Plans changed a bit for our dive on the AJ Fuller. We had Coast Guard clearance to be diving in the area, and we were in contact with them through the vessel traffic system (VTS), but when we got out near the target site there was an 800 foot long container ship anchored right over our planned area of operation. We sat and waited for an hour or so for the ship to move out of our way and into its berth at Todds Shipyard – but then in an updated radio communication with VTS we learned we would need to wait for the container ship to move out of the way, and then wait for another to come & go before we could “commence our operation.”
So we bailed on the AJ Fuller and moved from the East Channel entrance to the West Channel entrance for a dive on the M.T. No 6. We don’t know a lot about the MT6, other than it was a train ferry converted to a barge and that it sunk on December 31st, 1949. NOAA took a side scan of this one some years ago and the target location is visible on most NOAA maps of Elliot Bay. It is also visible in the multi-beam image of Elliot Bay that I have posted on this website.
The depth of the wreck and our dive was 220ft. We spent 25 minutes on the bottom, about 10 minutes getting up to our first gas switch and then 50 minutes in a stepped decompression to the surface. Because of a tidal flow that occurs at depth on this wreck we brought scooters – and because of the depth and the time we would spend on the bottom we brought both 50% oxygen and pure oxygen for decompression gas.
There was lots of life on the wreck, saw one ling cod that must have weighed 60 lbs. We tied in to our drop line with a reel of cave line, and then ran a full loop around the wreck which turned out to be around 400ft (wreck is 150ft long by 50ft wide). It’s a big wreck to see and by the end of our 25 minute dive we felt like we had just scratched the surface of it.