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Dive Review of MBT Divers/H2O Below in
The Continental USA/Pensacola, Florida

August, 2008, an Instant Reader Report by guy, ill, usa (1 report)
Report Number 4254
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
Over 1000 dives
Where else diving
Bahamas, Caymans,Flordia, Great Lakes, Cozumel, Honduras,Mexico
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, cloudy  
Water Temp
60   to 85    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
45   to 0    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
back on board and still be able to draw a full breath.
Running out of air would cancel your second dive of the day.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  1 stars
Tropical Fish
3 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  1 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
Boat Facilities
5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
Shore Facilities  
4 stars  
there was a large camera only table provided but few divers had cameras.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
4 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars   
5 stars    
This was a joint operation with MBT as the dive shop and H2O as the dive
boat operators.They ran a very well organized operation from start to
finish. We signed up with MBT to do two days of diving. The shop opened at
7am where we checked in each morning and picked up tanks. The air fills
were always 3000 psi and nitrox was available for those who wanted it. We
were given directions and a map to the dive boat which was about 10 minutes
away and easy to find. Once at the dock a cart was provided to carry the
tanks and gear. On board were the various radios and depth gear, several
fire extinguisters, O2, a working head and life jackets. A huge ice filled
cooler was provided as was free bottled water. Separate containers for
cameras and masks and two fresh water shower heads.Weights were provided.
  The first day consisted on two in-shore wrecks both at just over 100ft
depth. The vis was about 30ft and the wrecks were pretty basic. The wrecks
were the Pete Tode II and the Tex Edwards. Lots of fish seen on both
wrecks. The dive boat had an excellant system of lines to get the divers to
and from the wreck as well as a drift line. The dive boat was 36ft Newton
Custom Dive that can hold up to 16 divers
  The second days dive was on the aircraft carrier Oriskany. The weather
was forecast as being somewhat rough so all divers were asked if they
wished to attempt to reach the dive site. We all agreed to give it a try.
Luck was on our side as the weather/seas were mild. The forecast must have
scared away other operators as once we arrived on site, we had the Big O to
ourselves! Lines were laid out to assist in reaching the wreck and
returning to the dive boat. The boat could have held up to 16 divers but on
this trip we had 11. Once in the water the temp above 40 feet was around 85
degrees but below that is dropped to 60. I wore a shorty and was
comfortable but others wore either a shorty or fullsuit with hood.This is a
dive where a shorty, full wetsuit or drysuit would not be out of place!I
made my first dive on the Big O following the guide line to the
"island" of the carrier. From there I dropped to the flight deck
which was at 139 feet. Once on the flight deck I entered one of several
open hatches into the "island" and explored five deck levels and
their various compartments.There are numerous open swim-throughs as well.
The carrier has been in the water for nearly two years and marine growth is
starting to take hold. This is a wreck so vast that 30 dives could be made
on the "island" itself and still not see it all. There are
several mooring lines attached to the "island" so care must be
made to ensure you are following the right one back to "your"
boat.Since we were the only dive boat on the wreck this day it wasn't an
issue. The divemasters were in the water on each dive but stayed out of our
way and just observed should anyone need assistance. A rollcall was
performed at the start and end of each dive. Oranges and watermelon were
sliced up after the dive which really hit the spot! The currents were mild
but came from different directions depending on the depth. An informative
dive briefing was given prior to each dive. A safety sausage was provided
to each diver and also used as a secondary rollcall when turned back in and
counted.On the trip back to the dock the crew
fired up a small gas grill and cooked hotdogs for everyone. A nice touch
from a very friendly crew! A tip jar was provided and mentioned but not
The American and Viet Nam prisoners of war flag were flying on the sunken
wreck...a nice touch and I hope continues.This useage is a far better end
to a great ship than falling under the scrappers torch.
The Oriskany is huge being over 911 ft long. It is deep,sitting in 212 feet
of water. Dive lights are recommended as are gloves.The only drawback is
the four hour boat ride to the wreck and back.Lots of baracuda shadowed us
as we off-gassed on the mooring lines. Schools of various fish are finding
a home on the Big O. This wreck can only get better and it's pretty damned
good as it is!
MBT can be reached at and H2O at The motel recommended was Suburban which is
almost next door to the dive shop.Their rooms had kitchenettes and three
beds plus all the normal things you'd expect. They can be reached at
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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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