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.
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.