It's about diving. And cats.

Me diving

Saturday, April 28, 2007

I Passed Fundies, Woohoo!

I had my checkout dive for GUE Fundamentals (which I blogged heavily about in February) today. The conditions were pretty bad at the Breakwater -- vis was around 5 feet, it was surgy and there was even some current (odd). Anyhoo, I did the checkout in a single tank, which most of my buddies think is lame. I haven't been in a single tank in over a month, so I was a little worried I would be spazzy. Rob tried to get me to do a practice dive last weekend in a single tank, but I got cold on the first dive so it just didn't happen. The original plan was to do a practice dive with Rob first, and then do a second dive with Beto. But when we got down there, Beto asked if I wanted to go first, and since I wanted to get it over with, I agreed. In the original class, I did everything except the out of gas ascent. So I figured I would have to do a bunch of ascents and S-drills, and then an out of gas ascent. I also thought it was likely I would have to shoot a bag, since I thought my fundies bag shoot was pretty lame. Beto went over what he wanted me to do, and it was basically those things plus a valve drill and demonstrating the various kicks.

So, for the "first dive" we dropped down in craptastic vis and did a 3 minute descent to 30 feet. Then I swam along the lovely diamond that Susan had laid out, alternating between the four fin kicks. Then I demonstrated my back kick, which was excellent. After a few weeks of back kicking in doubles, I can really move in a single tank. Next, I was supposed to do a valve drill. (All of the valve drills I did in the original class went fine. I chalked up the request to do a valve drill to some form of hazing -- I hate single tank valve drills, it's scary to turn your only valve off!) But I couldn't reach my valve! I guess I made some adjustments to my plate for the doubles, plus I could not really remember where I usually mount my plate on a single tank, so the valve was just a bit beyond my reach. In hindsight, I should have realized this during my mod valve drill, when it was pretty hard to reach the valve. Next we each did an S-drill. They were pretty uneventful, except when I finished mine, I realized I had not moved my light cord while stowing my long hose, so my light cord was trapped. Rob pointed this out to me. Also, when Rob was donating to me, he didn't go into touch contact and when I tried to signal this to him, he gave me the "what on Earth are you trying to tell me?" look. I forgot that I was supposed to hold the long hose in a loop when he is on my right. I think I might not have ever done a S-drill where I was the out-of-air one and we exited with me on the left. So I forgot who was supposed to manage the hose and how. Oh well, now I won't forget it again! After that, we headed back to the down line to do an ascent. It was crowded there (Susan and Dionna were drilling, and so were Harry, Greg and Todd), so we headed over to a nice kelp stalk and followed that up. The kelp ended around 15 or 17 feet. So we did our 10 foot stop with no reference, but it went fine. In the debrief for this dive, Beto told me the valve drill was not strictly necessary for the checkout, since I had successfully demonstrated it several times before.

For the "second dive", we went down, moved away from the line, and then I was to shoot a bag and we would ascent it, with a 1 minute stop every 10 feet. I could not inflate my bag. I often have trouble inflating it, and now I am wondering if I have ever been able to inflate it in cold water... I remember doing it in the pool several times, but can't remember doing it in cold water. So, I kept trying and couldn't, then Rob put a little air in it (since the first little bit is the hardest), and I still couldn't. Finally, Beto got out his bag. It has a different inflator mechanism (and a blue H on the side) and I had no trouble inflating it at all. The ascent went smoothly (Rob was deco captain), but man is it a pain to reel in the spool! When we got too the surface, we found the bag less than half inflated. I guess my one breath was pretty puny.

For the "third dive", we descended, moved off the line, and did an S drill (I was donating). Then we were going to do an out of gas ascent. The line was crowded again, and we couldn't find the kelp stalk. Actually, I knew where it was, but Rob and Beto were gesticulating wildly about doing an ascent without a reference line, so I just went with it. I guess that is what Rob means when he says I am not assertive enough in the water :) The ascent went pretty well. I got a leg cramp around the 10 foot stop, so I couldn't lower my leg to get the air out. So I had to use my back to force my legs down, which was pretty uncomfortable. I don't know why I've been getting leg cramps recently (last weekend, essentially the exact same thing happened on our 10 foot stop, except I was in doubles, so my back hurt even more afterwards). But Rob tells me that eating bananas before a dive will prevent leg cramps. Hmmm, sounds like an old wives' tale. On the surface, Beto told me I was checked off!

