Dick headed the effort to reef the Canadian destroyer Yukon in San Diego in 2000. Many Mexican divers worked hard in support of the Yukon sinking project. They were so justly proud of their accomplishment that they convinced the Mexican Navy to give them a 220-foot coastal patrol vessel – the Uribe 121- (with helicopter hanger) that had been damaged beyond repair to make into an underwater park and reef. Dick was invited along as an advisor to meet with leaders from the government, tourist bureau an environmentalist along with the main university. His knowledge was so valuable he earned the knick-name Poppa Yukon. It was decided to honor Dick by welding his name onto the Uribe.
Baja Diving Adventures dive boat, the DnD II, was the means of transportation for this most recent trip, capable of carrying 20 divers. Descending to the Uribe 121 with Patrick Smith and Cindy Shaw the divers had 20 feet of visibility and very little current. Water temperature on the surface was 70 degrees, after encountering a thermocline at 20 feet temperature dropped to 54 degrees. The wreck is 220 feet long in 90 feet of water sitting upright and located very close to shore. This allows for a short boat ride to the site. Large openings allow for access for divers trained in overhead environment techniques a dive light is a must to explore the wreck even for divers remaining on the outside. Patrick is part of California Ships to Reefs who has headed a number of the Marine Biology studies for reef projects. He pointed out the ship is covered with thousands of juvenile scallops and other encrusting organisms. The ship has a number of marine life monitoring projects on it that will document the diversity of marine life that has set up housekeeping on the Uribe.
Baja Diving Adventures is located in a premium hotel, the Puerto Nuevo Baja Hotel and Villas in Rosarito, Mexico. US:1-877-315-1002. The hotel has ample accommodations with meeting rooms and other amenities including a large pool. Restaurants are within easy walking distance as well as shops to engage in some souvenir hunting. Contact: Jorge Romanv
This will soon become a must-see dive destination. Bonita, Dick’s wife reminded him that he forgot to bring his Captain America shield with him. He promised not to do that again.
Baja Divers expect the Mexican Navy to give them another ship next year to add to the park.
Dick prefers to use the DUI Weight and Trim System with his OMS harness/wing. All OMS harnesses allow divers to use this option. Divers using large amounts of weight may prefer to use the harness in lieu of the integrated weight system. More info can be found DUI Weight & Trim System.
Dick used the OMS Traveler IQ Pac coupled with the OMS Deep Ocean wing 45lb lift. Since Dick enjoys diving in cold water with occasional rough conditions he opted for the extra lift while wearing single cylinder. When he travels to warmer environments he simply opts for a smaller more compact wing. This allows for easy packing. His choice the OMS 27 lb light Traveler Wing. Oh yeah, Bonita does the same.