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SCUBA-L  June 2000, Week 2

SCUBA-L June 2000, Week 2

Subject:

Dive Report 23 Mile Reef Wilmington NC

From:

Rick Fincher <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Rick Fincher <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 12 Jun 2000 15:32:36 -0400

Content-Type:

TEXT/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

TEXT/plain (68 lines)

Hi All,

We had a great dive out at 23 mile reef Saturday. It is 27 miles (23
nautical miles) out from Carolina Inlet, or Masonboro Inlet at Wrightsville
Beach, but since it was so calm Saturday it took less than an hour and a half to
get there. Seas were less than 2 feet.

It was my first dive there but I saw why it is a local favorite spot. When we
got
to the area there were a few other boats there, but since the reef runs for
several miles you can just pick a spot and look for the ledge on the depth
sounder and drop anchor.

I guess the only disadvantage of this spot is the depth. it was 82 feet at the
top of the reef and dropped off to 100 feet, so that limits your bottom time
somewhat.

The ledge itself looks like dark volcanic rock covered with coral and is about
15 feet high. On top it has a thin covering of seaweed and drops vertically down
to white sand.

There are lots of crevices and overhangs. A few chunks of the wall that look
like they have broken off the reef lie scattered in the sand at the bottom.

The rock itself is full of holes like swiss cheese and all sorts of creatures
live in the holes.

The water was very clear. I was surprised at the color because relatively deep
water like that is usually very dark blue, but this water was Bahamas blue.

I found out why on the first dive. The water was so clear that my buddy, John,
was casting a shadow on the bottom at 100 feet. Usually at that depth the light
is dim and diffuse but the water was clear enough that in addition to shadows,
light
patterns from the surface were dancing across the bottom, like you would see in
a swimming pool. The white sand bottom was reflecting light back up to the
surface giving the water that pretty blue color.

The water temp was 79 at the surface and about 75 at the bottom.

As for fish species we saw grouper, black bass, white grunts, spanish hog fish,
trigger fish, bunches of angel fish including a really large one, jacknife fish,
amberjack, arrow crabs, and too many others to list.

It was very much like a reef dive in the Keys, but without some of the warmer
water species like parrot fish and the reef itself is taller and a vertical
wall.

John saw a 4 foot stingray fly right over me, but I missed it. We also saw a
shark. I only saw the tail but John got a good look at it and said it was a reef
shark.

John almost bagged a lobster but it got away from him and went up under the
ledge where we couldn't see him. I thought the lobster was big but John says it
was small compared to others he's seen at that site. The year round bag limit on
spiney lobster in NC is two per person on the boat per day.

On the safety stop of our second dive I could clearly see the bottom and it
looked as if it were only 20 or 30 feet below us even though it was actually 67
feet below.

This is a great dive site that I'm sure we will be visiting a lot from now on,
if everybody aboard is comfortable with the depth.

Best Regards,

Rick Fincher

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