I love to snorkel. Diving deep is not my thing however, CC is a diver from way back! When Sue decided to tell you a little about the offshore oil rigs we have been seeing, I thought of all the tails( I mean tales) CC has told me from his Rig Diving days!
Louisiana’s offshore oil and gas industry began in 1947 when the first well was drilled out of sight of land. Today over 4,500 offshore oil and gas platforms are in the Gulf. These structures make great fishing and diving destinations. CC has made hundreds of rig dives and he says you cannot believe how clear the deep Gulf waters can get. On the other hand , sometimes he cannot see his hand in front of his face! He describes sinking and having the feeling that he is in a cathedral with the massive barnacle and coral coated platform surrounding him. Depending on tides and currents, water colors range from eerie green to crystal blue to mucky brown.
CC has an underwater camera and I love to look at his Louisiana rig diving slides. In one story he tells of drifting down and encountering six barracuda who check him out. Sinking to twenty feet he is caught in a passing crowd of five hundred, pancake flat, silvery, lookdown fish!
Drifting deeper CC says he finds himself surrounded by huge amberjack fish who circle him like a wagon train! He says the biggest one was a fifty-pounder and I believe him because he took a picture!
Spiny lobsters, queen angelfish, spotfin butterfly fish, chromis, squirrelfish and even a purple and gold damsel fish (the LSU fish) swim around in the pilings where CC almost forgets he is under an oil rig.
His favorite is the tiny freckled blenny that is one inch long and lives in a dead barnacle! The biggest fish he saw on this dive were three monster jewfish, or “big groupers.” They reminded CC of Volkswagens! As CC tells it, “ A couple of two-hundred pounders were next to a big grouper longer than I am and weighing at least six-hundred pounds. It could have swallowed me but I took my chances and swam up to pet him. This one did not like my company and turned to swim away. The force from his tail’s swish pushed me back four feet and knocked my mask up on my forehead!” By the way, CC says all big jewfish and groupers are males; the females turn into males when they reach a certain size!!!! Just imagine that!
CC has many tales to tell of sharks, sea turtles, manta rays, tarpons, and other spectacular sea creatures that travel our Louisiana Gulf waters. I love listening to CC’s underwater adventures, but you will not catch me below an oil rig any time soon! That’s all for now.
Your teller of “tails”…………Annie the M.U.T.T. of the marsh.