Return to the Kittiwake Wreck | JONATHAN BIRD’S BLUE WORLD


Coming up, the Bird family explores the wreck
of the Kittiwake on Grand Cayman–eight years after Jonathan and Jake explored it—to see
what has changed! Welcome to Jonathan Bird’s Blue World! It’s spring break, so the family and I are
heading out on a dive adventure! We take off from gloomy Boston and land in
beautiful Grand Cayman. We’re staying at Sunset House, one of the
premiere dive resorts on an island known around the world for its fabulous diving. Grand Cayman is located in the Caribbean,
south of Cuba. The family and I have had some fabulous dives. We have seen lots of marine life, healthy
reefs and of course we have played with stingrays. But today we are heading out on another adventure. Jasmin and Phil ready the boat for a special
dive we have been looking forward to doing. It’s a short boat ride to the site…but
we have time to set up our gear and get ready. Phil gives us a briefing for our dive on the
wreck of the Kittiwake. The USS Kittiwake was a 251 foot long submarine
rescue vessel which served for 50 years in the U.S. Navy, eventually being decommissioned
in 1994. In 2011 it was intentionally sunk as an artificial
reef on Grand Cayman. If the Kittiwake sounds familiar, it may be
because of this guy! Hey! Hi! How ya doing man? Eight years ago, we got a young fan named
Jake scuba certified and took him to Grand Cayman on an adventure. The first dive we did together after he got
his certification was the Kittiwake. At the time it was a brand new wreck, having
been sunk only months before. Eight years later things have changed. Originally, it was nearly upright. But after eight years of storms, the wreck
has tipped on its side. The family and I sink down and start exploring
at the stern, checking out the giant propeller. Back when Jake and I dove here, the prop was
completely out of the sand, but now, the ship has settled so much that one blade of the
prop is completely buried. We swim up and over the deck, and into the
ship. Because there are so many openings, you are
never out of sight of an exit, so this is completely safe for experienced divers like
us. Because the ship is tilted on its side, it
gives divers a weird vertigo. My brain has a hard time interpreting which
way is up. But Elise’s bubbles go straight up. In the engine room we can one of the V-12
engine blocks that once powered the ship. Eventually Liam leads the way up through the
smokestack back into the blue. Back when Jake and I dove the Kittiwake, the
wreck was so new that there was barely any marine growth. But now, the ship is covered in red encrusting
sponges, coral and algae. Jake had a great time playing with the wheel
on the bridge as if he was driving the ship. Now the wheel is covered in growth that Elise
doesn’t want to touch, and the bridge itself has been torn off by storms. Liam isn’t afraid of the marine growth. We follow Jasmin and she points out the water
cannon which was used for fighting fires on other boats. It has some stinging hydroids on it so Liam
isn’t sure he wants to touch it. Elise takes a break on the cargo boom, because
diving is really tiring, and there’s a great view! But Christine found something you don’t
normally see on a wreck. A grouper is actually visiting a cleaning
station, behind a ladder. It takes him a while to get used to my presence,
but once he decides I’m not a threat, he opens his mouth to allow tiny cleaner gobies
to clean his teeth. Ahhhhh! It’s an unspoken rule of the sea: nobody
eats the cleaner fish! Eventually the cleaning is over and the grouper
heads out. We take a cue from the fish and head back
to the surface. That dive was amazing! The ship on its side makes everything so much
cooler! Man, the wreck is so much more interesting
than it was in 2009. Not only is the tilt just really spooky and
cool, but just the whole atmosphere of the wreck has gotten much more–I can’t really
describe it—like ethereal. Swimming through it is so much fun, I’m
betting the kids had a blast. In the 8 years since I last dove the Kittiwake,
the wreck has changed significantly. It has tilted on its side, sunk into the sand,
lost some of its superstructure and grown more marine life. But all of these changes have only made the
wreck more interesting to dive. It’s more colorful, more fun and there is
more to see. Like a fine wine, wrecks usually get better
with age, and the Kittiwake is no exception. Hey everyone! Thanks for watching our latest episode all
the way to the end. Hit that subscribe button now so you won’t
miss our next episode. And check out our new second channel, Blue
World Plus, for some awesome behind the scenes, vlogs and extras!

100 thoughts on “Return to the Kittiwake Wreck | JONATHAN BIRD’S BLUE WORLD

  1. I can’t wait to dive the Kittiwake again! When I dove it a few years ago, it was still upright and the bridge superstructure was still intact. I also saw a grouper on my dive! Didn’t see the cleaning fish in action, though. I’ve got a short video on my channel of my Kittiwake dive… not nearly as professionally done, since it was taken with a GoPro mounted on my wrist, but still gives a good view of the wreck – and there’s a shot of that grouper ?

