It's about diving. And cats.

Me diving

Friday, February 29, 2008

Octopus Hunting at the Breakwater

We did a night dive on Friday, at the Breakwater. Kevin and Jonathan were there scootering (and pushing scooters), but I was not interested. I like to look for little critters on the sand at night, which scooters are pretty useless for. So the rest of us did a kick dive. Rob, Matt, and I were a team, and Cynthia and Al trailed us. We planned to swim out along the wall a little bit and then loop out over the sand and look for octopuses in the sand. I am always saying that if you just look for them, they are all over the place at night, so Al and Cynthia had high expectations for me to prove it.

The water was very calm when we got in. I was even schlepping a stage bottle (to simplify our dive plans for Saturday), and it was not a problem getting in. We swam out to a little past the fence, and we noticed that the water was crystal clear, so we decided to just drop there. We swam out a little bit along the wall, and then Rob took us out over the sand. Actually it was more like out over the sea trash, since there were little bits of dead kelp and other such junk on top of the sand. And then we started looking around. Eventually, Al and Cynthia found the first octopus. It was a "big" one, as in, not the tiny ones that are most common out there at night. Matt also pointed out this really cute fish that was basically all head and very little body and tail. I think it may have been a scalyhead sculpin. We eventually found 3 more octopus (2 tiny ones and one other "big" one). I also saw a variety of cute little fishies, crabs, and shrimp. The red shrimp that are usually doing back flips all over the place were apparently absent, but there were other cute shrimp around.

We eventually moved out over to the sand (sans sea trash), to the nudibranch hunting portion of the evening. One strange thing was that I saw quite a few San Diego dorids (most of them quite small) on the sand, which seems like an odd place. A lot of them were on the move though, which was pretty cute to watch. Rob found two Acanthadoris brunnea mating (again). And I found a shaggy mouse nudibranch (Aeolidia papillosa) which I always like to see (mostly because they have such an adorable name). Plus there were tons of Hermissendas, and tons of Hermissenda eggs (but I didn't see any Hermissendas laying eggs). I was getting pretty chilly, because we had moved so little during the dive (and because I am a whiner, as Rob will tell you), so the dive came to an end at just the right point :) We ascended from about 8 or 9 feet and swam in. Kevin came down and took our stage bottles (what a sweetheart). As we were walking up the beach, I felt like I was going to die. Walking full doubles up the beach is much harder than half-full or empty ones! Or maybe I am just getting soft from too much Lobos diving. 40 feet, 68 minutes, 53 degrees

After all our dilly dallying after the dive, and the arguing back and forth about who should decide where to go for dinner, it was rapidly getting too late to make it to any of the restaurants in Monterey (except Dennys). So we finally settled on Chili's (gag) and almost didn't even make it there in time before they close. Monterey really needs to be a more late night dive-friendly place :)

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Twin Peaks, at Last

Rob, Kevin and I (aka the Cold Water Kitties) went diving on Saturday. The forecast was quite variable throughout the week, and at one point I became convinced that we'd end up watching a movie and drinking wine at Jonathan's place in lieu of diving, but as the day drew nearer, the forecast improved. But David convinced me to bring The Life Aquatic down anyway, just in case. Of course once we made backup plans in case of bad weather, that ensured that it would turn out to be diveable. The conditions were pretty okay when we got down to Monterey. The wave action along Del Monte did not look too big as we drove into town. But we expected the conditions to worsen, so we wanted to get into the water pretty quickly.

We were totally on target for a quick entry into the water, until Don and Elissa drove up as we were staging gear on the float. Then before you know it, Team DocWong nearly beat us into the water (because like all things diving, getting into the water first is a competition!). Rob also realized he forgot to put batteries in one of his strobes, so he had to wander around begging for AAs. Luckily between Kevin and Harry, he managed to find 4 working batteries. Thanks guys (well, Kevin technically deserves no thanks, because all of the contents of his truck were technically team resources to begin with :P). We finally managed to get into the water, which quite happily was high tide-ish. But that ramp is getting wicked slippery; even during high tide it seems dicey. The plan was to go to Twin Peaks, after several dives where we explored the area leading out to there. Rob was leading, for once. I was to be second, but then Kevin's light pooped out, so he ended up being #2 and I was third.

