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Dive Review of Atlantis Charters in
The Continental USA/Block Island, U-853

July, 2010, an Instant Reader Report by B. Manning, DE, US (2 reports)
Report Number 5635
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
NJ,MD,NC,FL,Aruba,Grand Cayman
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

calm, choppy, no currents  
Water Temp
48   to 69    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
8   to 15    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Nothing specific - private charter so mate asked us how long our dives
would be.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  1 stars
Tropical Fish
1 stars  
Small Critters
  2 stars
Large Fish
Large Pelagics
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
2 stars  
Boat Facilities
2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
1 stars  
Shore Facilities  
Small camera rinse bucket provided.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
3 stars
Service and Attitude
3 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
3 stars
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars    
1 stars   
5 stars    
Chartered the Atlantis to dive the U-853 off of Block Island, RI.  Boat is
moored in New London, CT so ride out is a little under 2 hours total. 
Kudos to the Captain for still running the charter even though there were
only three of us diving (we had driven up from DE night before).  Boat
appears to be a 6-pack normally.  Very spacious with only 3 divers - 6
would still be fine.  Inside cabin comfortable for ride out and back -
couch and bunks available if you want to sleep.  No place to really sit on
the deck or topside however.  Bring your own food and water.  Boat is a
converted fishing boat with a decent platform and fins-on ladder.  

The U-853 is an advanced dive due to the depth, cold and poor viz. 
However, it is an amazing wreck full of history (and bones). To fully
appreciate the wreck (and know what you are looking at while underwater) do
your research on the Type IX u-boat before.  There are numerous youtube
videos and articles on diving the boat on the internet.  Google the U-505
too (on display in Chicago).
A big tank is recommended - I dove a steel 120 w/ NITROX w/ a pony and 30
stage for added safety.  Most divers will go into deco before running low
on gas - especially on a second dive.  10 foot Hang-line from boat for any
deco, can also use mooring/anchor line for deeper stops.  A drysuit is best
but a 7 or 8mm wet with extra layers will work too.

Penetration of the wreck via the blast holes is easy (one diver at a time),
however, deeper pentration using the interior hatches is harder and more
dangerous, but not impossible.  All topside hatches are removed (or were
blown off) so you can peer into the interior compartments this way also.  A
diver with a single or small doubles will fit through the interior hatches
- but not with a stage or any gear clipped to a belt or BCD. Staying on the
exterior of the boat still provides a lot to look at.  A strong light (and
backup) is mandatory!

A very cool dive and I would certainly recommend it!
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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