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Me diving

Saturday, June 6, 2015

A Little Green at Sur 19

Photo by Robert Lee
After what seemed like a long dry spell (though I suppose Eric's Pinnacle does technically count as diving, if you ask anyone other than Rob), I was back on a BAUE tech boat on Saturday, armed with a new set of wrist and neck seals after the dreaded neck seal crack on the last trip.  And to greet my triumphant return to diving, we had nice weather.  Nice enough to make it down to Big Sur!  Woohoo!  We had to make the tough decision of where to dive... Sur 19 or Sur 20.  As frequently happens on these trips, we end up at Sur 19 based on the following logic.  Someone on the boat has never been to Sur 19.  Everyone else on the boat agrees that if you have never seen either site, you must go to Sur 19.  Hence, we never seem to go to Sur 20.  But I can live with that :)  Today, we had Paul and Christophe along, who had not been to Sur 19.

Photo by Robert Lee
We got there to find not much current, pretty clear water, but it was a bit green.  I would definitely call it very good viz, but just a bit green, and after being spoiled by insanely clear blue water on a lot of dives at Big Sur, well it wasn't that :P  Viz reports from the previous weekend had been pretty bad, so I can't say I was too surprised by the green water, and was actually glad it was clear green water, as opposed to the other options.  The water was also plenty cold.  The site was, as usual, beautiful and full of big heads of hydrocoral.  It was not the fishiest day ever for Sur 19.

Photo by Clinton Bauder
One thing that I found super odd about the dive was that we saw an unusual number of vase sponges.  There have definitely always been a vase sponge here or that at the bottom of the pinnacle.  But we saw a big cluster of them, somewhat smaller, and further up the side of the pinnacle.  I have no idea how quickly they grow, but I always assumed they were slow growing, so the fact that they could appear there, out of nowhere, was pretty surprising.  Clinton also noted the strangeness of this, and got a picture to document it!

Photo by Robert Lee
The stories of bad viz from the previous weekend included reports of tons of different jelly critters in the water.  I think Gary used the term "jelly soup" to describe it.  So I was hoping we'd get to deco in jelly soup, since I do enjoy some deco-time jelly peeping, but the soup never really materialized.

Photo by Robert Lee
When we surfaced, there was an albatross circling.  I thought this was pretty cool, and starting yelling "albatross, albatross!" through my loop to Rob, so he could get a shot.  You may find it surprising that he was not able to understand me.  Finally I yelled "ROB!" though my loop and that one he got.  Then I flailed at the bird, and he caught on.  The boat was heading toward us, but we waved them off so Rob could try to take some pictures.  Of course as soon as the camera came out, the bird landed on the water right next to us.  He briefly got into a squabble with Kevin's bag, but they eventually worked it out.  Rob did manage to get some pictures, but not while he was in flight (the bird, not Rob).

Photo by Robert Lee
After the dive, I was very happy to find that Paul and Christophe thought the dive was amazing.  We've occasionally taken new-to-Big-Sur divers (you know who you are!) there and they were kind of like "eh" after the dive.  What the heck?

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