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Atlantic Divers annual outdoor venture to the North was a success beyond many expectations.  My 30th trip to Nova Scotia included nine camper dive explorers including Tom Fagan, Big John Copeland, Steve Lagreca, Mike Nugent, Bill Cavage, Mike Boring, Marcie Bilinski and originator Gary Gentile. 

Things have changed dramatically since Gary first invited me on his 1980 trip. We no longer hike all the dive sites,  a well equipped dive boat cruises to our offshore destinations.  This is a big plus for our aging shells.  The diving is still sometimes cold and arduous ; not a walk in the park by any means.  The bonuses are incredible vistas, rarely visited dive sights, exciting marine life, great visibility, spectacular wrecks and bonding friendships.

On the way we stopped in East Port, Maine for a rest and some super bottle diving.  I could have returned happily after my first dive when I rescued an intact vintage 1800 olive case gin bottle.  Gary managed to find the jug spot and insured his bottle recovery pre-eminence.   The rest of the group did nicely and enjoyed this welcomed break in the trip north. 

Venturing on, we crossed the border with little hassle and made an early landing in Nova Scotia.  Enough time was made to do some downtown exploring at the harbor, checking out the museum, ships, book stores and local pubs. Sadly, Mike Nugent had to return home after receiving word that his mother was gravely ill.  All in the group were sombered by the news of her passing as Mike returned.

Back at camp, we prepared dinner for group that included a delicious roasted chicken, salad, blackened peppers, carrots, onion and mushroom vegetables.  We settled in for comfortable sleep, awakened before dawn to head off to our first sight.  Each day we got up early to coffee, oat meal or Tim Hortons.  At night we enjoyed dinners by the campfire with entertaining serenades by guitarist Cavage, Fagan and entertainer extraordinaire Mike Boring.    This was an added bonus that I must find a charge for next time.  We mixed it up during the trip with some local cuisine at Peggy's Cove and downtown Halifax. 

The diving was tops.  On all wrecks visibility was great.  The lowest being 20 feet and on the  Zoe well over 60 feet.  Depths ranged from 15 feet on the Sisters to 212 feet on the Freedom.  Altogether I made 18 plus dives which included the Steinman, Russian, Clare Lily, Sisters, Deliverance, AW Perry, Zoe, Bohemian,and the British Freedom.  I made a few extra dives on some unexplored rocks, making sure they had not moved and checking out special fishing monitors etc... for Captain Jim.  We enjoyed surface shows by seals, whales, dolphins and tuna.  Underwater we were greeted by roaming lobsters, pollock schools and cod.  The kelp made some good camo for shallower wrecks almost hypnotic as it swirled over the rocks.  The dramatic combination's of rocks, wreckage, cold water corals and kelp made for a photographers dream. 

The best part of these trips is always the  laughs, fun and camaraderie shared in the adventure. Steve Lagreca has a good sense of humor and should be commended for his tolerance and trepidations experienced during the trip.  Other worthy notes: I wish I had a camera for some of the spectacular entries and exits during our week... Oh my sciatica....  I will not forget the great moments of elation exploring and the amiable conversations shared by the campfires under the star filled night sky.

It was regrettable that we had to leave, but all good things come to an end.   Besides Earl was heading our way.  We felt happy to be able to complete all of our days and for the great weather we enjoyed all week.

Thanks to all that participated in the adventure and special thanks to Captain Jim, Art, Neal and Gloria for making our trip a extraordinary memory.

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Good Wreck Diving!

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