Nanaimo, Day 1, March 24th, 2013

Posted on 24. Mar, 2013 by Darron Froese in West Coast

Day 1 of our West Coast trip started off with two 65 minute penetration dives on the HMCS Cape Breton.

We were diving on Bill O'Brien's boat - "The Duck" - it was nicely equipped with raised benches, which allowed our rebreathers to be donned and doffed easily. Divers today were Greg Mossfeldt, James Dixon, Darron Froese, Liz Tribe and Richard Huntrods. Liz was using a Megalodon, Richard was driving a PRISM and the rest of us were using rEvos.

Once all of the rebreathers were checked and our pre-breathes were finished, we hopped into the water and clipped on our bailout and supplemental 50% decompression gasses.

Our first dive was from the mid-ship's buoy, then we headed in open water to the stern - Liz Tribe led us into the bowels of the ship and we began the trek down the main rail to the bow. At the bow, we turned around and went back through the ship, stopping at the engine room to look up at the skylights and down into zee inky blackness.

Once at the stern, we exited and ascended to the deck, making our way fore to the upline, at the upline we squared ourselves up for the ascent with required decomopression. As we exited the water, Capt. Bill O'Brien and First Mate Iain had hot chocolate and water ready to warm and re-hydrate us.

After our surface interval, we hopped back into the water to explore the ship starting at the bow. Dropping into the wreck at the bow, we headed aft towards the stern and slowly looked at much of the main deck again. This dive, Greg Mossfeldt brought his camera and took photos during our journey. We looked through the engine room a little bit more - will explore that deeper on subsequent dives.

The water temperature was a balmy 47F and produced a number of involuntary responses - mostly just shaking during our surprisingly cold decompressions. Tomorrow we'll put on another layer of undergarments to combat the chilly sea water.

A great start to a great trip - more dives to come tomorrow.