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Me diving

Monday, September 1, 2008

Quicky Beto's Dive

I returned home from New Zealand on Sunday afternoon, and we had a Lobos reservation and tentative plans to dive on Monday -- after a weekend of diving a poodle jacket (or is it a stab jacket? Clinton explained the difference to Rob...) I figured it would be good to figure out how to use my usual rig, not to mention my scooter, before the next Big Sur trip. However, given my general grogginess after the not-quite-restful 13 hour flight, we decided to make a game day decision about diving. So I was afforded the unusual luxury of waking up when I wanted to on dive day. The result was that we pulled into Lobos around 12:30, by which time we were dodging calls from dive buddies wanting to know if we were ready for a post-dive lunch :) The downside of arriving at 12:30 is that you aren't guaranteed to get a good parking spot at Whaler's Cove, but we got lucky and got a pretty decent spot anyway. We saw Dionna and Harry, who were getting out as we pulled in. We also ran into Paul Lee who was free-diving, who I haven't seen in ages. It was nice to see him, although as it turned out, we ran into him as we were walking into the water, and with the weight of my gear weighing me down, I had to cut the chit chat short.

Given our shortened day, we decided to do a single dive, scootering out to Beto's and hanging out there for a while, looking for macro subjects. We scootered out to the end, hung out there for a while, and then slowly worked our way back towards the shallower end. The first thing I noticed as I looked around for itty bitty critters, was that there were a lot of Diaphorodoris lirulatocauda -- not too surprising, since I have been seeing a lot of them in general lately. I also saw a couple of Aegires -- I guess it was the day for small white slugs. Over at the deep end, we also ran into a couple of young rosies. We eventually made it back to maybe halfway up the reef. There was a small band of juvenile blues hanging out there, as well as a couple of Spanish shawls and a nice Dirona. It was a sort of peachy color, which I found pretty. Eventually it came to be that time of the dive where we had to wrap things up and head in. As Rob was stowing his camera, I was scanning the reef and did a double take as I came across a warbonnet sitting out in the open. I didn't want to make any sudden light movements that would scare it, but at the same time, I wanted to get Rob's attention. Eventually I did, and we agreed to push the bottom time an extra 5 minutes. He whipped out his camera and took some shots. After 5 minutes, we really needed to go, so Rob sadly stowed his camera and we headed in. I could tell he could have spent a lot more time with the warbonnet.

The ride in was pretty uneventful, but the viz got bad from 30 or so feet in, and got really bad around 20 feet. We were scooting along, expecting to see the worm patch, when we hit the rock just south of it. We paused there, both mentally scratching our heads, and then Rob continued in. We came out to the east edge of the kelp, which we usually follow in when we scooter in the whole way. I stopped Rob, and told him I wanted to go back out for our deco -- getting knocked around in the surge, with 2 foot viz was making me queasy. So Rob told me to lead, and I led us back out, again missing the worm patch, but hit the sand channel. Then as I was about to shoot a bag, I realized the worm patch was right behind Rob! So we swam over to it, shot a bag, and ascended to 20 feet and switch to O2. Then we had a brief wetnotes discussion of what deco to do, since we had extended our bottom time. We settled on the very round number of 14 minutes, and the rest of the deco was uneventful, except that I really had to pee. We played wetnotes hangman to try to take my mind off of it. The 6 minute ascent was also good for that. 130 feet, 93 minutes, 50 degrees

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