MV Anscomb, May 14th & 15th, 2009

Posted on 15. May, 2009 by Greg Mossfeldt in Other

Anscomb May 14 – 15

It was an early start to the day meeting Greg Mossfeldt in High River as we left his vehicle there, and then off to Elko, BC where we met up with James Dixon (Sketchy). After moving our gear into his truck we continued onto Ainsworth. We got the feel for Sketchys’ ability to task load while he was driving, he is the only person we know that can turn his head and carry a conversation with the people in the back seat while navigating the windy roads.

While traveling there was lots of discussion about the plan for our upcoming dives on the MV Anscomb, an out of service BC Ferry that accidently sank in January 2004 in about 180 feet of water. The gases to be used for the dive were 21/35 trimix in our backgas and 80 3/ft stage as well with 50/50 to be used for decompression gas above 70 feet. The dive would last for 25 minutes of bottom time where the maximum depth would be 160 feet and the average depth to be 130 feet. Decompression would be for 15 minutes from 70 feet with one minute stops every ten feet starting at 120 feet. The entire dive would be just short of one hour.

The plan for the dive was to drop down the down line to the wheel house while breathing the gas from the 80 3/ft stage bottle, swim along the starboard side towards the stern switch to our back gas before we dropped over the side to explore the starboard propeller and rudder. We then made our way past the name plate on the stern for a photo opportunity as we headed back to the wheelhouse. When back on the deck we switched back to our stage bottles to finish the dive with. As our dive time approached our planned bottom time of 25 minutes we headed back to shore at 240 degrees doing our one minute deep stops as we went. At 70 feet we switched over to our 50/50 decompression gas for our required 15 minutes of deco time. During our deco we deployed an SMB on a finger reel to let our surface support know where we were, it was also used to attach our spent trimix stages which we sent to the surface on the line. This made our buoyancy and trim easier to maintain as the empty stage is positively buoyant.

After the dive was done and all our gear stored away it was off to have some very welcome fish and chips from the local restaurant where we did our debrief of the days activities. We discussed what went well and what skills we needed to work on improving for the next day. We reviewed what the next day’s activities would look like. The dive plan for the next day would be the same as before with the exception where Greg Mossfeldt would not be taking pictures but rather observing our activities. This dive’s activities seemed to go much smother than the first one as we had a better understanding of what we were doing and what was expected. As we surfaced it was nice to see the smiling face of our shore support, Leigh-Ann McCuaig, as she busied herself helping whoever was in need.

We packed up quickly as we wanted to catch the earliest ferry to make our trip home as quick as possible since it would take around six hours to get home. The trip home was jovial as we debriefed the last dive and were talking about our next adventure. As we stopped in Elko to move our gear from James truck, Greg asked for a tour of the equipment used by the Dixon and Son’s logging business as there is some very impressive equipment in their yard. All in all it was a great two days for the “House League”.