It's about diving. And cats.

Me diving

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Exploring, or Not

On Sunday, we dove with Jonathan and Shawn (who was visiting from Washington). Our plan was to dive South Monastery, to look for the mystery hump. If it turned out to be lame (as we expect), we would just scooter out along the canyon wall and back. Rob wasn't going to bring his camera, he claimed because he doesn't like to bring a camera when diving a new site, but it was actually because he didn't bring enough battery power for the whole weekend. When we pulled up to Monastery, the conditions were quite different from Saturday. Rob walked to the top of the sand and declared it diveable (after observing about 15 seconds worth of waves), while I hemmed and hawed. When Jonathan arrived, he took my side (amazing!). By that point I think Rob was starting to see that there were some bigger sets that were going to make it pretty unpleasant. Then I proposed (I think) that we drive over to Lobos and see if there were any cancellations. We headed over there and managed to get in (that Jonathan, he is such a charmer).

We decided to go in the Twin Peaks direction, pausing along the Road and going out as far as we got. I got to lead (woohoo) with Rob as my primary buddy. We got into the water (I love high tides) and found the visibility in the cove to be terrible. We scootered out on the surface (I couldn't see Rob when my head was underwater, and he was about 5 feet to the right of me) until we got some better viz, and dropped in about 20 feet, to the east of the worm patch. I took us out to the sand channel, and as I was scootering, I thought about my Argon situation. Hmm, forgot to check the bottle and those were some cold dives yesterday. Then around Hole in the Wall, I concluded that I was out of Argon. Boohoo. I told Rob that it was dead, and he signaled to swap bottles. I really didn't know what his plan was, but I figure he had some rational plan. He pumped his suit up with some extra gas, and we swapped (while Jonathan video'd, of course). We drifted north a little during that little maneuver, and Rob and Jonathan (who are both very bad followers) tried to take us in the wrong direction. After a little argument that ended with me swinging back over HITW to show it to Rob, we headed northwest toward Lone Metridium, and then out toward the Sisters. I could tell Rob was doubting my navigation, which is super annoying. But then we hit the first Sister, and I could see the second one off to the left. From there, we headed out on the Road. I slowed down at one point to point out a Dirona along the road, and Jonathan came up and told me we should stop here and clip off. So that's what we did.

Once we were clipped off, Rob and I hung out together (creeping along slowly) and Jonathan and Shawn were touring the area by scooter I think. Aside from the Dirona, we saw a bunch of Spanish shawls, and a Doriopsilla spaldingi. Other than that, nothing too interesting. There were several of the baby rockfish (rosies I think) around there. Rob also found what I thought was a tiny sea cucumber, which he was inspecting, hoping to find that it was a slug. I told him I thought I knew what it was and convinced him it was a sea cucumber. It was really small! I eventually realized we were on the rocks where we found the mystery Okenia last time, but no luck relocating it :) I was getting crazy cold, so I eventually called it. Jonathan and Shawn had actually headed in a few minutes before because of gas constraints I guess. Rob asked me if I wanted to joy ride out a bit further before heading in, but I told him I didn't have the gas for it. Instead we headed in. We passed a small salp chain on the way in. When we were between the first and second sisters, Rob said he wanted to go by Beto's (which we could see an outline of from there... great viz!), so I told him he could lead :P We headed over there, and found a medusa jelly right before we got there. Then we headed in.

We switched to our bottles a little north of HITW, and headed over to Middle Reef when we got there. We stopped at the wolf eel den, but they weren't there. I fear it may actually be the former wolf eel den :( Shortly after that, I took us over to the east side of Middle Reef, since I figured that actually comes up to 20' and is way more entertaining than the worm patch. The kelp is really thick over that part of middle reef; it was neat looking with the sun streaming through the kelp canopy. We basically just zigzagged around the shallow part of middle reef, passing the time, and occasionally stopping to look around. Eventually we headed in, and we got into the green mucky cove, which I noticed was instantly warmer (53 degrees!). We ascended about 20 feet from our float... not bad. 141 feet, 87 minutes, 46 degrees

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