Reopening of North Carolina Dive Operations

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Ironborn

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I read that at least two of the dive operations covering the famous wreck dives of North Carolina have reopened and gone out: Olympus Dive Center in Morehead City and Discovery in neighboring Beaufort.

What are your favorite North Carolina wrecks, and what are the reasons for your preference?

I understand that the U-352 is immensely popular. Is that due to its historic significance, or is there anything special or remarkable about the actual underwater environment?
 

drrich2

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I understand that the U-352 is immensely popular. Is that due to its historic significance, or is there anything special or remarkable about the actual underwater environment?

When I dove it a couple times on a trip years ago, it was mainly about the history. Being a genuine foreign enemy submarine sank in wartime, not an 'artificial reef,' was a bit compelling. As a wreck, it wasn't all that striking to look at to me, and I didn't see sand tiger sharks on my dives there. I'm not a history buff; such a person might've gotten more out of viewing it.

Others may have a different perspective; that was mine.
 

WinfieldNC

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One of my favorites has always been the Normannia. It’s a true wreck that sank in 1942.
B33619AA-ED5D-464D-95CB-8702C71FD755.jpeg
 

RyanT

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I agree with @drrich2, the U-352 is great dive from the historical perspective. Dropping down on the wreck and thinking about what took place there is really humbling and amazing. As an actual dive though, I think it's much less interesting than many others. In the same "neighborhood" I much prefer the Papoose or Aeolus. My favorite though is the Atlas. All of these other wrecks have more relief and sharks.
 

O-ring

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I agree with @drrich2, the U-352 is great dive from the historical perspective. Dropping down on the wreck and thinking about what took place there is really humbling and amazing. As an actual dive though, I think it's much less interesting than many others. In the same "neighborhood" I much prefer the Papoose or Aeolus. My favorite though is the Atlas. All of these other wrecks have more relief and sharks.
+1 - definitely don't miss the Aeolus.
 

rlskill1

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I read that at least two of the dive operations covering the famous wreck dives of North Carolina have reopened and gone out: Olympus Dive Center in Morehead City and Discovery in neighboring Beaufort.

What are your favorite North Carolina wrecks, and what are the reasons for your preference?

I understand that the U-352 is immensely popular. Is that due to its historic significance, or is there anything special or remarkable about the actual underwater environment?
Favorites??? Wow! Here are some of mine! Besides the 352.
Schurz- just beautiful
Hutton-Ario or whatever, it's in 70' water, broken up, but lots to see. On Bluewater days, it's awesome.
Caribsea--lots of sharks, but lots of tropicals and shallow depths.
Aeolus- stern section, big wreck with big fish.
 

Ironborn

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Everyone, thank you for your input. I ended up going the week of Memorial Day. I had planned on doing six days of diving, but three of those days got blown out. I still had three days of very satisfying wreck diving. Here are my thoughts on the wrecks that I did get to see.

The U-352 was quite impressive - not just for the historical value, but for the high fish density, and the conning tower is quite a striking sight.

The Aeolus was my favorite hands down, primarily for the sand tiger sharks, of which we saw many. The Aeolus also had a high fish density, and I liked how the smaller fish followed the sand tiger sharks around, which made for interesting photo opportunities.The structure and semi-open interior of the wreck, including the famous "keyhole," are probably what make it so appealing to both divers and fish.

The Spar was more interesting for the structure of the wreck itself. With that said, we did see some interesting critters there, including a sand tiger shark, a fireworm,and this unfamiliar nudibranch that I have yet to identify. There are also a lot of lionfish on the Spar, so it would be ideal for lionfish hunting.

The James J. Francesconi wreck was the only inshore wreck that I got too, and it was of interest mainly for the contrast in the environment; that water from the Labrador Current really does make a difference.
 
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