Wednesday

Oriskany Tec Dive Report from Gdiver on Decostop


trip report, USS Oriskany (long)

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Dove the oriskany with downunder dive shop on sunday. It was one of the best dives i have ever done,and i have 75+ dives on the oriskany alone.On the way out there were storms to the south and the seas were a little bumpy but not bad. When we started to get close i was looking for all the other boats(usually a parking lot out there on the weekends) and there were none,guess the weather kept them in.Sweet!the mighty O and we were the only ones there. There was about a 1 knot surface current and the water was that beautiful blue color.The sky was dark and thunder rumbled in the distance as rain began to hit the deck. We got tied into the wreck and started splashing divers. The downunder is a 46 ft newton so with 12 (10 rec and 2 tech) divers we had plenty of room.

After all the other divers were in i started gearing up. I had been dreading this part because usually by the time i get everything on i am sweating bullets,but not today with it overcast, raining and with a breeze blowing, it was downright nice(drysuit with hot chilllys and 200 mil undies,yes i am a wimp i don't like cold water).Divers started coming up and when one of the other DMs came up i went in. On the way down vis looked to be about 50 ft. as i dropped a huge school of b-liners were about 40 ft. down with the usual cudas in tow as i went deeper i began to see the wreck appear and it was as big as ever. The fish were everywhere around the boat AJs, Grouper,and the biggest red snapper i have ever seen,must have been 60lbs with dozens more in the 25-30lb range, too bad the season wasn't in, and thousands of red shrimp with blue marking in the hanger deck that were marching in perfect order.
I did not have a set plan, just wanted to look around and maybe duck into a few openings and see what was there. Diving my computer with bottom timer and O-crap schedule cut on V-planner on my wet notes.
When i got to depth the vis improved to 75-100ft, as i was swimming along it hit me i was alone on the O. I mean there was no one else there on this 910ft carrier, what a great feeling.
The boat was still the same as last year(first dive this year) except for the middle of the island something has fallen over and you can swim from the port to starboard in about 4 kicks,saw some interesting openings due to this but that will have to be on another dive.soon enough my time was up and i had to leave. On the way up i started thinking about this dive and others that i have done. Last couple of years i have gotten away from wrecks and concentrated on caves, i remembered how much fun this kind of diving is and i hope that myself and eyeryone who dives the gulf will continue to be able to do so in light of whats happening out there right now. On deco from 40' could still see the flight deck. All in all this has to go into my top 5 of all time.While i was down the sun came out and the seas calmed, what a almost perfect day.Cudos to down under and the staff on that day (thanks to Austin for catching that forty that i dropped trying to get it off the line) Only thing that could have made it better, my dive buddy (and wife) there to share it with me. One thing could have made it easier, i forget my john line and had to hang on the down line
Right now it's still a awesome dive but for how long? who knows.