It's about diving. And cats.

Me diving

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Ad Hoc Big Sur

John arranged another pickup tech boat for Saturday. The forecast was looking good, so we were hoping to get to Yankee Point. I suggested Dos Gatos, since it is good fun for scooter divers and non-scooter divers alike. And has depths from like 90 feet to 200+ feet. So that was plan A. However, the forecast was looking quite awesome, so there was some hope of going further south... maybe to Midway Pinnacle? Jim referred to this as "plan B", but I thought it was more like plan A+. We headed down to Yankee Point and conditions were in fact sweet. So we kept on motoring toward Point Sur. Eventually we were down near the Point, when John emerged from the wheelhouse, and announced the "bad news" that we would not be diving at Midway Pinnacle, because we were instead heading to Sur 19. Woohoo. Since it was a rather full boat (4 teams), we split up into two shifts of diving. We were in the first shift.

A downline was deployed and we hopped into the water. The two teams were Team Kitty and Beto and Sue. When Beto jumped in, he found a significant leak in his suit, and decided to punt the dive. So Susan joined us. After that was sorted out, we scootered over to the downline. I noticed a bit of a current... had to really crank down on the gas to get to the downline. Susan schooled us with her Gavin (I can just hear Rob making a derogatory comment about how X-scooters are slower than Gavins, and Kevin denying it). We headed down the line, into the current. The water was pretty green on the way down. When we got to the bottom, it was dark but the viz was good. The darkness was actually a bit disorienting, since I have only dived the site in light before. There was a decent current on the bottom, though some areas had protection (and some were quite exciting!). We found a wolf eel, and right next to it, a juvenile yelloweye. I was quite excited by the yelloweye, though Kevin tried to push me (or my light anyway) out of the way to get some video of the wolf eel. Pffft. We ended up seeing a couple more juvenile yelloweyes throughout the dive.

Rob had been instructed to take vertical pictures of the hydrocoral, since I have been wanting to replace some of the prints in our living room. He was a good boy and took several good verticals :) Posing for him was quite a pain with the current, so I eventually gave up on that, and decided to just enjoy the scenery instead. Before you know it, it was time to head up. The deco was pretty uneventful until 20', when we started seeing some good critters. Out of nowhere, a tiny fish appeared right in front of me. I thought I was hallucinating at first :) What was a tiny little fish doing here in mid-water? It looked just like a tiny, 1.5 inch long, lingcod to me (though I really know nothing about juvenile lingcod, so that could have all been in my head). It was totally adorable. I signalled the others and everyone came over to take a look. So cute! Also at 20', I looked over at Susan and saw her with her hands clasped together like she'd caught a firefly. She opened her hands to show us this really strange little fluorescent (or should I say fluorescing) blue speck in the water. At first it looked like some sort of piece of plastic debris, but then we realized that it was reacting to our lights. It was really odd.

After the dive, I was a little worried about the swimming teams getting down to the site, because of the stiff current. They ended up having to be dropped twice, because they missed the line on the first drop. But they made it the second time, and after a few minutes without any bags, we surmised that they had made it down. Turns out they pulled the line on the way down, but ended up dropping close enough to find the pinnacle anyway. While they were down, we got a little knot-tying clinic from Michael and Jonathan (who was in town for the day, so he rode along on the boat). I guess Susan had asked Michael for some knot-tying lessons, and Jonathan (an eagle scout) is quite the knot-tyer too. I've always been a fan of knots, since to me, it is the nautical equivalent of craft hour :P However, I am sad to report that I think I can still only tie a bowline.

After collecting the other team, we headed back to Monterey. It was quite a long day for a little Escapade charter :)

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