Ohhh I am still going to San Francisco and I forgot the flower again. Well that can happen. But I am really excited as we zip over the flat water of the Lagoon. Today we’ll dive the afterpart of the San Francisco Maru. After diving forward sections three times already I want to view more. Not that I have seen the bow enough =).
As this is a deeper dive we work a plan with Raiko, our dive guide, that we’ll split off from rest of the group toward the after section. We descend with our group and as the wreck appears below, Raiko points out which direction we need to go and we swim off. Below and aft of the bridge there is a little house and I get curious so I shine my light in. The remains of a galley appear with an old pot on the stove and another upside down on the floor. The clock is ticking and we hurry on, being followed and inspected by a small travelley.
Getting to know the ships and layouts better I recognize the large engine room skylights, and peer down and start to see piping I realize it will require another separate dive to fully explore the engine room within, and I’m happy with the glimpse I get.
Hold No. 4 comes into sight and there are already bullets lying on the port side of the hatch. They are as long as my hand and as we descent we see all kinds of them. Machine gun bullets the size of my index finger. The same shells as above as long as my hand. And then below the tween decks are large shells the length of my arm. It is very impressive and in very good condition. Between the tween decks there is an ammunition trailer with wheels still in good condition. It is stacked with crates and crates of ammunition. We swim through to hold No. 5 and see boxes of ammunition perfectly stacked above each other. It appears not many divers come here, and I wonder if the other wrecks were like this 30 years back. Then suddenly I have the feeling that seeing gets difficult. Is it the depth? I glimpse around and see torpedoes and what appear to be torpedo warheads. Seeing is still weird and time is up anyway so we come up and suddenly everything is back to normal. Looking down I can see a brownish (orange?) haze hanging over the torpedoes and remember that Captain Lance talked about this phenomenon on other ships.
Must be the torpedoes than. What a relief. On the port side in the sand is another truck frame which looks in good condition but we are already swimming back to the mooring to perform our ascending safety stops.
I do understand how technical diving holds its appeal, in having 30 min or more compared to just 10 min bottom time suddenly seems a big advantage. But the Deco takes forever…..
I guess everyone has to find out what suits them best =)