American Tanker

First Wreck Dive!

As a recently-certified Open Water Diver with several weekends left to go here in Guam, there are a lot of “firsts” in my near future. I recently partook in my first boat dive (previous outings have all been shore dives), which included two dives. The first was also my first wreck dive, the second I’ll present in a later post.

Bear in mind I’m no historian, so most of the background information I may provide about underwater sights I see will most likely be brief and definitely just mere summaries of what I can quickly find on the internet. I’m too busy being incredibly excited about the diving to get too detailed with the specifics. I hope that’s okay.

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The American Tanker, found in Guam’s Apra Harbor, was used to transport fuel from the US to Guam during World War II. See how brief that was?

American Tanker.00_01_17_21.Still006The deck is roughly 60 feet below the surface, roughly because it’s not exactly sitting level, but the bottom of the ship is about 130 feet. The maximum depth I reached during my short visit was only 67 feet, but considering it’s my deepest dive so far it was kind of a big deal to me. It’s also the first time I put my face in the water and thought, “Holy crap! There’s nothing there!” since you have to start descending before anything comes into view.

It’s amazing to me how the ocean can take something foreign and make it her own, given enough time. Sure, there wasn’t as much teeming life as you might find on a reef, but the ship belongs entirely to the fish and other sea life now. Among whatever was left in place when the tanker was sunk are colorful fish, going about their day and other assorted oceanic flora on display.

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American Tanker.00_09_26_55.Still015I suppose the centerpiece (if there was one) would be the superstructure, where a flag is mounted for touring divers to have their pictures taken as proof of their visit. With all the other divers waiting their turn I wasn’t much interested in that. Besides, I experienced a bit of anxiety during my descent and may have burned through too much of my air, making my trip shorter than it had to be. There are still some things to get used to with this new hobby of mine…

One of those things is keeping track of my camera. I was quite distraught when I intended to download the video I captured, only to discover my camera was not among my other dive gear. More troubling than the lost expense of the camera itself was the fear that that the video would be gone forever. Fortunately it remained with the boat and they were happy to return it to me. “Whew!”

Now I can share the things I saw with all of you, like how the air bubbles from divers below me spin as they rise and remind me of shiny silver UFOs! Please enjoy what is hopefully a steadier video than the last one. I’m still working on having more control of my buoyancy and positioning while underwater.

Play nice, everyone!

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