It's about diving. And cats.

Me diving

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Granite Point by Kick

We were back at Lobos today, diving with Kevin and Beto and Susan. Beto had a video camera malfunction yesterday, so they were going to take some video of us today. The conditions looked quite good at Monastery (and there were basically no breakers as we looked at the bay on the way down). In fact, we called up some buddies who were planning to dive Breakwater to tell them to go over to Monastery instead. The water was likewise calm-looking at Lobos when we finally got to Whaler's. We decided it was a good day to head to Granite Point. But first we would do some skills along the sand channel for the video camera.

For some reason, despite my significant leak(s) on Saturday, I decided to dive the same suit. There was some rationale behind it, but it doesn't really make sense in hindsight (it didn't make sense to anyone but me in foresight either :P). That would turn out to be a bit of a mistake. Anyhoo, we got into the water, and right as we left the ramp, Rob yelled that there was a leopard shark. I immediately stuck my face in the water but could not see it (I think it was already beyond the limit of visibility). It was swimming in Susan's direction so she got a good look at it. Rob and I had never seen a leopard shark before, and I am bitter than I still haven't :P The viz was good in the shallows again, though probably not quite as spectacular as it was on Friday. We swam out to about 30 feet, and Susan and Beto went down and put up a bag, so that Rob could clip off his camera while we had our skills fun. Then we descended to 20 feet and did a round of valve drills and S drills. They all went well, better than on Friday I think. After that, we went down to the bottom and Kevin shot a bag and we did an ascent with 1 minutes stops each 10 feet. That too went fine, except for my slight inability to keep seconds without a seconds timer on my computer :) We had originally planned on each doing a bag shoot and ascent, but we decided to just go do our fun dive and then we could shoot bags on our final ascent. 24 minutes, 26 feet, 50 degrees

I was leading Team Kitty. We headed down and out the sand channel a little ways. Once again viz was pretty bad below 20 feet. I eventually cut us over to the reef, and we stopped on the way out to look for our new pet warbonnets. Rob found one of the two in the same hole where we found him last time. He showed it to Kevin, who clearly was not too excited about it. His disdain for macro life makes me seriously question our screening process for Team Kitty :) We continued out along the reef and when we got to near the end (by the far nudibranch transects), Rob set up some shots of me and Kevin swimming towards/over him. After that, we headed out over the sand. That was pretty uneventful, we traveled a little shallower than usual (the water was much cleaner out here, so it was a fun day to swim a bit above the sand because you could see quite far). We eventually hit the wall and headed north along that. Eventually I suggested that Rob take over leading, so he could find spots he wanted to stop at for pictures. That worked better than me leading and having to keep stopping and asking if he wanted to take pictures there. We curved around the wall and got to the first break in the wall with a little kelp patch. I think the kelp patches over there are always very pretty, even when the kelp is thin. At some point when I was in about 70 feet, I looked up and could see the surface ripples. Very nice. The horizontal viz was probably about 30 to 40 feet. We started seeing some bits of hydrocoral (which, as far as Rob is concerned, is the reason to go to Granite Point), and Rob setup a couple of shots with us. Then we continued out, and we made it to Rob's favorite hydrocoral spot out there. I was glad we made it there... he was hmm'ing and haa'ing about swimming out there, because he says we can only get to the "good parts" on scooter. Apparently that is not true.

I was getting pretty cold and started thinking that I would turn the dive when he was done taking pictures in that spot. Then Kevin signaled turn on gas. Rob led us back to around where I had handed off leading to him, and then I took over leading again. We were swimming back over the sand channel when either Rob or Kevin noticed a flatfish slithering around in the sand below us. Rob went down to take some pictures while Kevin and I watched from a few feet above. Then all of a sudden there were bubbles under me -- Beto and Susan had snuck up on us. Beto played with the fish and posed for some pictures while Susan got some video of it. Susan told us afterwards that it was a C-O Turbot. Then we continued on because I was COLD. It was a welcome site when we hit the end of middle reef. I was trying to get my bearings, and looking at a rock to my right when Kevin confirmed that this is the "V mount" that the scooter boys use as a waypoint on the way out to Granite Point. We continued in until we got to about 30 feet, when I decided it would not be too unreasonable of a surface swim back in. I thumbed it, and had Rob shoot a bag, and we ascended. Beto and Susan appeared below us as we were ascending, and we met up at the surface. We were pretty close to where we had started (we had left the bag there that we used to clip off Rob's camera). We headed in, me at lightning speed, because I was cold and had to pee. Rob and Kevin were taking their good old time, which was seriously annoying me :) 80 minutes, 70 feet, 50 degrees

Shortly after we got out of the water, Jonathan, Nils, and Ben showed up. They had been diving at Monastery. Apparently Nils' X-Table had collapsed under the weight of his doubles on the uneven sand at Monastery. Wow, that's impressive, considering they are rated for 750-ish pounds :) After we cleaned up our gear (and I dried off :( ), we headed to the chowder house for lunch and video review.

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