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Ann's Seashells

 

Cliff enjoying the ride. Lee Walher photo.

Akyla's Foredeck

The stateroom has two comfortable berths for tired divers on the ride out.

 

 

We have been diving offshore for many year together and in the process have used a few different boats to get to the shipwreck sites.  They have all been slightly different style boats and all have had their good sides and their not so good, but overall they got us there and back and we were sad to see them go to the new owners.  Here is some information about the boats we have used over the years;

 

Akyla

Akyla was a 36' Hatteras Sport Fish Convertible, Twin Caterpillar Turbo Diesels @ 420hp each. The boat cruised at 18 to 20 knots depending upon load and sea conditions the top speed was 29.99 knots fully loaded and a bit faster when light.  The run time on calm days to the first dive was really quick.   She was equipped with Radar, multiple Sonars, GPS units and Loran for wreck hunting as well as several radios for communications.  Akyla deck has plenty of room for gear

We equipped her for diving by adding a very sturdy "T" rung ladder off the stern, "Roll-Control" tank racks along with the ubiquitous bungee cords to keep tanks in place.  On the stern there is a full width swim platform to make the entry easy.  

She had a full galley with a frig and microwave and a generator to power the A/C when it got really hot.   Being a Hatteras yacht the interior was very nice with a lot of fine wood finishes, gee, just what you need in a dive boat...

When we got the Hatteras, we were faced with the old question of what to name it.  Many names made the list, Ann came up with AkylaAkyla is Russian for Shark it seemed appropriate for our boat since we dive with the sharks often.  To properly pronounce theAkyla at sea name Akyla, think A-Cool-A and that will be close enough.

We took pride in the Akyla and we think most of you  liked her as much as we did but something bigger and more diver friendly was needed.  She is now a fishing yacht again and the new owner is treating her very well.

Great Day for Diving!

 

 

Akyla is headed out for diving adventure. Photo by Bryce Hanson.


Icy May

Dive Boat Icy MayThe Icy May was a 35' Henriques Maine Coaster that was built specifically as a small passenger vessel and certified to carry up to 17 passengers and crew offshore.  She had been running fishing trips from Barnegat Light, NJ, when we bought her from the second owner and updated the boat for diving by adding a dive platform and ladder on the stern along with tank racks and a dressing bench.  Updated electronics and safety gear and she made a very decent dive boat.  

The boat had a single Volvo diesel that ran flawlessly for the entire time we owned her but limited the boat speed to just 12 to 14kts when loaded.  This was the Icy May's only fault, besides being just a bit rolly in a beam sea when anchored at the dive site, much to the dismay of many a diver!   After thousands of divers jumped off the boat and had great dives we decided to sell her as our needs changed.   Just where did we get the name Icy May?  We borrowed it from our friends sailboat of the same name as we liked what it really meant - ICY MAY is an acronym for I'm CrazY Mad About You.  Like tags on cars, boat names don't have to make sense either.  

Many times over the years I wish that boat was still around as Henriques builds a tremendous boat, she was tuff as a little boat can be built.


Sea Ventures

28 Topaz Sport Fish "Sea Ventures"Sea Ventures was a 28 Topaz Sport Fish Express boat that was bought in Virginia Beach where it had been sitting in the slip so long that my first dive off her was to scrap the barnacles off the propellers and hull so that she could be moved.  

The Topaz had two GM 350 v-8 gas engines that moved that boat along at up to 35 kts in flat water, rough water was a different story and many times "slow down" was heard from the crew.  We dived that boat for years out of Ocean City, MD, hitting all the wrecks North to off the Jersey shore to South off of Chincoteague.   I also fished her a lot and she was a great fish boat catching literally tons of Tuna off Ocean City and Marlin and Sails off Hatteras.   Hurricane Emily beat her up a bit in in 1994 but the minor damage was easily repaired and freshly painted she looked really good.  We put her up for sale and she become a fishing boat once again.  

The Topaz was set up for fishing too.One of my fondest memories of the Topaz was of the run I made on her after the Halloween storm of 1990 took out the Bonner Bridge.  I brought her from Hatteras up to Annapolis, MD since the island was no longer easy to access.  The weather was extremely calm and we made the trip up from Hatteras in just under 12 hours, stopping only once for fuel.  The run up the Chesapeake was made at night with the water so flat and calm the stars reflected off the water, the heavens wrapped around from sky to sea and the boat was running through a carpet of stars.  Magical.

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