We had had another great dive trip. Conditions couldn’t have been better. The visibility was 50′ – 60′ with seas of 1′ – 3′. Water temp was in the 80’s at the surface with a in temperature to the 70’s below 40′.
We had another great dive on the Clipper. A big thanks to Duggan diving and for coming out. Our visibility was between 50 and 60 feet again. The conditions couldn’t have been better. These great photos came from our good friend Mark Haynes.
First dive of the season!!! We started the day out with 60′ of visibility and seas of 2′ to 3′. We ended the dive with 40′ to 50′ visibility and 3′ seas. It was a great way to start the season. Thank you to all the divers that came out to kick off the season with us.
We finally made it off shore! The seas over the last several weekends have prevented us from getting out. The forecast of 1 to 2 feet was not quite correct, but we will take 2 to 3 all day. We spent the day setting mooring lines and preparing for the start of the dive season. The visibility was 60′ and the temperature at depth remained at 74 degrees. The resident Sting Rays were sighted along with large schools of Spade Fish.
BLUE WATER IS HERE!!!!!! Can’t wait to get out and enjoy some dives.
American Diving goes to Bonaire TeK, to Diego Leo
Duggan Diving out of San Antonio had another group on the Clipper today, several of their people had been on the July 25th trip and enjoyed it so much they had to come back. They were joined by Scubatactics a group out of Laredo. The seas were a bit rough with some surface current which made it a bit more challenging but once below the surface we had 60 foot visibility and a nice 76 degrees at depth.
Divers from SA Scuba Shack enjoyed a calm day on the Clipper, there was still a slight surface current but much less than yesterday. Below the surface divers were treated to excellent late summer conditions – 70+ foot visibility and 76 degrees at depth. Another Lion fish was sent to its watery grave.
Divers from the Dallas area made the trip to dive the Clipper today, the seas were calm but we had a very strong current from the surface to 50 feet but all the divers handled it well. Once on the Clipper the conditions were excellent, very little current with visibility at least 70 feet and the temperature at depth a comfortable 76 degrees. A group of Technical divers from the Dallas area made a training dive on the Clipper today.
Divers with the The Dive Shop from San Marcos and others from around Texas made 2 dives on the Clipper today, the seas were a bit rough today making it a more challenging but under the surface conditions were very good, we had a slight current and the thermocline is still keeping temperatures at depth in the low 70’s. Visibility was 70 feet and the Clipper is packed with marine life, the yellow cup coral was feeding as you can see in one of the photos below.
Amberjack season is open and today we had a couple spear fisherman on board and they took advantage of the calm seas to get the season started right, the Scuba Diver students completed their certifications along with the Tech Instructor candidate. The thermocline has dropped down to 60′ maintaining the temperature at depth in that low 70’s area.
American Diving headed out to the Clipper today with students, we had Scuba Diver students making their certification dives above the Clipper while a Tech Instructor candidate was working on skills below. It is always amazing to me the varied marine life we encounter – While working with students at 30′ we witnessed an incredible fly by – a large Manta Ray with several Ling in tow. What a first dive memory these students will have. Of course I didn’t have a camera since I was working with students; hopefully we will see more Mantas in the future.
Tom’s Dive and Swim from Austin dove the Texas Clipper today in 3’ seas and all had a great time. The thermocline is still hanging around the 30-foot area, bringing the temperature at depth down into the low 70’s and visibility was 50’.
The Following Trip Report was submitted by Bryan from Sea Sports Scuba:
July 4th-6th, 2014
South Padre Island, TX
Our divers gathered for a meet & greet on Friday at the Sea Ranch Restaurant with myself and Rob Hancock of American Diving, South Padre. After a warm welcome, a quick briefing on the weekend’s events and a couple of drinks, it was time to watch the island’s outstanding fireworks display over Laguna Madre Bay.
Saturday we did two dives on the wreck of the Deep Six, an 80′ shrimp boat that went down in rough seas, splitting the hull and resting on a sandy bottom around 65’. She’s taken some damage from hurricanes over the years, and no longer has a super structure. However, since the wreck is not marked and doesn’t show up on any charts, there are loads of fish living around it. More scorpion fish than I’ve EVER seen in one spot, they were absolutely everywhere. The highlight was a surprise encounter with a very large Goliath Grouper attempting to hide from us under some wreckage. I say attempting because this was easily a 250 pound fish, so “hiding” is a relative term here! Water was around 82 on the surface, 72 on the bottom under the thermocline. Deep Six sits pretty close to shore, so she’s in green water, 12-15 feet of visibility on the bottom, better than that the shallower you are. Later that evening, the group returned to the marina for a sunset dolphin-watching cruise in the bay. We saw several pods of dolphins around the jetties, and took in a spectacular sunset. A great way to finish off the day!
On Sunday, we were headed back out into the Gulf of Mexico by 7 am, eagerly anticipating the main event of the weekend: our two dives on Texas Clipper! Conditions were picture perfect with smooth seas and 80+ feet of visibility on the wreck, which sits rolled on its left side on a 132’ bottom. The most interesting parts of the dive are between 60’ and 100’.
Upon splashing for our first dive, a huge school of Lookdowns were hovering above the central portion of the vessel, glistening in the cascading sunlight. A handful of large Amberjacks circled around slowly, and of course what Gulf of Mexico dive would be complete without a few large Barracuda? Just before coming up the mooring line at the end of our first dive, a nice sized male Southern Stingray cruised along the side of the Clipper’s hull and made a couple of passes as we ascended to the surface.
The Texas Clipper has a great swim through along the Promenade deck, where the large windows are now on the ceiling above you due to the orientation of the ship. You can see down into the vessel below you as you swim over openings that were cut into the thick walls. Another point of interest is a large crack in the hull that formed in 2008 as hurricane Ike moved through the Gulf on its way to the Houston area. Even though the storm was hundreds of miles away, the hydraulic force was enough to create a small canyon of twisted and torn steel big enough to swim through easily. Throughout the second dive, our group continued to enjoy the fish life attracted to the Clipper such as Queen Angels, Blackjacks, Snapper, and that same huge school of Lookdowns. Over the two dives on Sunday, divers on the boat killed fourteen lionfish!! How about that?!
The Gulf of Mexico, and more specifically the Texas Gulf Coast is home to some really unique and worthwhile diving opportunities. If you haven’t been down to South Padre Island to dive the Texas Clipper, I would highly recommend it. We’ve got a world-class wreck dive right off of our coast!
American Diving and The Original Dolphin Watch is back up and running. Dive trips will resume on July 3rd with Sea Sports of Houston. All eco tour activities have resumed today.
Hurricane hit Mexico 160 miles south of South Padre Island. No damage on the Island.