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Cajun style

Discussion in 'Member Trip Reports' started by Sushi Boy, Aug 24, 2015.

  1. Sushi Boy

    Sushi Boy DAM CHUMmer

    It was with mixed emotions that GWNDWN and I headed for Louisiana to do some rig dives on Friday given the FG trip cancellation. We were looking forward to diving, but actually kind of surprised that our trip hadn’t been scrubbed as well, and a little worried as we were driving there that we’d get a call telling us to turn around. I guess we were far enough east that the seas were a little more calm.

    As a side note, I tried this same trip in early July, only to be unceremoniously dumped off the boat at 2:00 am after engine problems prevented us from making it out to sea, so the possibility of that was lingering in the back of my head too.

    But with our fingers crossed, we left Houston after work on Friday for the 4 hour drive to Abbeville, LA. We were to board the boat at 10:00 pm, so the timing worked out really well. The boat we would be diving from is the Sierra, chartered through Diver’s Destination in Lafayette. It’s a 36’ dive boat with an enclosed cabin and a/c. It’s not a luxury cruise, but it’s very adequate for rig diving. Once you turn off of I-10, you get into the Louisiana backwoods quickly and it’s a twisty turny trip to end up at the small marina where the boat docks. The closest address that I was able to find is 24007 LA-333, Abbeville 70510. From there you have to look on GPS for Danny Road which will get you to the boat. (I included that mostly so I can remember how to get there next time.)

    We unloaded our gear and met the other folks who would be on the boat – our captain, a deckhand, one other diver, as well as a young couple who were freediving to spearfish. The others had already snagged the bunks in the front of the boat, so GWNDWN and I claimed some oversized beanbags near the back of the cabin and settled in for the 6 hour ride to the rigs. The trip out was a little sporty, I woke up once or twice hoping that my gear hadn’t just washed off the back deck.

    Our captain caught us off-guard Saturday morning when he woke us up with “hey guys, we’re at the rigs. Once y’all get aroused, come out to the back deck.” Ummm… We skipped the arousal, but went out back and geared up, splashing a little before 7:00 am.

    The first rig we dove was South Marsh Island 278. There still wasn’t much light when we got to the structure, but there was lots of life on the rig. There were lots of big red snapper, several sheepshead, some triggers plus a few sharks off in the distance. One big cobia surprised me with a close fly-by coming in from my blind spot. We spent most of our dives at depths of 30-40’, sometimes dropping a little lower to check stuff out. Temps were mid-80’s with a slight thermocline around 55’. Viz was in the 50’ range. There was a haze layer below 60’ and currents were only mild. Top-side the seas were 1-3’ rollers for most of the day.

    One thing about the boat that was new for me was that they didn’t put a DM in the water. That meant that while we were tied up to the rig, there was a sideline alongside the boat and a tagline at the back, but there wasn’t a downline running to the rig. It wasn’t a concern with light currents, but if they had been more stiff, you might’ve had to work harder to make it from the boat to the structure.

    During the surface interval, we moved over to Vermillion 149 for the second dive. This was the biggest rig we dove with lots of structure underwater. More of the same life there. The spadefish were coming right up and looking in my mask and a triggerfish took exception to my camera and struck it a few times.

    For the third dive we moved again, this time to Vermillion 164A. All of the dives were pretty pleasant and this one was no exception. We typically logged 50+ minute dives and Ryan and I had the rigs to ourselves for the most part.

    After surfacing about 1:00 pm, we grabbed the sandwiches and beer we had brought from the fridge and settled back into the beanbags for the long trip back to shore.

    The trip back through Vermillion Bay was scenic, passing some shrimpers and a swamp boat here and there.

    We docked at about 5:30 pm, unloaded and had time to swing by Don’s Specialty Meats on I-10 to stock up on all things boudin and some fresh crackins before making the trek home. While we got in pretty late Saturday night, it was nice still having Sunday left to do weekend stuff.

    It was fun getting to see the Louisiana rigs and to dive with some locals. I definitely recommend the trip if you find yourself in the area. I may look into organizing this as a CHUM excursion in the next year or two. It’d be an easy weekend road trip. We may even find a way to work in some of the best po-boys I’ve ever had

    I didn’t get a lot of good pics this trip, but I did upload a few to the Gallery.
  2. McLOT

    McLOT Tiger Shark

    Good photos.
    Sounds like a great trip.
  3. Heidi Ho

    Heidi Ho Grand Pooh Staff Member

    So the name of the place you got the 'poor boy' - notice they don't call it a 'po boy' - from rang a bell with me. There was an article about this very place in the Chronicle a few days ago. Can't link it but you should be able to see it if you search the paper's website.

    Looks like you had a great time..thanks for the report.
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2015
  4. watermonkee

    watermonkee CHUM Secretary Staff Member

    Wow, this sounds like the perfect alternative when plans cancel. Or, just on a no-plans-weekend! A lot closer than FL on a regular 2-days off.

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