It's about diving. And cats.

Me diving

Friday, October 28, 2011

Friday Diving with a Special Guest

Rob was teaching a class starting on Friday, which I was to help with on Saturday and Sunday.  I decided that if Rob didn't have to go to work on Friday, I didn't want to either!  So I emailed Beto and Jim early in the week to see if they had anything planned for Friday.  The forecast was looking good, and Jim said if that didn't change, he was all set with crew.  Woohoo.  That afternoon at the gym, Rob was complaining about what a traitor I was for going diving without him, and I suggested that Ted come along... just to be extra mean to Rob.  I always try to get Ted to come diving with us during the week, but he never does.  He's obviously more hard working than me, or maybe just committed to using his vacation days for family time.  But he happened to have a comp day coming to him this very week, and after getting permission from the boss (err, wife), it was a go!  We carpooled down to Monterey, and I even drove.  I owe Ted like 500 rides home from the gym, so I figure each time I drive us to Monterey, that should wipe like 10 or 15 rides from my debt.

We met to board the boat at the very civilized hour of 9 AM.  Jim said that the wind was supposed to pick up in the afternoon.  On the way out, there were whitecaps in the bay (!) which was pretty discouraging, but once we were out of the bay it was calmer.  Go figure.  The ride down, once around Point Pinos, was pretty nice actually.  We made it down to Mount Chamberlain, and after a bit of negotiation, we anchored on K2.  Ted said he had been to K2 at most once, so I didn't see the point in doing some long south-wall-to-K2 scooter run.  So we planned to drop on the east side, head north, check out some of the deeper areas, and then come back up shallower and possibly south of the peak a bit.  The crew warned us there was some current before dropping us one team at a time.  Our team went second, since we had a 5 minute shorter bottom time planned. When we got in, the current was obvious, but it was not problematic.  We headed down the line into pretty good viz.  At 80 feet, the line suddenly flattened out and we scootered and scootered and eventually came to the pinnacle.  The ball had landed right on top of the pinnacle, so the 180 feet of line (or whatever) that they put out was not necessary.

When we first arrived at the pinnacle, there was a nice looking school of blue rockfish, as there often is.  We pretty much passed right by them -- I figured we could visit on the way up.  We dropped down the east side and headed north, pausing every now and then to look at stuff.  I saw a couple of starry rockfish, and a cute muppet fish in a crack.  Those were the highlights of the beginning of the dive.  Eventually we came around the north tip, and stopped there.  I was thinking of heading across the sand to the little pinnacles to the north, but the viz wasn't that good (not good enough to see those structures), so I figured we could just stay put.  I found a nice little flat spot at like 150' that had a really lush gorgonian garden.  I spent several minutes there, mostly just looking at the gorgonians, as the current dragged me across, then scootering back across, and repeating.  When it came time to go a bit shallower, we turned around and cruised back the way we came, only headed up the wall a bit shallower.  So, I am sad to report that there are barnacles all the way down to 160 feet on K2.  This is relatively new -- the last time I was there, they seemed to only be on the shallower parts (from maybe 120 feet up).  Also, I found a bunch of heads of hydrocoral that were covered with the little bastards :(

We made our way back to the peak, and after doing a thorough GPO inspection, I suggested we head further south to the little gorgonian canyon.  We scootered down it, against the current, and then when we got to the end, we just drifted back and enjoyed the scenery.  The viz seemed a little bit better here than it was on the north side.  More blue, less green.  We got back to the peak and meandered around there.  Eventually the HUGE school of rockfish found us.  I couldn't believe how thick with fish the water was, so I got out my hero cam.  We were at like 80 feet, so I hoped for at least some decent video just to show how dense the school of rockfish was.  It was really neat hanging out in the midst of all of those fish.  After wiling away the rest of our "bottom" time on top of the peak, I pulled my bag and we moved over to the west side of the pinnacle to put up the bag.  And that is when the fun started.  The idea was that we would be a bit further from the (copious quantity of) line.  I put up the bag, as a giant sheephead swam by, and as soon as the bag was up, I felt like I was flying a kite, or rather I was a kite, being flown by the bag :)  There was quite a bit of current, so once we left the pinnacle, we were really moving.  But I think there was also some wind tugging on the bag.

