The other week we spent a few days with some Marine / Maritime Archaeologists who are in Dominica to search, survey and map some sites with historical value in hopes of identifying some wrecks and artifacts.
We were grateful to have been chosen to help the 2 person dive team with their dives. We spent two days at Woodford Hill Beach and Turtle Point, followed by 2 dives at our resident wreck in Toucari.
There is little diving done on the East Coast due to the rough conditions and long shallow shore breaks. The lack of protected coastline means fewer easily accessible reefs and fewer boat captains willing or interested in taking people out in those conditions.
The first 2 survey dives at Woodford Hill Beach were the perfect example of when Compass Navigation skills are not only good to have but absolutely necessary. I was tasked with navigating a predetermined search pattern in the near blackout visibility (3 feet to as little as 4 inches) while they followed behind looking for any anomaly on the bottom or signs of wreckage. It really made me want to teach Navigation Specialty and Search & Recovery Specialty because it reminded me how important and practical these skills are!
The dives at Turtle Point were on the same day as a Tropical wave / depression was approaching Dominica. We were dropped off by the boat quite a distance from the wreck site which lies right at the base of some pretty big rocks that mark the edge of turtle point. We swam through incredible surface swells to the site which lay in less than 15ft of water and proceeded to descend and get right down to business. The ladies picked out an artifact to take back to their lab for identification, and we got some great pictures of a porthole and some other wreck debris scattered in water that could only be described as the closest thing to diving in a washing machine during the spin cycle. Our second dive there was quick and messy, and we couldn’t wait to make our beeline to the exit point where the boat would be picking us up. It was quite the exhilarating experience since we never really have rough conditions like this on the West Coast.
The final day of dives with this team was so calm, quiet and STUNNING in comparison, and made me so thankful that we live and dive in these conditions regularly! Diving the Toucari Wreck reminded these archaeologists why people dive for FUN!
The enjoyable and unique dive experiences this week had us thinking a lot about how our skills and specialties as divers have real life practical applications, and how so many careers intersect at SCUBA. That being said, we will do a future blog diving more into different careers in SCUBA!
Want to see the Toucari wreck for yourself- mention the wreck when booking a dive or snorkel with us and we will make it happen!