It's about diving. And cats.

Me diving

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Not Diving at Point Lobos

Rob was out of town, and I wasn't originally planning to dive this weekend, since I figured I would be busy cleaning the house and such before our Thanksgiving guests arrived. But when John tempted me with a Lobos ticket, I just couldn't say no. He was shaking out his scooter (which he told me, in a very convoluted manner using a variety of terms with which I am not familiar, had passed his in-bucket leak tests at home). John recently moved a few miles from our house, which is very convenient for carpooling. So we agreed to meet at my place at O-dark-thirty as Ted would say. John arrived a "bit" past O-dark-thirty, but he had some kitty-related excuse for that, so I had to forgive him. Then we had to negotiate who would drive. John thought we could fit everything in his car, so we started loading my gear into his car (from mine), only to eventually decided that my car would be a lot more convenient. So then we moved everything back to my car, and finally got going about an hour later than expected.

After stopping at the Carmel Safeway for some donuts (committed to fitness and what-not) and batteries, we got to Lobos (an hour later than I had told Clinton we would get there). The guy at the range station warned us that some of the divers had turned around and left after seeing the conditions. We presented him with our C-cards (John's a very crusty backup card that he was lucky to find in my car) and headed in. Once we got down to the parking lot, I was relieved to see that Clinton, who was already in the water with Melissa, had left his O2 analyzer for me. I let Rob take ours with him on his trip, and forgot to borrow Ted's during the week. So at the last minute on Friday night I was scrambling to find someone to borrow one from. Then I couldn't get the case on it open. The zipper was like corroded shut. John couldn't open it either. Finally, between the two of us and a pair of pliers, we managed to get it open. Phew. We headed up to the top of the cliff to check out the conditions, and they were definitely not the best outside of the cove. However, it was surprisingly calm in the cove (west swell, I guess), so we were not deterred.

Then as John put his scooter together he noticed a key piece of it was missing... the tow cord (his scooter hadn't been in the water since he had sent a part of it back to George). Eek. I was sure that was going to put an end to our scooter plans, but figured I should rifle through our little tool/spares kit in the car thinking we might have some of the right line in there. We did not. Then I went through the one other bucket of dive gear, which contains catheters and spare socks, and at the bottom of it, I found a nice length of tow cord line. Quel surprise! I figured Rob in his infinite preparedness had put it there in case of a tow cord failure. Rob later admitted he actually had no idea why the line was in there, and no memory of putting it there. So maybe the scooter fairy left it for John :) Once he outfitted his scooter with the cord, we swam our gear out to the float, which John had expertly deployed. I was pretty shocked by how good the viz was at the float. By the time we were ready to get geared up, Clinton and Melissa were back from their dive. They reported surge and so-so viz, but that it was plenty diveable (though they punted on a second dive). So we were off. Our plan was to go to the end of Beto's reef, and maybe over to the Road to Twin Peaks, depending on the viz and whether John's scooter filled with water and dragged him to the bottom of the ocean.

We got into the water, got all of our gear from the float, moved the float while marveling at the viz, and headed out on the surface. Before we even got halfway to the edge of the cove, John stopped. I figured he was diddling with the pitch to match my speed, but then after a minute I asked him if everything was alright. He raised up his arm and I saw his prop in his hand. That's never a good sign :) We headed back to the float and he got out with his scooter (all at once... very hard core) to debug it. While bobbing on the surface, I thought about the many times I had heard the three minor failures wisdom -- that after three minor failures, you should call the dive. I was pretty sure had already exceeded our minor failure quota for the day, and I was getting seasick bobbing on the surface. After John apparently exhausted the possibilities of what can be done with duct tape, he gave up on fixing his scooter. He offered to schlep our 32% stages into the water for a kick dive, but I countered with a suggestion that we go for a hike with Clinton and Melissa instead. So we schlepped all our gear out of the water and headed off into the woods.

