It's about diving. And cats.

Me diving

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Kawika's Garden

Sunday I went out on the Escapade with Rob, John, and Jim. I actually wasn't planning to dive over the weekend (other than Friday), but then on Saturday it was so hot at home that we decided to escape to Monterey, where it was more tolerable. So we stayed down there Saturday night and I joined the boys for a dive on Sunday. Rumor was that the forecast was not looking so hot, but we decided to go for it anyway. Jim apparently called John to "warn" him that we might not be able to make it out of the bay, and if we wanted to cancel, we could. But we were not deterred. It was a bit foggy in the morning, and Clinton (on the Cypress Sea) reported that it was foggy pretty much throughout Carmel as well. We steamed out to the edge of the bay, and stopped. Then we quickly retreated with our tails between our legs. I don't think the conditions really precluded going around the point, but Jim was concerned that we might just find fog in Carmel anyway, and not be able to dive it. So we headed back in and the call was Kawika's Garden. I'm not sure who made the call, since I was on deck and everyone else in the wheelhouse when the decision was made. I was happy to go there.

On the way down, we found the same layer at about 20 to 40 feet that we found further out on Friday. Below the layer the viz was good but not great. We were greeted to the now-usual layer of sea nettles on the way down, which gave way to egg yolk jellies deeper. The bottom seemed a bit churned up, but I would give it about 40 feet. Rob was shooting wide angle, which would not normally be the lens of choice for this dive site, but it turned out to be a good opportunity to get some shots of the site. I was ostensibly leading, but it was more of a meander, with Rob constantly ending up ahead of me :) This site is usually pretty fishy. There were the usual suspects, but nothing particularly interesting. I did find one interesting little fishy. It was white and black striped, and had a very "tropical" look to me. I had sort of forgotten about trying to figure out what it was, but then later in the week I was perusing Tom Laidig's powerpoint presentation on juvenile rockfish ID, and I happened upon a picture of a juvenile treefish. They are "yellow and white" but the yellow can be somewhat pale. After an email exchange with Tom about it, that seems to be the most likely ID. I spent the rest of the dive poking at the egg yolk jellies and posing for pictures with the gorgonians and metridium.

Before you know it, it was time to go. I was looking forward to the warm layer on the way up, and I was not disappointed. I was, however, disappointed by the swell at 10 feet, which made me totally nauseated. Once we were back on board, it was a quick ride back to the dock. In fact, we got back to the dock before 11:30 which was pretty strange! We decided to go somewhere a little different for lunch, and headed up to Phil's Fish Market in Moss Landing. Yum yum. It was insanely crowded but we split up and managed to get both a table and food in pretty short order. All in all a nice day, and definitely better than sitting at home in the ridiculous heat!

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