It's about diving. And cats.

Me diving

Sunday, December 18, 2011


Sunday we were on the Escapade, diving with Kevin.  Even though the forecast had originally looked best for Sunday, in the end there was a pretty big swell.  But it was very long period, and there was very little wind, so it was a pretty comfortable ride.  The breakers near Point Pinos were pretty impressive, however.  On the way down, somewhere between Pinos and Cypress Point, we encountered whales.  There were orcas!  I've never seen orcas before, so I was pretty excited.  In fact, this was the best part of the day (which probably spoils the rest of this report :P).  We eventually made it down to Yankee Point, and after some discussion, we decided to go to K2.  I was recently looking at a picture from a previous dive near K2 of this super cool crack/canyon that we found.  So I wanted to try to find that again (though we have tried on other occasions, and not yet made it back).  So this was the plan -- head north and try to find that spot.  That area is always pretty cool, even aside from that exact spot.

We dropped in and found not so good viz, and a wee bit of surge.  Actually there was an insane amount of surge near the top of the pinnacle -- gotta love that long period swell.  There was the usual school of blue rockfish at the top of the pinnacle, but we pretty much just headed past them and down the east side wall.  I couldn't believe how much the viz had deteriorated since Friday!  It was green and quite crappy today.  We headed north, and well, I was just following Rob.  At some point I realized that I really didn't know where we were.  We headed out and then at some point turned around and I thought we would be in the sand channel to the east of K2.  But I quickly established (based on depth, etc.) that that's not where we were :)  We eventually ended up in an area that was much deeper than we usually end up when we dive the north side of K2 -- the bottom was at least 230 feet.  I guess we were further west than usual (though I didn't put this together during the dive).

I saw two things of note on this dive.  First, I saw a basket star -- pretty standard for the north side of K2 :)  It was on a gorgonion that was fluttering in the surge.  Poor little basket star looked like he was having a wild ride.  Later when we were in the deep are, we saw *the* cool critter of the dive.  Rob signaled me and I looked up to see a BIG mola.  It was like a diver-sized mola (in length... Rob pointed out he doesn't know any divers shaped like that).  It was definitely the biggest mola I've seen underwater, though I've seen one about that size on the surface before.  Sadly, it had a chunk missing from its bottom fin.  However, it was still able to swim, so maybe there is hope for him.  It was so dark and green that I didn't even bother trying to get any video of it (and Rob didn't bother trying to get a picture).  In hindsight, I'm not sure why... it was a cool siting, even crappy evidence would have been better than none!

We eventually attempted to head to a shallow area, and ended up spending like 10 minutes trying to find the peak.  We came to a spot topping in about 140 feet, and hung out there for a bit, then went off looking for the peak.  We gave up and came back to the same spot.  Then after a few more minutes, I suggested we start our ascent (early, because that little barren peak was pretty boring).  Rob suggested looking around for just another minute, and this time he got it right, and we found the peak.  As we approached it, we realized it was surgy as hell, and decided to keep our distance from the reef.  Other teams apparently did not have such a realization until they ended up tasting rock :P  From a safe distance from the reef, Kevin put up the bag and we started our ascent.  The deco was pretty uneventful.

On the ride back, not too far from Point Pinos, we encountered more whales -- greys this time.  We spent a while watching them; we had some pretty near-boat encounters.  After they lost interest in us, we headed home.

Even though both Rob and Clinton were on the boat, neither took a single picture.  I guess that says a lot about the quality of the dive!

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