We headed up along North Shore trail until we got to the otter pelt station, and then continued heading south all the way to Gibson beach. I've never been down there before. Then we went to China beach, which I've also never been to. We headed back to Whaler's by cutting across on the trail that dumps you back on the road down to Whaler's. We saw a variety of strange mushrooms along the way. We headed to Baldemiro's for a very late lunch and then headed home. While John was out, he became the proud daddy of two new adopted kittens. I will have to beat some pictures out of him to post here. On the way home, Rob started calling my cell phone incessantly (which John could not locate under the mountain of gear in the car) and then finally called John. Apparently Rob was alarmed by my text message of "Dive failed. Going for a hike now." I had to assure him that in the event of a dive accident, I probably wouldn't go for a hike afterwards :)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Ed Cooper's Wall

Saturday we were on the Escapade for a BAUE tech boat. We dove in two shifts, because there were too many divers for one shift and not enough daylight for separate morning and afternoon boats. But luckily we were on the first shift, so we didn't have to sit around getting seasick before our dive. So we headed down to Ed Cooper's Wall. It is just outside of Lobos, to the west of the point. This site has a really awesome canyon running between two dramatically vertical walls. The tops of the walls vary from 70 feet (right around the park boundary) to like 160 feet, and the bottom runs from about 130 feet to 240 feet. In addition to the main walls/canyon, there are lots of little side canyons shooting out from it. The site cannot be dived everyday, because if the wind or current is unfavorable, you can end up drifting into rocks. And even if the wind and current are favorable, you really only want to do it on a day where you wouldn't be saying "oh shit" if you did drift into the rocks, since you never know what the weather gods will do while you are in the water :) Jim said that it looked like we would drift offshore, which is good, and it was pretty calm, not any big white water on the rocks. It was definitely a treat to be able to dive here on a "winter" (okay, not quite winter yet) dive boat.

Rob's camera suffered some sort of traumatic o-ring failure on the way back from Bonaire (or maybe as he was taking it apart before the trip back), so he didn't have his camera along. You know that means we'll see something really cool :) Kevin was originally slated to dive with us, but he ended up having to back out. And as much as I want to make fun of him for his reason, well, I guess I should be nice every now and then. So it was just me and Rob. This was our first dive since we got back from Bonaire, so the descent into cold water was a slightly rude awakening. But it really wasn't quite as bad as I expected. We dropped in about 130 feet of water, and headed down the wall and scootered out toward deeper water. There were a lot of canary rockfish hiding among the rocks on the bottom of the channel. The last time we were out here, we dropped sort of behind (north of) the main wall and headed west until we popped out in a wide, deep offshoot of the main canyon. We eventually made our way to this same offshoot, but we approached it from the other end this time. Last time we were there, we saw a big Tochuina, so I had my nudi goggles on. We didn't see any of those, but we did see a huge Diaulula lentiginosa (we think). This is the second time we have seen a disturbingly big one of these (we think), and the second time Rob has not had a camera to get a picture, and confirm the theory :)

This dive is more of a "structure" dive, where the cool part is the topography, rather than the critter peeping, but we have seen a variety of cool critters here too in the past. This dive did not disappoint. After joyriding in that offshoot canyon, we headed back to the main wall and headed back east. We saw two things of note. First, we found two molas swimming along gracefully -- at 200 feet. Not exactly what I was expecting to run into there -- it seems like I see them more often in midwater. They hung briefly with us, not bothered by our presence, and then they eventually headed up the wall. The second find was... a flag rockfish! Yay. Rob found it, between some of the rocks on the bottom of the wall, in a little over 200 feet. I was super excited. I have been on a mission to find a flag rockfish (knowing full well that I would see one when I wasn't looking for it). We hung out and just stared it down for a few minutes and eventually waved goodbye and continued on down the canyon. By the time we got back to the part of the wall topping in 130-ish feet, it was nearly time to thumb the dive. So we just loitered there for a couple minutes and then started our ascent.

Again, I was expecting the deco to be painfully cold, but it really wasn't too bad. We didn't see anything that interesting on the deco. Then at 20 feet, Rob's eyes got big and he pointed behind me. I figured there must be something *really* cool behind me. So I looked down between my legs and saw kelp. Not good. In my head, I heard Phil Sammet telling us (as he has on many Lobos-area dives in the past) "if you see kelp and senoritas, scooter away from it". So we did just that, and finished the 20 foot stop on the trigger. During the ride, we heard Jim on the in-water recall speaker thingy saying something that we couldn't quite make out. But we figured it was most likely telling us we were drifting towards the rocks and to get the hell out of there. When we surfaced, we were not alarming close to the rocks (though they did look a lot bigger than they usually do from the boat :P), but we kept having to scooter away to counteract the drift while we waited for our pickup. It was definitely "exciting" (and no, that's not in the good sense of the word). I guess I was saying "oh shit" even though the water was calm.

