It's about diving. And cats.

Me diving

Saturday, October 4, 2008

The Wheels Come Off

On Saturday, Rob and I planned to scooter out to Twin Peaks. Rob was shooting macro, so the plan was to head out there, hang out near the top of the peaks for a while and look for some little things. We hardly ever go all the way out to Twin Peaks (usually we hang out on the Road), but I guess Rob was looking for something more interesting. It had been over a month since I'd been to Lobos so I guess Rob was wanted to welcome me back with an exciting dive :P We staged our bottles and scooters on our float, and eventually geared up and headed into the water. Did I mention the water was dead calm? Not what I'd been expecting based on the swell forecast (although I hadn't checked it since Thursday).

Anyhoo, we headed into the water, and as we were surface scooting out, I noticed a little wobble in my propeller. I showed it to Rob, to see if I was imagining it or if he too thought there was a bit of a wobble. While he was playing with my scooter, I was holding his, and noticed a little kelp clingfish slithering around on his scooter. I showed it to Rob, and he took some pictures. The fish wasn't very cooperative -- he really wanted to be on the bottom (facing down) and Rob really wanted him not to be on the bottom. So I kept twirling the scooter around so he wouldn't be on the bottom, and then he would slither back to the bottom. It was very frustrating! After a while, we gave up, and Rob told me he didn't see a wobble. So we continued out, and figured I'd see if it was behaving oddly once we got going. We descended a little south of the worm patch and I led us out to the sand channel. Then, we headed out on the sand channel. My scooter was working fine, I was a little faster than Rob as usual. So I sort of forgot about it. The viz was pretty good on the surface scoot out (we could see the bottom the whole way out), but the horizontal viz was a little worse once we dropped. It was clearing up, however, and seemed to get quite a bit better as we rounded Hole in the Wall.

I always cut through the little kelp patch just north of HITW, but south of the next rock. As we were scooting through it, I got a piece of kelp wrapped around my light head. So I stopped to detangle, and Rob stopped next to me. Once I detangled, I gave him the okay and we both hit our triggers. But I didn't go anywhere. I looked down to see if there was kelp in the prop or something, and there was no prop! It was a bit of a shock to look down and just see the shiny washers and such that sit under the prop. I quickly signaled Rob and showed it to him. It probably would have been funny to see the looks on our faces as we each looked at the scooter and saw no prop. We looked around on the bottom and then decided we'd need to search a little for it, but I didn't want to forget where I was when I lost it. So we got out a spool and did a little search pattern. We found it right away. I clipped off my scooter and Rob towed me in. In the past when I have been towed, I always need to hop out of the tow every 20 or so vertical feet to vent my suit and wing. But I finally managed to get it to work while being towed this time. So I guess it wasn't a complete waste of a dive. 65 feet, 23 minutes, 53 degrees

We ascended at around 30 feet on the sand channel. On the surface, we ran into Matt and Kenn and team, and also Beto and Susan. Everyone found the prop in my hand somewhat amusing :) We headed back to the ramp, and after a little bottle swapping and scooter retrieval, we headed back out to do a dive on Middle Reef. We scooted out to the end (Rob towed me), and then kicked around at the end and then back up on the east side. Rob visited his pet warbonnet, who lives at the end of Middle Reef (in a pretty well hidden spot). I was looking at the reef, when a snail came raining down in front of me. My first thought was that another diver kicked it off the reef, so I looked up to see if there were divers above me, and I saw a harbor seal with a mischievous look on his face :) Then he disappeared over the top of the reef. I eventually headed up to the top of the reef, where I saw him swimming around, but then he disappeared again. Then we headed over the top of the reef and eventually down the side on the east side, and meandered in along there. I didn't see anything particularly interesting. Eventually I was really cold and had to pee (I stayed in the water when we returned to the ramp, so I was in the water for a pretty long time), so I called it early. We scooted in to about the worm patch and ascended there. Not exactly the dive we had planned, but better than nothing. 62 feet, 60 minutes, 53 degrees


Don C. said...

Had hear the terrible scooter new. Poor scooter. What was the cause?

Rob said...

user error :-)

/ducks for cover...