Todd Cospelich - July 13, 2013© Photos Posted by Mark Miller © Hi-Res Source
This was a dive charter booked a while back by Todd Cospelich. Four Divers were also booked following, but they ended up backing out at the last minute because a long day was not expected. Yes, I do cater to expeienced divers that like a full long dose of the water. Anyway, it was slick enough that we decided to make it a long day to deep water. Two of my boys, Ben (19), and Luke (16) worked the Deck.
We headed toward the VK900 block to hopefully document another Idle Iron Platform, but there was some confusion on the location and so we just did our thing. I started on a cutoff a few miles before block VK900 which we just happened to run over. Lots of sharks and I missed the structure on the dive.
We then went on to Platform SP62A at 29°05.296'N 88°44.035'W (Adjacent VK900 Block). Underwater pictures are 1077-1207. There was a 20 foot murk layer on top so we decided to go on out to Platform Pompano VK989-A in about 1300' of water at 28°58.382'N 88°37.559'W. We crossed over a gradual change that wiped out the surface murk layer and gave us a good blue color (photos 1210-1392). Ben got a nice Mangrove Snapper (pic 3006). Todd collected lost tools and a beautiful Langosta. Luke practiced his freediving skills and shot a nice Horse-Eye Jack about 40 feet down. A defective snap on Black Betty gave way and he had to chaise down the shaft, but he was successful. He shot another Horse_Eye on scuba also. First time I have tried eating them and they were very tasty.
We tried trolling briefly for some Tuna, but there was no activity and we did not chart any. The Rig personnel said it was a morning bite and they shut down.
Next we started toward the MP243 Cutoffs, but decided a better choice would be VK289C just north of the Salt Dome at 29°14.929'N 88°26.513'W. This Platform afforded a better deco envirnoment since we had been deep diving. Todd was using Nitrox, one 29%, one 50%. He would have to explain it all, but the jest that I got of it, he had 2 computers and the one set for air was not happy with his bottom time (like 38 minutes of deco). But the Nitrox computer was happy and so was Todd.
Todd and Luke both worked hard on the Lionfish using their new ZooKeepers. Todd had 25 and Luke 12 for a total of 37. Several were filleted and all the carcasses turned over to Alex Fogg for his Lionfish Research at GCRL. MGFB provided the funding of a bounty project and this haul was worth $370 which turned out to be exactly what we spent on fuel. I was pleased with the photography and got some nice sunrise and sunset shots as well. It was a very long enjoyable day that encompassed 196 nautical miles, 17.5 hours, and 110 gallons of fuel.