For the second shift, we headed up to the Outer Outer Pinnacles area, and then we headed home.

Friday, November 6, 2009

La Dania's Leap (Bonaire Day 7)

On Friday morning, we met Benji and headed to La Dania's leap. There is a bit of a hike to the water, though the path was more civilized than I expected. I like to think I could have hiked my gear to the water myself :) We walked to the water with our bottles, checked out the site, and then went back for our doubles. Getting into my doubles and into the water was a tiny bit scary, because I was afraid of falling into the water while I donned them. Once we were in the water, Benji handed down our bottles and Rob's camera (using his belt to pass stuff down). The "cliff" really isn't that high, but high enough that you can't just hand a bottle down. Benji gave us a briefing on what was where. There were three little "caves" which were really just little nooks under overhangs in the 120' to 160' range, all on the drift to Karpata.

A lot of the sites seems to just peter out once you get deep enough, but here there was still stuff to see deeper. The nooks were neat, with lots of stuff growing on and hanging down from the the overhangs. It was also fun to drift from one entry to another. We stopped at each of the nooks and I posed for some pictures. After we found the last one, we started to head up the reef for our deco. Benji gave us some advice on how to tell when we were approaching Karpata. He also told us that there are sometimes young turtles around at Karpata, so keep an eye out for them. We did in fact see several small turtles, about the size of dinner plates. They were really cute. If I had known this about Karpata, I totally would have dived the site before! I was glad that we got to see that as part of our last dive for the trip.

I was a bit skeptical about the idea to dive doubles for the whole trip. We even schlepped single tank wings with us because I was sure I wasn't going to want to dive doubles the whole trip. It was only because of the way the dates worked out for when we dove the Windjammer that I didn't reconfigure my regs and switch halfway through the week. But in the end, I liked it. It was nice to do just two or three long dives per day. I think that for the amount of bottom time we did, this way was way less tiring than diving single tanks, even though its obviously more tiring for a single dive (to get in and out in doubles versus a single tank). Plus you just have a lot more flexibility in how your arrange your dives that way. I guess Rob was right ;)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Mairi Bhan/Windjammer (Bonaire Day 6)

On Thursday we dove the Mairi Bhan, which is also known as the Windjammer. I'm not much of a wreck/history person, but here is a picture that Rob posted of the Mairi Bhan on its maiden voyage. The entry to the site is located past the gate of the Bopec terminal, so you have to do the dive with a guide, and they require your passport and such to make sure you aren't a terrorist, I guess. Benji got a call in the morning saying we would have to dive later than originally scheduled, because a boat was at the terminal. However, it was pretty clear from the view down the coast that there was no boat at the terminal. So we just headed over there anyway (Marco was on a schedule since he had to work in the afternoon). When we got there, the story changed to say that there was another team in the water, and we couldn't get in the water until they were out. But we were allowed to enter and setup our gear (there was a convenient little covered platform with a concrete table that was the perfect height for our tanks!) while we waited for the other team to come out. So once the other team came walking out, we entered the water. Benji schlepped our bottles to us and once we had everything, we headed out. There was a bit of a surface swim out, and then once Marco found his lineup, we descended. He had warned us that there was occasionally heavy current that could make it difficult to get to the wreck, but we had no problems.

Marco swam us to the wreck at a speedy clip, and then once there, we started at the bow which is fairly deep, where Rob took some pictures. Then we came around to each of the mastheads, for a few more photos. The wreck is lying on its side (sorry, I just don't get calling a boat she/her), with some of it collapsed on itself along the back half. Also, it is lying on its side on the slope, so at the back, its more like it's upside-down, if that makes sense. On the sand down the slope from the wreck, there is a brownish-black layer on top of the sand, which is the tar that the ship was carrying. We poked our heads inside the wreck to see if there was anything interesting there, and then headed back to the stern for some more pictures. Once our time was up, we worked our way up the reef for our deco, inching back toward the shore entry. I ran deco (it sort of shocked Marco when I asked to run deco; I guess normally when he guides a dive, he runs the show). The 20 foot stop was nice and warm (and long), and we posed for some more pictures at the top of the dropoff. There is structure even on top of the dropoff here (much like Taylor Made), so it was a scenic dive the whole way up. Once our 20 foot stop was up we swam up to the exit.

