It's about diving. And cats.

Me diving

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Kitties with a Ball of String at Mt Chamberlin

We did a very fun dive at Mt Chamberlin, which unfortunately doesn't have any pictures or video to go with it :(  But it was sort of the nature of the dive that no pictures managed to be taken.  Two weeks earlier, while I was visiting my parents, Rob went diving with Jim and Joakim, to the Mount Chamberlin area, and I guess the downline was lost somehow.  It came detached (or maybe was never attached?) to the float on the surface.  I'm not sure when/how this happened, maybe when the line was being retrieved, but the bottom line is, they lost the ball and line, and did not manage to recover them on that dive.

So we happened to make it back down to there today, and we were hoping to recover the ball and line.  We dropped the downline at the South Wall, but we planned to head to the Annex.  I was diving with Rob, Kevin, and the one they call McNeill.  The viz was good (very good even), so we made the jump over to the annex, and were following the north side wall to the west (like we always do), and as we came around the corner at the west end, we could see a big thick line, clearly the line attached to the lost ball.  Rob and Kevin got to work with dragging the line back as they followed it back around the pinnacle to the ball.  Clown music was playing in my head as I watched.  I initially hung back, because usually when Rob and Kevin decide to do something like this, it's best to just stay back.  I did eventually have to get involved to ensure that no elephant ear sponges were harmed in the recovery of this ball.  We followed the line back around to the ball, and it was up a bit shallower, sitting in maybe 170'. 

As it turned out, it was sitting right on the flat area just in front of the swim-through that we've been having fun with on the annex lately.  Anyway, Rob and Kevin tried to lay the line out sort of flat-like, so that it wouldn't catch on anything, then attached a bag to the end and sent it up.  The idea was that the bag would go to the surface, and the ball would stay where it was.  It didn't go exactly as planned... the ball kind of rolled a bit and then got pulled down off the pinnacle to the sand channel between the annex and the main structure.  And off it went (the ball was recovered by the boat crew, but this was the last that we saw of it).  Once that was finished, we were conveniently located right at our favorite swim-through, so we headed through that.  Every time that I've gone through there, I've started on the south side (the opposite side that we were on today), and came up through the swim-through, where you land on a nice gorgonian-encrusted flat-ish area (where we found the ball).  Today we went through in the reverse direction, which is a million times cooler, because you come out of the swim-through on the side of the wall, with 50+ feet of blue water below you, so you are staring into the abyss as you come out of the swim-through.  Definitely more fun that way!  From there, we headed down the wall, and around the back side, to the east.  Just as we started to come up the structure to cut through a crack, we found a wolf eel.  After checking that out, we continued up to the top of the structure.  Jon was on a stage bottle, so we paused there so he could switch off of it.  While he was doing that, I found another wolf eel!  I was pretty excited, and wanted to show someone, but Kevin was being a good buddy, watching Jon, and well, Jon was switching bottles.  So I finally got Rob to come over and enjoy the wolfy peeping with me.

From there, we headed north over the channel, and up the ridge to K2.  We made it back to K2, did a GPO sweep (negative), and then headed up the pinnacle.  We had an uneventful (though somewhat cold) deco.  The cold water is definitely back!

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