It's about diving. And cats.

Me diving

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Mt Chamberlin South Annex

After an incredible number of dives in the bay, and not so stellar viz when we could get out of the bay, we finally had a day that had a combination of both good enough weather to go somewhere more interesting and excellent viz.  Ahh, at long last.  We went down to Mount Chamberlin, and anchored on the south wall.  The plan was to go over to the south annex, if the viz allowed, and then come back up to K2 to finish the dive.  In fact, the viz was plenty good to go over to the south annex.  It was really really good, and the water was really really blue!  Yay!

When we go to the South Annex, we usually follow along on the north side until we get to the end, then swing around to the back and end up following it up to the top pretty shortly after we get to the back (just because of timing).  We did things a little bit differently today, I think because we were on the 'breavers with 15/55, so we could go a bit deeper on the back (south) side.  So we dropped down the back earlier in the dive, and spent more of the dive on that side, working our way up.  I love the south side of the annex, the wall is just so tall and dramatically vertical; I don't know why we've been spending so much time on the north side all this time!  Aside from the thick schools of juvenile rockfish (which seem to always be there these days), there were quite a few egg yolk jellies on the back side of the wall.

I guess because we did the dive a little differently, we came further east before we came up the wall to the top of the ridge.  So, we were almost to the top, when Rob found a little hole on the south side of the wall.  We were almost to the top of the ridge, and I was pretty doubtful that it would actually connect through, so I just kept ascending.  When I got to the top, I looked down the north side, and I could see Rob's light from the other side.  It was actually a really big swim-through, on the north side.  I couldn't believe that we had never seen it before... we've been to this site so many times.  But I guess we have always come up over the top further to the west.  The swim-through was not just fun to traverse, it was also super encrusted with life... tons of Corynactis and lush gorgonians.  Super pretty and (as you can see) photogenic!

After spending probably just a bit too long there, we finally headed back to the main structure and up to K2.  I think we saw a wolf eel along the way; Rob and I were experimenting with lighting for video while on the trigger, so it's all kind of a blur.  We made it back to K2 and started our ascent, which was extremely pleasant, because it was about 60 degrees.  No, that's not a typo.  Most of the deco was 59 degrees, and very close to the surface it was a hair warmer.  It was awesome!

The dive was so nice (and warm) that we were up for a second dive.  We went to Ballbuster, because the viz in the bay was supposed to be very good too.  And it was, very good for Ballbuster, but green.  It's been a while since I've been to Ballbuster, and it just seemed kind of barren to me.  I don't know if the barnacles did that, or I imagined it, or what.  There were a bunch of egg yolk jellies there as well, and one really cute, pudgy, cabezon.  The site also seemed smaller than I remembered it, but that's probably just because the viz was good, so I could actually see more than a few feet of it at once.  After a couple of laps around and a few pictures, we thumbed it and headed back up the line into the bath water on top.

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