Dive #162 - 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:
59 minutes

Maximum Depth:
41 feet

Safety Stop:
3 minutes

Beginning Air:
3000 psi

Ending Air:
1000 psi

Weather Conditions:
Sunny 83°F

Surface Conditions:

Surface Water Temperature:

Bottom Water Temperature:

40+ feet
* * *
Oct. 15,
Linda and Janel, John and Gavin
These silversides are mesmerizing
Videograph by Rich Torkington in Bahamas 2003 
Dive Journal: The first afternoon dive is scheduled at a site called Split Coral Head, but it is in parallel with a drift snorkeling side trip that sounds fun.

Gerry takes a group of us to Normans Cay to snorkel at the site of a sunken DC3, used for drug smuggling. 42090079 DC3 Plane Wreck (Normans Cay) 24 35.55 76 48.75. The snorkel is fun and the plane is in reasonably good shape - we each take turns swimming through the fuselage and checking out the cockpit. During our visit, the water is only about 10 feet deep, and so the plane's tail sticks prominantly out of the water. We fight a fairly strong current.

Following our exploration of the plane, Gerry suggests that we let the current push us away from the shore and out into the channel. We cross over vast areas of turtle grass and spot various starfish and conchs. We then enjoy at least 10 minutes of the most beautiful spotted eagle ray I've ever seen. The ray hangs around for a long time, swimming parallel to Johnny and me, and the visibility is very decent. We occasionally submerge and vector a bit closer to enhance the view, and still the ray stays with us. An excellent sighting.

Back at the AquaCat, the scheduled 4th dive today is at Madison Avenue, which Captain Mark describes as a privately owned reef. John will be diving with Gavin and this will count as Johnny’s official navigation dive. 42090074 Madison Avenue 24 48.33 76 48.82

There are a few nice spots on this dive, including some small swimthroughs with silversides. But we can’t give it a very good dive score owing to a thick layer of algae growing on everything. The algae is practically 2” thick and carpets everything literally for acres. Captain Mark has explained that a disease has killed off the sea urchins here, upsetting the natural balance. He describes some ongoing efforts to breed the sea urchins to assist in nature’s replacement. I’m reminded of the problem in some California dive locations – a massive overabundance of urchins!

I have a great image in my mind from this dive of Gavin and John swimming into a small room filled with silversides. They then just settle on the bottom and sit for several minutes, enjoying the scene. It’s great that Gavin is passively teaching John a quiet appreciation for nature. Later, Gavin tells us that John completes his navigation dive in good fashion.

The night dive is scheduled again here at Madison Avenue. We’re not too interested in going, but the girls from Knoxville are planning to go, and we are soon reconsidering the possibility. In the end, we decide not to.

An hour later we’re finishing our wine, and we wait on the dive deck for their return, chewing the fat with Frank, also from Knoxville. When they come up, they of course describe “the best night dive ever,” not without a sly grin, though.
Mares Avanti Quattro
U S Divers Matrix
80 ft3 Al
SeaQuest Spectrum 4
Dive Type:
Body of Water:
Caribbean Sea
U S Divers
2mm shorty
Spectrum XR2
plus Oceanic
Slimline octopus
8 lb
Water Type:
Video Equipment:
Sony DCR-TRV11 digital handycam in Top Dawg housing