2000 Ayuruoca Photos I

All images on this page 2000 by Christina Young.

Welcome to New Jersey's fastest dive boat for deep exploration, the Depth Charge!  The Depth Charge is a 42-foot Provincial, custom built to salvage the RMS Republic and other cool wrecks!

And welcome to the world of perpetual midnight -- the New Jersey Mud Hole! The Mud Hole is the deep, silty ocean trench running from the mouth of the Hudson River to the abyssal dropoff of the Hudson Canyon, over 80 miles offshore. Being in smack in the middle of the approaches to New York Harbor and the Port of Newark, it is filled with shipwrecks from the past 300 years. Most of these wrecks are difficult dives -- they are deep (ranging from 150 fsw to 250 fsw), covered with nets and monofilament, and very dark due to both the usually poor visibility (most of the time just a few feet) and silty bottom which absorbs most of the remaining ambient light. For these reasons, the majority of the wrecks here don't get visited very often and still have many interesting artifacts.

The Ayuruoca (Oil Wreck) lies in 170 fsw, and is the most popular Mud Hole wreck. It is certainly one of my favorite wrecks, because of its size (468 feet in length), the fact that it is intact, has many interesting penetrations, lots of nooks and crannies in every part of the wreck (like little shacks, strange pieces of machinery, booms and trucks lashed to the decks), and nice artifacts (everything from cookware and china, to beautiful brass pieces).

The Ayuruoca was a Brazilian freighter sliced in two in 1945 by the Norwegian freighter General Fleischer. It lies NW-SE in two pieces about 300 feet apart. Interestingly, none of the WWII Mud Hole wrecks were U-boat kills! Since ships would run with their lights out at night to avoid the U-boats, they would all just crash into each other and sink. It is also called the Oil Wreck because for years diesel fuel was leaking out of its gas tanks little by little.

The following pictures (all images from video) are from the voyage of the Depth Charge to the Ayuruoca, Saturday, May 27, 2000.

As we pull away from the dock, John Chatterton makes fun of John Yurga's new haircut, which he started the night before the dive.  He ran out of time, so he didn't finish (it was either go diving or finish the haircut).
Bonnie Merkel-Yurga, hardcore wreck diver and futures contracts expert on Wall Street.
Joe Mazraani sets up his gear on the way to the Oil Wreck.
Once we get to the Ayuruoca, John Chatterton and Bill Cleary hook the wreck.  We decide to dive the stern this time.
John Yurga and John Chatterton assist Joe Mazraani and Petie Wohlleben as they gear up to go tie into the Oil Wreck.
Descending to the wreck, here is the tie-in point, on top of a large hoist about midway between the gun tub and the break on the stern of the Ayuruoca, starboard side.
Looking up at the hoist.  Everything is completely covered with large anemones.
A bitt on the deck of the Ayuruoca.

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