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’.
Divers from Duggan Diving and others from Texas and New Mexico made 2 dives on the Texas Clipper today, the weather was great and the seas were calm. Water temperature on the surface was a comfortable 83 degrees; the thermocline encountered at 40′ dropped the temperature at depth to 74, the visibility was 60′. Divers reported seeing a school of 5 Hammerhead Sharks and a large Reef shark among the huge schools of Spade Fish, Snapper and Lookdowns that inhabit the Clipper.
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!
Sea Sports Scuba joined us again today with other divers from around Texas to dive the Texas Clipper, seas were calm and it was a beautiful day on the water. Visibility was 60+ feet on the Clipper, the water was 82 degrees on the surface but the thermocline was encountered at 30 feet today and the temperature at depth was 74 degrees, still very nice. The Lion Fish have continued to multiply over the winter, with help from the divers on board we managed to dispatch 15 of them in very short order. A great day was had by all.
Divers from Sea Sports Scuba and others from around Texas visited the Deep 6 today, the seas were calm and the weather was great. On the Deep 6 the visibility was around 12 feet; this was expected due to the location of the wreck, surface temperature was 80 degrees we had a thermocline at 23 feet that dropped it down to 74 degrees. Divers reported seeing a very large Goliath Grouper that has made it’s home there.
The American Diving Crew headed out to the Texas Clipper this morning, seas were calm and the water was 81 degrees all the way down to 90 feet. The visibility was 80+ feet, we are looking forward to a great 4th of July weekend.