It's about diving. And cats.

Me diving

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Not Diving at Soberanes Point

On Saturday we had a BAUE tech boat planned. The plan for the dive was to a shallower, longer T1 dive, something like Kawika's Garden or Lunaticos. I love these kinds of dives... I'm a fan of any dive that gives you more time on the bottom than on deco :) So I was immediately interested, even though Rob and I had tentatively planned to dive on Sunday (since he was out of town and not getting back until Saturday night). But after enough whining about it, Rob said his feelings would not be hurt if I wanted to dive on Saturday and not Sunday. So I roped Karl into being my buddy and we signed up for the boat. Unfortunately when we got down to K-dock, Jim did not seem very pleased with the conditions. This was a departure from Jim's usual "well let's go check it out attitude" so I knew that the conditions must be pretty bad. It was super windy and there was just no hope at all of making it out of the bay. After looking at the wind from the end of K-dock, we decided that our only option at all was to dive Mile Buoy (the direction of the wind was unfavorable for diving Kawika's). Recent dives in the bay had had 1 to 5 foot viz, so this really wasn't very tempting. Add to that the fact that the size and direction of the wind was worrisome for drift deco (unless the plan was to drift into the Breakwater wall and finish up deco there :P). So we had the option of going out in rough seas to dive in less than 5 foot viz and deco on the line in this viz. There was a lot of hemming and hawing, with no one wanting to be the guy to say no, but no one really wanting to say yes either. Finally after like an hour of vacillating (and I'm really not exaggerating about that!), Joakim decided that we shouldn't dive. His logic was that if we hadn't talked ourselves into diving yet, the dive was not going to happen. Sound logic to me! So instead we headed to First Awakenings for some breakfast. After breakfast, Clinton and I decided to go on a hike.

The two ideas were Lobos or Soberanes Point. I've never done the hike at Soberanes Point, so I was up for that. Clinton warned me that it was a "real" hike, not like a Lobos hike, and make some references to "if we even make it to the top". I told him I would try to keep the whining to a minimum. The description of the hike that we did, and the trail map, is here. We went up the Rocky Ridge trail and then came back down the Soberanes Canyon trail. Clinton said that he usually does it the other way around, and that in hindsight, the route down is less steep, and thus less scary, if you do it his usual way... I guess this is the part of the trail which is described in the brochure as "the trail makes an insanely steep descent into Soberanes Canyon - 0.3 miles with an average gradient of 14%, followed by 0.4 miles with an average gradient of 32%". Hehehe. On the other hand, I had to take many breaks on the way up, so I'm not sure that a steepier ascent would have been any better. I fell three times on the way down, but other than a bloody finger, I lived to tell the tail :) The hike up had some really nice views of Lobos Rocks and such (Clinton convinced himself that the water had calmed down during the hike, but I think the whitecaps just looked smaller from 2000 feet). But personally I liked the part along the creek with the redwoods the best. This is actually a fairly short, easy hike from the road, so I can imagine returning there with Rob (he would whine too much if I made him do the whole hike). Other highlights of the hike included mating ladybugs, a few butterflies, and some interesting plants/flowers.

Clinton was on the lookout for lizards and such the whole hike. I think he found one lizard but it scurried off before I got a chance to see it (it was on the really steep downhill part, where I was lagging behind). Then in the section after the creek, where it there were cactuses along the side of the trail, Clinton suddenly took off running along the trail and then stopped and started rooting around in the bushes on the side of the trail. What did you see, I asked? "A snake!" Clinton is the only person I know who would start rooting around in the bushes to go after a snake. After a bit of searching, he eventually gave up :( I must admit I was a little disappointed that I didn't get to see the snake.

After the hike we headed back to Monterey so that I could get my car. I left it at the parking lot for First Awakenings. I accidentally stayed beyond the 4 hours allowed with validation, so I had to bat my eyelashes at the parking attendant to avoid paying a monstrous fee. I usually reserve the eyelash-batting for guys I know, so I felt a little dirty using it to save $16 :)

Back tomorrow for another attempt to dive on the Escapade. Pictures in this report were all taken by Clinton. Thanks, Clinton.


gecko1 said...

Speaking of whining - you left out the best part of the hike: the kid coming up from Soberanes Canyon who was woefully behind his sister whom we passed much further up the hill. "But Daaaad, she doesn't have asthma! She didn't almost die! Waaaaa!"

Allison said...

I was going to tell the story, but I didn't think I could do it justice. But you did :)