Southern California is privileged to have some of the best diving and kelp forest on the west coast which holds a vast amount of marine life. San Diego, particularly has great dive sites, from the Coronado Islands, Kelp Beds in Point Loma, and Wreck Ally which lies just off the coast. The Yukon, a Canadian Destroyer lies in 100ft of water approximately 1.8 miles off of Pacific Beach, full of life. Strawberry Anemone, and Spanish Shawls currently cover the ship, thus making the Yukon, one of my favorite dives sites in San Diego. So when asked if I wanted to dive the Yukon, absolutely.
The Diving Unlimited International (DUI) & Ocean Management Systems (OMS) Team headed out for a dive on the Yukon. We tied onto the mooring line located on the Yukon’s Bridge. Visibility on the Yukon is at its best this time of the year. We had 30-foot visibility by my standards, which means not only can I see 30ft away but I can identify the structure. I was diving side mount. My gear of choice the OMS Comfort Harness II, stainless steel back plate accompanied by the Tesseract Wing and Recreational Side Mount Adaptor. I must say awesome! With 2 aluminum 80 cubic ft. tanks along my side, I back rolled over the side of the boat. Kicked to the decent line where I met Jessica, my dive buddy and fellow colleague. We signaled and started our decent. The rest of the DUI/OMS team was still suiting up allowing us to be first on the wreck. Just the way I like it! About 20ft down we passed through the thermocline and the Yukon just opened up. Beautiful conditions! After all, “The sea, once it cast its spell, holds on in its net of wonder forever.” (Jacques Yves Cousteau). The bridge was clear and I could see beyond the forward guns to the sand and the sea floor. I signaled to my dive buddy to make sure everything was ok and then continued to drop down the outside of the bridge and over to the forward guns. I continued to the bow of the boat checking out all of the beautiful strawberry anemone and looking into the various cut outs of the ship. We then moved up the starboard side of ship back to the starboard railing. Diving Side mount and the configuration of the tanks allowed for streamlined positioning on the wreck. Once over the starboard rail we continued back over the forward guns to the tower. We looked back to see our two other colleague passing behind us. Dan was rocking the OMS IQ lite and Red 27lbs wing. You can’t miss the distinguished OMS Red Wing. We exchanged pleasantries and continued around the tower slowly working our way back to the line. On our assent Jessica and I made a deep stop for a couple minutes and then proceeded to our safety stop where Jessica deployed the new Pink Surface Marker Buoy buy OMS which is highly visible on the water. Once cleared, we ascended returned to the boat for lunch and to talk about how great the dive was.
Yukon on her side
Photo by Jay Dornheggen
The Tesseract Wing which is a donut wing with a redundant bladder. I was diving side mount so the wing was accompanied by the Recreational Side Mount Adaptor. The black wing with the red side mount adaptor added distinction. The rail system on the side mount makes it easy to position your tanks, unclip them and move in front of you on surface swims reducing drag. Multiple D rings for bungees or other accessories. In short a very modular system which provides a high amount of function. Looks cool too.
Moreover, the DUI team had a great day on the water and below. Not a cloud in the sky, calm seas, and 30ft visibility on the Yukon. Lunch on the deck just off the coast looking back at Pacific Beach and La Jolla, talking about diving! I could not ask for a better day on the water with my colleagues.
Yukon’s Forward Guns
Photo by Jay Dornheggen