After we were officially excused from the "class" (and I got a round of applause for passing :P), we descended and I tried to shoot my bag again. Still no luck. Then Rob took the bag and inflated it just fine. I guess my lips are just defective. We were going to head towards the wall and then follow that in, but we were by this point in 15 feet of water, and I figured in these conditions we weren't going to see anything on the wall so shallow. Plus my crampy leg was still bothering me. So we ascended and swam in on the surface. Since the conditions were bad, I had no interest in a second dive. So we hung around for a while until everyone else was out of the water, and I worked on my tan (yea right, I am red like a candy apple!).

We eventually headed back to Any Water Sports, and reviewed the tape. Overall, it looked better than I expected. My flutter kick was better than expected, since I know I usually drop my knees when I am doing it (and Rob tells me he has seen the little plumes of silt to prove it). But on the tape, it was pretty good -- I guess now I know that if I really try, I can do it right. And my trim was really good... on the bottom. Several times on the ascents, I brought my upper body up to vent my drysuit and my trim was not very impressive. Now that I have seen just how far up I am going, I know it's not necessary. But it is hard to tell until you see it on film.

We also watched some video of Harry, Greg, and Todd practicing skills for their Tech 1 class. Watching the video and Beto's commentary was very useful, especially with regards to team positioning on a line. Oh, and while we were at Any Water, I bought a new bag (the same one Beto has). Afterwards we went to a little burrito place near Any Water (whose name escapes me), which I had never been to. It's good to find a good burrito place right there, since we end up over there so often!

I felt bad for leaving the kitties home alone all day (we didn't get home until after 8), so I tried to win back their love with some wet food. Here they are, sharing the bowl. But tomorrow I can make up for it with some kitty quality time. Rob is going diving with Dionna but I think I am going to stay home.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Pepper's Dive Training

Pepper has decided she wants to learn to dive, so she's been going through Rob's rigorous training program. First, she had to learn to manipulate bolt snaps. She showed a real affinity to bolt snaps, she loves to grab them when we aren't looking and run off and play with them. They're like little metal mice.

Next, she did a little line clinic with Rob. As a professional cat, she's always loved line of all sorts (rope, yarn, cave line). So she came into it with a lot of enthusiasm. The biggest challenge was that she had to learn not to eat the line... you can't very well follow your path back out of an overhead environment if you've chewed through your line! In the picture at right, she's pulling a tie for Rob, great team work!

She's still mulling her options for gear, but she's pretty sure she wants double Aluminum 6's for tanks. And she definitely wants a pink harness to match her collar.

Now she just has to overcome her fear of water!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Lobos, Again

We went diving at Lobos today, with Clinton and Anibal. When we first got there, we saw a coyote messing with a baby seal on the beach in Whaler's Cove. We don't know if the seal was already dead, or the coyote was attacking it. It was pretty gross, but interesting. The coyote got spooked and took off east across the beach. After he ran by at least 10 seals (adults and babies) slithered very quickly into the water, I guess they were afraid of him.

There were tons of seals in the cove. On the way out on the surface, there was a mother seal with a baby that kept appearing near us. They were adorable, they kept rubbing their faces against each other like they were nuzzling. The baby was totally cute, I want a pet baby seal. We planned to head to Three Sisters, but we seem to be cursed in some way that precludes us from ever actually making it back there. We headed out that way, past Hole in the Wall, the Lone Metridium, and Cannery Point Wall. We spent a bunch of time on the way out taking pictures of hydrocoral (Rob and Clinton took the pictures, Anibal and I were just hanging). I saw a beautiful Hilton's nudibranch, the biggest one I've seen. It was one of the prettiest nudibranchs I have ever seen. I also saw some other mystery nudibranch/flatworm which I will have to research. Other than that, it was pretty much the usual suspects. Saw a variety of rockfish (a China, I think, and several vermillion and copper). At some point, I pointed out to Rob that there were small blue rockfish all around us in the open water. It was very pretty. The vis was pretty standard for that area of Lobos -- probably around 25, but not chunky at all. It was also quite bright, so the water was a nice shade of teal.

By about 40 minutes into the dive, I was freezing, and I thought it was pretty unlikely we were going to make it to the Three Sisters before I got freezinger and had to turn the dive. Meanwhile, we were not really sure how much further it was to get out there (Anibal usually takes a different route there). Since at least one other person (I don't really remember who) also was very cold, we turned the dive there. So no sisters for us today :( On the way back in, we entered a very dark area -- it got dark very suddenly. We were in a lush kelp forest, when I looked up I could see that the kelp on the surface was like a canopy and letting barely any light in except for the occasional very bright ray of light filtering through. It was awesome, swimming into a dark forest like that. On the way in, we saw Dionna and Mark scootering along in the sand channel. Actually Rob started to swim towards them because he momentarily thought they were Clinton and Anibal -- too many doubles in the water today.

