So we’re headed out this weekend on the Sea Turtle with Captain Chuck Wade!
The boat is docked in the Westlake Marina – 352 W Lake Dr, Montauk, NY 11954. Here is a map: https://goo.gl/maps/tFTUS
The customary routine is to arrive in Montauk Friday night, meet at the Marina, have a couple drinks at the Westlake Fish House which is right in the Marina, and sleep on the boat Friday night. If you arrive early enough for dinner, here are our favorites: Salivar’s (fresh local seafood, dope chowder, oysters, sushi), The Dock (local pub, really good mussels, fish and chips, etc.), Hideaway (Mexican, picnics table-style). They’re all walking distance – Hideaway is next door to the marina. And you can always eat in the Marina restaurant.
You could theoretically drive to Montauk early Saturday morning, but if you get stuck in traffic or otherwise held up, the boat WILL leave without you and you will be on the hook for the trip.
The boat is pretty much directly ahead of you when you walk down the dock towards the water. Look for the big shark sign above and a big, metal cage. Please do not load dive gear on the boat Friday night – bring only your personal/bedding items, and PLEASE do NOT move the ramp on the boat – leave it lowered (unless specifically instructed otherwise by the captain).
Be sure to bring a sleeping bag and pillow! The boat sleeps 8 when the wheel house bunks are installed. They may not be when you arrive, so first come, first served for the 4 bunks in the cabin, then straws for who’s on the bench and who’s on the floor in the wheelhouse. A camp mattress pad makes this just fine. Bring one, or there is one that lives on the boat. Captain Chuck will not be surprised to see bodies on his floor when he arrives in the AM.
BATHROOMS: There are bathrooms in the marina, with showers – they are attached to the marina restaurant building, on the road side of the marina. The bathrooms are unlocked from early AM to 10pm-ish. After that, you’ll need the key which lives on the dash of the boat – look for a blue squishy fish. This is the key to both bathrooms. Be careful not to pocket it, or to toss it somewhere that middle-of-the-night pee-ers can’t find it. The marine head on the boat should not be used while at dock.
Captain Chuck usually gets to the boat 6am-ish Saturday morning, serves as your alarm clock, and his arrival is your signal to start loading gear. There are carts in front of the Fish House which you can use to schlepp. Unless you hear otherwise, you should be ready to leave dock by 7AM. The captain may leave a note on the dashboard with other instructions, so take a look for one when you arrive. Space is cozy on board, so squeeze in as best you can. As usual, if you have two sets of tanks, they should go one in front of the other, make sure they’re bungied in (bungies live in a milk crate under the wheelhouse window), your gear crates beneath. Dry stuff in the cabin.
The Westlake Fish House serves breakfast and has coffee and breakfast sandwiches to go – they are open from 5am. Most of us arrive Friday with lunch food and drink for the boat already packed. It’s a long day on the water, so bringing something along is a good idea! There is one communal cooler on the boat, but feel free to bring a small cooler of your own. No grill.
Once everyone is loaded and on board, we’ll figure out the plan and head out for diving!
If you have any requests for wrecks, feel free to chime in. Here is a link for some local wrecks: http://www.seaturtlecharters.com/wreck_dive.html. Decisions will be made on the dock and weather/tides may rule out some sites.
Weather-permitting, we’ll dive 2 or 3 wrecks on Saturday before heading to Block Island for the evening. We usually hang out on dock for a bit (feel free to bring a reasonably-sized camp/beach chair), head into town for food and drink, then sleep on the boat in Block Island. I would suggest steering clear of the yellow kittens – does not bode well for Sunday diving. There’s a public restroom in the marina with paid showers. We will decide with Chuck on Saturday what the plan is for Sunday, based on preference and ultimately the weather. The plan typically is to meet for breakfast at around 7am and leave Block by 8am. There’s a breakfast spot open early and places to pick up food/drink for the day if needed. The plan is usually to dive 2-3 wrecks and then head back home to Montauk. We usually arrive back at the marina at 3-4pm.
For those folks diving open circuit:
- Please do not bring any mix richer than 28%. Destinations are always TBD – they are very weather/ride dependent, and you will likely be diving wrecks that range in depth anywhere from 20-130′ fsw.
- Air and Nitrox fills are available on Block Island, and in Montauk if for some reason you do not make it to Block. This means that theoretically, you could be OK with one set of doubles/2 single tanks. Essentially, you should plan to have enough gas on the boat for 2 decent dives (i.e., 1 dive at 130, 1 dive at 90′ and possibly a dive at 20′). In the past I’ve been fine for the whole weekend with 2 sets and a stage, without getting fills.
Finally, assuming you make it to Block Island, the trip is $350, paid in cash upon your return to Montauk on Sunday. If there are changes in the plan (and therefore fuel usage), Chuck will let us know if there is also a change in the cost. Otherwise, assume it’s $350. Please make sure you have cash!!! As always, please tip your crew. At least 20% is suggested.
If you’ve got questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out. My cell is 347.581.1688. Cell signal at/near the Marina is VERY SPOTTY, so please make sure you are clear about how to get to the marina – if you get lost, obviously call and we’ll try to direct you there, if you’re able to get through.
PS: NO BANANAS ON BOARD. For realz.