Everglades USA Exped – Day 12

Thursday, November 24

Wreck Dive, Dolphin Spotting and American Thanksgiving

By Livio Knöri

After a great breakfast of Dan’s leftover birthday cake, we sailed a few miles along the cost of Key Largo to a ship wreck. The 160m long wreck called “USS Spiegel Grove” sank to the ocean floor in 2002. After Christian, the PADI expert dive instructor onboard delivered a safety briefing, we were prepared for our dive to a depth of 30 meters. We were all quite excited because for most of us is it the first deep-dive. After a few meters decent the giant wreck appeared under us. Eventually we arrived on the deck and the exploration in buddy teams could start. We dove through the vessel until we reached the other end of the boat. A wreck dive feels like flying through a boat — what an absolutely amazing feeling it is.

The shipwreck was covered by corals and was full of life. After only nine years the nature changed a metal ship to a living space for many species. The dive ended much to soon as there was just so much to explore beneath the surface. This dive was for me was absolute impressive. Sitting back aboard PANGAEA, I could start to realize completely what I have seen. It was a wonder.

I learned that diving is something very mental. Naturally, you are excited, but you should stay calm. To stay calm is one of the most important things for safe diving and this can you only achieve with mental control over the body.

A few hours later on the gentle sail to Marathon, Florida, Aya, Mary and Theresa were keeping watch sitting outside on the tip of the bow. Suddenly, inside the boat, we heard Rick calling us come out. They had spotted a pod of dolphins swimming all around the boat! The dolphins followed us for several minutes jumping alongside PANGAEA and flipping up as if to get our attention.  This was an awesome moment for all of us. We could really see how they enjoyed to play around the boat and in the waves.

This night, we also enjoyed a delicious Thanksgiving dinner cooked by Mary who shared with us about the American tradition of the holiday. We ate fresh bread, green beans, corn, sweet potatoes and other Autumn vegetables. I’m going now to bed to be ready for my anchor watch this evening and looking forward to our visit of the turtle rehabilitation center tomorrow.

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