I had nothing on my schedule for Sunday and no definitive dive plans. This is one of those rare times when it pays off to keep your last minute options open. I was talking to Heather about something unrelated and she mentioned she had a last minute cancellation on her Sunday trip to the Pinthis. Of course I immediately jumped on the spot. The Pinthis is one of my favorite New England wreck dives.
The Pinthis was a steel coastal oil tanker that that collided with the steamer Fairfax in heavy fog. While the Fairfax survived the collision the Pinthis sank killing all 19 of her crew members. She sank June 10th, 1930.
Today she sits turtled in approximately 100-105ft of water off of Scituate, MA. The bottom composition is mostly comprised of rocks and sand which makes for usually great New England visibility (30ft+ in my experience but have also dove her with less than 10ft before).
Additionally because she is so far south (off Scituate, MA) in comparison to most dive charters that run out of the north shore she is not dove as often as some other wrecks, at least not by a lot of diver charters. A lot of people on the south shore do dive her frequently.
We left Beverly at exactly 7:01am with lines cast off the dock after waiting for one last straggler to load the boat for the ~2 hour ride to the Pinthis . The seas were glass on the way out and on the way back which is pretty funny considering there was a small craft advisory in effect last night. Yesterday the NOAA buoy showed 3-4ft waves. The winds have not been very cooperative lately this summer and marine forecasts have looked terrible every weekend in June so it was finally nice to have a day where the weatherman got it wrong as they often do.
Dave and his dive buddy Rich splashed in first to set a mooring and I jumped in by myself after to do a little bit of a longer dive.
I was also testing some new Chinese video lights so I wanted to record some video.
Upon descend the visibility looked pretty bad, there was a layer of crap sitting mid-water column but it quickly cleared up below 60ft. On the wreck I would estimate we had 35-40ft of visibility. For New England wreck diving this is pristine visibility.
I did about 55-60 minutes on the bottom before I got “bored.” Total runtime was 82 minutes. Compared to years past there were hardly any cod present on the wreck. I only saw a couple small ones so maybe the open circuit divers scared them away. I used to see large numbers of cod hanging out inside the wreck. There was also usually a wolf fish that used to hang out off to the side in some debris but I could not find him on this trip even though I had previously seen him the past 2 years.
Max Depth: 101ft
Runtime: 82 minutes
Water temp: 44f on bottom and 53f on deco
Visibility: 35-40ft on bottom
The Chinese video lights I got actually worked fairly well. I just need to get some longer arms and work on better placement to help eliminate some backscatter but they are super bright. They have 10xWhite XM-L2 LEDs. They claim 12000 lumens which I highly doubt but they’re probably closer to 6000 lumens based on the specifications on the Nemo lights. They are either the OEM or updated clone of those Nemo video lights that have been advertised lately on Facebook.
The funny thing about those Nemo video lights are that they had design flaw/defect in the switch where they wouldn’t turn on at depth below 30ft. I have a few friends that bought them and ran into the issue. Thankfully Nemo did sent them new replacement buttons with stronger springs which seemed to resolve the issue.
I figured I had a 50/50 chance of them either flooding or not working at all. They are from AliExpress and I paid around 65/USD per light without batteries or chargers included.
Before I purchased these lights I emailed the supplier on AliExpress asking if they had re-designed or updated the switches and they assured me that they had. The switches are actually a much different (hopefully better) design the the original Nemo lights and the updated Nemo light switches. I’m happy to report that they at least turn on and work at 100ft. I’m really hoping they work at 200ft for my trip to the Great Lakes next month which is why I bought them.
Anyway here’s the video with these lights. As you can see there is a lot backscatter and of course I still need to work on slowing my shots down and better video light placement.