This weekend will mark some of the most superb wreck diving in the world in tropical conditions, perfect for playing and diving. Wreckfest is rising fast as one of the most spectacular events to hit the waters off the coast of Key Largo.
“This is a different sport. Wreck diving at these depths is dangerous,” explains Chris Brown, owner of Silent World Dive Center in Key Largo. “This is the biggest technical dive event in the world. We’re bringing together four days of non-stop technical diving with presentations and V.I.P. Guests.”
Featured Wreckfest Guests
Richie Kohler, Discovered U-Boat off coast of New Jersey
Tom Mount, Technical Dive Pioneer & Chairman of IANTD
Mike Barnette, CCR Explorer
Curt Bowen, Photographer & CEO of RBW & ADM
“The International Association of Nitrox and Techinical Divers” Started in Key Largo.”
CCR & Wreck Training
Advanced Wreck Diving
CCR Air Diluent
“Trimix is a mix of three gases, helium, oxygen and nitrogen. What trimix does is keep oxygen pressure low to avoid toxicity and it keeps the nitrogen pressures low to avoid narcosis and decompression problems.”
The Queen Of Nassau 180’ – 220’
USGC Cutters Duane & Bibb 100’ – 130’
The Northern Light 150’ 190’
Whistle Buoy 200’ – 220’
The crème de la crème is on Monday. Some of the participants, including Richie Kohler, are going to do a mystery, 400-foot wreck off Islamorada.
“We did it once last year, and we were unable to identify this,” Brown says with an air of intrigue. “These guys are skilled to submerse thousands of feet. Richie Kohler has gone on the Titanic. Most of these guys are going to dive a closed circuit rebreather. A closed circuit rebreather requires extra training and equipment.”
The rebreather actually “scrubs” carbon dioxide out of the breathing gas so the diver can keep breathing it. Also, to submerse to these depths divers need advanced wreck and advanced technical training.
Silent World’s three dive boats are full, including divers from Brazil and Europe. But, anyone is welcome to join one of the lectures being offered on Friday, or Saturday night. The presentations are free of charge at Bayside Grill in Key Largo. They get underway at 7 pm.
“To dive to this extreme,” Brown is quite candid, “What you need is lots of time and lots of money. It’s about a $20,000 investment by the time you train to do these wrecks.”
Tildens announces Lobster Rodeo Winners
More than 100 lobster lovers using tanks, snorkels and SNUBA plucked a couple hundred crustaceans while diving with Tilden’s SCUBA Center out of Marathon. The rules were simple, obey county laws, protect natural resources and grab the biggest lobster. “Most were locals,” says Tilden’s Sally Buehler. “Which was kind of nice because lobstering is a fun activity that families can do together.”
Marathon resident Mike Freeman was the overall winner with lobster weighing in at more than 2 pounds.
Pictured, from left: The Winners! Kevin Freeman, Mike Freeman, Paul Wolf, Kayla Prince and her dad, Steve. Kayla received the hard luck honorable mention – for coming up with the best stories.