When we got back to the ramp, Rob and I went down to look for the monkey-faced eel. While I was still working on deploying my light, Rob signalled me that he had found him. Woohoo! We checked him out for a few minutes, and Rob fed him some seaweed. I tried to, but from my position I just could not quite reach (without planting my tank valves in the rock above him). Rob got some pictures (see above). 67 ft max, 41 ft avg, 75 minutes, 48 degrees (brrr)

The tide was quite low today, not the lowest I've seen at the ramp, but maybe tied for second. Luckily, the ramp was just pressure washed this past week. So it was not slippery at all on the walk down it. Then Rob started to walk down the drop off (which was slippery), and he fell! He made the mistake of putting his hand down to catch himself so he fell on his wrist :( If he had worse situational awareness, like me, he would have been completely caught by surprise and would have just fallen on his butt/tanks. That is definitely the preferred way to fall on the Lobos ramp, as I recently found out. Anyhoo, after he fell, I stood there like a doe in the headlights (well, I asked several times if he was okay), until Mark helped him up. He sort of walked him into the water and then did the same for me. I walked down the dropoff a little and then just sort of flopped in -- kind of fun. I told Rob now we are even, we've both fallen once. Getting out was equally unfun, but luckily Dionna was loitering in her drysuit and gave me a hand up past the slippery part.

I had a bit of a leak in my drysuit, so I was pretty chilly. Not a leak really, but some water seeped in the neck. Just when I was thinking I was really getting cold, I turned my head to make sure Anibal was still there, and I felt a huge trickle of water down my neck. Brrr. So I passed on a second dive, since I was still pretty chilly afterwards. Rob and Clinton went back out, but it was a pretty short dive due to "dry"suit problems.

Yesterday, Rob went scootering with Ben at the breakwater. He saw some cool stuff, so I feel compelled to report it, even though it isn't my dive to report. First, he saw his new pet fringehead, on the way out to the barge, in exactly the same place he found him last time. Clinton says that there was a sarcastic fringehead pretty consistently in that same pipe a few years ago... wonder if it's the same one or a new guy took up his residence. Second, he found an orange Metridium. I found one once before, last summer. At the time (right after the dive), I swore I could take us back to it, but about a day later I realized that probably was not as easy to do as I thought. So I haven't made a serious attempt to find it since. Rob claims he can take us back to this once, but we'll see :) He also saw tons of rainbow nudibranchs, and a sea otter underwater (his first U/W sea otter, but I'm not jealous since I've already seen one).

Monday, April 16, 2007

Lobos, Above and Below

We met up with Jonathan to do a little scootering at Lobos. He had Kevin and Ben's scooters for Rob and I to borrow. I've never scootered before (well, I played with Dionna's for like one minute in the pool before). So Jonathan gave us a little briefing on how to use them, and we got in the water. The water was a bit rough looking outside of the cove. Actually, on the drive down, I couldn't believe how rough Monastery looked (well, I could believe it, but it was probably the worst I've seen). We scooted out on the surface a little ways and then dropped down. We swam until we hit a sandy clearing and then we switched to the scooters. The plan was to scoot out to Three Sisters, then Beto's Reef, then Granite Point Pinnacles. In hindsight, that was a pretty ambitious first scooter dive. I was having a lot of trouble with the scooter wanting to pull me up. I knew this was somehow related to tow cord length (in fact it was because the cord was too long), but no matter how I adjusted it, it still seemed to happen. I also kept forgetting that you don't have to kick when using a scooter :) Anyhoo, the visibility was terrible. It was quite surgy, and darting through the kelp was both neat and difficult. It was very difficult to keep track of two other people while also concentrating on maintaining depth, avoiding the kelp, etc. At some point, Jonathan stopped and signalled to me... "where' s #3?" I turned around and realized Rob wasn't there! I am such a bad buddy! But we could see Rob flashing his light at us and a few second later he appeared. At this point, I decided I just couldn't keep track of the team in these conditions, so I called the dive. Boohoo. When we surfaced, the conditions totally sucked. It was so choppy, I didn't want to take my regulator out of my mouth. I was glad I had a scooter to get me back into the cove quickly. Swimming would have been unpleasant. I told Rob and Jonathan they should feel free to go back out without me, but they decided not to. 42 ft, 19 minutes (haha), 48 degrees

We met Cheng and Dow-Jane later on at Lobos to go for a little hike. First, we watched the baby seals at the south end of Whaler's Cove. There were several of them basking on the beach with their moms, and a few were even getting swimming lessons. It was so cute to watch the babies shimmy up the beach... they definitely weren't as graceful about it as the adults. Then we took Cabin Trail to North Shore Trail, and took that all the way to the end. We saw some really big waves breaking in some of the coves along the way. It was really windy along the coast, but nice and warm on the inland parts of the trail. Then we took Sea Lion Point trail (and saw some sea otters in Headland Cove) and looped back on Sand Hill Trail. Since it was so windy on the coast, we decided to take Whaler's Knoll Trail, an inland trail, back. Unfortunately I took the wrong branch at some point and ended up heading towards Pine Ridge Trail. When we hit the road, we just walked back to Whaler's Cove along the road. I decided last week that I have a goal of hiking all the trails at Lobos (which isn't really a lot). Unfortunately, I've actually hiked all of the trail that we covered on this hike, so I am no closer to my goal. Actually, I have never hiked the section of Pine Ridge Trail that we got lost on, so I guess that's something :)

Afterwards, we went over to Fisherman's Wharf and walked around there, and then got something to eat. We came home and capped off the day with a little kitty play. Oreo was being shy, though, so she hid from Cheng and Dow-Jane the whole time! Pepper had a lot of fun with them though.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

The Barge

On Saturday, we met up with Suzanne, Ted and Kevin at the Breakwater. First, Rob, Suzanne and I did a quick skills dive (boring). We did some valve drills, S-drills, shot a bag, and did a 6 minute ascent. I couldn't reach my isolator, because my tanks were tilting to the left. Boohoo. So after that dive, I adjusted my harness, and things were better on the second dive. By the time we got out of the water, Ted and Kevin had arrived. 35 ft, 30 minutes, 50 degrees

For the second dive, we went out to the barge. Rob and I had never been there before. Rob and Suzanne teamed up, and Ted, Kevin and I were the second team. We dropped pretty far out along the wall and swam out until Kevin pointed out the cinder block. Ted tied off his spool and we swam out towards where the permanent line starts. We found it without too much difficulty and Ted tied off his spool. We followed the line out (it is a long kick :) ) and saw a bunch of squid eggs on the way out (and a bunch of starfish eating squid eggs). Then Kevin and Suzanne each tied off their reels at the end of the line. Not long after that, we came to the barge. I immediately found a pretty big clown nudibranch in a nook on the barge. There were some metridium on the barge, and we saw another really big clown nudibranch on the other side. The barge was pretty well covered with red bryozoan (Rob noticed some red smears on my wing at the end of the day... whoops). Rob saw a rainbow nudibranch. There were a ton of fish. I have to say I don't really remember (or never noticed) that much else about what was growing on it, because by this point I was really really cold. Rob does not remember much else that he saw either, and he also attributed that to being really cold. We had planned for a max dive time of 90 minutes. So, just as I hit my turn pressure, we hit 45 minutes. How convenient. We headed back, and I saw a couple hermissenda in the sand near the line. Rob and Suzanne apparently saw a fringehead. I was jealous, since I've never seen one but always wanted to! I also saw two rainbow nudibranchs on the same tube anemone (one big reddish/purple one, and a smaller white one). Rob and Suzanne were waiting for us at the tie off when we got back. Apparently they'd been waiting a couple minutes, since Rob is a speed demon. Or maybe I am just slow and Ted and Kevin were going slowly for me :) Anyhoo, we headed in along the wall. Rob and Suzanne quickly left us in their dust again. We ascended near the gate, and headed in on the surface. Ted and I each did a weight check since Ted was using his new tanks for the first time, and I forgot to do a check last weekend in the 85s. We were all freezing by this point so we hurried in. It had been raining on and off throughout the day, and while we were cleaning up, it started to pour. So getting out of the water didn't really help me warm up. 62 ft, 90 minutes, 47 degress (brr)

Nils and Jonathan were standing along the wall as we got out of the water. They were heading to Bullwhackers for lunch, so we all agreed to join them. Finding parking in Monterey on a Saturday afternoon (even a cold, rainy one) was a bit of an ordeal. But we finally managed to park and Nils and Jonathan had gotten one of the tables by the fire. And I had some hot chocolate (which Rob made fun of, but hey, I wasn't the only one drinking hot chocolate!).

Afterwards we went to Any Water Sports to get our tanks filled, and we saw Kevin, Ted, and Nils again. Kevin and Ted gave us a quick tutorial on laying line (using Frank's display reels, hehe). So now we can get ourselves back to the barge, or more importantly, back from the barge.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Silly Cat!

We had chicken parm for dinner tonight, and afterwards, I noticed something looked a little funny about Peps. Upon closer examination, she had a splotch of tomato sauce between her eyes, perfectly covering her little white patch. I have no idea how she managed that... there was no sauce anywhere else on her, and no sauce on the floor, etc. How did she get it just on her face? I think she was saving it for Oreo to lick off later during their nightly mutual-face-grooming.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

My, What a Nice Eel

We went to Point Lobos on Saturday and did a couple of dives with Anibal and Ildiko. I usually like to get to Lobos around 10 or 10:30, after the hard core divers are already in the water. But Rob convinced me to arrive before they open the gate, and said it would be "fun" to chat with all the other people waiting for the gate to open. As it turns out, about half of BAUE was there, so it was pretty fun.

Patrick loaned me his double LP85s, so Rob and I were able to explore a little further than I have ever been before. For the first dive, we went to the 3 Sisters. Ildiko was in a single tank, so we swam out on the surface a long way. We usually drop in 25 to 30 feet of water, but today we dropped in nearly 50 feet! We were really close to Hole in the Wall when we dropped. Then Anibal led us out to the first sister. It was a nice, it had lots of baby hydrocoral stalks, plus an elephant ear sponge (which I've never seen before). There were also a bunch of white sponges I had never see before (and could not identify) and a some sort of purple tunicate that I've never seen before and could not identify (looked somewhat like one of the colonial tunicates, but pretty bright purple). There were also a lot of brightly colored encrusting sponges (I like the pink ones with the star pattern on them), plus all of the usual Cannery Point-area stuff.

Anibal and Ildiko turned after the first sister, and Rob and I headed towards the other two. Unfortunately, we never found them, because we were heading a bit more north than we should have. We crossed over an area that had a bunch of "rubble" and some larger boulders too. We saw a couple large sheephead out here. There were a lot of fish in general, particularly small blue rockfish. The visibility was quite good (40 to 50 feet) and it felt like we were floating over a vast open space. Actually, this feeling was a little spooky, and at some point I made Rob come a little deeper with me, because I didn't like being so far "off the ground". We turned the dive because I was cold and feeling a little loopy. I attribute this to Rob swimming like it was a race to the last sister :) The return trip was uneventful. Rob had left his computer in non-gauge mode, and it thought we were breathing air, so it was pretty unhappy with him. It gave him something like a 25 minute deco obligation :) I even mentioned to him beforehand that he should probably either set the gas or put it in gauge mode! Before we left the ramp on this dive, we were helping someone try to locate their lost fin, and while looking around, I saw the resident monkey-faced eel, far back in a crack. So we decided to look for him on the way back in. Well, we found him, in a much more accessible location. This was the first time I'd seen him. He is so cute! We held out bits of kelp for him and he popped out of his hole and took it. Very fun. I looked around for a good monkey-faced eel picture online, but none of them quite do justice to how cute he is. 98 ft (avg 58 ft), 89 min, 48 degrees.

Between dives, Rob and I worked on the giant sub we got from Safeway. And I fed a piece of Chex to a squirrel (very bad, I know, but I accidentally dropped it on the ground).

I was originally not planning on doing a second dive, since I was cold, and didn't have enough gas left in my doubles. (The doubles were basically perfect for me at the start of the dive, but the last half, I was quite head down and constantly kicking my feet down. As a result, my gas consumption rate was 20 to 30% worse than usual. What a difference good trim makes :P) But I decided to switch to my single rig and go back out with them for an easy dive at Middle Reef. We saw the usual stuff, plus a very nice looking Hermissenda. It was pretty surgy for most of the dive, and the vis wasn't that great. We ended the dive with an S drill and out of gas ascent. Rob shot a bag before and and reeled it on the way up. We came up and realized we were a lot further east than we thought. So we decided to go back down and swim in. But I couldn't descend again. As soon as I started to descend, I had stabbing pain and a popping sensation in my forehead. I guess my cold isn't quite as gone as I thought it was. So we huffed it on the surface. 61 ft (avg 34 ft), 54 minutes, 48 degrees.

