It's about diving. And cats.

Me diving

Friday, November 16, 2007

Playing Hookey at Lobos

We went on a scoot scoot dive with Jonathan today at Point Lobos. The plan was to visit the sites to the west between Whaler's and Bluefish. So pretty similar to the last scooter dive we did, where we hit Beto's, two of the Three Sisters, and Shortcut Reef. We essentially did that dive in reverse today. Lobos was pretty empty, which I guess is not surprising for an overcast, almost raining, weekday. It was pretty chilly when we got there. Once I got into my drysuit, it was much more comfortable on the surface. We ran into Phil Sammet, who was there diving off of his RIB. Other than that, I don't think there were any other divers around when we got in the water. The tide was nice and high, plus the ramp was recently cleaned, so entering the water was not scary. But I still made Rob put a float in so we could stage the scooters on that :) I know Jonathan thinks I am a goofball for not wanting to walk into the water with an X.

We surface scooted to the edge of the cove and descended. The water was very murky. In fact, from about 0 to 10 feet, I couldn't really see Rob and Jonathan, but once I got below 10 feet, it was okay. As we went further out, it cleared up even more. We headed out along the sand channel and then cut west along the reef a while before Hole in the Wall. Around here, we picked up a fourth teammate... a playful seal who ended up following us out for quite a while. Then we snaked through the little walls and reefs, with their bits of hydrocoral hanging off the corners, in the shallow parts of Cannery Point. Jonathan had a near scooter to big sheephead encounter :) Eventually we emerged on the north side of Lone Metridium (or in that vicinity). We headed out into the blue (errr, green) until we got to Shortcut Reef. We clipped off the scoots there and looked around in the 70 to 80 feet range. There was pretty standard stuff for this area -- some nice-sized chunks of hydrocoral, in various shades, plus lots of smaller bits of purple hydrocoral. And all the usual encrusting life and inverts. I noticed that there were tons of San Diego dorids (funny, since the last time I counted nudis on Middle Reef, they seemed to all be in hybernation). I also saw some interesting little tan invertebrate on some of the lacy red seaweed that was fluttering in the surge. I think it was probably some sort of bryozoan. I'll have to look into that. I also noticed some translucent white tunicates, probably glassy tunicates. There were also plenty of small blue rockfish and the occasional olive hanging out in the water off of the reef.

We swam around the reef and found this narrow chute between two small walls/ledges. Jonathan scootered down it and then came back to us a moment later. After Rob finished taking some pictures, he and Jonathan were gesticulating about going through the chute. I must have misunderstood the plan... when Jonathan started scootering through the chute, I followed. Not very far down it, there was a big rock that I probably would have scootered right into if Jonathan weren't in front of me. I guess Jonathan was actually supposed to scooter into it, turn around, and then scooter back out for a picture. It was, umm, a little cramped in there with the two of us trying to turn around. So I popped up to the tops of the ledges and let Jonathan do his little scoot back towards the camera. Then I also scooted back toward the camera, and Rob got some shots.

After that, we headed back towards home. We hit the third (biggest) sister, and just scooted around half of it and kept going. Then when we got to the second sister, we clipped off and swam around it. I found a small clown nudi, which seems pretty standard for the sisters. Other than that, I saw a nice bushy Hermissenda, and just the usual stuff. Mostly I was just trying to keep track of Rob and Jonathan :) Then we headed to Beto's Reef, and stopped there only briefly, to look at the eels. They were both in there. I could only see the side of the red one's head, but the grey one was hanging his head out as usual. Then we headed in. Somewhere along the way in, we picked up another seal escort. He followed us all the way in to Middle Reef, where he hung out with us and posed for some pictures. He also tugged on Rob's fins while Rob was look for the eels there. He was really adorable. He reminded me of Oreo, because he had her signature "wide eyed and filled with wonder" look, plus he was pudgy. Jonathan also found two Doris odhneri together, one of which was really huge. We hung out there, looking at the eels and the seal for a while, and then headed in along the sand channel. 103 feet, 95 minutes

We decided to pass on a second dive, so we headed to lunch. On the way out of Carmel, Monastery looked really beautiful topside. The fog and clouds had cleared, and the water just beyond the beach looked turquoise, like a tropical beach scene! We decided to try someplace new for lunch, so we went to Ambrosia India Bistro in Monterey. It was good, but I think eating Indian food after diving is just asking to fall asleep and die in a firey car crash on the way home. After that, we stopped at Backscatter, because Rob busted a nut (on his strobe arm) and needed a replacement. He also picked up a cover for his dome port which seems much higher quality than the one he sewed from neoprene scraps :) On the way out of there, we noticed that the water at the Breakwater looked rather un-red, unlike last weekend.

All of today's pictures are here.

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