News on Rebreather diving the wrecks and reefs around Grenada.
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Newly 'born' Evolution Rebreather diver Linda and her buddy Martin with his Classic Inspiration are getting ready for their first 3 hour dive at the Grenada Marine Park.
During the dive we visit the Carpile, the wreck of the Don Cesare, the wreck of the Buccaneer and finish our deco around the Grenada Underwater Sculpture Park.
Congratulations to Linda for mastering the Evolution Rebreather course with bravour.
It's been busy with the rebreathers, Dominic from NY with his EVO+ on travelframe inside the "Shakem" engine room. Did a great dive, about 90 minutes on Shakem, then dived over to Quarter Wreck and enjoyed the reef while decompressing. Total 3 hours.
His girlfriend on OC came down with us first on Shakem and then joined us again after her surface interval. That's the beauty in Grenada. We have a number of sites where we can join CCR and OC with no problem.
Chris and John came with their Megalaodon and Inspiration Classic rebreathers from the UK to enjoy Grenadas phantastic warm water wreck diving. We had a lot of fun exploring and found this giant lobster at the bottom of the Bianca C.
Allison Vitsky- Sallmon & Andy Sallmon came all the way from California on assignment for "Alert Diver", the DAN magazine, to produce a feature story on Grenada wreck diving and rebreathers.
Allison on her new pink Titan ccr and Andy with his Evolution plus 4 large underwater camera housings where the perfect team to make this happen. Diving was awsome, only not enough time to cover all the wrecks in one week. So they said already, they have to come back. Picture shows the port prop shaft of "Bianca C". We also hit the Atlantic wrecks "King Mitch" and "Hema 1", should see some great images in the article.
Congratulations to Tim, who finished his 45m/ 150ft CCR certification this week!
We had a great time working our "way down". At first Tim just wanted to do the basic course, but after the first couple of dives got hooked and went the whole nine yards.
We had to add TDI Advanced Nitrox and Decompression Procedures to reach the new goal.
BIANCA has been 51 years this week, at least when you count only the days on the bottom of the ocean. She is one of the worlds most magnificent ship wrecks, that should be on every divers bucket list who feels a lust for rust.
We had our first date 15 years ago, when we started Aquanauts Grenada. It was love on first sight.
Very little was known in the diving community about this sunken treasure, "the best kept secret" of some techies. Back then parts of the bridge still have been standing and we could watch the "dance of the eagle rays" through the windows. We created the
"Titanic of the Caribbean" and many divers have come since to see it.
The last year has been tough on the old Lady. Just after the 50th birthday celebration, the mast fell down. Since then the ship has been changing dramatically.
During the last 2 month the whole starboard side has collapsed. The smoke stack sits now at 50 meters upside down on the sand. The bottom of the pool is at 135 feet.
Decks have crumbled and safe penetrtation is almost impossible.
The majestic bow is still standing and still blows my mind every time I'm sitting on the bottom looking up. This is "my cathedral".
She still is a great dive, but better stay outside and enjoy one of the worlds largest wrecks and the wonderful marine life around.
The eagles are still dancing.....
It's now 51 years ago, that in the early morning 7.00 am of October 22nd 1961 an explosion woke up the people of St. Georges. Looking out of their windows they could see the giant Bianca C, that was anchored outside town on fire. Everybody who had a boat went out to help to rescue passengers and crew of the ship. As common with cruise liners, they did not manage to get the rescue boats down. Back then Grenada had few hotel rooms, so Grenadians offered their homes to the stranded people, gave them food and cloth. So this was the end of a ship, but the beginning of a tradition of hospitality that still lasts today.
The ship burnt for 2 days until she finally sank on October 24th at noon. HMS "Londonderry" came from Puerto Rico but could not safe the ship, only managed to tow it away from the port. She sank in a perfect spot, just 50 meter deep, not far from Whibbles reef. Nature must have taken over quick. Here in Grenada coral grows fast and pelagic fish know how to navigate these wrecks.
Bianca C has been one of the best kept secrets of Tech divers for many years. When we dicovered Grenada 15 years ago, one had barely heard about this treasure.
Imagine, a 600 ft cruise liner within recreational diving limits and nobody knows...
It was the time of the Titanic, so we called her the "Titanic of the Caribbean".
We got writers from dive magazines from all over the world to Grenada and made it the
trademark of Grenada diving. Thousands of divers have come to dive her, experience the sheer size and marine life around. A must on a wreck lovers bucket list.
During the last year she has come of age now. The fire and the sometimes strong currents have taken their toll. Hallways that we used to run through with scooters have collapsed. Just a couple of weeks ago the whole starboard side broke down.
The funnel with the big C on his side sits now at 50 meter upside down in the sand. While this all sounds sad, she still is a great wreck. The stern is still up and the
majestic bow is "my cathedral". I've been there with many famous photographers, but nobody has "nailed" the perfect shot. So there is still work to do!
If Bianca is on your bucket list, better come soon.