It's about diving. And cats.

Me diving

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Anniversary Dive

It was our anniversary weekend, so we decided to do a dive for two at Lobos. Since we haven't successfully dived Twin Peaks in a while, we decided to go there. Rob and Matt spied an Okenia felis out there recently, so I was hoping for another siting. But strangely, Rob was shooting wide angle (which may have had more to do with what was already setup than anything...). We got to Lobos pretty late, at my insistence, since we went on a date the night before. On the way down to Monterey, we passed Ted, which we were a bit shocked by, since we were running so late. I think we got to Lobos just before 9:30. It was a pretty good day for loading a bazillion bottles onto the float (I secretly knew that the tide would be more favorable a bit later, so that was part of my master plan to show up late). I offered to swim, since swimming bottles totally beats carrying them. I even offered to swim out Ted and Brian's bottles to their float, since they didn't have much and I was already in the water; and it's always good to be owed a favor :)

Rob and I got into the water pretty quickly, got our gear from the float, and headed out on the surface. We dropped into the sand channel to find pretty so-so viz. We started down the sand channel, and I quickly heard any annoying bubbly noise coming from my left post. We stopped briefly so that Rob could fix it. The exact same thing happened the last time we dove Lobos, but this time I didn't forget to do a flow check after Rob was done tinkering with my valves :) We got started once again and found that the viz cleared up a bit north of Hole in the Wall, Lone Metridium, etc. We headed to the left at Hole in the Wall, and sort of straddled the line between worse and better viz. Along the way, I saw one of the big boulders in the sand was covered with the eggs of Onchidoris bilamellata. I figured I could look for slugs on deco :) The viz still was only okay to the north though. Eventually we headed that way, encountering a pretty big school of blue rockfish above us about halfway to the First Sister. They were just hanging there, above us, at about 60 feet. The so-so viz continued out to the start of the Road, and then a little bit along there, it seemed like the viz actually got worse. Maybe it was just because it was darker, so it seemed that way. Anyway, it definitely wasn't the right day for Rob to be packing wide angle :P Oh well.

Despite the bad viz, we did eventually make it all the way out to the Peaks. Once we got to the big one, we slowed down, and would park in an area for a bit, then slowly move along. There was a noticeable current out there, to the point where it was difficult to stay in one place to focus on little stuff :) But we still made a couple of interesting finds. The best find was definitely an Okenia felis, which Rob found. Good work! It was actually a really nice looking specimen, nice and symmetrical looking -- it's a shame Rob couldn't get a picture. This was definitely the deepest I have seen one. All of the others have been on the Road in 120 to 130-ish feet. After ogling that for a while, we eventually moved on, and I found an Aldisa albomarginata. I haven't seen one of those in ages! That slug is close to my heart, since I was looking for it when I found the first Okenia felis :P Other than these two slugs, we saw some Dotos and I found a cute muppet fish (an Irish lord I think). Shortly after we both switched off of our stages, I suggested we head in, so we could look around on the Road on the way in. So we did that. We didn't find anything terribly interesting on the Road, but did see some Dironas.

Eventually we headed in. Rob wanted to shoot straight from the Road to Beto's, so we went that way. I was a little nervous partway across that we were going to miss it to the north, so I started subtly nudging Rob to the right :) We hit Beto's and headed in along that, with just a brief stop to look for the wolf eel (Bert), but he was not in, or maybe just not taking visitors. Since we came back via Beto's, I didn't get a chance to look for those slugs on deco. On the way back just south of Sea Mount I saw some more rocks with lots of eggs on them, but they were around 75 or 80 feet, so I didn't get a chance to look at them either. Boohoo. Just around where we stopped to go onto our 50% bottles, Brian and Ted scooted past us. Ted didn't notice us, so we tried to sneak up on him and buzz past him :) After our 60 foot stop, we headed over to Middle Reef for the rest of deco. Eventually Rob decided to take some pictures of Ted and Brian, though they didn't seem that interested :) Once we got to 30 feet, we left Middle Reef and just headed in. Rob's scooter died as we were arriving for our 20 foot stop. Or I guess it was just making that noise where it is about to die. We just hung out for a bit at 20 feet, and then decided to mosey on in. We passed by a couple of red clouds which were swarms of some sort of little shrimp -- it was pretty eerie to see this moving cloud of red. Kind of cool but also pretty gross. I was trying to avoid the cloud, but Rob swam right through one. Eek! Eventually we made it back to our float and we surfaced.

After we got ourselves and our gear out of the water, we cleaned up and went to RG with Ted and Brian.

Since the viz was so crappy, Rob didn't even bother to take his camera out. So no pictures today!

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