The idea of being able to dive and explore sunken ships has struck me as fascinating for quite some time now. Wreck and cave diving have been on my bucket list ever since I first started to scuba dive. Taking the wreck diving course is only the beginning of what I’d like to accomplish as a diver. My skill level and knowledge on the topic still need a bit of improvement. One day, I would love to be able to penetrate the most complex ships with confidence. With the knowledge that my skill level is in fact advanced enough to do the most dangerous explorations. But I guess that’s for a time in the future….
After I completed the wreck diving specialty course, I discovered it was a simple, yet vital course. The course trains you on how to be a safer diver when you’re diving wrecks. The course comes with a knowledge book (that mainly consists of common sense knowledge) and you complete four dives in the wreck where you have to perform a few skills.
The first couple of dives were at a little place named Porteau Cove. I was so excited before I started diving those wrecks, but after the first dive.. I really haven’t been very impressed by them. The ships are extremely compact and there isn’t a whole lot to explore. The sea life that formed on it was somewhat interesting, but that’s about it. Also, the visibility that day was awful. I wasn’t able to see more than 5 feet in front of us. Nevertheless, I did the exercises that were required of me, which was to sketch the ship while underwater. I found the task to be fairly simple, but the visibility did make it somewhat of a challenge. I was told that my sketch was well done and matched the scale of the ship (Then again, I am a draftsman by profession lol).
The next day, we returned to Porteau Cove to do two more dives to finish out the course. I had to demonstrate the line work, which is used for wreck penetration. Much to our surprise, our day did not go as we planned. We got ourselves suited up, walked clear to the shore with all of our heavy gear, swam out to the buoy, and suddenly.. My mouth piece started gushing out air at a rapid pace! I frantically tried everything to stop the air leakage, but nothing was effective. By the time that I finally stopped the air leak, most of the oxygen from the tank was gone! So we had to swim back to shore and walk back to the car to fix the mouth piece and change the air tanks. Did I mention that I did a very intensive leg workout the day before? So obviously, the walk and swim were not very pleasurable! After the instructor fixed the mouth piece (there was sand in it that needed to be cleaned off), we changed tanks and got our gear all ready to go. Then all of a sudden the seal from the tank to the regulator blew and started to gush out air. I reacted fast and stopped it pretty quickly, so it didn’t let too much air out of the tank. Now, my instructor and I are both wondering, “Is the universe trying to tell us something?” We considered the thought that maybe, just maybe we shouldn’t attempt to dive today. Both of us aren’t superstitious people by any means, but sometimes you can’t ignore certain signs! So I said, “If something happens again, we’re not going diving.” What do you know, 5 seconds after I said that, the seal blew off again. So we decided to call the whole day off.
After that day, I’ve decided that I’d rather finish the course somewhere a little more intriguing than Porteau Cove. So, I have decided to make a trip to Nanaimo to finish my wreck course.
The previous weekend, we trekked to Nanaimo in Vancouver Island to do a little wreck diving. Keep in mind, it’s been a while since I wanted to dive the wrecks in Nanaimo because they are big and somewhat more complex than the ones in Porteau Cove. Either way, I was very excited to do those dives. The experience alone was totally worth it! Now I want to go back there to explore more of the ships!
Our first dive was HMCS Saskatchewan, which is a 336 foot destroyer. Being over 100 feet deep felt totally unreal. Though I didn’t get a chance to explore much of the ship because I had to do line work, I will definitely have to go back there again!
The last dive we completed was a different wreck, Rivetow Lion. Rivetow Lion is a deep sea rescue tug for the British Navy. This dive has been so much more fun for me than the other dives because I was able to just sit back, explore, and enjoy it without doing any exercises.
Now that I’m officially wreck diving certified, I have a lot more wreck diving to do! 😛
Want to see my adventures for yourself? Watch the video of my wreck diving course!