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Me diving

Friday, December 11, 2009

Breakwater Night Dive

Cynthia proposed a night dive on Friday, followed by chili and margaritas at her place. How could we resist? So we headed down to Monterey after work, and met up a little before 7:30. Conditions were calm (and not too cold on the surface, which was an improvement from the week before). We got geared up and headed into the water. The plan was to do the usual Breakwater night dive loop out over the sand and back in along the wall. We swam out to about the bend in the Breakwater and dropped there. The viz was probably about 20 feet, with a few spots where it was murkier than that. Over the sand, we saw the usual critters -- a few octopus of varying sizes, a couple of Hermissendas, tons of shrimp dancing just above the bottom, and even one of those giant super scary brown shrimp (Penaeus californicus) that give me nightmares.

We ended up over at the wall earlier in the dive than usual, so we actually cruised out along the wall for a bit before turning. It was quite a sluggy night on the wall. We saw four or so Hopkins' roses all within about 3 feet of each other. There were also a couple of Limacias that were very warty -- lots of big bulbous processes so they had a lot more orange than the usual ones. I found a patch of reef that had over 10 Adalaria jannae within about 2 feet of each other. I also found a few Diaphorodoris lirulatocauda. But probably the most interesting find on the wall was a couple of small adult Bocaccio. Rob and I were a bit surprised to see those. It was a pretty fishy night overall. There were lots of small adults and juvenile rockfish around. In one spot on the swim back, I found a little nook behind a rock just off the wall that had a couple dozen kelp rockfish. It was cute to see then all swimming around in such tight quarters. When it was time to head in, we swam in to about 10 feet and ascended from there. By the time we got back to the "surf zone" (if you can call it that), my feet were so numb from the cold that I had trouble standing up and getting my fins off. I have become such a cold wimp!

Rob had the camera packed for wide angle for the next day, so he didn't bring it on the dive :(

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