It's about diving. And cats.

Me diving

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Taking the Fast Lane to Montana

On Sunday, we scootered to Montana with Kevin and Devin. I don't know if that makes Devin an honorary Kitty, or Kevin an honorary Beaver. Anyhoo, when I have gone to Montana in the past, we have taken the Granite Point route via Crossroads. But rumor has it you can get there faster by going from the end of Beto's Reef. Rob has gone that way before I think. So we decided we'd go out there that way, but come back in along the Granite Point side. Rob was leading with primary buddy Devin, and I was stuck with Kevin :)

The viz was surprisingly good in the shallows, at least from the top. We scootered out to about 30 feet along the sand channel, and dropped there. The viz wasn't quite as good underneath -- there was a lot of stuff in the water, including a lot of teeny shrimp or something. We headed out along the sand channel and then out towards Beto's Reef. Then we scootered along the left side of Beto's and when we got to the end, we headed out over the sand. Rob said it took about 6 minutes to get to Montana from the end of Beto's. After a few minutes, we hit the rocks with Metridium on them, which I was relieved to see, since I knew they were just a couple minutes from Montana. Not too long after that, I thought I could make out the shadow of Montana and before you know it, we were there. We headed clockwise and spent most of the time on the northwest side. There was a decent current, which was dragging us in the direction we wanted to go, and then we turned a current and ended up heading into it. Hmph. It was pretty dark and green, but the viz was not bad. I was looking around for Dotos, since we've seen a lot of them around lately, but no luck. I did however find a Festive Triton that was standing completely vertical in the water. Then I realized it was sniffing around about to pounce on a gorgonian right above it. It was pretty cool to watch it extend its radula as it moved in on the gorgonian. I have never seen the approach before, just seen them once they are already snacking on the gorgonian.

I signaled to Kevin and brought him over to watch it with me. We were pretty transfixed by it, and before you know it, we realized that Devin and Rob had moved on to the next rock. We figured we should probably stick with them and headed over there. There were a lot more fish over there, lots of blues and olives hanging in the water off the structure. We posed for a few pictures by the rock which has now come to be known as The Big Schlong (thank you, Kevin). Then it was about time to leave, so we got back on the trigger and continued around in the clockwise direction, and cut through between two of the peaks, and then headed out over the sand toward Crossroads. Before you know it, we hit Crossroads, which, as always, was bigger than I remembered it :) I could tell that Kevin and Devin wanted to do a little circle around Crossroads, and I know I did too, but Rob seemed to be on a mission to break some sort of speed record, so we did not. We got to Granite Point Wall and switch to our bottles, and then we moseyed around there for a few minutes. Then we headed back in toward Middle Reef. When we got there, we headed in along the east side, which was a nice departure from the usual. When we got to the end, where the reef comes up to about 18 feet, it was the perfect spot to hang out for our 20 foot stop. I was looking through the hydroids for slugs, but didn't find anything interesting. I think Rob was doing the same. Finally our 20 foot sentence was over, and we headed in. The viz was quite murky when we got into the cove, but somehow we managed to make it all the way back to the float without any separation. Bobby gets a gold star for his navigation. 156 feet, 87 minutes, 51 degrees

We finished up with lunch at Phil's Fish Market in Moss Landing. We encountered two friendly kitties at the little hut next door (which features a "Cat X-ing" sign and always seems to have some cute kitties hanging around).

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