HMCS Yukon – San Diego – Dec 2020

We had a great trip down to San Diego back in December with a big group of Divers. We had six working on their Deep and Wreck certifications and four Dive Pros assisting. We were also able to get one of our Instructors upgraded to a Deep and Wreck instructor as well.

Matt Volk, Dive Master with the shop, grabbed this great video of one of our dives.

In all, we got four dives in on this trip. Two on Monday, Dec 21, on the Ruby E and El Rey, and two on Tuesday, Dec 22, both on the HMCS Yukon. All of our dives were aboard the Humboldt of Waterhorse Charters.

The dives themselves were pretty great. Now, keep in mind our main goal here was to teach our Divers in the class, but we got to see some pretty cool stuff.

The Ruby E, as always, had plenty of nudibranchs to check out. Being a smaller wreck, and not lending itself to penetration, this first dive was a bit of an acclimatization dive down to about 80′. It is fairly easy to check out the entire wreck in a single dive.

Next was on the El Rey, an old kelp harvester. This was my first dive on this wreck, made possible by having pretty ideal conditions in terms of swell and wind on the surface. There is no permanent mooring on the El Rey, so conditions have to be just right to get on it. This wreck sits in about 70′ of water, and is low to the bottom due to the nature of the ship itself, and being in sand. Still a unique dive that I’d like to visit again.

Dives three and four were on the HMCS Yukon, a purpose sunk Canadian destroyer, and the crown jewel of wreck alley. Coming in at 366′ in length, you can easily do multiple dives on her to explore. And given that depths run anywhere from 65′ to 105′, you can see that this is a massive wreck for those who want to take their time and explore. As a wreck that was set up for divers to go on, there are plenty of cutouts and swim-throughs. If you are an advanced wreck diver, full penetration is allowable as well, but it does take very specific training – beyond what is done in the recreational level Wreck Diving course.

All in all, a great trip. Could have been better – all the restaurants in the area were closed down due to Covid and the Christmas break fast approaching, so we couldn’t have a group meal like we usually do – but the diving was great, conditions were beautiful, and our divers did a great job on their certs.

Highly recommend checking these sites out.

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