The Mission at Great Dog

Snorkelers depart

Monica takes Sandy, Jamie, Sam, and Donna out to a nice snorkeling spot

After we left Virgin Gorda we motored across to Great Dog.  The seas were a little rough but after a little searching we found a nice spot on the far side of the island.  Sandy, Jamie, Sam, and Donna were going to go snorkeling.  They loaded up in the dinghy and Monica took them across to a snorkeling spot.

Galli, Brandon, and I had our own mission.  It was the second dive of our trip and somewhere out there was a sunken airplane waiting for us.


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Brandon knew the general area where the plane was supposed to be (40′ deep in a sandy area) but had never seen it himself.  He went out in the dinghy to scout but the viz wasn’t good enough to see down.

I think this is the only picture I have of Brandon with no smile.  He's directing Monica to where we will start our search for the plane.

I think this is the only picture I have of Brandon with no smile. He’s directing Monica to where we will start our search for the plane.

We decide to have Monica take us out and drop us abut where we thought it would be.  Galli, Brandon, and I loaded our gear onto the dinghy and Monica took us out.  We discussed the plan – go down and head out from land, then begin a grid search pattern.  Putting tanks on in the boat was a bit of a challenge – but Brandon helped and soon I did a rear rollover entry.  Before long we began our descent and search.

I saw several of these giant hermit crabs which inhabit conch shells

I saw several of these giant hermit crabs which inhabit conch shells

The three of us swam side by side with Brandon in the middle and Galli and I on the flanks.  We spread out some to maximize the area we could cover – Galli on the far end was just at the limit of what I could see.  We swam out and down to around 60′ – after a few minutes, Brandon had us turn.

We searched in a grid pattern, back and forth until this silhouette appeared.

We searched in a grid pattern, back and forth until this silhouette appeared.

I’m glad he knew where we were going because I quickly lost track of which direction land was.  We turned again and then a third time.  Then as we were swimming along I looked over at Brandon to see him excitedly cheering – looking ahead I could see the vague outline of the cockpit appearing from out of the haze.  Success!!

 

Here I am doing a swim through with a curious jack

Here I am doing a swim through with a curious jack

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