It's about diving. And cats.

Me diving

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Getting the Band Back Together

We were back on the Escapade, for a BAUE tech boat. Team Kitty (classic) was diving together; it seems like it has been ages since we've all dived together. A quick review of the blog suggests that the last dive we did together locally was in July! How terrible. But there have been two cave trips since then, so I guess not that terrible. Anyhoo, the forecast for Saturday was looking pretty good, but the wind was supposed to get worse throughout the day, and then Sunday had a pretty horrible wind forecast. But we managed to sneak down to Yankee Point before it got too bad. Rob wanted to go to the south wall, so we hatched a plan to drop just north of the wall, and then have all of the teams (since we were all on scooters) meet back at K2 and pop bags there. We hopped into the water (as much as you can "hop" with a gazillion pounds of gear on) and scooted to the downline. There was some wicked current. I had to stay on the trigger pretty much continuously to stay with the line. I was waiting and waiting and eventually Kevin appeared. He headed down to 20 feet, so I followed him. And we waited and waited and eventually came up to look for Rob. Eventually he appeared (he fell behind while clipping his camera off and his ghetto scooter took a while to get him to the line). So finally we headed down the line.

There was wicked current pretty much top to bottom. Once on the bottom, we were greeted by dark, green water, with rather shitty viz. Ahh, this is why we dive. I really had no freakin' clue where we were -- that's the beauty of dark green silty water. But rumor had it we were north of the wall, a little to the east of the channel that leads to K2. So Rob headed southwest. The current was dragging us away from the wall. Well, at least we wouldn't have to worry about fighting the current on the way back. We had tentative plans to head across the sand to the little parallel wall that I call the "south south wall". When we plan to do that, I always preface that with "if the viz looks good". When we finally made it to the wall (I guess... I really couldn't see much down or up it, but the depth suggests we were at the wall), and Rob asked and I was like "no freakin' way". I don't have much to report about this dive, since mostly I just saw green, dark, siltiness. It was insanely bad at 200' plus there was all that current. We eventually came up the wall, or somehow were magically transported to shallower structure -- hey, I just follow Rob. At 150', the water actually seemed a bit clearer. It was definitely a lot less dark.

Other than dark green siltiness, there were some hordes of baby rockfish. We also had a close encounter with a mola. We were on the trigger and Kevin signaled Rob I think he was worried that Rob was about to run straight into the mola. So we all stopped and had a mola fly-by. It was nice. I was thinking as we were scootering to the north, on our way to K2 (more on that in a moment), that in the greenness, the bright pink structures seemed even brighter than usual, maybe just because they seemed to suddenly appear under my light from the murk. However, I think Corynactis looks nicer on a backdrop of blue water (much like my drysuit). So eventually it was time to find our way back to K2. Because of the viz, we didn't successfully find the channel that we usually take up to K2. But we were heading in that general direction. Eventually we realized that we were a bit too far west; or I should say we guessed we were a bit too far west. It was the most plausible direction, based on the depth of the wall when we were on the wall, plus how long we spent getting to the wall. So we headed to the east, and saw some structure that had some tell-tale signs of looking like K2. It had all that mowed down palm kelp that you see on certain sides of the pinnacle. But now we had overshot to the north. So we headed south and eventually found the 70' high spot on the pinnacle. I was pretty impressed that we made it. I checked the crack formerly known as the GPO's home, and saw a huge urchin, but no octopus. I didn't see either of the other teams, though in this viz, I'm not sure I would have seen them. We had an uneventful, though pretty cold ascent.

We unfortunately surfaced just after another team did, so we had to wait for them to be retrieved. While we were bobbing on the surface, it was a little rough. Finally the boat came over to us, and getting back on the boat was a bit of a pain with all that current. I was freezing after the dive. I don't know if it is actually related, but I have a usual eating routine before a dive (based on my theory that protein == warmth), which I did not stick to. There is also a high likelihood that my pink drysuit is a bit leaky (I have since left it at the drysuit hospital for a leak test). We headed bayward and once we were there, we paused to discuss options for a second dive. I guess someone suggested Ballbuster, so that is where we went. As a result of my extreme coldness, and the fact that I think Ballbuster is a very scary dive, I decided to stay on the boat and have some hot chocolate instead. Kevin and Nick kept me company, and Rob joined Clinton and John. Eventually some bags came up, one not too far from the line and the other not at all close to the line. It turns out the anchor slipped (or something), and one team (Pavel and Masao) guessed the right direction to go, while Rob's team guessed the wrong direction and basically swam to deep Aumentos. No one had any pictures from the trip :(

We had lunch at Turtle Bay and then we headed over to Beto and Sue's afterward. The night before, a neighborhood (stray?) cat had followed Susan home, and come inside to play. So Susan and I took Naia for a walk to see if we could find him (or her) again. We found her (as far as I could tell, it was a girl) in the park, and she was super friendly, and we quickly made friends. She was grey with slightly long (super soft) fur, and a big fluffy tail. Since I am a crazy cat lady (CCL for short), I have a sort of cat bucket list. It's a list of all of the cats I want to have at some point. Two of the entries on the list are "grey cat" and "cat with bushy tail". So I was definitely into this cat. She followed us home and came inside and charmed Susan into giving her some tuna. What a lucky kitty. She also entertained us while Rob and Beto were knotting line -- every cat's favorite activity! Beto nicknamed her "Panther".

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