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Southern Atlantic Seaboard Here's the place for shooters from Georgia up to Maryland, including the Carolinas and Virginia.

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Old 09-06-2012, 11:04 AM   #1
LOWVIZZ
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Frying Pan Shoals (pics)

I was invited back down to NC for a very memorable Labor Day weekend dive trip at the Frying Pan Shoals. My workload is at its peak this time of year, but when Brian said we would be diving for three days and spending 2 nights IN the Frying Pan Light Tower I stopped what I was doing and loaded up my gear! Holy cow i was exited, and the trip didn't disappoint.

We headed out to the tower on Brian's boat the Designated Diver with the new owner of the Light, Richard Neal. When we arrived at the tower we unloaded the boat then tested the water. We had top to bottom 70 plus feet of vis all three days. Its was a nice change of pace from the not so tropical waters of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel.

The spear fishing was a little tuff. The fish were not there in numbers like they had been. I was lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time tho. I managed to find a big hog and an African pompano. I also whiffed on a very large wahoo. The wahoo proceeded to swim right beside me after I missed and watched me completely reload my gun before swimming away. Ivo also shot a big hog and some very nice grunts. Brian and todd found some big bugs. We also watched Brian and Todd's spot lights from the tower on their night dive.

Getting to stay in the tower was incredible. Without a doubt the coolest dive trip I have ever had. Big thanks to Richard for letting us use the tower and Brian for inviting me on the trip. Also, thanks to Dano at Mako for giving Richard some sweet new fiberglass fins and a mask. Richard took to free diving very naturally, diving to the bottom of the tower legs his first day.

Cheers, Eric



























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Old 09-06-2012, 12:29 PM   #2
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Re: Frying Pan Shoals (pics)

Awesome Eric,

I cant wait to get back out there with DD and the crew...
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Old 09-06-2012, 12:49 PM   #3
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Re: Frying Pan Shoals (pics)

Awesome pics and some very nice fish and bugs. Wheres the gopro vid at?
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Old 09-06-2012, 01:16 PM   #4
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Re: Frying Pan Shoals (pics)

wow!! that is amazing..what a treat
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Old 09-06-2012, 02:57 PM   #5
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Re: Frying Pan Shoals (pics)

Awesome pics. Those are huge hogs. If you keep diving there you may have to change your screen name.
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Old 09-06-2012, 06:58 PM   #6
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Re: Frying Pan Shoals (pics)

Incredible, just to stay on that tower would be great
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Old 09-06-2012, 07:07 PM   #7
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Re: Frying Pan Shoals (pics)

Hell of a hog! Those are some amazing pictures.
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Old 09-06-2012, 07:39 PM   #8
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Re: Frying Pan Shoals (pics)

Awesome.
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Old 09-06-2012, 08:36 PM   #9
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Re: Frying Pan Shoals (pics)

Nice BSB!
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Old 09-06-2012, 08:39 PM   #10
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Re: Frying Pan Shoals (pics)

WOW! What a blast!

Some impressive fish you've got there!
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Old 09-06-2012, 09:40 PM   #11
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Re: Frying Pan Shoals (pics)

Trip of a lifetime!
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Old 09-10-2012, 12:33 PM   #12
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Re: Frying Pan Shoals (pics)

Nice rpt. What a view from up there! You got to enjoy something special man, nice catches too, ap pic looks killer in b/w. Were they on the tower or a ledge 100' from it? Looks like you found someones old fishing rod in that one hog pic? Looks barnacled covered and out of place amongst the guns. I dove the rosin wreck north of the tower on 9/1/12, nice to see the thermocline and shit viz on the lower 30'-40' gone, 115' and mopped up on the flounder......now, whats it gonna look like after 1 week of groundswell???
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Old 09-10-2012, 12:46 PM   #13
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Re: Frying Pan Shoals (pics)

Very cool report. Great pictures!

Can someone explain to me what this tower is like? It is privately owned and is X miles offshore? Does it have some oceanographic navigational or commercial function? Do people live on it full time? Sorry, I have so many questions, but it looks like something out of the Waterworld movie... Certainly it is unusual.. are there other towers like this elsewhere?
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Old 09-10-2012, 01:00 PM   #14
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Re: Frying Pan Shoals (pics)

Quote:
Originally Posted by jfjf View Post
Very cool report. Great pictures!

Can someone explain to me what this tower is like? It is privately owned and is X miles offshore? Does it have some oceanographic navigational or commercial function? Do people live on it full time? Sorry, I have so many questions, but it looks like something out of the Waterworld movie... Certainly it is unusual.. are there other towers like this elsewhere?
I want to know too!

If I ever had a large sum of disposable money... looks like a great vacation home
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Old 09-10-2012, 01:20 PM   #15
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Re: Frying Pan Shoals (pics)

The "Texas Tower" light stations were erected to replace the USCG lightships. These were manned lighthouses with a permanent crew of 8-12 during operational years (much less expensive to operate than a ship.) This dropped to a minimum USCG crew of 5 during periods of repair/refurbishment. (2 radiomen, 2 able bodied seamen, and the mission commander) Only one collapsed into the sea during a storm event, with the loss of several lives.

The ones the National Data Buoy Center installed C-MAN weather monitoring systems on when the lights were automated in the mid to late '80s were:
Buzzards Bay
Ambrose
Chesapeake
Diamond Shoals
Frying Pan Shoals

Those were part of the Coastal-Marine Automated Network system of about 60 active stations on all US coasts, including the great lakes. I did the instrumentation mounting designs for the masts and other hardware, and detailed the, electronics, conduit, and solar panel installations for about 80% of the installations overall. I did that job for about 13 years.

It's nice to see the sensor mast is still intact up there roughly 28 years after installation.
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