Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Diving the Oil Rigs

Eureka Oil Rig
There are currently 27 rigs off the shores of California… After 9/11, majority of the rigs were closed to the public for security reasons. Lucky for me, a quick boat ride from San Pedro marina will get me to three rigs that are still open for divers: Eureka, Elly, and Ellen (Elly and Ellen are twin rigs connected to each other). Oil rig dives are consider advance dives due to deep bottoms up to 1000 feet making it virtually bottomless and all boats servicing these dives are live boats. Being able to maintain neutral buoyancy on these dives is extremely important for these types of dives. The legs of the rig are completely covered with life surrounded by bountiful amounts of fish swirling about. Most rig legs will have to be periodically maintained and cleaned so they are scrapped leaving it barren and over time life will start growing on it again. Before we take a look at the dives, let’s look about the oil rigs themselves.