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Me diving

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Pinnacle Point Wall

The forecast for Saturday was looking mighty awesome, so I think a lot of us were counting our chickens before they hatched.  We were on the Escapade for a tech charter, and there was lots of talk about how far south we could get.  There wasn't supposed to be a lot of wind, and very small swell too.  In fact, I was just trying to refresh my memory of what exactly the forecast had said, and I found the following in my IM log, sent to Rob on Thursday afternoon:

me: oh happy day

But the conditions were actually a little rough.  Well, not really rough, but it didn't feel like a 3ft swell day!  Between the wind and the mixed swell, it seemed like we were getting pummeled from all directions.  Also, since the wind was out of the south, the ride down to Carmel was "uphill", which I think had a lot to do with it.  Since the wind was out of the south, it was the perfect day to go to Pinnacle Point Wall, which I haven't been to in ages.  And by the time we got to Lobos, I pretty happy to jump in the water and avoid any further surface beating.

It was just me and Rob representing Team Kitty today.  I jumped into the water and saw not very lovely water beneath me.  Sigh.  The viz was astonishingly bad all the way to the bottom.  The water was green and it was super dark by the time we got to the structure.  It's not that the viz was super terrible in the sense that you couldn't see far, but it was very dark and very chunky.  Viz was probably in the 20 foot range.  Unfortunately I had encouraged Rob to pack wide angle since we might "go south", which was definitely the wrong lens!  So his camera literally stayed clipped off for the entire dive (and so did the hero cam).  So you get no pictures, boohoo.  We did a fair amount of kicking and just a little bit of scootering.  We swam out with the wall to our right, and just swam and swam until it was time to come shallower.  Then we turned around and swam back in the 130'-150' range.  At this depth the wall is WAY more covered in invertebrates.  In fact, I sort of regretted spending half of the dive along the bottom, since it is way prettier up high off the bottom.  Will remember that in the future.  Even though the viz was good for a macro dive, I didn't really spend too much time trying too hard to spot critters.  I mostly just looked at the wall, which is so impressively vertical in spots.  I did find one teeny tiny basket star.  Easily the smallest that I have ever seen.  And some Dotos, which I often seem to see here.  I think that's it for report-worthy critter sightings.  Right near the end, I suggested a short scooter ride along the wall, just to get a nice view of the whole thing at a shallower depth (since we hadn't covered too much ground up shallower).

The dive was very cold, which was strange considering the viz.  By the end of our deco, Rob was using the palm of his hand to (try to) inflate his drysuit, because his fingers weren't working.  But despite being very cold, the 20' stop seemed to just go by.  I must have fallen asleep or something.  After everyone was back on the boat, considering how cold and murky it was, it wasn't too hard to decide to skip a second dive.

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