Which Way Is Up?

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Gloucester, Massachussetts
1 July 2017
A day of diving in the Atlantic

Dive 825:                Start 09:00, BT 51 min, End 09:51, Depth 53'

Dive 826: SI: 60 min, Start 10:52, BT 45 min, End 11:37, Depth 50'

Dive 827: SI: 120 min, Start 13:30, BT 35 min, End 14:05, Depth 75'

Dive 828: SI: 60 min, Start 15:05, BT 40 min, End 15:45, Depth 30'


I met my old friends at Cape Ann Divers on a warm, overcast day in July to dare the wrath of the northern Atlantic. But the sea was calm; the only wrath we might have faced was from a baby seal hanging out at our anchorage.

We did our first dive at "Halfway Rock." It's called that because, judging from the boat ride, it's halfway to Iceland. We jumped in the shockingly cold water to find a wondrous realm of urchins, lobster, kelp, crabs and shockingly cold water.

For the second dive, in shockingly cold water, we went to "Paddock Rock" because my buddy Allison wanted to hunt for sea monsters. Recently, an unidentified species of nudibranch (sea slug) has appeared that stumps hell out of the experts and looks, according to Allison, "like a smashed cupcake" (see below).

The puzzling and elusive Cup-ci-branch (artist's rendering) (not to scale).
A non-sissy diver from Scotland. What do you suppose he's wearing under that kilt?

Between dives, we compared ourselves favorably to those sissies who only dive in warm water. Since then I've been informed that New England divers are in fact sissies compared to the divers in Duneval, Scotland, where the water is 36°. I dispute this.


Then we went on two wreck dives in shockingly cold water: the Chester Poling and the U.S.S. New Hampshire. Only the back half of the CP is left, after it broke apart in a storm. Even less is left of the NH, after it caught fire, got towed to New England, hit Kettle Rock on the way, caught fire again, and finally sank. I will never again complain about a rough boat ride!



The USS New Hampshire before (left) and after (right) a run of really bad luck.

Be sure to check out the photo gallery !

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