No pictures this week. On the first dive, Rob was carrying an Al 80 stage to see how it felt, so he didn't want to carry the camera too. On the second dive, we agreed that the conditions were not likely to be good so close in. Even on the first dive there was some surge at 80 ft. On the second dive, he breathed the stage, and he said he could barely tell he was carrying it. As far as my impressions on LP85s, I agree that these are the doubles for me. Even though I was head down, I am sure this can be fixed with a combination of moving them down, or (more drastic) switching to an Aluminum plate. I could reach the valves very easily, so there is definitely room to move them down. Getting in and out at Lobos at very low tide was not that fun, but it's not that fun even in a single tank. The weight of the doubles really didn't bother me.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Guest Dive Report

CWK was sick with the sniffles this weekend (not contagious, huh Jeff!?), and being the good husband that I am,... I went out diving at Lobos. Twice :P

As an aside, if somebody ever tells you, "I'm sick, but it's not contagious", don't believe them. Seriously. Being sick, aside from sucking in general, pretty much rules out diving unless it is paired with bountiful amounts of sudafed. At this point, we're probably on some kind of Walgreen's meth-lab watchlist :P

Anyway, back to the point... So I figured that I'd write up a guest dive report for the weekend's diving, since it was a great couple days of diving. To frame the context, here was the CDIP forecast on Wed. afternoon:

For those who don't follow these things on a regular basis, this is good. Really good.

Anyway, on Saturday, I met up with a bunch of the 5thd-x crowd, who had something like 8 of the 15 reservations for the day between them) at Lobos. After some doddling and chatting, we broke up into dive teams and I ended up diving with Ben. We discussed the plan which was, roughly, to head over to Granite Point Wall and explore (neither of us had been out there before).

We headed over there and played around in the cove and along the wall and followed the wall up and around and (I'm pretty sure) wound up swimming and and out of the cutouts that define the Granite Point Pinnacles. This is a pretty cool area. The rock formations and sheer walls are neat, and especially so with the excellent vis. that we enjoyed that day (I'd say 40-60'). At one point, we looked up from 60FSW and could see the waves breaking on the surface, and another 30-40' down to the sand.

The rocks here are covered in invertebrate life, most notably corynactis, hydrocoral, and various encrusting tunicates and sponges. We also found a nice little crystal jelly (Aequorea victoria) in mid-water. We got a little confused on the way in and mistook some rock formations and a sand channel for a spot on the southern end of middle reef. I played around with the scooter for awhile and then we thumbed it, doubling the stops for a 10min trip to the surface.

Pictures from the day can be found in the BAUE gallery.

104 min, 73 ft (60ft avg), 48deg

Dive 2 was doing skills in whaler's and some more scooter play.

We had our own Lobos ticket for Sunday, but with Allison sick, I teamed up with John and Anibal. The plan was to do a skills dive to drill some skills (and failures) for John's upcoming Tech1 signoff. We spent about an hour working on various skills and then headed in.

Anibal sat out dive 2 due to some back problems, but John and I decided that it was simply too nice out to forego a second dive. I had about 120cf of gas left and John had about 160cf (damn those 104's are big), so we decided to head for Beto's Reef via hole-in-the-wall and the Lone Metridium. We headed out and dropped near the mouth of whaler's and kicked out for about 20min. It turns out, we were heading a bit more westerly than we intended, and wound up touring 3 sisters.

I'd been out to 3 sisters once before with Paul Lee, but this time we got to spend a little longer and cover each of the sisters. The rock is sparser on the sisters than elsewhere in Lobos, but the hydrocoral (espcially the smaller stalks) cover is impressive. Other highlights include a sizeable elephant-ear sponge (on the 1st sister I think...) and a lonely red gorgonian in about 120FSW.

I had to turn the dive sooner than I would have liked due to gas, so we retraced our steps and headed back. We stopped over and checked out some familiar spots on middle-reef on the way out, and then did a nice slow beach ascent.

63min, 100' (80' avg depth), 48deg.

It was a nice weekend of diving, but (believe it or not), I did feel bad for leaving Allison at home. I'm looking forward to having her back for Lobos again this Saturday.

No Dive Report This Week :(

Well, I was sick last week and still sniffly over the weekend, so I didn't get to dive :( It's all Jeff's fault for bringing his germs here! And the worst part was that we managed to finagle Lobos dive reservations both days this weekend. So Rob dove Lobos both days and I laid at home sniffling. Actually I spent some quality time with the kitties. Oreo went on top of the pantry in the kitchen, and then she seemed to not know how to get back down. I took a couple of pictures of her rolling around up there. Pepper got on top of the refrigerator again, which is always amusing.