Dive #126 - Rich Torkington's Dive Log
© Copyright 2010 Rich Torkington Mesa, Arizona

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Bottom Time to Date:


Dive Info:

Dive Start:

Bottom Time:
62 minutes

Maximum Depth:
50 feet

Safety Stop:
Long time in shallows

Beginning Air:
3200 psi

Ending Air:
1400 psi

Weather Conditions:

Surface Conditions:

Surface Water Temperature:

Bottom Water Temperature:

60 feet
* * *½
October 19,
Linda, Janel, Johnny, Francis
Froggies Out Island Adventures
Very friendly Nassau grouper
Videograph by Rich Torkington in the Bahamas 2002 
Dive Journal: DAY 8 IN THE BAHAMAS: Linda’s on the phone this morning with the dive shop on Man-O-War, several cays to the south of us. They might be going out and need to check conditions. They indicate willingness to come pick us up, too. Great!

After a couple hours they call back. Good news – they are diving today! Bad news – one of their resort clients has to catch a plane and they won’t be able to make the round trip to Guana for us. We don’t have access to a boat, do we? Sure, Linda says, where should we meet you?

The rendezvous point is near an island southeast of us called Fowl Cay, about 4 miles down. The dive boat is almost leaving from Man-O-War Cay and will call us when they do. I run down to the dock to get gas for our boat, but when I make a VHF call for the Texaco station there is no answer, and there isn’t any attendant visible over at Orchid Bay. Heck, I guess we just will risk it on the 12 gallons of gas we bought yesterday. Should be enough.

The dive boat quickly calls back and is leaving, so we grab up all our scuba gear and kids, head down to the dock, jump in the boat, and start heading south. Not sure where we’re going, not sure which island is Fowl Cay, not sure who we’re looking for, not sure if we have enough gas, not sure how to moor with the other boat. What could go wrong?

We show up at what we think is the correct area and idle the boat. Sure enough, within about 5 minutes, Froggies big 55’ dive boat loaded with divers arrives from the south and pulls up beside us. We wave and I immediately let the captain (Lambert) know we’re kinda new to boats. He yells down from the bridge, “Throw the anchor!” Uh, yeah, right, OK. We throw the anchor. The mate then looks at us expectantly. After a few seconds, he says, “Throw the rope!” Sure, of course, why didn’t we think of that?

We quickly transfer onto the dive boat, and the mates handle all our scuba gear for us, even rigging up the regulators and tanks. We’re relieved to have made the connection and extremely glad to be diving! There is a quiet group of teenage boys on board and also several couples, also strangely quiet. We’re taken through an ocean pass north of Fowl Cay and cautiously out among the coral patches and swells on the ocean side to the dive site known as “Flywheel Bay.”

The divers split up into 2 groups – we’ll be diving with Francis. It takes a while to get in the water – the teenage boys seem to be pretty new divers. One of them is diving in our group. The dive starts in an area of many large patches of dead and broken coral branches, and Francis tours us around through varying channels. He finally locates the namesake of the site, a 6’ diameter old flywheel from a past shipwreck. Fish life is relatively sparse.

We then head seaward quite a distance. The teenage boy pulls up and works with Francis for a bit, and Francis asks everyone for gauge information. I’ve still got 2200 psi – we’ve barely broken 25 feet depth and we’ve only been down about 30 minutes. The teenage boy is low on air. We learn later that he surfaced right there, and then had a very long surface swim back to the dive boat.

Francis takes us further seaward and we come across a beautiful school of chub. Instead of making one or two passes, like most chub, this school makes multiple passes playing in our bubbles, looking for a food handout, and generally checking us out. Enchanting. We descend to about 45 feet, visibility gets a little better, the corals are happier, and we spot an ocean triggerfish. Francis finds a resident Nassau grouper. Extremely diver-friendly, this grouper lets Francis and Linda stroke it’s side and head, and the grouper approaches my video camera closely with curiosity. Cool.

A surprisingly long finning exercise is needed to return to the boat. When we do, Johnny is really low on air (about 300 psi) and we’ve been in the water over an hour. Lambert is not totally pleased with Francis since the schedule is tight.

Mares Avanti Quattro
U S Divers Matrix
80 ft3 Al
SeaQuest Spectrum 4
Dive Type:
Body of Water:
Caribbean Sea
U S Divers
Spectrum XR2
plus Oceanic
Slimline octopus
10 lb
Water Type:
Video Equipment:
Sony DCR-TRV11 digital handycam in Top Dawg housing