It's about diving. And cats.

Me diving

Saturday, November 23, 2013

A Nice Day in Big Sur

With Rob finally back from his big unemployment vacation, Team Kitty was on the Escapade for a tech charter.  As the weekend approached, the forecast was looking very good, but after our last epic fail attempt at Big Sur, I was not counting my chickens.  I was just hoping for a good dive at least as far south as Yankee Point :)  We did end up making it down to Big Sur, where we found much nicer conditions than last time (no whitecaps), as well as bright sunny blue skies that would hopefully mean bright water at the bottom.  Unfortunately we could not return to Sur D to try to retrieve our lost ball, since its depth wasn't appropriate for some of the divers on the boat, so we went to Sur 19 instead.  (I'm not sure if it's legal to say "unfortunately" and "we went to Sur 19" in the same sentence.)

Our team was the first in the water, and there was practically no surface current.  Once I realized that, I was just kind of bobbing on the surface, waiting for Rob and Kevin to join me at the ball.  Ahh, perfect Big Sur conditions.  We headed down the line, which was pretty limp for the first 90 or so feet, and then it flattened out, with a bit of a current just on top of the pinnacle.  It was nothing too substantial -- we spent most of the dive video'ing and taking pictures without the aid of our scooters, though at the end of the dive the current picked up to the point where I was using my scooter to position myself to pose in pictures (though Rob was still kicking to take pictures, but he's harder core than me).  But enough about the current.  The viz was excellent!  On the way down the line, I could see the whole site below me, and when we got to the bottom, we were greeted with very bright clear water.

Aside from the usual ginormous heads of pink and purple hydrocoral, there was the ever-present school of blue rockfish, though it wasn't particularly big today.  There were also a decent number of young rockfish, most of which were also blues, I think.  We found a mass of kelp greenling eggs on one head of hydrocoral, and elsewhere I found a kelp greenling that was acting territorial, though I couldn't find any nearby eggs.  Rob got some nice pictures and I got some pretty good video (pat self on back), so I will let those tell the rest of the story about the awesome conditions on the bottom!

On the ascent, we met a few playful sea lions who buzzed us several times.  This was fun, but it was just getting us prepared for dive 2, which was at Lobos Rocks.  Woohoo.  The wind was out of the south by the time we got up there, which made it difficult to anchor the boat on the south side, so we ended up liveboating, sort of.  When we got in the water, a bit further south of the pinnacles than usual, I looked down the kelp from the surface, and I could see a loooong way.  It looked like viz was going to be excellent here to.

We headed over to whether the sea lions like to zoom about on the west rock, and were playing with them for a while.  It was quite calm, even at 10 to 15 feet, which is where I was for the first 15 or so minutes, videoing and just generally watching the sea lions zoom around.  Eventually I noticed Rob and going a bit deeper, I figured to look for some green anemones to shoot, but I wanted to stay up with the sea lions, so I did not follow.  I assumed he would come back up to the shallows before moving on. But then after a minute or so, I realized that he was no longer down there, and he was just nowhere in sight.  At this point, Clinton and John had appeared, and were taking pictures and hanging out on the same ledge where I was watching the sea lions.  I asked them if I could hang out with them until my team re-appeared.

I pretty much went on with my dive for 5 or so minutes, but then when the kitties still had not returned, I figured I should go to the surface, since they might be there looking for me.  So I scootered south, away from the pinnacle (didn't want to surface in the whitewater) and surfaced.  I immediately saw Rob's bag, and saw that the boat was communicating with Rob and Kevin.  I guess they had been on the surface long enough that the boat was looking for me.  Oops.  So we met back up,  but I decided to thumb the dive, since I was at that point (20+ minutes at 10-15 feet) feeling a little bit seasick :)  I can never last more than 20 minutes that shallow at Lobos Rocks!  So I returned to the boat, and Rob and Kevin dropped back down for a bit longer.

Eventually everyone finished their dives, and we picked them up, and headed home.  The ride home was uneventful... no orcas :(

No comments: