Paul Gacek's World


North Carolina 1998

 Rainbow


Welcome to North Carolina 1998!

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The annual pilgrimage to North Carolina has begun! Friday's drive down was horrendous - downpours, fog, traffic, etc. Saturday turned out much better. Arrived safe and sound - the house is still here; the boat is still here and Captain Art is still here!!.
Point II Point II on Highway 12 in Hatteras, North Carolina, forms the base of operations for this year's adventure. If this house were any more oceanfront, it would be a houseboat!!
A major accomplishment of the first week of the trip has been the long overdue naming of Mal and Roseanne Kroeber's boat as the "Jo-Anne". And therein lies a tale!! Joanne
Dixie Arrow propellor June 14 - Visited the tanker Dixie Arrow today - 30 foot visibility, 76 degrees on the bottom, 76 degrees on the surface, wind about 15 knots, three foot seas. No major changes in the wreck since last year. Beats diving in New England anytime!!
June 15 - Pounded our way out to the tanker FW Abrams for one dive today. Three-four foot seas, winds at 15 knots and increasing - supposed to be twenty to twenty-five tonight. Visibility about thirty feet, water temperature 78 degrees. Couple of big sand tigers around including a well endowed one we named "Artie". Doesn't look promising for tomorrow! Artie
Surfs up! June 16 - Mother Nature has the last word!Winds start blowing at 20-25 knots with six foot seas and small craft advisories in effect. Discretion is the better part of valor. Time to go shopping!
June 17 - Mother Nature continues her intransigence! Winds continue 20-25 knots with 6 foot seas and a small craft advisory. When the forecast improvement in conditions hasn't occurred by 10:00AM, we go off to the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse and climb all 268 steps to the top! Tomorrow is supposed to be back to more normal conditions! Hatteras Light Station
Keshena anchor June 18 - Mother Nature finally relents! We head south on calm seas toward the steamer Proteus. Descending through 79 degree blue water whets one's appetite. Unfortunately the bottom thirty feet have 72 degree green water with ten foot visibilty. A second dive on the tug Keshena has the same conditions. There's always tomorrow!
June 19 - We head southeast to the Paddlewheeler. Eighty degree blue water and excellent visibility greet us until we reach 100 feet - then its 72 degree green water and 10 foot visibility again! The FW Abrams provides more of the same on a second dive. As an encore, Mother Nature treats us to a thnderstorm for the ride home - 40 knot winds, downpours, thunder and lightning! Anemone on the Paddlewheeler
Day of restJune 20 - A day of rest from the trials and tribulations of Mother Nature! Members of the Delaware Underwater Swim Club leave and members of the Fairfield County Diving Association arrive.
June 21 - The ocean is like a lake as we head east toward the tanker tanker Australia on Diamond Shoals. Jumping into 82 degree blue water, the wreck comes into sight as we descend past fifty feet. Although horizontal visibility is only 30 feet on the bottom, it's a welcome change from last week's limited visibility. Large portions of the wreck are no longer visible having been sanded in to a depth of five to ten feet. Sand tiger sharks are conspicuously absent. Australia anchor chain
Turtle on the ProteusJune 22 - Another calm day as we head south to the Proteus. Today we have 75 foot visibility on the bottom and can see the silhouette of the dive boat on the surface from 130 feet! Sand tiger sharks, schools of bait fish, spadefish and jacks and a turtle add to the variety of marine life. A second dive on the FW Abrams shows improving conditions.
June 23 - Another flat day as we head 34 miles south to the freighter Manuela. Jumping into 83 degree blue water, the wreck comes into sight as we descend past sixty feet. Visibility on the bottom is 60 feet. The stern section is slowly beginning to collapse. Giant barracuda serve as silent sentinels to the remains of this once proud freighter. Manuela propellor
EM Clark June 24 - Today is another calm day as we head off to the southeast 23 miles to the tanker EM Clark. The hull lies basically intact on its port side in 240 feet of salt water. Schools of sand tiger sharks silently patrol the top of the hull at 200 feet.
June 25 - Another flat day as we head 26 miles to the east to an unknown freighter in 140 feet of sea water near the Diamond Shoals Light Station. Although the wreck is upside and visibility in only about 15 feet, the large propellor reaching skyward is an impressive sight. A second (brief!) dive on the Nevada (Unis) has one foot visibility! Unknown freighter
Manuela sternJune 26 - Another perfect day - so for our last hurrah, we return to the freighter Manuela in 160 feet of sea water. Although visibility is only 40 feet today, an excellent dive is had by all to conclude this year's North Carolina adventure.

 Rainbow

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Last modified on Friday, June 26, 1998 23:00:58