On the night of May 10th 2013, a group of twenty advanced divers left the dock in Ft Myers Beach aboard the Ultimate Getaway. The goal: Dive the Mohawk, Pegasus, and Fantastico starting at daylight on Saturday and be home before dark.
This overnight trip, tagged “Heavy Metal”, was organized by Fantasea Scuba of Port Charlotte. Divers rested up in their bunks during the overnight ride out. After a good hearty breakfast, we hit the USS Mohawk on Lee County’s Charlie’s Reef site. Weather was great. Water temps were in the upper 60’s on the bottom with vis in the 30ft range. The life continues to build on Mohawk as marine life migrates over from the well established parts of Charlie’s Reef.
After finishing our Mohawk dive, completing a surface interval, and filling tanks, we made our next dive on the nearby Pegasus. Pegasus is a 110 ft steel-hulled vessel that was scuttled onto Charlie’s Reef in 1999. Despite significant deterioration over the last 14 years, it’s a great dive and absolutely loaded with tropical marine life. Being only a few hundred yards from Mohawk, diving the Pegasus is hard to pass up once you’re in the area. Depths are identical to Mohawk at 87 ft to the sand.
The last site on the agenda was Fantastico. It’s 14 miles SW of Mohawk, so divers made use of the cruising time to have a tasty lunch and clock in some surface time. Fantastico is a genuine shipwreck. This 205 foot freighter sunk during the no-name “storm of the century” in March of 1993. Seven of its ten crew members perished in the sinking. This wreck sits in 115 feet of water and is known for harboring big fish like goliath, bull sharks, and occasional whale sharks during late summer. On our dive, we saw several goliath and a couple of reef sharks. Visibility was a bit better here at 40ft, though bottom water temps were in the mid 60s.
Finishing our Fantastico dive left us with a 50 mile return trip back to Ft Myers beach. Being on a fully equipped and comfortable liveaboard, the divers made good use of this time to review their digital images and video in the air conditioned salon, take showers, nap in their bunks, and of course, eat another great meal prepared by our cook Marci.