The next day I was up and out early as I was doing a spot of scuba diving. I was looking forward to this one. It was going to be my first proper wreck dive. I took a cab to the harbour and set off on the Sea Eagle on a expedition run by the Captains Corner.
The Vandenberg is a 523-foot long ship, which sits on the ocean bed, 150 foot below sea level, 7 miles from land. In 2009, it became the 2nd largest purposely sunken ships to become the home of many fish and coral life. The water was so clear that you could see the top of the Vandenberg from our boat! The photo below is of the ship before it was sunk.
I geared up and with my GoPro in hand; I stepped off the boat to begin my descent. It wasn’t until I’d reached the deck of the sunken ship that I realised that my GoPro case was taking in water. Damn it. I looked at my depth and I was at 100 foot. It was only a little leak. Being the 5th camera this trip, it shows how lucky I have been! I decided to swim on.
We swam through doors, holes and even satellites. It was amazing. I tried to film as much as I could but I tried not to touch the GoPro as I didn’t want to make the leak worse.
Being so deep, I only had about 15 minutes of air. I got back to the boat and poured the water out of the case. The camera was still working. I didn’t want to risk it again and decided to leave the GoPro on the boat to keep the memories of the 2nd dive just for myself.
It was just my luck that the 2nd dive was the most amazing one. I dove right down to the rudder at about 120 foot. It was so eerie down there. The fact that there was this massive boat right in front of you was quite a sight. We swam through room after room. There were about 5000 compartments in the ship but we were told not to go deep into it, as they wouldn’t be coming in to find us if we got lost! As I manoeuvred myself around the vessel, I kept slicing my fingers on the sharp coral. One cut was quite bad. I looked down at it to see the blood pouring out. I wasn’t happy that there might be sharks in the area and I didn’t even have my GoPro to capture them!
When you scuba dive, you have to perform a safety stop on your ascent to the surface. This means that you have to stop 15 – 20 foot from the surface for about 3-5 minutes. This is to help the excess nitrogen leave your body before pressure changes. If you don’t do this, you could die. Serious stuff. Now I don’t normally mind doing this, however, this time was different. There were hundreds of Moon jellyfish floating about. Stinging jellyfish + Barry with no gloves = not a good time. But my luck had changed and I managed to dodge every single one. I was relieved to get back on the boat!
Stef met me for lunch and we had a tuna steak and a fish roll at Conch Republic Seafood Company. It was the tastiest meal I’d had for a while. We walked around the harbour for a bit and saw massive fish being fed from the boats. They must have been at least 5 foot long and were very quick.
I’m glad that I didn’t encounter any of them on my dive as that lovely clear water would have turned a murky shade of brown…