We got to 70 feet, and Ted started to switch to his bottle, as the line came into view.  I pointed out to him that we were drifting toward the line, and we kind of pushed away from it.  I handed the bag off and switched onto my bottle.  We were happily deco'ing, or at least I was, when about two minutes in, I realized that Ted was still holding the bag.  Just as I noticed this, he motioned for me to take it.  Okay.  He handed me the bag, and about 10 seconds later, I was suddenly snapped up to 62 feet, and I felt like my arm was going to be pulled out of its socket.  I may have actually ended up shallower than 62 feet, but that was the last number I saw on my gauge before I realized what was going on.  The bag was entangled in the downline.  Or, the way my arm felt, maybe the boat :)  I was kicking like hell to keep my hand on the bag, but once I realized what was going on, I had to let the bag go.  I dropped it and returned back to 70 feet to Ted, and showed him I had no bag.  He gave me this "WTF" look.  I tried to signal to him that it must be tangled in the boat's line.  So Ted pulled his bag and put that up.  In hindsight, we probably should have waited a minute, to drift past any further entanglement opportunities.  But I was probably not thinking that clearly right at that moment -- I was breathing pretty hard and I could feel my heart pounding from the excitement.  Once the second bag was up, we managed to not get snagged again.

Ted was acting a little odd on the deco.  At some point he took one of my scout lights.  I thought he took it to turn it off (though unclipping someone's light on deco, over deep water, wouldn't be my choice of how to turn it off).  Then later he was pointing at my left D-ring and telling me to give him something.  I had no idea what he wanted... I wasn't giving him my deco bottle :)  I could tell he was a little light, by his exaggerated moves to try to vent gas from his wing.  But I never put it all together and figured out what he was doing (because it was completely non-sensical!).  He was slightly underweighted, because he was using a set of Rob's tanks, and he underestimated the amount of extra weight he would need.  He was trying to take gear from me that would weight him down.  But a scout light?  Really?  I had some double-enders he could take too :)  Aside from this slightly odd behavior, the deco went by without much of interest.  We had been hoping for some jellyfish love, but all we got were tiny deco critters.  Those are still entertaining to stare at, but I was hoping for some pretty nettles after the previous weekend's dive.  On our 6-minute ascent, around like 11 feet, we were suddenly in completely bubbly, agitated water.  It wasn't whitewater white water, but it was white water, if you know what I mean.  It was totally disorienting.  One minute we could clearly see each other, and the next we had to be in touch contact to keep track of each other.  I'm still not sure what that was... perhaps the boat has driven over that patch of water and stirred it up?

When we surfaced, the crew told me they had caught my other bag.  There was a bit more to the story.  My bag got tangled around the ball, after flirting with it for a while.  Ted confessed that the reason he handed me the bag was that his buoyancy was all screwed up and he wanted me to take the bag while he dealt with that.  I guess the bag had snagged then unsnagged the line a couple of times (hence Ted's problems) before finally completely wrapping around the ball, without any hope of unsnagging it.  Sean got in the water to free the bag (which at that point we'd abandoned), and then Beto and Jim's bag tangled with my bag.  Meanwhile Ted put up our second bag, and it briefly tangled with the ball, but Sean freed it.  Yikes.  What a mess.  In the end, everyone and their bag made it back on the boat.  Ted and I hit the cup o' noodles while we waited for Jim and Beto to return, and then we headed back to the dock.  We had a quick lunch at La Tortuga and then headed home via Anywater Sports.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Afternoon Boat in the Bay

Leah was finishing up her GUE Rec3 class on Sunday, and Matt, Rob, and I had scored an invitation to share the boat.  The plan was a light Tech dive at Kawika's Garden, followed by a recreational dive somewhere in the bay.  Since the class was, well, having class, in the morning, and since we have a big van, Rob and I were tasked with picking up some gas from Bamboo Reef.  I had been planning on hanging out and then getting dressed for the boat before heading to K-dock, but with the gas pickup and the rather hot weather, I decided to just toss all of my drysuit underthings into my bag and change in the van at K-dock.  We got everything we need at Bamboo Reef and headed to K-dock.  Because it was noon, the parking situation sucked, so we had to park pretty far away (in line with the building with the pub).  The boat was similarly parked in a bad spot, basically right out in front of the pub.  So it was a bit of a schlep with the doubles.  But not really that bad; I suppose that is the benefit of diving 104s regularly; it makes the 85s easier to walk around in.

