About New Jersey Wreck Diving

Diving in New Jersey

So you are a certified diver in Philadelphia. You are tired of lakes and quarries. It’s time to step it up to New Jersey wreck diving. There are thousands of wrecks up and down the coast and most are dive-able. With that being said NJ isn’t for everyone. It is chillier then most people are used to (45-60 degrees) and the visibility can vary from 5 feet to 50 feet but expect 10-15 average viz and darker then you may be familiar with.

Equipment is a little different too. You’ll need a heavier duty BCD to hold lights and wreck reels and you should be wearing a redundant air system such as a pony bottle or a double tank set up “doubles”. You should be familiar with these items and the 7mm wetsuit or drysuit system, hood and gloves and the amount of weight it will take to make you sink.

Taking all this into consideration thousands of people enjoy local diving in NJ. The wrecks can be semi intact like the Stolt Dagali or a pile of rubble and twisted plates. Either way there is something for everyone…artifacts, lobster grabbing, spearfishing or even picture taking. At Scubadelphia we have a copy of Herb Segars book “Beneath the Garden State” with excellent pictures of local sealife. Gary Gentile penned the books “Shipwrecks of New Jersey”. Another source of info is njscuba.net. It’s a well maintained website with great pictures and maps of Jersey waters.

If you are still not sold on the idea of North Atlantic wreck diving give us a call or stop by the dive center. We run 15 charters a year on many different experience levels. Let us show you the fun in NJ Shipwreck Diving!

Dive Planning using a table

We all learn some form of dive planning in our original open water class. Years ago it was with Navy tables, then moved into the PADI recreational dive planner (RPD), then someone came up with the wheel...which sucked, then the eRPDml which is a digital calculator and finally we all have dive computers now with a planning mode. But I still teach my students the basics with the PADI tables. If you want to learn about dive planning or want to refresh your memory check out my links at the bottom. These videos will hopefully make you a safer diver. -Dave

Basic dive planning: http://youtu.be/HG5oeWMQo0I

Calculate minimum surface interval: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cn8pSYLULA8

So you want to learn to dive….

People email and call us all the time with questions on where to start their scuba career. I have put together this 6 minute video showing you exactly what I show to new students who come into the store. And the best way to get started is to come into the store so we can meet you, find a schedule that works best for your busy schedule and fit you for the proper gear you will soon use to get your certification. Here is the link to the video:

http://youtu.be/Jdf2V5SPrnA

Learning to dive in Philadelphia and South Jersey is actually pretty easy. We have a fully stocked store with an on-site classroom and our pool is about a 15 minute ride closer to center city Philly. Public transportation can drop you in front of the shop if you don't drive. We do our certification dives at a Scuba lake in Bethlehem, PA about an hour away from Northeast Philly. You can camp there or get a motel room for the weekend. (4 dives are done over Saturday and Sunday) Please call us if you are interested in signing up or stop in to begin your diving adventure!

We can also certify you on a trip to places like Bonaire, Utila, Cozumel or even Canada! We do Ice Diving at Bainbridge Quarry in the winter. We love diving all year!

Our Favorite Spot to Dive??

Some of the staff was recently interviewed for Temple University’s newspaper. Jack asked each of us our favorite dive destination and to my surprise 3 of us said “North Carolina”. This is kinda weird since we’ve been all over the world including Ireland, Croatia, Australia and all over the Caribbean including whale shark encounters and giant manta rays. Rand just hasn’t been to NC with us yet to pick it as his favorite!

The gulf steam bounces off the coast of NC bringing tropical fish and warm water across the Graveyard of the Atlantic off of Morehead City-the southern part of the Outer Banks. There are many wrecks that were tossed and broken by hurricanes but most of the wrecks that we dive were sunk in WW2 by close patrolling German U-boat subs. These wrecks by themselves are awesome because of the great visibility but made even greater because of the sand tiger sharks that live on most of them!

The deeper wrecks which start around 100ft are the Papoose and Spar where sand tigers are usually found and the Aeolus which is my personal favorite. It’s like an aquarium without glass or cages. These beautiful animals, well other than their ugly protruding teeth, are very docile. They will swim near you for excellent photo and video opportunities. Look at my Youtube video called “Peter’s Sharks” under Scubadelphia for a glimpse.

We also dive the U-352 which was sunk by a US Coast Guard cutter. This wreck is deteriorating from the salt water and weather conditions of the area. You can swim up and down the wreck on a single dive noticing a torpedo still in one of the hatches.

Sometimes the weather is a little to rough to visit the deeper off-shore wrecks. We will stay inshore and have some fun on the Hutton and Indra. We get more bottom time on these shallower wrecks.

I think the reason why we enjoy North Carolina so much is it’s an 8 hour drive to a diver’s paradise. I love wrecks and big animals and they are close. You also can bring all your own gear without worrying about baggage fees. I love my steel 100 doubles and they like giving me extended bottom time in the Graveyard.

-Dave

Scubadelphia visits Olympus Dive Center in Morehead City, NC every year in August. We drive down Friday and dive Saturday-Monday then drive home. Please join us on our favorite summer adventure this year. Make sure you are advanced and nitrox certified to enjoy the deeper wrecks.

Here is the link to the Temple University article that got all this started!
U352http://temple-news.com/arts/an-underwater-perspective

Mask Cleaning

For the holidays this year you may have received a brand new mask!  One very important thing you'll need to do before using your new mask, is to clean the lens or lenses.  There is a thin film on the glass of every mask.  If it is not cleaned off your mask will fog when you use it, even if you use de-fog.  To clean, take a liquid with some grit in it like toothpaste (the paste kind, not gel), soft scrub or Sea Buff and rub it all over the lenses of your mask then rinse off.  You can repeat this several times to be sure the film is off and you have a fog-free mask experience!