It was a cool dive, but I have to admit, I am not a huge fan of the "guide required" aspect of it, for a few reasons. I had no problem with Marco as a diver or a guide, and it was good to have someone to swim us to the drop point and show us how to get to the wreck. However, I really don't like the idea of doing a T2 dive with some guy I just met, and have never dived with before. It also adds a huge expense, not just because of the guiding fees, but because of the guides' gas (in hindsight, we could have perhaps done the dive without stage bottles, but I haven't really done the math on that). But most of all, it's just easier diving with just Rob (or Rob and Kevin, or some other usual dive buddies), since I know that if it comes time to call the dive, and we realize we have ridiculously more gas than our min gas, we can push it, and we know we'll all come up with reasonably similar deco with the push. Negotiating that with an unknown buddy just doesn't work.

The upside of doing the dive with stages even though we probably didn't need them was that we had so much backgas left that we could mix a full set of 21/35 for the next day. We had been planning to just top off to 25/25 and do a little semi-recreational diving at one of the deeper double reef sites. But when we realized we could make 21/35, Benji suggested La Dania's Leap, which has some cool stuff deep. He was a bit concerned about the entry for me, since I am a wimp. But he really wanted us to do the dive, so he offered to sherpa my gear to the cliff, help us get our bottles down into the water, and then drive the truck down to Karpata (where we would drift). Well, how could I turn up that offer? :) So we made a plan to meet on Friday for that. Rob and I decided to take the afternoon off from diving (we're one-dive wonders, I know), and instead we did a little free diving in the back of the hotel, playing with the baitball that is always swarming around the stairs.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Invisibles and Bari Reef (Bonaire Day 5)

On Wednesday, we went to the Invisibles. This is on the south end of the double reef system. I didn't write up a report of this dive afterward, so I don't have a super detailed report of it. Benji had recommended this site to us, though I don't remember why. I think we told him we liked the double reef sites, and we hadn't been here, so why not? One thing that was different at this site versus some of the other double reef sites was that instead of having a continuous parallel reef across the sand, there were just big discontinuous bits of reef popping up out of the sand (like what we would call pinnacles in California ;) ). I remember there were a lot of barracuda and bait balls of smaller fish out on the outer reeflets. Rob was shooting macro, so I looked for a few things that he didn't feel like he had gotten quite the shot that he was hoping for yet. Other than that, this dive was similar to our others with the usual deep segment then working our way up the reef, with a long segment just at the drop off.

In the afternoon, we went to Bari Reef. Rob wanted to get a shot of the seahorse, since he was shooting wide angle the night before. We spent quite a bit of time with the seahorse -- someone else came along while Rob was shooting him, so he backed off and let the other guy have a shot, then took some more pictures once he was done. Once Rob was satisfied, we headed out to the right for a dive. I think it was on this dive that we actually meandered past the hotel on the way back in. We hadn't gone to the left before, but we eventually wandered into some sort of buoyancy course with hoops to swim through and the like. Rob and I tried it out and it was not too pretty. I swear those hoops weren't wide enough for doubles!

On Thursday we planned to dive the Mairi Bhan, which requires a guide. One of Benji's friends, Marco (who had GUE tech training and was a DM at another resort) was going to be our guide, so we agreed to meet up on Wednesday night to plan the dive. Benji gave us an overview of the boat and what the high points would be from a photo perspective, and then we got to planning the dive, with a laptop and DecoPlanner. This is where we found out that even though we all had GUE training, we didn't do deco the same way (I hope I don't get kicked out of the club for saying that). The bottom was around 200', but the wreck comes up to like 150', with some of the features on the shallower end. So Rob and I proposed a multi-level dive, with a segment at 200' and a segment at 160'. I don't think they do a lot of multi-level deco dives, so we planned it very conservatively. Let's just say that we ended up doing a lot more deco than I would have done for the same dive in Monterey. But considering what Bonaire deco entails, we really didn't mind :)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Lac Bay, Taylor Made, Bari Reef (Bonaire Day 4)

Tuesday morning we dove the east side with Benji. We drove over to the north side of Lac Bay. Much of the drive was over a dirt road. We passed a lagoon (or lake?) with some flamingos in it. The entry was easy but over coral rubble of course. But no slippery ledge. There was a fairly long surface swim. In hindsight, conditions were "rough" for Bonaire (though I didn't notice it until our next surface swim, which was calmer by comparison). Benji told us that we would swim out to the dropoff and then follow it south. Then on the way in, we'd swim back the whole way underwater. On the way in, we'd pass over a sand "bowl" that could have very bad viz but potentially a lot of tarpon. Then we'd swim up a channel that could have significant current (that we'd be swimming against). Benji told a story about having to pull and glide up the channel. He also asked if we each had a bag. Man, the briefing alone was enough to make one not want to dive :)