We got our gear on the boat pretty quickly.  And when I saw "we" I mean everyone at K-dock.  I only had two bottles, but somehow it took Luke, one of the crew from the Monterey Express, and Chris (from AWS, who wasn't even working) to get them down to the boat.  Turns out if you just stand at the top of the ramp with something heavy, batting your eyelashes, you won't have to carry it to the boat yourself.  I'll have to remember that one.  I went back to the van to change, and realized I'd left my bag at Beto's.  Doh!  Luckily I keep a spare pair of socks in the van, and I just happened to have my base layer top (or second from base layer, since I usually wear a poly-pro tank top under it) in the van.  So I could make do, even though I had a minor meltdown when I first discovered this.  It was really hot, but since we had a short ride out, I figured I should don my drysuit before we got going.  And we were out at Kawika's in no time!  We hopped into the water and swam (can you believe it?) to do the downline.  I was a bit annoyed when I got to the ball and turned back to give my team the signal to descend, and found that they had already both descended without any sort of signal. Hmph.

The viz was really good for the bay, but nothing epic.  I have had better viz at Kawika's, but not for a long time.  It was also reasonably bright at the bottom, which was nice -- on some of the best viz days that I have had there, it has been dark as night.  It was a nice dive, though the best part was on deco from 20 feet up, so forgive me if I speed through the bottom portion.  We pretty much saw the usual suspects for the site -- lots of gorgonians, lots of Spanish shawls and Tritonia festivas, lots of canary rockfish, some really big vermilions, and a couple of jumbo lingcods.  We also found some squid eggs on the sand.  I was keeping my eyes peeled for a Tochuina, but didn't see any; turns out the other team saw one though.  I also saw a few juvenile yelloweyes, including what I would describe as a "large" juvenile.  Much bigger than the ones I usually see, but still with the juvenile coloration.  Matt also saw a large juvenile yelloweye (could have been the same one, but it was across the reef from where I saw one).  So maybe we will start seeing some adult yelloweyes soon :)  It was a relatively short dive, so deco flew by.  There were a lot of sea nettles on the ascent.  They weren't scary-dense, but they were there.  There were some realllly looooong ones.  The were so cool to look at.  I know that sea nettles are the devil, but I think they are so pretty!  I don't know why I didn't get some video of them :(

At 20 feet, Rob pointed past me and I turned to see a mola.  No, two molas!  And not the dinner-plate-sized Breakwater molas, but bigger ones (not the gigantor obese aquarium molas either, but a respectable size).  I happened to be running the bag (because, as Rob explained on the boat, I "need to work on my bag shoot"... eye roll).  As soon as I saw the mola, I went for the hero-cam (which I conveniently had clipped off), pushed the bag toward Rob and dropped it.  I knew he would know what to do.  Then I proceeded to swim along videoing the closer of the two molas, as the second one occasionally swam into the frame.  I was glad to not be decoing on O2, since it meant I could be a bit more, hmmm, lenient with my buoyancy window :)  At one point, Rob reached his hand out for the mola, and it actually swam up and rubbed its face along his arm.  Matt was watching as Rob reached out, looking sort of like "yea like that's going to happen".  Then as soon as the mola came by and rubbed Rob, Matt stuck his had out too :)  But the mola had lost interested and headed a bit shallower.  We caught up with him again on our 6 minute ascent (with very patchy bad viz).  It was totally fun having them their on deco -- I think it was my best mola encounter yet!

We headed back to the fuel dock for our surface interval, and Rob procured some snacks from the Breakwater deli while we waited.  Then we headed back out to Shale island.  The boat was anchored, but we were instructed to shoot bags and ascend wherever.  I was a bit confused about this, but you know Jim's temper, you don't want to question him on these things (hehehe).  We brought 32% stage bottles for the dive.  As we headed down the line, I realized that Rob's bottle had my initials on it.  So obviously my bottle must have Rob's initials on it.  I was a bit horrified that  I had let the crew clip the wrong bottle to me.  I had checked the MOD sticker, and the analysis tag (which had my initials on it, since I frequently analyze Rob's bottles and vice versa), so I guess it's not surprising that I could end up with Rob's bottle.  I suppose as long as the bottle has the gas I am expecting, and I analyzed it, it doesn't really matter.  But I was bothered by it in principle.

