It's about diving. And cats.

Me diving

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Rec Charter on the Escapade

On Sunday we were on the Escapade for an open charter.  This was interesting, because I am pretty sure we have literally never been on the Escapade for an open charter before.  Weird.  But we wanted to get our friend Tom back in the water, after our successful dives at Lobos in March.  And we thought it would be fun to get him on a boat this time.  So sometime during the week, when we realized we had no real plans for the weekend, Rob had the brilliant idea to see if the Escapade had an open charter, and if Tom wanted to go diving.  Everything worked out perfectly, with an AOW class scheduled on the boat, and some extra spots available.

The conditions were not good enough to make it to Carmel, and I guess it was a bit windy out by Ballbuster, but it was actually pretty nice and comfortable closer in in the bay.  For the first dive, we went to Aumentos.  We were pretty much geared up and ready to jump in as soon as the anchor was dropped, since we didn't want to do a nice long dive, and leave a bunch of people on the boat in wetsuits, freezing waiting for us.  We got into the water and found it was pretty green, with what I would call typical bay viz (20 feet, maybe?).  But it wasn't dark or scary or anything, and Tom seemed like he was having a good time.  We swam out and back along the pinnacle (ridge?) that we dropped on for the first roughly 20 minutes, and then we continued past the anchor line along the same ridge, but in the other direction.  During the first portion of the dive, I was kind of unimpressed with what we saw.  It seemed like there was a lot of barren, barnacle-encrusted rock.  It just wasn't that colorful.  But eventually, right near the end of our second jaunt out from the anchor line (right before we turned, for the second time), we found a super colorful little wall.  There were metridiums, and the wall was just insanely encrusted with corynactis and various colors of sponges.  I regretted that it took us so long to find the "good" spot.  Tom was definitely impressed with this part of the dive.  One other nice find that I made on the dive was a cabezon, which I don't think Tom had seen before.

For the second dive, we headed to Rob's favorite dive site, Eric's Pinnacle.  Rob always claims that he has never been to Eric's Pinnacle (even though I think he's been there twice), and on that basis, he refuses to dive it.  So today he finally dived it for the (third) "first" time :P.  I, on the other hand, had just dived it three weeks ago :P  Tom was going to lead the dive.  I had some ear troubles that slowed me down on the descent, and somehow, when I got to the bottom, Rob was leading.  I wasn't sure what had happened, but I guess Tom wasn't sure where to go, so he handed the lead off to Rob.  It was quite dark down there, compared to Aumentos.  We circled the pinnacle, clockwise, and at some point, where there are the little mini pinnacles with metridium, we headed off of the main pinnacle, and explored some outlying areas, actually probably further than I've gone off of the main pinnacle before.  There were a lot of hermissendas on the dive.  (I noticed a few on the first dive, but quite a few more on this one.  Guess they're in bloom.)  Eventually we headed back to the main pinnacle, and continued our circumnavigation, coming up shallower along the pinnacle as we went, then coming up the anchor line.  When we got back on the boat, I demonstrated proper donut-eating protocols to Tom.

After we got back to the dock, we headed to La Tortuga for lunch (because we lack imagination).  We ran into a couple of our BAUE pals there, and joined them for lunch.  Diving with Tom is always fun, and listening to the diving tales he tells at work on Monday is even more fun :)

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