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Spirit of America trip on 4/18/10

Raptor to the Spirit of America trip report

Wrecks get most everyone excited with the thought of ascending down the anchor line into the abyss and seeing a wreck sitting on the bottom with all kinds of neat things to see and the Spirit of America (Peacock) is no different. The Spirit of America is one of those really fun wrecks to dive as it is not deep, sitting on a nice sandy bottom at only 60’-65’ ft. deep and with the use of nitrox you can explore her for quite a long dive.

On Sunday, April 18th I dove the Spirit of America on one of my Channel Islands Dive Adventures (CIDA) trips aboard the Raptor out of Ventura Harbor. It was a full boat and sold out about 3 weeks before the trip-wrecks are cool to dive. Everyone boarded the Raptor early and after the paper work was done we were ready to leave at 8:00am, right on time. With the Raptor being able to travel at 18-20 knots (about twice as fast as the other boats) there was no need to leave earlier.  The crossing was very smooth with fog out at the islands, but it did clear up and became nice and sunny.

The Spirit of America is out from Scorpions Anchorage off Santa Cruz Island and conditions looked great. The crew anchored and everyone started their dive-there was 1 small problem, the anchor was next to the wreck, but it started dragging so we all headed back while the anchor was repositioned and then we where good to go. It turned out to be an awesome dive, very little current, 40+ Vis, low 50’S water temp (I was diving dry until I got a little leak) and plenty to see. I think this was one of my best dives on the Spirit of America. It also seemed that everyone else really enjoyed the dive.

The Raptor then headed east past Cavern Point to a no named spot that was a very good dive. This spot had a large rock a short distance from the island with a kelp bed between the island and large rock. My buddies, TJ, Jeff and I dove around the rock and then through the kelp forest, it was another awesome dive. I don’t think just the kelp bed would have been such a great dive, but diving around the rock there was so much to see including some of the biggest lobster I have seen. Did I forget to say, we where in a Marine Protected Area.

We then headed back past the Spirit of America and a little west of it to a spot I will not go into to much detail except all dive sites are not created equal.  The crew took good care of everyone and the food was very good especially the beef stew. What is really great about the Raptor is it is low to the water which makes it very easy to dive from and with the big ladders it is also very easy to get back on to, no staircases to climb like some other boats. We where back at the dock about 4:00pm. It was another excellent day on the Raptor with the next one on June 26th to the backside of Santa Cruz Island. I hope to see you on the next CIDA adventure! See Pictures from trip.

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