  2. i love looking at these shipwrecks. thank you so much! (sometimes i like to imagine what the shipwrecks you explore used to look like.)

  3. I'm glad you and your family had a great time!! You really make me want to get a scuba diving certification Jonathan!

  4. What was moving on the bottom part of the grouper’s mouth? I can’t tell if it’s the light or parasites or just the grouper’s skin

  5. Have you guys ever explorerd the German U-352 in North Carolina? I'm land locked in Missouri, and it would be a miracle if you guys could go there!
    Thanks for the amazing videos.

  6. I remember watching the other video you made on the wreck! but totally forgot it was at grand cayman

  7. ??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

  8. I can believe that ship on its side would be disorienting kinda like a fun house with full 3 dimensional movement as an added difficulty

  9. I got my advanced scuba diving license in Belize, now I am scuba diving in Cali mostly but I really want to go wreck diving. Any places near Cali u could recommend for wreck diving? Thanks

  10. Hello fellow divers ! I just created my chanel and jonathan is one of the amazing people who inspired me to finally do it.
    Feel free to check my chanel out and tell me what you think should be improved ! This would mean the world to me !

    Have a great day 😉

  11. I am absolutely terrified of deep water…i almost drown as a kid ??‍♂️….but your videos make me want to learn to scuba dive! And explore!

  12. OH WOW COOL I LOVE MEETING YOUR FAMILY THEY'RE BEAUTIFUL. MAY MY BEAUTIFUL WONDERFUL LORD JESUS CHRIST ALWAYS BLESS YOU AND YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY MEMBERS. BTW GR8 EXPLORATION OF THE SHIP.

  13. man i love wreck diving it’s one of my favorite things to dive I would totally dive with you some time i’m only open water though so i can only go 60 feet

  14. Been watching your videos for about 2 years finally made my first in west palm Florida and wow I'm hooked the beauty that's below the water is unimaginable love your videos keep it up

  15. Hey Jonathan i am a big fan and now scuba certified and i know this is really big and a lot of paining but i was wondering if you would like to join me in Panama city Florida. We would do four dives and it is Friday – Saturday man if you can join it would be the best days of my life. And i could also use a dive buddy on the trip and if you came this would be my first dives!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. There sea snake island in my city .. in Wera, Bima town , west Nusa tenggara .. home of sea snake .. hope u documentary someday .. that absolute place there active vulcano mount too – Sangiang mount , the biggest vulcano mount number 2 in Indonesia and place very close from komodo island .. hope u coming and enjoy in my town

  17. Hey Jonathan I decided to add a new comment cause I know you know Holly from the National Aquarium in Baltimore, I was just there this past Saturday while in Baltimore for another event and have heard she's gotten a promotion to leading and training all divers both paid and volunteer, really would like to meet you and her! Also wanted to ask you if a Moray Eel could be a resident in an aquarium and not be seen for a year? One of the National Aquarium's 2 Green Moray Eels (Oscar) has been missing for a year and I've been thinking that since Moray's are naturally nocturnal hunters that he may be feeding on the smaller fish in the tank at night when the aquarium is closed and then going back into crevices where the aquarium's divers can't see him during the day.

  18. Dude that is so awsome I am going there in t-minus 73 days!!!! I’m so glad to see a little insight of what I will be experiencing soon love the videos Mr. Bird!!!!

  19. Ey man, I just wanted to thank you for making these videos, i was really depressed today and your videos really made me happy again. Thank you

  20. I remember watching you so much when I was younger. I remember binging your episodes and I remember presenting one of your videos to my class in 6th grade. My dream was to always dive with you but I lived in Illinois ?. Either way I’m so glad to see you still making videos, keep up the amazing content man and know you’ve inspired me to consider pursuing a career in diving.

  21. Jonathan, please come dive in Malta it's such a beautiful island in the middle of the Mediterranean sea it has a lot of great beaches and also there is the famous blue grotto here which divers love to dive in .

  22. BEEN gone for a bit BUT IM BACK! and ready do binge so many episodes!!!! keep up the amazing work Bro!!!! LOVE WHAT U DOINGGGGGGGG

  23. I convinced my principal to start showing your videos in classrooms also finally got my diving license

  24. Your videos are so good. Truly inspires me to raise my game and keep capturing those spectacular underwater moments. ????????

  25. This was better with your family than Jake. I like your daugher's scuba diving the most, your wife's the middle, and Son's the least. On this scuba dive adventure. I would've liked to hear how the dive was from your wife, Christine, and their daughter, Elise, as you all were getting back on the boat.

  26. Hey Jonathan! If you ever want to do a show on invasive lionfish hunting on scooters in Boynton Beach Florida give me a holler!

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