SCUBA diving is a pain in the ass, but the last dive trip was so successful we decided to try our hand at diving again – just the two of us. So yesterday we went down to San Diego’s Mission Bay and hopped on the Humboldt dive boat for a quick 2 tank dive of the sunken Yukon ship.
The Yukon was a Canadian Naval destroyer intentionally sunk as an artificial reef just over a mile off shore. The 366 foot battleship sits on her side in about 100 feet of water. She’s massive, and truthfully, kind of eerie.
As we descended, the visibility was so poor I couldn’t even see Nick a few feet below me. But at 60 feet or so, the water cleared up as we hit a cold sheer. California diving is cold water diving all year round, but yesterday could be technically classified as “colder than a witch’s tittie” diving.” We wear a 7 mil wet suit, a hood, gloves, and booties to protect us from the cold. All that’s exposed is a few square inches of our cheeks. Our poor cheeks man! My left hand went a little numb, and after 10 minutes I couldn’t stop shaking. The deepness of the dive combined with my desire to be warm again meant that it was a short dive – just about 25 minutes.
Swimming alongside this giant sunken battleship was surreal (either that, or I had a slight case of nitrogen narcosis). There were many cut outs so we could explore heaps of nooks and small spaces. The vessel was nearly covered in jumbo white, cauliflower-looking anemones, tons of pretty pink anemones, swaying kelp strands, and a few scattered star fish.
The water was surgy, and Nick didn’t feel very comfortable at times. His legs are weak and he wasn’t wearing fins. No fins means very little power to control himself in the surge. He decided he won’t be diving this spot again until his leg strength gets better. I think that’s a good idea.
Unfortunately we only did one of the two dives. Instead of exploring the magical underwater world with the rest of the divers, I spent the second half of our trip with my head hung over the side of the boat, feeding the fish. I made a costly mistake by not taking dramamine ahead of time. I know better than that, but just had a brain fart. I took some when we got to San Diego that afternoon but the seas were so rough that it didn’t help at all.
The crew and other divers were very gracious to both me and Nick. We were quite the couple on that boat. I’d say we were “those” people – you know, the ones you don’t want to be on a dive boat with – but there was another couple that took that honor. Between me puking my guts out and Nick having no legs and needing special help from the deck-hands, we were quite the spectacle.
I’m insanely grateful for the experience though. Despite how terrible I felt, I really loved our little adventure. It was a last minute excursion that took very little preparation, and Nick wasn’t completely wrecked the next day. We even knew one of the other divers on the boat (of course), and made a great contact at the JetSki rental next door. The owner offered Nick and me a free ride on his wave runners the next time we’re down there. Sold!
Check out this short video from our dive. The video doesn’t do it justice, trust me! If you’re having trouble playing it, you can view it here on the YouTube page.