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Me diving

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Fishy Day at Lobos

On Sunday, I scootered with Rob and Devin out to Twin Peaks. We have been doing a lot of dives on the Road to Twin Peaks, but haven't been out all the way to Twin Peaks in a while. When we got to Lobos, a little before 9, I was quite surprised at how empty it was. Especially since the conditions were supposed to be good. I guess everyone made reservations and then realized it was Father's Day and punted or something. Anyhoo, when we got into the water, the viz was not too too terrible in the cove. Since everyone was ambivalent about it, I volunteered to lead. We scootered out on the surface until the kelp because too annoying, and dropped just outside of the cove.

When we dropped, it was pretty murky and green, but as soon as we got to the worm patch it abruptly became blue and less murky (but there was still a bunch of particulate). The trip out was pretty uneventful. By the time we got out past the 3 Sisters, it was kind of dark and murky. It just wasn't as blue out there. Right past the sisters, in the area with all the little rockfish, water leaking in through my neck seal. Eek! So we stopped and I fiddled with my neck seal and hood and it stopped. We continued out, and pretty much just followed the reef-sand interface until we finally made it to the big peak. There we clipped off, and poked around. Actually we were on the little peak off to the southeast of the big one at first. Rob was shooting macro, so I was looking around for little stuff. The first interesting thing I came across was a littel trilineata, and then I instantly found another one right nearby. Rob was taking some pictures of it, when I found a tiny little rockfish swimming along, and when I followed him, I saw that he had a whole gaggle of friends. There were probably around 20 of them. I excitedly got Rob's attention, and then left him to harass the fish, errr, take their pictures. While we was doing that, I found another cool little fishy, with a long warbonnet-ish tail. But he had no head-dress. Apparently he was a stripefin ronquil.

After that, we headed over to the main peak, where I pretty quickly found another group of baby rockfish (not to mention the young rosies that were all over the place), and a warbonnet poking his head out of the reef. This one was apparently not as used to HID lights as the one on Middle Reef, because he only hung around for one picture before retreating into his hole. It was a fishy dive in general. A big vermilion was hanging out with us part of the time, and I remember seeing at least one China rockfish. The nudi life wasn't particularly stellar. There were some Spanish shawls, and other than that, nothing notable. Not even a Doriopsilla spaldingi, which I have come to expect on dives out there.

Before you know it, it was time to go. As we headed off of the main peak, I felt water pouring in through my neck seal, and I couldn't seem to get it to stop. Brrr. I eventually managed to get my neck seal to seal again, but by then I was already waterlogged and freezing :( We headed back along the "other" side of the Road, and eventually cut through over to the usual side. We cut through a little crack/canyon in one of the big structures on the Road. It was fun to zoom through on scoot. Somewhere along the Road, Rob pointed out a big fluffy Dirona. We eventually got back to the ridge just beyond Lone Metridium, and stopped there to switch to our deco bottles. Then we hung out there for a few minutes, basking in the Oxygen window. Since we were stopped, we started poking around on the reef there, and I found a little Limacia. After leaving there, we managed to scooter in the whole way to 20 feet without any stops -- perfect timing. We did our 20 foot stop on the southeast side of Middle Reef, which is much more entertaining than the worm patch. We didn't see anything too exciting, but I did notice there were a bunch of kelp rockfish. Then we scooted in, and ended up ascending about 30 feet from our float. 154 feet, 82 minutes, 46 degrees

When we got out of the water, it was unfortunately not nearly as sunny as it had been before the dive. It would have been nice for warming up. I changed out of my drysuit and declared myself finished for the day. But by the time Rob, Clinton, and Melissa were ready for another dive, I decided I would be terribly bored if I didn't go, and I had warmed up. Now the task of putting on my damp undergarment. Ick. The plan was to go over to the left of the cove, just outside of the cove. We realized swimming out that we would have to do a long swim around the kelp just to get across a small patch between us and the area we wanted to go to. So we decided to drop there and just swim through the muck. It actually wasn't that bad, and before you know it, we were in an area worth poking around.

On the way out, I saw a bunch more kelp rockfish. I saw quite a few abalones back in cracks over there. While I was peering at the abalone, I also happened upon a little black and yellow rockfish sharing a crack with them. I also found another pod of little rockfish (these darker in color than the ones on the first dive), and eventually found another little one solo, that was lighter in color. Other than that, Rob found a nice Hilton's nudibranch, and we found a few Limacias. I turned the dive when I decided I was just too cold (I noticed at some point that it was actually a "warm" 53 degrees, but the damp undergarment...), and we headed in. We managed to ascend into a patch of dead floating kelp (there wasn't any kelp around us, and we didn't bother to look up... whoops). So we descended and swam a bit further in and managed to find a clear spot to ascend. After rinsing gear, we adjourned to Turtle Bay. 32 feet, 60 minutes, 51 degrees

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