Anyhoo, on the swim out, it seemed like there wasn't much outbound current, a good sign. We eventually got to the drop off (after seeing a couple of eagle rays below us on the way out) and we were off. The dive was basically a 50' dive, but we occasionally went deeper to look at something specific. We saw a lot of eagle rays, at least a dozen I'd guess. We also saw 4 turtles, two of whom we found resting on the reef. And a couple of green morays and some big barracuda. Those were the highlights. On the way back in, when we hit the sand bowl, the viz was mucky near the bottom, but there was a distinct line where the water got blue, 5 feet or so off the bottom. Benji signaled to go up to 20 feet and travel there, in the clear water. The sand below was completely featureless, making it hard to tell if you were swimming in a circle :) Eventually I noticed a tarpon or two off to my left, and when I turned to point it out, I slowly saw 5 or 6 appear on my right. I eventually realized they were everywhere, appearing from out of the muck. It was eerie and really cool. We eventually made our way to the channel where there was no current. There were, however, tons of big anemones. It was insane. Some spots were totally carpeted, unlike anything we'd seen on the west side. We continued in and surfaced a few feet from the exit.

After driving back, we asked Benji for a suggestion for a dive site for the afternoon. The day before, I had been talking about the crinoids at the anchors, and Benji was telling us about some tiny shrimp on the crinoids, with a black body and white tail. Apparently this species has only been found in Bonaire and Curacao so far. So Benji suggested a site with a resident crinoid, called Taylor Made. It is just north of the oil terminal, and doesn't appear on the maps with the usual dive sites (and not marked by a stone). But Benji gave us a detailed description of where it is. Getting there involved taking a sketchy dirt road around Bopec and then a short drive on a crushed coral path. The entry sucked. I think we should have spent more time looking for the best entry point. Instead we just headed in, and I went down on my knees in about a foot and a half of water. Rather than stand up, I had Rob just push me to deeper water :)

This site has reef almost right up to the entry. So we dropped pretty quickly and headed down the slope. I wasn't really looking for the crinoid, but I was ran right into it at 60 feet. Benji had said that if you head straight down the slope, that's where he would be. I immediatelly noticed the tips of the crinoid moving one by one and I realized a shrimp was hopping along it from tip to tip! After looking more, I found a couple more shrimp. It was too bad Rob was shooting wide angle. But as promised by Benji, the wite has some impressively big hard coral formations. I think that the site is best appreciated by looking up the slope at the big corals looking down at you, with surface ripples behind them. There was a significant current at the site. At some spots on the reef there was more or less protection. We were kicking fairly hard the whole time, and in places I really had to kick at full power to get around a corner, etc. But then there were spots where it felt like no current at all, because the reef jutted out in just the right way to provide protection. Eventually I cam to a spot where I realized after kicking hard for about a minute, I hadn't gone anywhere. I started to kick even harder and moved a bit, when I noticed Rob holding onto a dead coral stump, to maintain his position. At that point, I decided this was ridiculous and called turn. This was 47 minutes into the dive. It took 10 minutes to drift back to the exit point :)

We played around in the shallows (above the dropoff) where there was little current for another 10 or so minutes before I called the dive. There were a lot of lettuce slugs there, and fishies right up to the shore. Rob got out while I waited for an escort. He came back in and said he thought it would be better for him to take my rig out. Mmmkay. So I took off my rig and gave it to him, and walked out (after Rob warned me I'd have to walk out alone :P).