As we headed out on the surface, the visibility was quite good in the cove. When we got to the edge of the cove, we could see to the bottom very clearly, so we decided to drop there. The water was a lovely shade of teal right there as we descended. Just as we descended, I realized that I forgot to put my god damn gauge in god damn gauge mode (pardon the language). So I immediately thumbed it and discovered on the surface that it wouldn't let me change to gauge mode while it was still wet. After cursing the gauge on the surface, we descended again (did I mention that Rob was taking his new Tec2g for a spin? grrr....) We headed out, and the vis was a bit more kicked up along the sand channel. We headed out past Hole in the Wall, and then past Lone Metridium. Then we headed out toward the Sisters. As we got out in that direction, it got really dark. The visibility was not bad, but it was just super dark the deeper we got, so we couldn't see that far. We ended up hitting the third sister (instead of the second as we usually do), and after Rob gesticulated at us for a moment, we all agreed it was in fact the third sister. Then we found the path to Twin Peaks, and Rob took us out there. As we scootered along the reef, the one thing I noticed was that there were LOTS of clown nudis all over the reef. It was like a blur of white and orange as we went by. We were going for a while, and I was starting to worry that it was further out than we thought.

At some point we paused at a little rock island off to the side of the Road, and conferred for a moment. Kevin for some reason refused to give Rob any navigational insight (Kevin has actually been to Twin Peaks before). He definitely deserved a swift bat across the face by a mean kitty for that. Anyway, Rob and I agreed on which direction to keep heading and we hit Twin Peaks in short order. It was really dark out here. The one good thing about that was it made Kevin's puny backup light quite easy to see :) I must admit that I didn't actually notice the "twin peaks". Rob said let's stop here and clip off, and that was fine with me. But it was so dark, and I was more interested in looking at macro stuff, that I didn't really take in the scenery above :) After reviewing the bathymetry, I think we were at a nook along the east side of the eastern peak. Once we clipped off, we didn't move very far from where we had stopped. There were about 8 gopher rockfish (I think?) hanging around at the bottom. I was poking around the gorgonians, looking for critters on them. I found some cute little crabs. I also saw some gorgonians that were in sorry shape -- portions of them were just black wiry skeletons. Kevin signaled me to come over to another rock he was on, and when I swam over, he had that frantic "where did it go?" look at his face as he scanned the rock with his eyes. Then I saw a Spanish shawl. A moment later he found it too, and that was what he wanted to show me. Later on, I ended up seeing quite a few more. I also saw a lot of Festive Tritons, plus lots of boring dorids. I also saw some eggs on a piece of leafy red kelp that I don't know what they belonged to. I flopped the kelp over and saw some hydroids but could not find the owner of the eggs. I wanted to show them to Rob, so I signaled for him to come over, but he was wrestling his camera rig (tucking the strobes for transport, since it was almost time to go), so I decided it wasn't a good time to make him stick his face up against the reef. Just as we headed out, I saw a china rockfish.

