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Dive on the HMCS Yukon by Bryce & Greg Porter:
At 7:00am on August 2, 2000 my son Bryce and I arrived at a Dive Connections Incorporated (DCI) scuba dock in San Diego.  Also known by the boat's name of One-eyed-Jacks and the website gottadive.com ...  I wouldn't recommend them as they had minimal equipment for rental and the boat was marginally sized and marginally equipped at best.  The staff was friendly, however, and were accomodating and helpful.  A better choice  would be Blue Escape (used by Dan Funck in the past) or Lois Ann.  Neither of these boats were diving the Yukon the day I had available.  All of San Diego's major dive boats are featured at http://www.caldiveboats.com/boatpage.html. 

The HMCS Yukon is a 365 foot Canadian Destroyer  that was purchased by a nonprofit diving organization, towed to San Diego, rendered environmentally safe, stripped of wiring and other snags (superstructure left intact) and sunk in 100' of water a mile and a half off the coast of San Diego on July 14, 2000.  It rests on it's port side with decks facing the open ocean.  There is some talk of righting the ship using tugboats.  For more detail on the ship and it's history see http://www.hmcs-yukon.org/.

The two tank dive cost $65 and included 2 tanks, weights & belt.  Wetsuits were $10.  Bryce rented his BC & regulator for $10 each.  The boat trip was only about 10-15 minutes as the ship is only a mile and a half offshore directly West of Sea World.  The sea was calm and surface temp was about 69 degrees.  Two huge yellow bouys define the location of the Bow and Stern.  The bouys can easily be seen from shore.  The first dive was at the stern, which is slightly deeper than the bow.  It was low tide and, as a result, the sand under the stern was at 97 feet... at high tide they say the depth is about 111.  At 97 feet the temp was a surprisingly warm 64 degrees, visibilitiy was 15-20 feet, and was reported to have been 30-35 4 days earlier.  From what I've heard 15-25 is average for the San Diego area.  The ship will eventually be covered with ocean life, which many folks are looking forward to.  I enjoyed seeing it without silt deposits and with control knobs still turnable.  Highlights were the deck guns  , peering in the control room, spinning the 5 foot radar thingy, swimming next to the huge (20' diameter ?) propeller, and having the surge almost suck me into one of the many holes cut in the deck and sides for easy access by wreck-certified divers.  Bryce's rented wetsuit was marginal (poor selection available) so he opted to sit out the second dive, which was actually his plan from the start - I was really glad that he did the first dive with me.  Surprisingly the 2nd dive (after an hour of surface time) was colder with 58 degrees recorded at 84 feet.  Before the dive I'd been told that average temperatures at depth were 50 to 58 degrees.  Aside from a few small sea bass, no other sea life was seen. 

While topside Bryce met a boatload (no pun intended) of Navy Seals who showed up to dive and strategize the potential righting of the ship.   We arrived back at the dock at 11:15am.  Still plenty of time go shopping at Seaport Village and Horton Plaza.

I'd like to dive the Yukon again - it was well worth the time and effort.  Hope y'all enjoy the pictures - all taken with the club's dive camera.
 

greg@porter-az.com