The Wreck Of The Spiegel Grove: A Scuba Diver’s Tour

I owe you this video! Finally, I’ve got the footage to give you a DPV Scuba Diver’s Tour of the third-largest artificial reef in the world: USN Spiegel Grove.

Shot over four or five dives, I’ve pieced together footage and time-lapse of my favourite dives to do on this massive wreck. Thanks to my Black Tip DPV from Dive Xtras (not sponsored – paid for this beast!) I now have the right tool to cover this entire wreck.

The Spiegel Grove was a USN Landing Ship Dock, a support vessel, that provided shoreward operations during the cold war. 510ft (155m) long, 84ft (25m) across her beam, she is the third-largest wreck to be sunk for the purposes of creating a dive site.

I absolutely love scuba diving this wreck. I’ve probably got about 300-400 scuba dives on this dive site and I can never get bored of her. She is an ideal training ground for everything from Advanced Open Water Diver Courses all the way up to Tec Courses.

If you’re diving the Spiegel Grove – or any dive for that matter – never exceed the limits of your training!

Thanks as always for watching!

D.S.D.O

James
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A Scuba Diver’s Tour of the Spiegel Grove Wreck

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Meet James Blackman

With a career in diving spanning twenty years, James has seen a thing or two in the dive industry. James grew up on the Southwest coast of Britain and learned to dive in the frigid waters of the English Channel. If your first dives were like being placed in a cocktail shaker full of cabbage soup and you come away with a love for the sport, then you know it’s going to be a life-long pursuit.

James spent his twenties in the British merchant marine which afforded him the opportunity to travel to and dive in far flung locales… 177 countries and counting. Between stints onboard a variety of vessels, James used his shore leaves to level up his scuba training… Rescue diver in Tanzania, DM in Indonesia, Instructor in Honduras, Tec Instructor in the French West Indies.

His last ship before moving to a shore-based life style was an expedition ship where he notched up some of his most impressive dives, including briefly holding the world record for most northerly scuba dive… 82 degrees north in the Russian arctic; diving the Amazon river; the Antarctic; and virgin reef systems in Papua New Guinea and Melanesia.

Moving ashore in his early thirties, James took on the role of General Manager for a luxury dive operator in St Martin and never had a dull moment! Hollywood visited the island and called upon James’ underwater skills for on-set safety. When Cat-3 hurricane Gonzalo devastated the area, James switched hats to salvage and public safety diver to help with the recovery.

Scuba Diving has given so much to James in his life… and first on that list is his brilliant wife Karina whom he met whilst teaching her AOW class! Yes, that old cliché! James and Karina are also business partners and co-owners of two power-house scuba brands. Miami Technical Diving has become the premiere scuba training facility in South Florida. Tired of seeing other dive shops compete in a ‘race to the bottom,’ James decided his model for teaching scuba would focus on keeping the quality as high as possible; using the best gear possible; teaching beyond the minimum standards on a 1-to-1 student-to-instructor ratio. The fullness of the MTD training calendar shows that people – student divers – prefer to receive premium, quality tuition, as opposed to cheap and fast.

James is the personality and knowledge broker behind ‘Divers Ready!’ a super influential Scuba Diving YouTube channelwebsite and brand. In just a year, Divers Ready! has become the fastest growing You Tube channel in the Scuba Diving niche, with 1000s of new divers joining every month. Their weekly videos range from Mouthpiece Mondays – where James shares his insider knowledge and opinions about controversial topics in the dive industry – to practical ‘hints & tutorial’ style videos, all with one simple goal in mind – to make you a better diver!

James and Karina started small group luxury dive trips for the Divers Ready! audience.

James and Karina live in Miami, FL with their rambunctious dogs; Ziggy The Husky and Bonham the Mutt, and their Maine Coon cat Foxy, who remains unimpressed.