We headed back, and as we were coming across the sand between the Sisters and Lone Metridium, we came across Harry, Dionna, and Greg. Rob briefly tried to join their team, but Kevin and I managed to corral him and get him to stay with us. We weren't quite to Lone Metridium when Rob stopped us to show us a fish (which of course swam away before we could see him), but since we were at 70 ft, we switched to our deco bottles. Kevin was leading deco, so he took over from there. We headed east and ended up at the end of Middle Reef, near the deep nudibranch transects. I looked down at a rock, and when I looked up, Rob and Kevin had swam away from me! So I decided to scoot over to them, but I felt something wrapped around my ankle. I was trying to kick my way out of the kelp, when I realized it was a hand. I looked back, thought I saw Harry, scowled, and swam off before the others lost me. Turns out it was Don trying to hitch a ride back. Whoops :)

We had a fairly uneventful ride in from there. We had to stop to hang out at 20 feet for a few minutes (during which time I was "making nudibranchs" out of my mask, as Rob likes to say). Kevin kept looking at me strangely and asking if I was okay because I was desperately trying to blow my nose through my mask :) After that, we headed in and Kevin brought us in right to our float! 155 feet max, 74 minutes

The conditions had deteriorated by the time we got out. It was super windy, with gusts that made me feel like I was going to be knocked over while I was rinsing gear. I was glad that we got in and out pretty quickly. When we drove past Monastery on the way out, we could see whitecaps not too far offshore.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Deep and Dark at Lobos

On Sunday, we scootered at Point Lobos with Kevin, David, and Jonathan. We decided to head out on the Road, and then after spending some time there, scooting over to Beto's Reef, but going directly there instead of heading back to the Sisters first, and hopefully intercepting it at the deep side. We checked out the conditions from above, and there was some big wave action against the Cannery Point rocks, but the cove was quite calm, and the Granite Point side was surprisingly calm. We briefly discussed going over there, but for some reason that idea never took off. While we were looking down there, we saw an otter with a baby (but not super baby) in the water right off of the bluff we were on, between it and the first rock. They were getting sloshed around in the little channel. It was very cute. There were also some cute birds on the rock right there, black with long red beaks. I think they were Black Oystercatchers. One of them suddenly let out a squeal, and then all of them started squealing like mad. It was really strange, and funny. There was also a great blue heron (I think) hanging out in the cove not too far from the boat ramp. That was really neat to watch; it looked like such a serious bird.

The water looked spectacularly clear right at the ramp when we got in, but by the time we dropped in the sand channel, it was pretty milky. It opened up a bit by the time we got out to Lone Metridium, but it was basically milky the whole way out. I was wearing my new suit, and it took a little getting used to scootering with it. The main problem I was having was with my feet, which felt like they were a little too heavy and wouldn't stay up where I wanted them. I had to put a little gas in them to get them where I like them. I was also using a different set of fins (my warm water fins, which fit my wetsuit booties), which fit the turbo-soles perfectly. They are, however, quite stumpy little jet fins, and my backwards kick was seriously lame with them (although Rob says that is nothing new :P).

When we got out to the Road, it was surprisingly dark. Kevin was leading, so he picked a rock and we hung out there for a while. There were tons of clown nudis out there. They were practically everywhere I looked. That first rock also had some hydrocoral and gorgonians, but it was fairly sparse. There was a vertical crack with a cute little copper rockfish hanging vertical in it, and another little fish (not sure what it was, but it had spots and was pretty small). After a few minutes, we moved a short distance to another area (which I think was a different area of the same structure we went to last weekend), which was much nicer. It was totally covered in various shades of pink strawberry anemones, so it was like a hot pink peak. It was cool looking up towards the top. Rob shot a couple of pictures of me checking it out, and then I decided to look around a little. I turned around and was almost blinded by David's video lights (he just got some new Salvo 35W lights). I headed down toward the bottom to see what was down there, where there was less strawberry coverage. I thought I saw a Festive Triton so I swam down to take a look. Then I found several more, and after showing one to Kevin, he found another. I also saw more clowns of all different sizes, including a cute little one. As Kevin and I were looking at some slugs, suddenly a great light descended upon where we were looking... David was coming down to video it. From now on, I think I need to take David with me on all my dives... it's great being able to see a huge swatch of reef all lit up and colorful!

