It's about diving. And cats.

Me diving

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Slugs from the Deep

Rob, John, and I dove on Sunday. We met at Lobos a little after they opened, but had to do a little running around because of some forgotten gear. Once we retrieved some loner gear, we returned to Lobos and got geared up for the dive. The plan was a little scoot out along the Road, probably until we got to our favorite spot for slug hunting, and then we would hang out there for a while. While we were getting suited up, my neck seal got caught on my pony tail, and I got what could generously be called a nick in the seal :( After some inspection and trimming I decided to get in the water and bob around and make sure it still sealed well against my neck. So I bobbed around at the end of the ramp while Rob was swimming stuff out to the float (and Rob pretended to try to drown me, since I wasn't wearing my belt so couldn't get completely under). It seemed to hold, so we decided to go for it and if it leaked, we would turn back.

We headed out and the viz was pretty good but not the best ever. It was murky in the cove but cleared up in the sand channel. Rob was leading, followed by John and then me (to avoid excessive head swiveling). The trip out was pretty uneventful. As we were scootering out along the Road, I found a little wall-let with three Dironas on it. We eventually go to the area that I thought Rob said he wanted to go, but he continued past it. So I stopped them and asked if this was where he wanted to stop. Everyone agreed, so we clipped off and Rob whipped out his camera (if you can describe any operation that slow as "whipping it out"). As soon as we stopped, I saw a bunch of Spanish shawls, and then John pointed out a few more. We swam along one of the bigger structures looking for stuff along the wall. I didn't see much of interest, though, so I swam over to a smaller pile of boulders, which I am pretty sure is where I found the mystery Okenia. As I was swimming over to it, I found an Okenia of a different sort -- a Hopkins rose. So pretty. Other than that, I didn't see anything wildly interesting, but a lot of the usual stuff -- some Dendronotus albus, baby rockfish, some cute sculpins, and one yellow mystery Dorid. I asked Rob to take a picture, so we could argue about it later. But because of its location in a recess, we couldn't really decide from the picture :(

Rob and John asked me on several occasions if I was okay in terms of being cold/wet. As far as I could tell, I wasn't wet at all (or no wetter than usual). Eventually we headed back, and for some mysterious reason, we took a slightly unusual path home (via Sea Mount, but not via Beto's Reef). Shortly after passing Sea Mount, we switched to our bottles and hung out there for a bit. After that, we pretty much just hit our stops on the scoot in, with the occasional pause. As we paused at 40 feet on the sand channel, there was a ray of some sort right below us! I am not sure what it was. I could believe it was a skate (which Ted reported seeing in the sand channel on Friday), but what do I know? The rest of our return trip was uneventful. When we got out of the water, I found out that I was actually completely dry. It's been a long time since I've ever been completely dry in that suit (I recently fixed some crotch leaks, plus the neck had been intermittently letting water in). I guess being really careful about placing the neck seal paid off. 139 feet, 86 minutes, 48 degrees

We decided it would be safest to forgo a second dive, since we had a pile of minor gear problems by the end of the dive, and superstition dictates that after N minor failures, it means you are not meant to dive. While we could not all agree on the value of N, we could all agree that we had exceeded N for the day. So we retreated to Turtle Bay with Ted and Nils. I dropped my suit off at Otter Bay on the way out of town on Monday. We were supposed to dive Monday on the Escapade, but the conditions had deteriorated by Monday morning, so we decided to cancel :(

All of the day's pictures are here.

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