It's about diving. And cats.

Me diving

Sunday, August 5, 2007


On Sunday, we dove at MacAbee with Dionna and Oren (who is from out of town, but somehow found Ben, who set us up to dive together). Rob didn't bring his camera, so no pictures in this report :( I like MacAbee, which a lot of people seem to make fun of me for, especially Rob. It is very hard to get him to go there with me. I like it because I've seen a good variety of nudibranchs there, we almost always have seals following us there, and it is a really easy site. What's not to love? So, we were originally going to dive with Don and Elissa, and I guess Rob and Don picked MacAbee because they figured it was the most likely way to convince me to dive Saturday and Sunday. But we were going to Monterey for a BAUE thing on Sunday afternoon anyway, so a quick, easy morning dive on Sunday was perfect. (Turns out Don and Elissa couldn't make it, but we still went to MacAbee.)

So, Dionna and I were a team, and Rob and Oren were a team, and I was leading. The plan was to just head north and turn on Oren's gas (since he had a single). So, I was leading us "north" and all of a sudden we were swimming into red kelp salad, and getting shallower. Rob comes over and shows me his compass, and holy crap, it reads completely different than mine! So I bang on my compass a couple of times, and start swimming us north again. After a few minutes, it becomes obvious that my compass is still misbehaving. So, Dionna takes over the lead, since she had a functioning compass. I am not completely ruling out user error on my compass problems, but it does seem strange that I would suddenly lose my ability to use a compass. I am going to have to play around with it on land and see what's going on with it. Anyhoo, Dionna led us out of the kelp salad. The viz was not that great (20 feet in most spots, but a lot worse in some areas), but mostly it was just really dark and green. So keeping track of 4 people was a bit of a chore. We would basically just periodically stop and wait for the other team (since Oren had a camera). Before we got too far out, we found some little Hermissendas on the red kelp. Rob found what we believe was a Dendronotus frondosus. Apparently Oren found a Hilton's nudibranch (but only he and Rob saw it) and a Dendronotus iris (I kept seeing the Dendronotus eggs, but couldn't find any of them.) There were also a lot of big Doriopsillas. Usually when I see these, they are pretty small, maybe 2 inches long. But I noticed one that was probably 5 inches across, and then throughout the dive, I kept seeing more that were big. I also found another small nudi which I think was probably a Dendronotus frondosus, but I am not as confident about that one as the first one (plus only I saw it). And I found a little white oval-shaped nudi which I showed to Rob, and we aren't sure what it was, but our best guess is Diaphorodoris lirulatocauda. We also had a playful harbor seal on our tails one and off. I kept wondering why Rob had to swim so close behind me and keep bumping me. Then I finally looked behind me, and it was a harbor seal, tugging on my fins! He also tugged on Rob's fins later, while he was switching from his stage bottle to his backgas. I'm not sure if Dionna or Oren got any seal love.

We swam in to 10 feet and decided to ascend there. I weasled out of the S-drill that Dionna and I had tentatively planned to do (at Rob's suggestion, grumble), because I wanted to practice the stops, but from 10 feet, there would be no stops. So then right after we started the ascent, Dionna gave me a surprise S-drill. What a meanie. It went well, and when we ascended, we were right at the center of the beach. And most importantly, I managed to walk up the beach and back to the car without keeling over. 84 minutes, 54 feet, 53 degrees

Afterwards, we went to a presentation to BAUE about Reef Check at the Aquarium. After the presentation, we looked at the big kelp forest tank, to ID some rockfish. So maybe my fish ID skills will suck a little less now. Then we wandered around the aquarium for a while, followed by dinner at the aquarium restaurant.

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