June 23, 2014

Shipwreck of the Defiance

We got up early to get a early start on Lake Huron so we can beat the afternoon rain showers if the rain happens to show up.  We make our way over to Rockport once again and the waters edge looks beautiful!!! Lake Huron has laid down for us and its absolutely calm conditions. WHAAA!! We couldn't have asked for better conditions on the lake than what we have now in front of us.
Shipwreck of the Defiance
We set out to visit the first shipwreck which was built in 1848, The Defiance!  This 2 masted schooner measures out to 115 ft. in length and she is presently resting upright and mysteriously intact in 185ft. of water.  She brought grains back and forth until she was hit by the Audubon in October of 1854. Speed was always of the essence back than but the Audubon was carrying railroad iron tracks so when the defiance hit the Audubon's mid section in fog, she had little time to react and brought both of the schooners to their demise.  The event took both of the boats down only a few miles from each other and luckily nobody died on either boat. I went to visit the Audubon last year and this year was my time to finally see the world class historic wrecks with their masts still upright and intact. There is also a theory that the captains made an insurance claim for money as they would be able to get their load and ship paid from a "disaster", the Defiance has little evidence of a crippling impact, and iron ore is a lot more valuable than grain back than so there might have been a good ole "reach around" on the insurance company of the 1850s...I cant prove that though!!...soooo..yeeaaa..anyway, I'm sure if the captains put on diving gear today and saw this wreck, they would be surprised in a lot of different ways.
Shipwreck of the Defiance
My dive tables were set up for a bottom time of 180ft for 15 minutes and a decompression procedure based on a 1.2. ATA and an oxygen stop at 15 ft. Total dive time came out to be 39 minutes. We geared up and went through our start drills. Once in the water we completed the S Drill with a bubble check both at 15 ft and at the bottom to ensure we don't have any leaks. We descend down and the water appears to have a film of algae as we descended into the depths of Lake Huron. The temperature dropped as an eerie cross figurine appeared in the distance along with another large circular log standing upright. These are the tip tops of the masts!! Finally, we made it to these wrecks as I have been waiting years to get to them. The deck of the defiance starts to materialize and the visibility opens up in the 37 degree waters as we hover over the deck at 165 ft. I get just under the deck to get a couple pictures and I get to a max depth of 170ft. The nitrogen narcosis is strong at that depth so it makes picture taking difficult. We navigate around the wreck and made our way up to start our decompression schedule. Our dive buddies ran into some regulator complications but were able to work out a plan to ensure they were to complete their decompression obligations.  We got on the boat and I thought to myself about the amazing experience I just had but how short it was. Off to the TYPO!! 

Shipwreck of the Defiance



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