My first open ocean night dive. Previously I had done night dives at Weeki Wachee, and off-shore Curacao (on the House Reef).
Diving in the Atlantic Ocean:
- Directions from Tampa: I usually head down HW60 to Yeehaw Junction, then take the Turnpike south. I get off of the Turnpike at Lake Worth Road.
- Conditions on the day of my visit: Cloudy ... the moon didn't come out until the boat headed back to the dock.
- Personal Notes: I was excited about this dive, and really, aside from visiting my sister, was why I came to Boynton Beach for this weekend.
The Castor has a long history as a drug cargo vessel, and had traded hands several times until it was purposefully sunk to create an artificial reef. Holes were cut in the bottom of the hull and the Castor now sits upright on the bottom, around 110 feet to the sand. I would suspect that the Castor was originally a Dutch vessel. She is 258 feet long by 37 feet wide by 50 feet tall; though the top is around 60 feet, most of the dive will take you to at least 80 feet. I hit a new depth limit of 108 feet on this wreck without even trying.
Before I go into the rest of the dive and the videos, I must say this is probably a great wreck to do during the day if you get the chance ... supposedly many opportunities for safe penetration exist ... the only thing close to a penetration we did was the wheelhouse near the end.
The Starfish took us (a full boat) out to the site, briefing us on the entry method (a float line was attached to the wreck and the boat would drop us up current of the line, so that we could grab on and pull ourselves down). Various locator lights and flashlights led the way down; one of our group was even using a rebreather on his dive. Even with the number of us on the wreck, I never got hit in the face with a light (though I probably blinded a few people with the lights on my camera).
Took at bit of time for me to get down to the wreck; letting go of the line didn't help, but then the damn camera can often be more of a burden than it's worth. I burned quite a bit of air out of my steel 100's (which hold 100 cubic feet of air) in the first ten minutes of the dive ... and surfaced with around the same amount of air as my sister, who was diving aluminum 80's.
It's a very recent wreck; very little growth and we only saw a barracuda (though others say they saw a Goliath Grouper elsewhere on the wreck). It will be interesting to see this wreck in a year or so.
My Codecs Page so you can get what you need to see these.
A bit dark (but hey, it's a night dive); you might want to up the brightness of your monitor (at least until I get the chance to try gamma correction and redo the videos).
| 528 kB Here's a video of our arrival to the top of the wreck.
| 634 kB Here's my sister swimming around the prop.
| 1.8 MB A shot of the side of the ship, most notably, a porthole, the words "DYNA CONTAINER" and "AMBURG" (which was probably "HAMBURG" at one time I'd guess), and my sister waiting for me to kick my way against the current and finish filming.
| 1.2 MB Coming up to and peering over the bow of the boat.
| 1.7 MB On the bridge of the Castor.
Just one ... the only thing worth stopping the video for to immortalize in stillness.
| The speed control for the prop, I would guess.
Dive data for dives on this day: