It's about diving. And cats.

Me diving

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Back to Twin Peaks

On Saturday, Rob and I attended a BAUE day at Point Lobos. Usually at these events, I try to dive with someone I don't normally dive with, or haven't dived with in a while. But this time, I decided to just dive with Rob. We haven't been diving together at Lobos in ages, it seems. I also haven't done a tech dive in almost two months, so I decided to ease back into it with a nice long, 3 bottle dive to Twin Peaks :) The water was so warm last weekend, I was thinking it would be a good day for a long dive. Plus everyone who was at Lobos the previous weekend reported excellent viz. It was so dreary on Friday that I was expecting rainy overcast weather on Saturday too. But when we arrived it was a clear and sunny, and the water was pretty calm, with a nice high tide. Excellent.

We had a bit of a float mishap while deploying our gear. Since the tide was so high, we put the float on the ramp and loaded it up. Then Rob swam it out. But the weight was still clipped to the float and he lost control of the float and everything sunk. Oops. Well, it was in like 10 feet of water just off the ramp, so we were pretty confident we could find it :) We got geared up and headed in. The water was nice and clear, and even if it hadn't been, I saw a little bubble coming up from one of our bottles, and that's how we found them. We recovered the ball, got our gear on, and I noticed that my stage bottle was quite bubbly at the high pressure spool. After doodling with it briefly, I decided it was fine, and we were off. We scootered out a bit, and dropped in 30 or so feet on the sand channel, and headed out. The water was warm around the sand channel, but by the time we got to the Road, my gauge was reading 48 degrees. The viz was really good though. We cruised straight out to the big peak, and kicked around for a while there.

Rob was busy taking pictures and I was just poking around looking for slugs. I didn't find much of interest, but it was still fun. I did see a juvenile yelloweye, when Rob lined me up for a picture behind an elephant ear, and he just happened to be hanging out on the back side of it. After about 20 minutes or so out there, we headed back in. There was quite a bit of current heading out along the road. We stopped along the road, about halfway back in at a big towering pinnacle, where I believe we saw a ratfish not too long ago. We stopped so Rob could take some pictures, and I kept trying to pose and getting swept away by the current. It was like the worst current I think I've ever experienced at Lobos. After getting frustrated with the current, we continued in, and stopped at a spot in about 130 feet, where we often like to slug hunt. John and Clinton scootered by just before we stopped. We were each just poking around on our own piece of reef, when Rob signaled me very excitedly. I headed over and he had found an Okenia felis (yay, I think that's the first time I've referred to it here that it's actually been the legitimate name for it!). I was super excited -- I haven't seen one in well over a year. Since Clinton and John had just passed by a minute before, we decided to go look for them. Instead we found Kevin and Charles, so we brought them back to take a look (I marked the spot with a double-ender). I'm sure Charles was like dude, wtf? I made Rob take a picture of me looking at the slug, not that you can see what it is in the picture, but I just thought it would make a cute picture.

Shortly after that, we decided to head in. Rob wanted to scooter across the sand to Beto's reef, so we headed that way. After a minute, I got a little spooked about the fact that we were over featureless sand and there was a raging current, and told him to turn right and head in. We ended up running smack-dab into the first sister. Phew. We continued in toward Lone Metridium, and when we hit the kelp, it was laying WAY over in the current. It was crazy. From there, we shot over to the kelp-sand interface along the sand channel and did our 60 and 70 foot stops there. When we got to 70 feet, there were some tense deco negotiations (as a matter of course, Rob always rejects my first proposal), so by the time that was through and Rob did his (textbook-perfect, barf) bottle rotation, I decided to wait until 60 feet to do mine. As we pulled into the 60 foot stop, Kevin and Charles came scootering by and stopped about 10 feet away. Great, an audience. What I found out later was that not only did I have an audience, but Kevin was video'ing me! So wrong! From there we headed across the sand channel and came in along middle reef. As we headed in at 30 feet, Rob told me his scooter was slowing down, so he took the lead. We made it to our 20 foot stop before it completely died, so from there were just meandered in slowly, killing the time for our stop. Eventually when we hit 20 feet laying on the bottom, we had nowhere to go, so we hung out there. I found a little juvenile vermilion to watch for a while. Rob found a lobster shell -- we were both like "no WAY!". It also made us both hungry. When that stop was over, we swam in slowly, doing a 6 minute ascent, Lobos style. We ended up at the bottom of our float for our 8 foot stop. We tried to be all cool and shoot our bottles up the line, which totally failed, because there are a bunch of knots on it that the snaps couldn't slip over. Oops.

After some lunch, Rob wanted to get back in to take Beto's new scooter for a spin, so I let the boys go have fun while I killed some time on the surface. Unfortunately it started raining in the afternoon, and by the time we got going, it was pretty ugly out. Well, at least we got a nice day of diving in!

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