My Stories: ‘Why I love wreck diving’

This is my 4th story in a series of personal scuba diving adventures since I got my PADI certificates. It's the year 2011 and most of my scuba diving has been in the Netherlands till now. However this was about to change. I decided to 'sacrifice' my only holiday that year completely to scuba diving. A great opportunity to get my rescue certificate. The destination... The Dutch Caribbean or more specific the island Curacao. I have a friend living here and working at a dive center. Besides introducing me to the Suunto D4i, he also took me wreck diving on the Superior Producer. A passion for wreck diving was born.   

My only experience with wreck diving at this point was the Le Serpent in Holland. It's a small wreck, 57 meters long and 10 meters wide. It was especially submerged for scuba divers and it's on 29 meters depth. I didn't have much experience with wreck diving at this point and I didn't have a clue why it would become so interesting to me. 

Arriving at Curacao I took a 'Polar Bear' or in other words a nice cold local beer while waiting to be picked up from the airport by Stijn. He dropped me at my apartment, my home away from home for the next three weeks and wrote down the instructions how to get to the dive center the next morning. The first week I was mostly hitting the study books for the theoretical part of the rescue course.  It was in the 2nd week I went scuba diving with Stijn at the 'Superior Producer'. This was also when I came in contact with the Suunto D4i for the first time. 

We stepped in to the sea and swam out for around 60 meters. The water was so clear that when I looked down I could see the wreck, an amazing experience. The only time I've seen 'Le Serpent' in it's whole was at the surface in miniature form. This time I could see the whole wreck just waiting for us, becoming bigger and bigger as we descended. The Superior Producer is 50 meters long and lies at a depth of around 30 meters. Almost the same as Le Serpent, but that's where you can draw the line comparing them. The Superior Producer is complete covered in beautiful corals and inhabited with fish. Whereas the Le Serpent is just concrete with a visibility of around 2 meters. 

Photo by John Dohmen
Photo by Christian Skauge

We stepped in to the sea and swam out for around 60 meters. The water was so clear that when I looked down I could see the wreck, an amazing experience. The only time I've seen 'Le Serpent' in it's whole was at the surface in miniature form. This time I could see the whole wreck just waiting for us, becoming bigger and bigger as we descended. The Superior Producer is 50 meters long and lies at a depth of around 30 meters. Almost the same as Le Serpent, but that's where you can draw the line comparing them. The Superior Producer is complete covered in beautiful corals and inhabited with fish. Whereas the Le Serpent is just concrete with a visibility of around 2 meters.

While still above the wreck we made a quick swim around to take in the view of the whole wreck. Reaching the bridge we entered the wreck. Slowly maneuvering through gaps in the floor we wormed our way in to the ship all the way to the engineering room. If you have your wreck specialty' you can even walk along the engineering room. Unfortunately I didn't have it at that time, so I could only watch the engineering room from outside and imagine walking there.

It was at this moment I knew I wanted to do this more often. The adrenaline rush and the shere amazing feeling of being inside this wreck. I instantly knew I loved this. Using the Suunto D4i we where only ascending when the watch told us it was time. Meter by meter we explored the wreck, the inside as the outside. On one the sides we encountered the mother of all Lion Fish. We respectfully stayed at a distance, I've never seen one again so big. Reaching the shallowest point of the wreck at 18 meters we finally headed back to the beach, time for our safety stop and afterwards a well deserved polar bear.

I made some beautiful dives at Curacao, but the dive on the Superior Producer is still one of the most amazing dives I've ever done. It's definitely in my top ten! Thanks to Stijn I found a passion for wreck diving which I still have till this day. Also I fell in love with the Suunto D4i here. It took some saving but today I'm the proud owner of my own Suunto D4i. I finally got my wreck specialty in Aqaba, Jordan scuba diving on the Cedar Pride. I'm still looking forward to going back and to walk the engineering room one day of the Superior Producer.

In the 'My Stories' series:
- My very first scuba dive in the Netherlands
- A first dive without a guide
- My biggest scuba diving mistake

Photo credits 1
Photo credits 2

Posted in My Stories.

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