Anyhoo, Rob was leading the dive, whether intentionally or not, and he headed clockwise around the island.  I was in the back for most of the dive.  I was convinced that I could will an Acanthodoris rhodoceras to appear before me on the reef, but it turns out my powers of nudibranch-willing are not up to snuff.  So I really wasn't too productive in my critter finding on this dive.  Luckily, Matt and Rob made up for that, and found 3 octopi, all sort of reasonably sized.  I tried to get one of them to crawl on my hand, but he was not interested.  When Matt found the first octopus, I couldn't figure out what he was pointing at.  I kept looking and looking and trying not to scare whatever it was with my light.  But I guess since I had no idea where I was to be looking, I did move my light in the wrong place, and all of a sudden a plume of ink appeared in the water.  Once the ink appeared, I knew exactly where to look, and saw the octopus.  I don't think I've ever seen an octopus ink before (squid yes, but not an octopus).  That was neat!  Probably not so neat for the octopus, if he felt the need to ink me.  Other than that, it was a pretty standard Shale island dive, but with really good viz!

We surfaced like 20 feet from the bow of the boat even though we ascended off of the anchor on a bag.  I complained that the boat did not come to pick us up :)  We had a quick trip back to the dock, and then headed to RG Burger for dinner (again).

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Everywhere at Lobos

I was feeling very wishy-washy about diving this weekend, or which day to dive, probably because the viz was such crap the previous weekend.  After rejecting a couple of offers to dive on Saturday (and Lobos tickets), eventually Kevin asked if I wanted to dive, so I decided to.  And I managed to cash in those offers of Lobos tickets, and brought along Clinton and Matt (who had been planning a Breakwater dive).  So we were a happy foursome, with no particular plans except to do something with 32%, and maybe O2.  I had been mumbling about maybe going to Great Pinnacle, which I haven't scootered to in ages, especially with 32%.  I've visited it a few times via Twin Peaks.  I proposed this once everyone had arrived, and eventually we settled on going to Shortcut Reef, and if the viz was really good, we could hop over to Great Pinnacle or Marco's Pinnacle.

The viz was good in the cove, but probably not as good as it had been the previous weekend.  But the viz everywhere else was WAY better.  Some might even call it epic.  It was so clear and blue; it was the best viz I've had at Lobos in a really long time.  It was definitely the perfect day to do a long scooter dive to the far reaches.  We took the shallow route out to the Lone Metridium area, peeling off from the sand channel at about 30'.  I don't know if that little path has a name.  The viz was unbelievable back there!  I realized too late into the ride out that I should really get my Hero cam out, since shallow water with great viz is perfect for that.  But I didn't feel like dealing with it on the way out, and figured I could get it on the way back in.  Eventually we popped out from the shallow path in the vicinity of Lone Metridium (or maybe one ridge over) and made our way out to the Sisters, and then over to Shortcut Reef.  We stopped there and kicked around for a bit.  Clinton was shooting macro, so I attempted to find some critters for him.  I wasn't very successful at that; I think all the nudibranchs went away because of the barnacles :(  There were a lot of them out there.  I was successful at scaring away a warbonnet that Clinton found; or so he says -- I never actually saw it, and he didn't get a picture (that's what he gets for being a good buddy and showing it to me before taking a picture).

Eventually it was suggested that we head out to Great Pinnacle, since the viz definitely met the "really good" criteria.  We headed out there, pausing briefly to visit a jellyfish, but pretty much scootering straight to the pinnacle.  When we arrived, we were greeted by a nice big school of blue rockfish (with a few olives -- there are always a few of those hanging around, pretending to be blues).  I spent a few minutes getting video of them, since these were pretty much the best conditions I could imagine for that.  There was also a smaller school of perch swimming just on top of the tallest peak.  It was, in general, a very fish day.  I also found a nice big lingcod hanging out on a little ledge, and pestered him with the Hero-cam.  Then I chased a kelp greenling for a bit.  After I was done annoying all of the fish of Great Pinnacle, I decided it would be fun to scooter down the face of the pinnacle until I either hit the bottom (not likely) or hit the MOD of my gas (more likely).  I told Kevin to follow me over there -- he had no idea what I had in mind -- and I pointed my scooter down, and down we went.  It was pretty fun.  Clinton and Matt appeared a moment later, presumably wondering where we'd wandered off to, and we joined back up with them and scootered around the pinnacle.

Kevin then suggested heading to Marco's Pinnacle.  I haven't been there in ages.  I don't know why -- it's so pretty!  Kevin led us straight to the "good side" of the pinnacle.  There was lots of hydrocoral, and it was much less barnacled than similarly shallow areas of Lobos.  In fact, that is probably why I thought it looked particularly pretty -- it was very colorful without the barnacles.  Also, there's a lot of nice hydrocoral there.  I also saw several cabezons (at least one of whom was harassed by the hero-cam) and lots of kelp rockfish.  Clinton found something really interesting -- white hydrocoral!  It may technically have been very very pale pink hydrocoral.  But it really looked bright white.  And it was tucked between a patch of pink and a patch of purple hydrocoral, which looked really cool.  It appeared to be perfectly healthy, other than its abnormal color.  It was pretty cool looking -- too bad Clinton was shooting macro (though he did a very nice job of capturing it with what he had).  Eventually we headed in; I think I suggested that because I was getting cold.

On the way in, we were scootering pretty far above the bottom, over boulder after boulder covered in barnacles.  So I was keeping an eye out for Onchidoris bilamellata, and I was not disappointed.  I found one boulder completely covered in them.  I dropped down to look at it (without alerting my team, oops).  They eventually noticed my unpresence and stopped to see what was going on.  I don't think they were particularly amused with me for dropping out of sight without a signal.  Bad kitty!  We got going again and eventually made it back to the sand channel, where the general fishiness of the dive continued.  First there was a school of tubesnouts off to the right.  After we passed them, I was thinking we might see senoritas as we got shallower.  So I left my hero cam running, just in case.  I was waiting and waiting and finally saw a measly two senoritas in the cove, but then a moment later we saw a school.  Woohoo.  We eventually stopped to switch onto our deco bottles.  I suggested we do 8 minutes at 20 feet, which was generous -- the dive really barely called for deco.  Since I guess I was technically deco captain (or rather, the only person on the dive who knows how to plan deco for such profiles), Kevin made me lead.  Great... I have to lead us back through the one part of the navigation I can never pull off... the cove.  I ended up surfacing us like 30 feet from the ramp; not bad.  In those last few feet as we surface scootered to the ramp, my scooter started making the "I'm about to die" noise.  Good timing.

I've become a bit of a one-dive wonder of late, but considering the epic viz, I couldn't pass up a second dive.  And Clinton never passes up a dive, so I didn't have to worry about a buddy.  Kevin and Matt decided to pass on a second dive (LAME).  Clinton and I had both left our stage bottles behind on the first dive (while Kevin and Matt brought them), because really, making a nearly-"recreational" dive into a two-bottle affair is just silly.  So we schlepped those out to the float, and after not that long of a surface interval (where Ben shared some delicious apples with me), we got back in.  We left the scooters behind despite many many offers of spare batteries and scooters with burn time (thanks everyone for offering).  It's good practice to kick every now and then.  Even with a stage bottle :P  Clinton suggested going out to the left side of the sand channel near the beginning of the sand channel.  I haven't done a dive there in a while, and it was really nice on the way out on the first dive.  I tossed my hero cam in the car (Matt's car, since he was my designated carpool buddy for the afternoon... while Rob and Leah were carpooling elsewhere), and Clinton pointed out that there is often a little school of blue rockfish that hangs out over there.  The battery was nearly dead, but I figured I might as well bring it.

We kicked out and dropped not very far out, since I destination was not very far out, and the viz was awesome.  The conditions were still very nice, and we just slowly kicked around looking for critters.  I saw some Hopkin's roses and a couple of Limacias (haven't seen one of those in a while).  But what really struck me about this dive was how colorful that area is -- it really hasn't been taken over by the barnacles at all.  During the dive, I kept thinking to myself "this is what shallow Lobos is supposed to look like!".  Near the end of the dive, I looked over toward the sand channel and saw a school of fish, which I thought were perch.  I told Clinton I was going to go over to video them, and as I swam closer, I realized they were blue rockfish that Clinton had promised.  Those fish were definitely on the smaller side, but the shallow, super clear water made for some nice video.  I think it's the best blue rockfish footage I have!  Shortly after that I called the dive on being cold.  This "dive until we suck our stage bottles dry" thing doesn't really work in such shallow water.  Unless you are much less of a cold weenie than me I guess.

We headed in and were happy to see a still relatively high tide, and managed to get ourselves out without a problem.  After cleaning up, we made contact with Matt, and agreed to meet at the Monterey RG for lunch.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Granite Point by Braille

There was a BAUE Lobos day on Saturday, which Rob and I attended.  Rob got home late Friday night, we got a slightly late start.  Lucky for him, his lovely wife setup his gear for him while pining for him on Friday afternoon.  We didn't have any very concrete plans for what we were going to do, but I think we somehow settled on Granite Point.  Turns out Clinton and John were going to Granite Point too, so we decided to all dive together.  As we were loading gear onto the float, I realized that this could be my opportunity for some Gavin lessons.  I recently acquired a Gavin scooter (but it lives in Florida), so I've been meaning to borrow one locally to learn to drive it.  Hehe.  So I proposed a swapperoo with John and he agreed.  He gave me some tips and then we all got geared up.  Rob and I managed to get into the water first, and were greeted to epic viz by the ramp.  I couldn't believe how good the viz was!  While we were waiting for John and Clinton, I did a little test drive on the surface with John's scooter.

Once we were all in the water, we scootered out on the surface and dropped down a bit before the worm patch.  I think we ended up in the little sand channel-lette just to the left of the real sand channel, so we made our way to the sand channel.  But I really can't be sure for two reasons: a) the viz was pretty bad, b) I was distracted dealing with the beast, err, the Gavin.  Yes, that's right, the viz at the ramp was epic, but at the start of the sand channel, it was not too good.  And it just got worse from there -- I couldn't believe it!  The trip out to Granite Point is all a bit of a blur.  I was a bit distracted dealing with the scooter, and trying to keep up with the team.  When we were still in the sand channel, at maybe 35 feet, I was scootering right on the edge of the kelp forest, and encountered a stalk of kelp that was laying out horizontally in front of me.  My scooter and arm went under it, but my body was about to go over it.  So I stopped, and attempted to pull the scooter back and over the kelp.

Lesson #1 on driving a Gavin: You do not move the scooter; the scooter moves you.

Yes, that's right.  I couldn't pull the freaking scooter back out from under the kelp just by the handle.  I had to grab the shroud with both hands.  In the meantime, the guys just kept on going.  Luckily John noticed that I had fallen behind and he waited for me.  The trip across the sand on the way to Granite Point proceeded likewise.  I had pitched the scooter down, because John said I would need to match the speed of the X's.  But apparently I pitched it down too far.  So on the way across the sand, I was falling behind.  But I knew if I stopped to pitch the scooter up, I would fall even further behind.  And with the crap viz, I wouldn't have to fall much further behind to lose the team.  Luckily John was hanging back keeping track of me.  I'm fairly certain if he hadn't been, I would have been left in the dust.  Rob denies that however :)  We stopped partway across the sand because I guess Rob saw a squid, but I didn't see it.  Just Rob signalling that he saw a squid.  Then we finished crossing the sand, and found the first wall.  We headed further north from there, stopping along the way every now and then.  I was actually rather surprised that we made it as far as we did, considering the viz.  My hand was killing me on the scoot out, and I eventually came to the conclusion that it was because the tow cord was a bit too long, so I was stretching my hand to reach the trigger.  But adjusting the tow cord fixed that.

There really isn't too much to report from the dive, in terms of interesting sightings or anything.  The viz was so bad that it took basically all of my concentration just to keep track of the team, or even one person from the team.  We would pretty much stop at a spot, swim around a bit, then Rob would suggest getting on the trigger and we'd go a bit further, and repeat.  It really wasn't a very fun dive.  Eventually we turned around and headed back south until we got to the main wall.  We actually had to stop and look around to be sure that that's where we were, before heading back over the sand.  When we finally made it back to the end of middle reef, I think there was a collective sigh of relief that we had made it back in that viz :P  We headed in along middle reef, and stopped to visit our friendly residents, the transect 4 warbonnet (who we couldn't find the last time we stopped there, so I was glad to see he's still there), and then the wolf eel -- there was one very big wolf eel in the usual spot.  By the time that we got back to the worm patch, the viz was clearing up, and then once we got into the cove, the viz was awesome!  We should have just dived in the cove!

On the way in, Clinton found a pipefish, which was really neat.  I got out my hero cam and took a little bit of footage (which is good, since Clinton and Rob collectively took 0 pictures on the dive!).  It's a bit small for the hero cam, but at least I got a little something to post.  When we got close to the ramp, we surfaced, and Rob suggested that we go check out "the rock" near the ramp.  You know, the one that sticks out of the water in the middle of the cove, near the beach with the seals.  What a great idea!  I've never gone over there before, but this was definitely the day to go... awesome viz and dead still water.  We went over there and spent maybe 15 minutes swimming around and looking at stuff.  There were zillions of Hilton's nudibranchs, a surprising number of fish, and Rob found a Triopha maculata!  After the dive, we all agreed it was not worth a second dive, so we adjourned to RG for snacks and then to Gary's house for a little BAUE get-together.