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Diving to the OJ Walker

Diving the OJ Walker in Lake Champlain, Burlington, Vermont
OJ Walker

I had the privilege of diving the OJ Walker again.  The boat story is below.
There were 4 passengers on the boat, plus the captain, Larry and the Dive Master, Joe.  Joe was there with a father and son, to help them with their dive.  I met up with Jason, who became my dive buddy for the dive.  My 99th dive of my life, and brings my total bottom time up to 84:37.
From the LCMM website.After going over some basic hand gestures, to make sure that all safety things could be communicated, we got ready to dive.  I dove with a 7MM farmer john style wet suit, 28 pounds and a steel 80 tank.  I could have dove with about 6 pounds less, and still been fine.
The dive was on 7/17/2010.  The air temperature was around 85 degrees.  The water temperature at surface was around 72 degrees.  The wreck is in about 60 feet of water near the Burlington Breakwater.
Larry didn’t have the landing craft I have dove from a bunch of times, he had his other boat, so a boat roll entry was performed.  After getting suited up, and leaving my hood off (I hate the hood!), I went to the bouy and waited for my dive buddy.  
The father and the dive master both splash, then join me at the bouy.  I wait for Jason, and the dive master and I figure out the dive order.  We decide that he can go first with his pair.  The father starts down the line, followed by the son, and Joe.  My dive buddy and I wait for a bit, before beginning the decent. I wait, then the son appears back on the surface.  He didn’t have enough weights.  I suggested that he grab the rope under the bouy, then go feet down, hand over hand down, and pull himself down the rope to the bottom.  The wet suit compresses, making decent easier.
After dealing with a mask issue, the dive master, Joe comes back out of the water, and my dive buddy and I do our assent to the bottom of the lake.  Down we go, 60 feet.  On our way down, we are met with the bubbles of the father, who is waiting at the bottom for the son.  We get to the bottom, adjust our buoyancy, and then begin the dive.  We followed the rope from the bouy at the bottom, to the wreck.  We arrive at the wreck, being the first divers on the boat, and see no silt stirred up.  Visibility was “Good” at least for this lake at around 15 feet.  We swam around the wreck 2 times, then the bottom started to get stirred up. 
After we went around the boat twice, we went over the boat’s deck, and checked out the steering wheel and the mast.
The bottom was so stirred up, that my dive buddy and I went to the wrong end of the boat, to follow the rope to the bouy to do our assent.  We decided that we’d just do our assent in open water, as we figured we couldn’t be that far away from our dive boat.

Total bottom time was around 38 minutes.  I started the dive with 3000PSI, and at around 800PSI left, we started our assent.  At 15’ we stopped for our 3 minute safety stop.
We came up, about 75 feet from the dive boat.  Fun times.
The story of the OJ Walker, from LCMM.

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Toby Alan Dion Head Geek

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