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Me diving

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Not Diving on the Escapade

Saturday I was on the BAUE tech boat. After 3 weekends of being away, I was looking forward to some local diving. It had been foggy in Monterey recently, and today was no different. The bay looked alright on the drive in, but once we got going, it was pretty foggy. It seemed like we were cruising forever when we finally stopped and I saw (based on the very fuzzy coastline that I could see) that we were in the vicinity of the pinnacles. I don't know if we went via Japan or what, but it seemed like we were going for a really long time -- so long that I wondered if we had gone further south and then turned back. But it was so foggy I really have no idea. Or maybe it was that I was feeling rather seasick, so the time just felt longer than it was. I've completely lost my sea legs lately; I think it's from too much cave diving. After noting the fog, a decision was made (by those people who go up to the wheelhouse; I prefer to stay on deck) to keep heading south and hope the fog would clear. We again paused near Lobos, noted that everything except perhaps Montana was fogged in, and then decided to kill some more time and hope the fog would clear, so we headed a bit further south before giving up and turning back. We got back to Lobos and it was proposed that we could either dive Montana or we could do a rec dive first and then hope the fog would lift for an afternoon tech dive. What about the Outer Outer Pinnacles area? we asked. So we drove up there and had a look, and once again it was still fogged in. So it was back to Lobos for a rec dive at the Needle, which I'd never dived before.

We got geared up and once the boat was anchored, Rob and I were the first into the water. As soon as I hit the water, my leg felt cold. Then I felt water pouring into my suit, down my right leg. So I quickly exited the water. My first thought was that my suit was not completely zipped, but alas this drysuit zips up. Hmm. Greg inspected the zipper and saw nothing obviously wrong (and fixable), so I got out of my gear and Rob found another team. Boohoo. After everyone was in the water, I got out of my suit, which had quite a bit of water in the boot. I inspected the bottom of the zipper and all of the seams that I thought could be responsible for a wet leg, and didn't find anything too suspicious. After the first dive, we headed up to Stillwater, which was unfoggy, and had a surface interval there. As soon as we left there, we found that the fog had cleared up there, and we could even see Point Lobos in the distance. So we headed down there and found clear skies. So we (or should I say they) went to Pinnacle Point Wall for the second dive. While the crew was setting the downline, I clipped bottles onto the divers; I think I have a future as crew on the Escapade (although I need to work on my balance -- there was a lot of falling in people's laps while I clipped bottles onto them).

While the divers were in the water, we saw some Risso's in the distance, and had a feisty sea lion loitering at the swim step like he was thinking about hopping on. Other than that, it was pretty uneventful, with the bags coming up right on time. I did gather some interesting data on the merits of small versus big bags from the point of view of someone on the boat watching the bags. Once we retrieved the divers, it was a smooth ride back to the dock.

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