Dive #193 - Rich Torkington's Dive Log
Copyright 2010 Rich Torkington Mesa, Arizona

PREVIOUS 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139 140 141 142 143 144 145 146 147 148 149 150 151 152 153 154 155 156 157 158 159 160 161 162 163 164 165 166 167 168 169 170 171 172 173 174 175 176 177 178 179 180 181 182 183 184 185 186 187 188 189 190 191 192 193 194 195 196 197 198 199 200 HOME INDEX Next

Bottom Time to Date:


Dive Info:

Dive Start:

Bottom Time:
52 minutes

Maximum Depth:
73 feet

Safety Stop:
3 minutes

Beginning Air:
3000 psi

Ending Air:
1300 psi

Weather Conditions:
Clear 80F

Surface Conditions:

Surface Water Temperature:

Bottom Water Temperature:

60+ feet
* * * *
July 28,
Linda and Johnny
Cuan Law Liveaboard
British Virgin islands
The four of us at the Baths on Virgin Gorda
Videograph by Rich Torkington in BVI 2004 
Dive Journal: We motor away from Guana Island and head northeast seemingly into the open ocean. After a long ride, we eventually stop and Ajay grabs scuba gear to moor us to an underwater line. We eat another mouthwatering lunch, then prepare for our afternoon dive.

Were moored above the Chikuzen, and as we get our gear ready, Captain Chas advises us to pick up the pace because a squall is threatening on the horizon. The Chikuzen is a big Japanese refrigerator boat lying on her side in about 70 feet of water. Damaged in a storm, then set on fire, and finally sunk in 1980, the Chikuzen is considered an advanced dive due to the regularity of big surface swells here. Fortunately, today it is fairly calm.

The Chikuzen is also considered one of the finest dives in the BVI, and we immediately see why. There are loads of schooling fish blanketing the wreck, including grunts, snappers, and goatfish. Three huge refrigerator holds invite divers to penetrate the wreck, but our dive briefing has advised against this due to the fragile condition of refrigeration piping inside.

Once at depth, I start taking some video, but then discover something wrong with the camera, a real shame at such a lush site. The schools of fish are especially great here because they simply part for the divers instead of swimming away. On the underside of the boat, Linda and I find a big Southern stingray, and Linda slowly approaches it and pets its top surface.

We explore around for a long time, circling the wreck, and Linda and John eventually surface leaving only Ajay and me in the water. Cruising around the shallower port side, we spot a small group of Atlantic spadefish, and then a visit from a school of rainbow runners. Near the bow, a few big horse-eye jacks speed around.

I finally swim up to the boat while Ajay works on getting our mooring line free. There is a nice school of barracudas near the boat. Later on, I learn that Linda and John came across a cobia here, too.

The squall has missed us fortunately. Ajay takes a long time to untie the boat line knot, which has gotten extremely tightened in the currents and swells.

Additional information about this dive, copied from http://www.divebvi.com/chikuzen.htm

Chikuzen - 75ft Advanced

One of the best dives in the BVI, due to its remote location, this site should only be attempted with our experienced dive instructors.

A 246 ft refrigeration vessel originally built in Shimizu, Japan, she was part of the fishing fleet in St Maarten. The propeller of the Chikuzen had been damaged in a storm 2 years prior and so she was moored at the fishing fleet dock, apparently causing quite a bit of damage to the dock.

The owners were afraid that she might cause further damage or break free and drift up onto the beach (a vessel of this size would be very expensive to re-float). She was intentionally set ablaze off the docks in St Maarten, but this stubborn vessel refused to sink, eventually reaching the BVI, threatening to beach itself on the small island of Marina Cay. She was taken under tow and eventually sank without threatening any further coastlines!

Situated 12 miles NE of Virgin Gorda surrounded by miles of sand, this is the only place for marine life to congregate. Regular visitors include schooling barracuda, horse-eye jacks and snapper; stingrays; eagle rays; african pompano; atlantic spadefish; nurse sharks and blacktip reef sharks along with a resident 600lb jewfish.

This is a challenging site due to regular swells in the 3-5ft range - please check with the dive shop regarding current conditions.

Mares Avanti Quattro
Oceanic Vo 200
80 ft3 Al
SeaQuest Spectrum 4
Dive Type:
BOAT, Cuan Law
Body of Water:
Caribbean Sea
U S Divers
3mm full wetsuit
Spectrum XR2
plus Oceanic
Slimline octopus
8 lb
Water Type:
Video Equipment:
Sony DCR-TRV11 digital handycam in Top Dawg housing