We eventually headed back up the road a smidgen, and then across the sand toward Beto's Reef. I must admit I was starting to get concerned that we had passed it. On the way, we saw several tires in the sand -- very random. We also found this nice little structure out there with some very photogenic elephant ears. I also found a nice little lone metridium on a small rock out in the sand on its own. We eventually hit Beto's Reef at the very end. I've never been out to the end before. We hung around there for a little bit and then scooted back along the reef. Kevin took us in on a different route than I usually take back from Beto's -- we were over a lot of sand, so when we got back to some structure I wasn't sure exactly where we were (which was unfortunate, since I was leading us on the deco). It turns out we were further west than I thought -- several ridges west of Hole in the Wall. Once we got into some structure around 70 feet, we switched to our deco bottles and hung around there for a few minutes, then headed to 60 feet. While we were hanging out at 60 feet, I found an adorable little sculpin lined up on top of a little crack in the reef, so that he was very well camouflaged. I had hoped to visit the warbonnets and the eels on the way in, but since it took longer to get over to the sand channel than I expected, I just took us straight up the sand channel instead. We scootered all the way in to a little over 10 feet, and ascended from there. When we got back to the ramp, the tide was super low. Luckily the water movement was pretty minimal, so I didn't have to flail around on the ramp too much on the way out. 128 feet, 86 minutes, 49 degrees

The rest of the pictures are here. I will publish video from David and Jonathan when they are available.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

(Nudi) Love is in the Air

We did a dive at the Breakwater on Saturday. We were originally planning on diving in the Wallins pool to check out some gear (me a "new" drysuit, and Rob some do-it-yourself zip seal replacements). But then Matt was looking for a buddy to do some drills and fun diving with on Saturday, so we decided to shake out our gear at the Breakwater instead. Yea, so, another day, another drysuit (I know, it's an addiction, but I swear I am going to sell my old suit). I found a great deal on a barely used suit that fit me nearly just right (and just happens to be purple, my favorite color). So I sent it to Superior Drysuit Repair for an alteration, and I wanted to make sure it fit properly and I could reach everything I needed to reach, etc. Matt is in the middle of his fundies class, so he wanted to do a couple drills. Rob left his camera behind I guess because of the drills.

We planned to do one long dive around the pipe out to the Metridium Field (and perhaps the Metridium Field). We stopped on the way out and did a few drills -- valve drills all around, and a couple S-drills and bag shoots. It was rather surgey, which made it tons of fun trying to stay together. On one of the descents, we descended practically right on top of a pair of mating Dendronotus iris'es on a tube anemone. They were really big, really pretty ones -- the dark pink, sort of magenta shade that I really love. The suit seemed fine, although it took a little getting used to how it feels when it has the right amount of gas in it -- it is a lot more snug than my other suits, so it feels a bit different without all the extra material. Another difference is that this suit has turbo-soles whereas my other suits have rock boots. So when gas gets in the feet, it feels like there is a lot of gas, but really there isn't. This wasn't helped by the fact that the fins I had were too big for the turbo-soles, due to a miscommunication about packing the car (that's what I get for making Rob pack the car after I went to sleep, or for having 3 pairs of jettish fins). I think I sabotaged one of Matt's practice bag shoot ascents with my flopping around trying to get my feet under control :)

After we finished with the drills, we headed out towards the pipe. Matt was leading, followed by me and then Rob. I guess we had drifted (well, moved around trying to find an open patch where we wouldn't get surged into rocks) during the drills, so we didn't drop at our usual lineup. So we were heading out the usual way but we just kept going and going without hitting the pipe. Along the way, I saw a pair of mating Acanthodoris brunnea on a tube worm tube. I was really excited to see this, as I have only seen them a couple of times before, and never two at once! Plus if you are going to accidentally end up spending an entire dive over the Breakwater sand, that's pretty much the coolest thing you can expect to see. I signaled Rob and then he brought Matt over to check it out. After that, we continued on over more sand. At some point, I found one of those red kelp leaves on the sand, and noticed some nudi eggs on it. Matt and Rob (the so-called "number 3") were getting a bit ahead of me, so I took the leaf with me. I was staring at it, studying it for nudis, when I practically face planted into a rock covered in metridium. Whoops. Rob and Matt had stopped at it, and I showed Rob some Dendronotus frondosus (I think). We were only in about 39 feet of water, so we must have been at the far edge of the field. We continued on, and eventually we got to a sand berm that I thought I recognized -- the one at the end of the pipe! So I signaled to Matt that I wanted to go a different direction and swam over the hump, and voila -- there was the end of the pipe.

