It's about diving. And cats.

Me diving

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Cold, Murky Diving

On Saturday we were on the Escapade for some recreational diving with some out of town divers that Clinton was entertaining. The swell forecast was looking pretty good, so we were hoping to get somewhere down the coast. Rob originally had his camera packed for macro, but repacked it for wide angle at the last minute. We were in fact able to make it quite far south, and headed to Lobos Rocks. When we got there, we found quite a lot of whitewater between the rocks and decided it wasn't the dive site for us. So we headed just a teeny bit further south to the Soberanes wash rock (or so I was told... I saw no wash rock, apparently because of high tide). I guess we anchored on a different spot than usual to avoid the boat being blown into the rocks, but since I've never dived the site before, it made no difference to me!

We headed down the line to fine conditions that were clearly more macro-friendly :) It was green, dark, and chunky. Oh well. It was surgy too (though that was largely in sets) so not perfect macro conditions either I guess. We dropped on a ridge running north to south from about 50 feet down to over 100 feet. We headed south first, and when we got to the south tip, we turned and headed back north. Not too far from the south tip, at about 100 feet, I found a mystery yellow mollusc. It looked like a yellow with fairly large black splotches all along the edge, but it had a small shell-looking thing with a hole in the center. I thought it looked like a limpet with a tiny shell and huge foot. Rob thought it looked like a shelled nudibranch. We eventually saw another one not too far from the first one, but a bit shallower. That was the only unusual siting. Other than that, it was a lingcod here, a cabezon there, etc. There were a few metridium as well. Apparently there is a little wall covered in metridium somewhere at the site, but we did not see it. Overall it was just a murky, cold (not on the gauge, but cold to me) dive. Rob was so unexcited by the conditions that he didn't even unstow his camera at all during the dive.

When we got to the surface it seemed a bit sloshier than it had when we went down. After collecting all of the divers, we headed up to Carmel and decided to go to Outer Pinnacles for the second dive. Rob made me lead, so we stayed pretty close to the anchor :) To me, what I saw when I got down the line did not really correspond at all to what Jim had shown me on the bathy map on the boat. So I just picked a nice looking direction and headed that way. We very quickly found a little crack with hydrocoral where we had been before. Rob took a bunch of pictures and then signaled me to pose above the crack, in exactly the position that I knew I had posed before :) After a little (cold) while, we continued on past the crack and turned left to find a little "room" with sand on the bottom and walls on three sides. I looked under the overhang at the bottom of the walls, but didn't see anything very interesting. After that I turned us around and figured we could head back to the anchor and past it in the other direction to see what was there. Just past the anchor, we found a really narrow (3 to 4 feet) channel running from between two walls from about 60 feet to 90 feet. At this point I was very cold, and thinking of thumbing the dive. But Rob wanted to scooter through the channel, so I said okay. I was going to wait for him above the wall, but it looked pretty fun, so I followed him down. I came out the end and Rob said "let's go again". So we scooted back up the other way. After that, we headed back to the line and began our ascent. I saw a sea lion zipping around on the ascent, but I think Rob missed him.

The trip home was a little rocky from Cypress Point to Point Pinos. There was gear sliding all over the deck, but nothing (that we know of) went into the ocean :)

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