It was a perfect summer day in New England – a gentle breeze, bright blue skies, no humidity to speak of – a great time for diving.  Pat Walsh and Peter Donahue were crew today.

We had a contingent from Connecticut.   Kevin and Linsley Mordasky, Pat and Karen Hatcher, Peter and Juli all were up for a trip to the wreck of The Chelsea.  We were able to find it on our first pass through a combination of GPS waypoint, land bearings and sheer luck.  Oh, and there was a buoy on the site too.  Pete said that it was 45 degrees at 55 feet.  The visibility was about 15 feet.   It was an easy descent because we had strung a line from the boat’s stern to the wreck’s buoy.  The divers just pulled themselves along it until they got to the bow and then descended easily right onto the wreck.  As the tide peaked, the current lessened.  

We powered over to the Dead Light at Thacher Island for the second dive.  I anchored in about 18 feet, but the stern swung as the tide turned until it was over 40 feet of water.  It was much clearer here and warmer too.  I felt a distinct thermocline at about 35 feet.  Below that, the visibility was about 20-25 feet.  Above that, the visibility was only 15 feet, although the temperature was up to 52 degrees.  I saw some very big (too big to capture) lobsters and teeny, tiny fingerlings that might have been cunner. 

Pete saw a school of pollack and captured quite a few lobsters.  The Captain and I were videoing, as was Peter from CT.  Everyone else was just sight-seeing and exploring. 

There were large boulders up near the shore that were covered with golden Irish Moss which shimmered in the shallows.  Many of the invasive species of tunicates were already covering large expanses of rock.  Swim throughs and crevasses were everywhere.  It is a marvelous site.

 We saw a seal in the open ocean on our way back to the marina.  He quickly dived out of sight when we spotted him.

There was a big white heron under The Gull Restaurant, picking its way through the nooks and crannies of the sunken barge that supports the structure. 

A great time with great people.

One Response to “Perfectamundo”

  1. Elaine Hoagland Says:

    I am working on invasive tunicates in New England for NOAA. Can I get some specific information about the invasive tunicates you saw on rocks in the Gloucester region?

    * What was the locality, as exact as you can give it?
    * What was the depth?
    * Do you know the species of tunicates? If not, can you give me a description? I’m especially interested in the colonial tunicates Didemnum, which is flesh-colored and forms sheets as well as globby, pendulant colonies. Another colonial species is bright orange, red, or purple and gelatinous at the edges; it forms sheets.

    Thanks so much!

    Elaine Hoagland

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