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SCUBA-L  September 1999, Week 4

SCUBA-L September 1999, Week 4

Subject:

Re: Diving DURING a hurricane (was Re: Floyd)

From:

Ray Jones <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Scuba diving discussion list <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 21 Sep 1999 09:07:56 EDT

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (125 lines)

In a message dated 9/20/99 6:33:26 AM Central Daylight Time,
[log in to unmask] writes:
 
<<
 Pretty good examples of some wrecks having been moved. BUT there are
 reasons associated with it NOT directly related to what happens DURING
 a hurricane. Your Florida experience is not necessarily applicable to
 hurricanes elsewhere, nor the UW damage associated with them, and
 certainly not DURING a hurricane in the "runoff" phenomenon explained
 by NOAA,
 
      "Intense periods of rapid runoff appear to be very significant
      in maintaining the Florida Bay ecosystem. Storms that affect
      the Bay bottom and coastline occur at predictable intervals of
      once every 3-5 years and storms which produce extreme freshwater
      runoff occur once every 6-7 years. The significance of tropical
      storms becomes apparent when these frequencies are understood." (NOAA)
 
 So, these intense fresh water runoff certainly could have accounted for
 much of the relocation of the wrecks you mentioned. Not DURING a
 hurricane.
 Bob, the key word here is Bay bottom and coastline.... Most of the wrecks
that I'm referring to are more than 10 to 15 miles offshore.
 
Some of them (the F4U) is about 27 miles offshore
 But what about those wrecks you said were BROKEN by a hurricane below
 100 fsw? Ah, glad you pointed out those POSSIBILITIES. :-) Since
 others have used the web to answer my quizzes <G>, I can do the same
 to explain what you observed in Florida:
 
 http://covis.atmos.uiuc.edu/guide/hurricanes/html/destruction.html
 
 >but in the case of Hurricane Andrew, severe damage
 >was inflicted by small Spin-Up Vortices that developed in regions
 >of strong wind-shear found in the hurricane's the eye wall. The
 >strong damaging winds of the hurricane frequently cover the
 >smaller tornado paths making the separation of their damaging
 >effects very difficult.
 
 Those are the Spin-Up Vortices of TORNADO PATHS.
 Again Bob, This MIGHT be responsible for a few selected wrecks to move but
out in the open water they ALL moved(the artificial ones)
 Vortices occur in Cozumel even when the port is open and many
 people are diving. That's what gave rise to the "downcurrent"
 conjecture in Coz advanced by some. There ain't no downcurrent in
 Cozumel! (I can see another old controversy heat up now. <G>)
 A VORTEX is not a CURRENT. (check definitions of these) In any
 event, occasionally divers have reported being sucked down to
 160 fsw or so by these vortices, and they misattributed it to
 downcurrents at the Santa Rosa wall.
 Yes, I've heard stories off this.
 At any rate, the water RUNOFF and these hurricane related VORTICES
 are reasons that would explain some (if not most) of what you observed.
 
 Sorry Bob, but I don't buy this theory. If that was the case these same
forces(Vortices) would COMPLETELY destroy any above land structure.
 >1. We have a huge freighter that is sunk in 135feet of water but the
 >superstructure starts at about 55 feet or so and the storm completely broke
 >this ship in two.
 
 Don't doubt it one bit. Unlucky hit by a Vortex? In contrast, the
 teenie-weenie structure of the La Ceiba airplane wreck starts at about
 30 fsw and bottoms at a MAX depth of 37 fsw (been thar many times).
 It was broken up alright, after Coz was hit by SEVERAL hurricanes.
 But most of the remnants are still there and it's STILL a good wreck
 dive at the La Ceiba Hotel shore!
 Yes, I've also dove that but the reason its intact and hardley moved is
because the hurricanes come from the opposite direction and the beach
(island) acts like a buffer zone for the plane. I quarantee you that if the
plane was on the other side of the island it would hardly be enough scrap
metal pick up much less dive on.
 If the force of a hurricane UNDERWATER is consistently as distructive
 and devastating as you seem to make it, then why is it that the
 airplane at La Ceiba remained in the same POSITION after Gilbert,
 Roxanne, Mitch ... while hurricane Gilbert blew the entire concrete
 reenforced La Ceiba Pier away? I was there a month after Gilbert,
 and was shocked that the pier was gone, but not particularly surprised
 that the airplane wreck hardly moved and wasn't damaged much! :-)
 We have something here thats a great anaology. We also have an old Cessna
Cockpit that is in 36fsw that was put there for something to see for beginner
divers. It has pretty much remained in its same spot since 84 even with all
of the hurricanes. BUT not more than 100 feet away is the shore(on the bay
side) which protects it from the storm and surges of the gulf side. If
anything would have been moved because of runoff this probably would have
been because of the severe bottlenecking of the inlet in which this is
located. The currents there are famous already. This old cockpit is still in
pretty much the same shape as its been for years. (even with all of the
newbies hanging on it)
 Again, to put the destructive force UW of a hurricane into perspective,
 recently a cruiseship's propeller generated enough UW disturbance to
 have moved the La Ceiba airplane about 10 feet, MUCH MORE so than all
 three hurricane had done. :-)
 I would agree with that because of a direct force and not buffered.
 BTW, there were divers at the airplane when the propeller rev'd up too.
 Nobody was injured, though I am sure their exposure suits were soiled
 (pun intended).
 I know mine would have been. The fish would have been happy for a week.
 So, one conclusion one could draw comparing this wreck to Ray's wrecks
 in Florida to the La Ceiba wreck is that there is no Spin-Up Vortex
 or extreme fresh water runoff at the La Ceiba hotel in any of the
 hurricanes. Above water? Devastating! The road, the pier and
 other structures were blown off!
 Yep, I'm sure because of direct exposure.
 The bottom line is nobody knows FOR SURE what it is like to dive in
 a hurricane, at any depth below 30 fsw, for good reasons of NOT
 diving DURING a hurricane other than UW disturbance!
 
 At least THIS topic has much room for BS and speculation cuz nobody
 has done it. :-) We can all just draw INDIRECT inferences -- as
 the web page and NOAA did on Florida, and I did on the La Ceiba plane
 lying steadily at 30 fsw through all hurricanes as ONE of my sources
 of reference that it's PROBABLY a piece of cake to dive in Coz at
 100 fsw DURING a hurricane. :-)
 
 -- Bob.
 Bob, I don't think so but thats the key word here isn't it "think" Like you
said nobody in their right mind would get in the water during one of these
storms.
 
This has been fun.
 
Take care,
 
Ray

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