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Dive Review of Olympus in
The Continental USA/North Carolina wrecks

Olympus, Oct, 2004,

by Mort Rolleston, VA, US . Report 1507.

No photos available at this time

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 3 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 1 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments My coworker Rich and I dove 30 miles off of Morehead City, NC (about two hour boat ride out). We did two dives a day for two days on a German U-boat (U-352), a 400+ foot tanker that was sunk by (another) U-boat (Papoose), a Coast Guard cutter deliberately sunk as artificial reef (Spar), and a former German gunboat from WW1 that US captured that then collided with a ship and sank (Schurz) soonafter. I personally liked the Papoose the best overall with the U-Boat also being pretty cool. Schurz was mostly rubble along bottom with various guns, boilers, and such still intact and has thus attracted alot of fish. Spar is a cool wreck and obviously in best shape as it was very recently sunk (and apparently is perfect for wreck penetration training, which I didn't do) with lots of fish - but visibility was not great (too close to shore). However, it did create a rather eerie atmosphere which was pretty cool actually since the ship basically looked like a ghost in the fog and you couldn't see that far away.

Visibility was quite good at 40-60 feet (if not more) on most (only 20-30 on Spar, which is close to shore). Apparently our timing was good because viz overall has been bad at these wrecks for a while due to recent hurricanes that had really stirred up the sand on the ocean bottom and had just started to clear up.

Most wrecks had at one to three 7-10 foot sand tiger sharks (harmless, very laid back sharks with lots of teeth but no attitude, but who like to come up and check you out - you can often see small specimans in aquariums because of their calm demeanor and mean look), clouds of thick bait ball schools of small fish that could be 50 or more feet in circumference with lots of barracuda and amberjacks stalking them. Wrecks also had alot of spadefish, bank sea bass on the wreck surfaces, porgies, and triggerfish among others. We saw what we thought was a small thresher shark from a distance on the Papoose along the bottom. The fish (of all shapes and sizes) were not shy. One of the sharks at U-boat practically ran me over (got within arms reach) at a very slow, calm pace (just calmly checking me out) - I got some good pix as he or she passed. very cool! One of the funniest scenes was at the U-Boat where a guy with an underwater writing pad was furiously scribbling down something as he cruised close to the hull. The big sand tiger there crept right up behind the guy as if he/she was trying to look over his shoulder to figure out (like the rest of us) what the heck he was writing! The guy was so focused, he never noticed the shark parked up right behind him. He probably would have had a heart attack if he had turned around (haha).

A layer of amberjacks and barracuda (both 2-5 feet long) hung out at around the 50 foot depth and would occasionally sweep down into the baitballs of fish at the wrecks to feed and return to their formation with lunch. Their location was perfect because given the fact the wrecks are at 100-130 feet, I was concerned that the dives would be really short because you cannot stay at that depth for more than 10-15 minutes before you have to start coming up (due to nitrogen buildup in your tissue) and there is alot of nothing between the surface and the ocean floor so unless you wanted to hang on the line for a while looking at the vast expanse of the open ocean, you would probably come all the way up. Fortunately, these layers of amberjacks and barracuda gave us a reason to hang out longer at middle depths. So we would generally hang on the anchor line at their level and watch them for a while before finally heading up the anchor line to the surface. Jacks and barracuda are very curious and will swim right up to you (and are a pretty good size). I got some pix of them too.

fortunately seas were pretty calm (a little bumpy on day 1 with 1-2 foot waves and pretty smooth on day 2) as were the currents (which were only significant on one of the dives). Both can be very rough I have read. Weather was partly sunny 70s both days.

Half the boat was from DC and most of rest was from Long Island. Everyone was pretty cool... It was interesting that there were no rules against taking artifacts, spearfishing, or capturing fish. One guy speared a few fish and took them to shore (boat had big freezer). Another took a small tank designed to store captured fish for aquariums (he snagged a small lionfish from the U-Boat).

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 51-100 dives
Where else diving Bonaire, Key Largo FL, Sail Rock Thailand, Brockville Ontario wrecks, New Providence Bahamas
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas choppy
Water Temp 70-75°F / 21-24°C Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 40-70 Ft/ 12-21 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions [Unspecified]
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals 2 stars Tropical Fish 3 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 4 stars
Large Pelagics 4 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments [None]
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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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