We decided to head in along the pipe from there. We didn't see anything too special along the pipe -- more D. iris eggs, lots of cool little feather dustery worms (which I guess have probably always been all over the pipe, but I've only recently started noticing them), and a ton of those little sandy looking oval shaped snails that looked like they were all migrating in one direction along the pipe. Oh, and did I mention the surge? There was a super long period, so I'd feel like I was swimming again current, until 30 seconds later I realized I were moving the other way. About halfway in along the pipe, I got really cold and stopped looking and just wanted to get in quickly. Then we headed in towards the beach, and in about 13 feet of water, Rob whips out a bag and wants to shoot it. I waved it off and he rolled his eyes, but I was sort of in a hurry to get to the bathroom :P, so I didn't want to wait around on the surface while he cleaned it up. 44 feet, 89 minutes, 49 degrees

By the way, I love the new suit. I really like the turbo-soles, although I can imagine it being easier to sprain an ankle in them than in the rock boots. But they are just so comfy! Mostly I like the fact that the suit fits really well, and I finally have a suit that matches my weight belt! :)

Friday, February 15, 2008

Fun Friday with Phil

We took Friday off to go diving with Kevin and Susan on Phil's RIB, to put our new Tech 1 skills to use :P We were originally talking about doing E3, but then Phil suggested a nearby spot, a bit further west, so we went there. The topography was a series of ridges/pinnacles with little sandy gaps between them. The top was somewhere around 70 feet, and the sand varied from 100' to a bit over 150' (maybe more, we didn't go down there). When we headed out, there was a really low tide, and I was glad I wasn't shore diving, especially because the ramp was really overgrown with juicy algae. The forecast was for conditions to build throughout the day, but it was quite calm when we headed out. After a brief steam (as Rob likes to say) northwest of Whaler's, we got to our destination. After a brief review, we flopped, err, rolled in. My flop off of Phil's boat is definitely less graceful with the deco bottle; I will have to work on that.

We were diving as a foursome; I was leading, followed by Rob. Kevin and Susan got in a bitter fight over who would be three and who would be four, but after three rounds of roshambo did not resolve it, I decreed that Susan would be three, and Kevy-poo four. We followed the line down and could see the structure clearly from about 40 or 50 feet. As soon as it came into view,
the first thing I noticed was some very pretty hydrocoral shrubs. We hit the structure around 70 or 80 feet, and after my ears recovered from the descent, I headed to the right. We swam along, descending as we went, eventually reaching about 140 feet. There were lots of elephant ear sponges and gorgonians. I noticed that there was another structure off to our right across a little sand channel. Rob suggested we go check it out, so we swam over to it. There was a nice big elephant ear right where we intercepted it, and more gorgonians. It was quite colorful over there. After a brief photo shoot, we headed back to the original structure, and continued along it. I saw a Festive Triton, and tried to show it to Rob, but couldn't find it again. I gave up pretty quickly, since it wasn't exciting enough to search for :) Shortly before the end of that ridge, I found a Dendronotus albus, which was exciting enough to search for again to show to Rob. I finally found it the second time because the kelp that it was on had several egg bundles on it as well. We came to the end of the ridge, and at the end there were some knobs sticking up out of it, which were very colorful -- they were covered in strawberry anemones, yellow sponge, small stalks of hydrocoral, and there were lots of small elephant ears on the rocks below. And did I mention the big school of small blue rockfish hanging out in the water column right off of the structure? We hung there for a little while while Rob took pictures, and then we circled around to the other side.

