looking for.  We continue our dive and I take pictures of many other things, including more sharks.  I see several more jellyfish swimming in the water above me and take several more pictures of them.  Much too soon, my air is running low, and I signal to Glenn that its time to head up.   He acknowledges me and we swim back to the anchor, taking a few pictures as we go, and swim up where we do our 3 minute safety stop by the hang bar.

 

Sunset between Dives at the Hyde

Sunset between Dives at the Hyde

Once on the boat, we discuss the dive and everything we saw.  We are both like little school kids talking about the sharks, the schools of fish and everything else.  We have about a one hour wait before we splash in for our next dive.  I take a few pictures on the boat of the divers and a nice shot of the sun setting as we prepare for our second dive.

 

It is dark when we splash for our second dive.  We head down to the deck and start towards the bow again.  Even though it is the same dive and only an hour or so after the first one, the wreck looks different.  Small things come out and the Furcate Spider crabs roam around in their camouflage suits of plants and animals they pick and place on themselves.

 

At the bow, I see a large grouper.  If I were to guess, I would say that it was a 2 1/2 foot Gag grouper.  Unfortunately, due to the low light and his interest in avoiding me, I was not able to get a picture.  I can claim it was the big one that got away on this trip.

 

On the boat ride back to the dock, I discuss cameras and my pictures to my fellow divers.  I have added a gallery of pictures from the dive for everyone to enjoy.  I apologize in advance for not remembering everyone’s names and if you see a picture of you, drop me a line at scuba@tyteanalytics.com and I will add the proper attribution to the picture.  Thanks to everyone for a great dive and making the boat ride enjoyable!

 

 

-Frank

 

 

 

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