Last weekend, we had the exciting opportunity to dive the Captain Dan wreck, located in 110 feet of water off of Pompano Beach. This was our deepest dive to date, with our max depth hitting 103 feet. Most divers use nitrox on this wreck, however, as we are not certified for nitrox (yet!), we did it on air.
I have to admit, I was a little nervous prior to jumping in the water. While DigitalGreg breathes like a fish, I can be a bit of an air hog at times, and being one of the only two divers on air, I had hoped that I would not be the first to run low.
But, with an encouraging “Dive, Dive, Dive!” we descended down the line toward the wreck. One of my favorite parts of wreck diving is just watching the wreck appear out of nowhere as you go down. I feel like some sort of space invader touching down on something undiscovered. It’s weird, but fantastic and amazing and unreal all at the same time.
The best thing about this wreck is that it’s actually still intact and completely upright. Unlike other wrecks that are in fragments, you actually have a sense that this is a ship. Remember in the movie Titanic where they were surveying parts of the ship underwater and then fading back in time to the rooms when the ship was still floating? It felt a little like that.
We explored numerous rooms around the ship, noting distinct aspects about each one. There was rope strung across one room, air pockets in the ceiling of another; doorways leading to closed-in passages, and large windows leading outside. So far, out of the three wrecks that we’ve done, this has been our favorite.
Being on air, we only got about 20 minutes of bottom time, which was just enough time to get a feel for the ship. There is no doubt that we will be exploring this one again on nitrox. Some other useful things to consider when diving this wreck (or any wreck in general) would be the use of gloves and a dive light. While the dive light is optional and allows you to look down those narrow passages that you wouldn’t be able to swim through, gloves are strongly recommended. Yes, you can go without, but you’ll be exploring the wreck extremely carefully and diverting your focus from more exciting things while you try and avoid all that sharp rusty metal and fire coral. Plus, gloves will make you feel like a badass… well, for me at least.
The dive ended with DigitalGreg ralphing spectacularly off the side of the boat (3 times), and me feeling a great sense of accomplishment finally conquering my fear of deep dives.
Seriously, if you have the chance, make sure you check out this wreck. You will definitely not be disappointed.
Dive Time: 00:28
Max Depth: 103ft
Water Temp: 81f