The other side had more interesting topography. There were some cracks and overhangs, and in one area, a nearly vertical section rose up above us. The cave divers among us could not resist the temptation to stick their heads into one particularly dramatic vertical crack, but there were just a few rockfish in there. There was yet another structure across an even narrower sand channel on this side. At some point they came pretty close together, and it was super surgy in the channel between them. We swam through the channel, and on the other side, the bottom came up shallower, to probably about 110'. Strangely, it seemed much brighter and bluer on that side. However, there wasn't nearly as much life on that end of the reef. At this point, it was time to start the ascent, so I handed that over to Susan, and suggested we head back in the direction we came from, since it was quite surgy where we were. We started our ascent as we swam in that direction. I noticed Rob was trying to squeeze in a few shots during our deep stops, because there were some nice hydrocoral shrubs. In hindsight, I think that the 80' to 100' range was very nice, and we should have spent more time there. We left the structure around 80'. A few minutes after Kevin put the bag up, I heard Phil revving the engine above, which was a welcome sign. About twenty minutes later, we hit the surface after an uneventful ascent (except for that horrible leg cramp I got at 7' :P). 148 feet, 60 minutes, 52 degrees

After we got back in the boat (which was a bit of an ordeal, as I nearly strangled myself with my necklace while doffing my gear, and my deep water exit is weak to say the least), we headed in. The conditions had picked up since we launched. There were some nasty big waves around the Cannery Point rocks. The period of the swell was really long, so in the cove it was reasonably calm, but every now and then, there would be a big swoosh. This basically made for the worst possible conditions on the ramp -- really low tide, with big powerful waves sloshing across the bottom of the ramp. We ran into Jonathan on his way out for a dive as we were pulling into the ramp. Getting the boat on the trailer looked like it was going to be dicey, but Phil got us out without too much difficulty. I guess it was a bit of a spectacle, though, since there were some onlookers watching it. After that, we retreated to Siamese Bay for some post-dive chow.

The rest of the pictures are here.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

The Road to Twin Peaks, Again

Rob, Jonathan, Mark and I dove at Lobos yesterday. We originally wanted to go to the "right" to the deeper part of Granite Point Pinnacles, but when we drove in and saw how sloshy the water looked over there, we decided to stay to the left instead. We decided to go back to the Road to Twin Peaks, but to stay in one are longer, for a photo shoot, rather than the grand tour like we did last time. Mark and I were a team, and Rob and Jonathan were a team. I was leading, us out, and Jonathan was going to bring us back along the west side, to show us some navigation landmarks he uses. After building a not-to-scale 3D model of the terrain in the sand/pebbles next to the parking lot and reviewing the plan, we got geared up and headed into the water.