I was relieved when we made it back to the paved road without getting stuck in any mud holes. Since our dive was unexpectedly short, we had a bunch of gas left, so we decided to do a dusk dive out back. While we were gearing up, we ran into some divers getting out of the water who had found a seahorse. We got directions for how to find it, and headed over to it. We found it pretty quickly and played with it a bit. Rob was shooting wide, so no pics. Then we headed to the dropoff. Right at the top, I swam right over a big octopus. I showed it to Rob, and he got some pics. By now, it was pretty dark. We headed down the slope and to the right. We saw several open basket stars, and Rob took some pics. We turned the dive and headed up the slope, where we found a tarpon frenzy. Actually there was first a frenzy of little fish, which the tarpon then went after. There were at least 10 tarpon going crazy in our lights, feeding on the little fish. It was cool, but slightly scary -- I got bumped a couple of times. After Rob got some action shots, my light died. I put Rob's light on my hand, and tethered to him, lit the scene for a few more pics, then we headed in.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Red Slave and Flamingo Peeping (Bonaire Day 3)

Monday morning we did a tech dive at Red Slave. There were some last minute gas shenanigans because of a lost Helium shipment, but in the end we managed to pull together full stages and enough backgas to do the dive (by topping pff some spent doubles with 15/55 left in them). We had checked out the site the previous afternoon and it did not look too inviting. But this morning Benji told us to pull up to a slightly different spot, which was better. Benji walked us into the water and then schlepped all of the bottles out to us. Benji had given us a dive briefing complete with a diagram of where we would find the anchors. The reef consists of spurs separated by sand channels. To the left of the sand channel that we would descend, there would be an anchor at 120' and another at 190'. Then we'd head right a couple spurs to find one at 160' and another at 210'. Benji swam us out to the drop point and we were off.

We dropped down the sand channel and at 120' to 130' we stopped to look around. No anchor. I suggested we head left in case we were a spur over, but we still saw neither the 120' or 190' anchor. I was starting to worry we weren't going to find anything :) We headed back to the right and eventually found an achor around 170'. I wasn't sure which one from Benji's map it was supposed to be. Shortly after that, we saw another at 175'. Then I saw a huge one off in the distance, down the slope. We swam over to it, and it was at about 190'. From that, I could see another smaller one just down the slope at about 210'. We hit that one just as I switched off of my stage, and then thumbed it. We headed up the slope and deco'd on the reef.

We had planned to extend our 50% deco if there was something interesting to look at at 30-40 feet. We extended the 40' stop, but by 30' the reef was petering out. At 20', we were over barren sand. Benji said that you can sometimes see rays in the sand there. So we waited, hoping to see a ray. At some point during our 20' stop, Benji free-dove down to tell us we were in the right spot to exit. He scared me half to death in the process (one minute it was just the two of us, with Rob on my left, and the next minute I feel a tap on my right arm). Shortly after that, an eagle ray appeared. It didn't come close enough for pics, but it frolicked nearby for a few minutes.

We decided to take it easy in the afternoon and not dive. Instead, we went flamingo peeping up north at the flamingo reserve. We got some pretty close up looks at flamingos (and some donkeys).

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Hilma Hooker, Salt Pier, Bari Reef (Bonaire Day 2)

The next morning we headed to the Hilma Hooker. There was, not surprisingly, a "lot" of traffic on this site. A bunch of cars pulled up as we were getting in. There were some tarpon and biggish barracuda on the wreck. We went counterclockwise around the wreck, with Rob posing me for various pictures. We also did a brief swimthrough of the hold. Then we headed up to the propeller. Near that, on the hull, I found a slug! It looked like a mini sea hare. Rob independently formed the opinion that it looked like an Aplysia. It was really tiny, and Rob was shooting wide angle, so I don't think we'll ever know exactly what it was. We then headed up the reef and south, where we saw the usual stuff. Eventually we turned the dive and headed up the slope.

In the afternoon we went to the Salt Pier. It has a nice easy entry -- not so much slippery broken coral to negotiate. We knew this would be a shallow dive, so we planned to save gas for a night dive. I was expecting this site to be like Town Pier, with lots of macro life on the pilings. It was, in fact, a bit different. Instead of tiny critters all over, it had bigger corals and sponges growing on the pilings. There were also tons of fish loitering under some of the piers. I couldn't believe how many fish there were at this site. Unfortunately we missed one of the piers by accident (the on Benji had told us was the best :( ). This can happen when somebody doesn't let the leader lead the dive. In the shallows there was a bait ball that pelicans were diving into. The dive had a decent current, which pushed us along on our way out (south).

After that dive, we had plenty of gas left for a night dive on the house reef. The highlights of the night dive were two tarpon following us and using our lights to hunt, a small octopus out free swimming, and about 5 basket stars that were open. I was super excited about the basket stars. I couldn't believe it when I just kept finding more.

For dinner, we went to Pasa Bon Pizza. I was craving veggies, so pizza worked well. They have a black kitty there who I played with a little.