July 7th Boat Dive By John Feehan

“Diving is fun, Diving is fun”, if you know this mantra, then you have probably enjoyed a trip on the Gauntlet with Heather Knowles and Dave Caldwell.  And in fact, diving with Northern Atlantic Dive Expeditions is a lot of fun.

Captain Dave Caldwell
Dave Caldwell taking us out

On July 8th, NEADC chartered the Gauntlet to dive both the Chester Poling and Halfway Rock.  The Gauntlet is a 36 foot Northern Bay design dive boat used only for diving.  It has a large equipment table in the center of the deck on which people gather their gear and don their equipment.  On both dives, half of the divers geared up while the other half waited.  This was an efficient and comfortable way to prepare for a dive.

Dave Caldwell led the dive to the Chester Poling (of course advanced divers could just as easily descend without his guidance).  We were fortunate to find pretty good visibility.  This was only my second dive on the Poling and both dives have been this year.  I understand that in years past, the ship was covered with anemones, but no longer.  But that doesn’t mean that there is no marine life, as we saw sea stars, some anemones, sponges, a sea raven and of course cunner.  With the good visibility you could clearly see the detail of the ship and it was spectacular.  All too soon, it was time to head up and leave the Poling behind.

Heather Knowles led the second dive to Halfway Rock.  This is a pinnacle that rises from the ocean floor at about 100 feet and rises sharply above the water line. As we descended, we certainly noticed the temperature change.  The nice warm water was gone and replaced by a bracing 46 degrees!  The payback was clear water and wonderful scenery.  Except for the lower visibility and 46 degree temperature, you could almost believe you were in the Caribbean (OK the temp sure does remind you that you are in NE).  Sponges, corals, mussels, sea stars, fish, anemones other stuff created a cacophony of color.  I could have stayed forever, or until I started shivering (oh wait, I was shivering).  Back up the line we went after about 20 minutes of superb diving.

Before you could say “that was great!” we were on our way back to shore.  Soon we were having diner at a local restaurant and reviewing the day’s dives.  Everyone had a great time.

Left to Right Joy Marzolf, Val Feehan, Dan Sprague, Pete Kaplow, sitting John Feehan
Left to Right Joy Marzolf, Val Feehan, Dan Sprague, Pete Kaplow, sitting John Feehan

I personally enjoyed this dive not only for the wonder of diving such great sites, but also for the camaraderie before and after the dive.  Diving on a boat with strangers is fun.  But diving with people you know makes for a truly wonderful experience.  As boat dive coordinator, I am more than willing to book another trip on the Gauntlet for those who are willing.  HOWEVER, in order to do so, I will need people to contact me soon.  Then once I book a charter, I will need people to sign up quickly and not wait until the week of the trip (too much anxiety on my part).

Let’s go boat diving!