The surface conditions weren't the greatest. Every now and then there'd be a big set of waves that made the ramp quite sloshy, and the water would come way up the ramp. But we managed to time getting in pretty well, so it was pretty uneventful. However, our float had been dragged out a bit, but luckily lodged itself in a rock before our scooters and bottles floated off to the end of the earth. We scootered out a bit past the mouth of the cove, and dropped there. It was quite surgey and there was a lot of particulate in the water at that point. We headed out along the sand channel, where the surge was quite impressive. When the surge was coming at me, I felt like the scooter was literally not making forward progress against it. Then when it would go with me, I felt like I was getting kicked down the sand channel. It was pretty fun. We got to Hole in the Wall, and when we turned past that, I think the surge kind of died down. The vis also slowly improved. We headed to the Lone Metrid, which was a sad little stump of a 'trid, and then headed out towards the sisters. I guess I took a slightly off heading because things were not looking familiar for a while, so they I headed a little more to the left and very quickly hit the third sister. Then we headed out from there. Last time, we stopped for pictures at one spot for a while and then swam to another nearby spot for a brief visit, and that second spot was much nicer. So when we got to that spot, I stopped and asked if they wanted to clip off for some pictures. I couldn't believe how blue and bright the water was. Last time we were there, it was very dark. I was also surprised by the blueness because the water had been so green and murky in the sand channel. We hung out in this area for probably around 10 minutes. I found a big mass of lingcod eggs, which I have never seen before. I eventually found a lingcod loitering not too far away (but not too close either). I think he was busy trying to pose for a picture instead of guarding his eggs. But Rob was not interested in him, only in the eggs (I felt his pain, I lined up for Rob to take my picture and he shooed me away!). Other than I saw hydrocoral, gorgonians, those glossy tunicates that I like, a big area of this very pretty pink/red encrusting sponge, and the usual nudibranchs (lots of clowns nudis). We were in the 110 to 120 range here, and there was some water movement even at that depth.

When we were a few minutes from turning, I suggested that we get back on the trigger and explore a little bit past where we were. The area that we had stopped was like a little mountain with a little crack/canyon in it, so we scooted through that, and then around the west side of the structure and after zigging and zagging around a few rocks off to the side of that, back out along the east side. When I got to our turn time, I handed it off to Jonathan, who was going to bring us back along the west side of the road. On the way in, we hopped over to Shortcut Reef, and Jonathan showed us a landmark where he turns east to come home. I noticed that the sand below us was really stirred up from the surge. Then we headed back to Lone Metridium. We passed the second sister on the way in, and I noticed a rock a little southeast of that which had some nice bushy stalks of hydrocoral on it. Look like a good place to take some pictures in the future :)

When we got to Lone Metridium, we switched to our bottles and then we slowly headed in. We stopped around Hole in the Wall for a minute, and then when I went to go, I got the longest piece of kelp known to man stuff in my prop. It seemed like it took forever to uncoil it, which I think I did in the slowest way possible (instead of breaking it off each time I uncoiled a loop, I was looping the WHOLE stalk back through). Then we headed across the sand channel to middle reef. On middle reef the surge did not seem quite as bad as it had in the sand channel on the way out. However, I may have just not noticed it because I was ridiculously cold (and quite wet :( ) at that point. We stopped to look at the warbonnets and the eels, although I just hung out while the others looked. We did our 20 and 10 foot stops, and there was a good deal of water movement. In addition to the surge, I think we were also getting blown into the cove, but I could have imagined that. I was quite miserable because I was cold, but I entertained myself by waving to the CSI camera on Jonathan's scooter :P 78 minutes, 142 feet, 48 degrees

When we got to the surface, it was pretty unpleasant, so we scooted in right away. When we got in, I couldn't figure out where the float went. I guess it got pulled under the water. Rob found it, and we clipped our scooters off. I swan in to the ramp at the tail end of a big set of waves, so planting myself on the ramp was a little hairy, but then it calmed down. I handed my bottle to Jonathan (who had already shed his gear) and waddled up the ramp, in a hurry to get out of my soggy suit. When I pulled the suit off, I was wet, but actually not as wet as I expected (at least my legs were dry). So, it's back to the drysuit hospital for pinky for a leak test.

While I was drying off, Rob and Mark retrieved our scooters (thanks boys), and then they helped some of our friends out of the water, since those big sets seemed to be getting bigger. There were a few times when the water came all the way to the top of the ramp, and water was splashing over the rocks on the sides. It was pretty entertaining to watch Rob and Mark holding Ted up by the manifold, pulling his fins off :) They reported that swimming down the sand channel in that surge was not very fun. After that, we headed to Turtle Bay for lunch. I think there's a lot of dissent brewing in the ranks regarding Turtle Bay for lunch; we need to find some new places to lunch.

Jonathan shot and editted video from the dive here.