It's about diving. And cats.

Me diving

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Mid-Week Insanity Dive

Photo by Clinton Bauder
Rob was out of town for the week so of course I had to do something extra exciting to get him back. Clinton suggested a mid-week night dive, since the swell forecast looked really good. So we headed down to Monterey after work, with Ted in tow. I always invite Ted along on these night dives, knowing he won't join me. But he had to punt me for a dive we had planned for the following weekend, and to make it up to me, he came along for the night dive instead. Ted and I met up with Clinton at AWS and headed down to Monterey. We were running a bit late, due to Ted's 4 PM meeting and a stop at Beto and Sue's to drop some gear. But eventually we made it over to the Breakwater, which had a surprising number of people milling about (not ideal for changing at the car :P). We got geared up and waddled into the water.

Photo by Clinton Bauder
On the swim out, the visibility was not very encouraging. We kicked out a little bit, hoping the visibility would improve. It did not. We dropped over the sand, and look around over the sand for most of the dive. Then we headed to the wall and swam in along that. The viz was under 10 feet for the whole dive. The was was super milky, making it hard to see anyone more than a few feet away. I kept having to cover my light to find Clinton's light, which was just at the limit of visibility. Then I would kick once or twice and be right next to him. So it was a slow-moving dive, since keeping everyone together was a pain. We saw a few cool things, though. First, we came upon a few stalks of kelp with tons of Melibe's on them. And they were HUGE, like radioactive big :P It was surreal watching their giant oral hoods expanding to grab food from the water. Ted found a sailfin sculpin (my first in Monterey!). This, of course, was after Ted told us that he never finds anything interesting. We also saw two sea mice. I have told Clinton on many occasions that I've never seen a sea mouse. He told me I have almost certainly seen them before, but just not realized what it was. He was right. He showed me how if you flip them over they twist around and flip back over. They are pretty cute with their bristly fur. We also saw some Aeolidia papillosa, and two Hopkin's roses with realllly long cerata. And I found a tiny translucent clingfish.

It wasn't the best night dive, due to the poor viz, but it was still a good way to spend a hot Wednesday night.

No comments: