It's about diving. And cats.

Me diving

Friday, December 7, 2012

Friday Night Dive

Rob and I found ourselves in the strange situation of not having any dive plans for the weekend.  I was originally lobbying for a dive at MacAbee on Saturday morning (after seeing Kenn's awesome seal encounter, I wanted to go seal hunting :P), but then Rob suggested a Friday night dive.  Then I could theoretically have the weekend to take care of all of the silly pre-holiday stuff we had to do (theoretically, if I had managed to not have a hangover on Sunday that precluded doing anything more productive than watching Gossip Girl on Netflix).  The forecast looked pretty okay to me, so I didn't really think about that.  We had to stop at Anywater to get our single tanks filled, so of course that took longer than expected, so it was after 8 when we got to the Breakwater.  The water was a bit rougher than I expected.  Still diveable, but probably the roughest that it's been when I've done a night dive.  Even Rob said something about being surprised by how big it was.

We got geared up and into the water pretty quickly.  Something strange happened to the beach at the Breakwater.  It's like all of the sand was eroded away -- the beach was gravelly, and it was really low compared to the bottom step of the stairs.  Also, there were rocks sticking up in the surf zone that I've never seen before.  Presumably this was all uncovered by the big swells the previous weekend (those big swells that didn't stop us from doing an awesome dive).  We swam out a bit, until we were in 20 or so feet of water, and then decided to just drop there.  We dropped into a small school of squid.  I don't know if school is a fair term... there were only about 5 or 6.  I guess they were following our lights as we swam out on the surface, but once we descended on them, they skedaddled.  We swam out a bit, and eventually made it to the patch where we usually meander, and started looking for critters.  We found quite a few octopus, as usual.  There were also the usual sorts of cute little fish doing cute things, including one fish that was eating some kind of worm, which was still hanging out of its mouth.  Ewww.  We also saw two little red octopus wrapped around a crab (maybe a kelp crab?) that they were eating.  It was sort of interesting and sort of gross.

But there were two really good finds of the dive.  The first was by me, and I presented it to Rob with a flourish... it was a very nice specimen of Dirona picta.  It was a very white, almost pinkish color, rather than the usual more gold specimens.  Rob was pretty excited by this find, but in the end, Rob found the best critter of the night.  He forgot to give a flourish before he pointed it out to me, but it was definitely deserving... sitting there on the sand, all by himself, out in the open... a little bull sculpin!  I don't think I've ever seen one before.  That's one cute fish; definitely a muppet fish.  Other than these two really good finds, I found some photogenic Dendronotus (frondosus, I think), and a translucent fish sporting baby face.

I eventually suggested we turn, I think because I was getting cold.  Usually it takes about 15 or 20 minutes to meander in from where we spend most of the dive, so I called turn when I figured I would be really cold in 15 minutes.  But basically as soon as we turned, we hit the slope where it goes pretty quickly from 40ish to 20ish feet.  Doh.  So as a result, the dive was unusually short.  We didn't see anything exciting on the way in today, and we surfaced to some pretty sloshy water.  But we exited uneventfully and after rinsing off and packing up, we headed to Chili's for dinner (one of the few places we know of that is open late in Monterey) and then home.


Kenn said...

Boo, my video breaks with the "&hd=1" tag.

Allison said...

Oops, I just fixed that. How strange... all of my links seem to work with that.