It's about diving. And cats.

Me diving

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Not Diving the Epic Viz in Carmel

The kitties stayed over in Monterey on Friday night, for a BAUE tech boat on Saturday.  The forecast was looking pretty bad; I think there may have even been a small craft advisory on.  Though these days I think that's de rigeur.  But we weren't about to let that deter us, not after seeing the awesome viz in Carmel the day before.  I even remembered to have a half bonine (after the unfortunate incident the day before, where I remembered when we were on the boat).  So out we went.  Conditions weren't too bad in the bay.  We started to come around the point, and it got a bit snotty.  Then we got smacked by a big gust of wind, the boat rolled a bit, and suddenly we were turning around, tail between legs.  Hmph.  Well at least we tried.  So we retreated to Kawika's Garden.  When we got there and the downline was dropped, Jim noted that the water looked good down the line.  Then he noted that he had probably just jinxed us.

So, into the water we went.  Rob and I didn't bother with scooters, though Kevin brought his, as a platform for his video camera.  As we headed down the line, we quickly found that Jim had, indeed, jinxed us.  Well, the viz wasn't horrible.  On the bottom it was probably like 20 feet.  From what I'd heard recently, that's actually pretty good for the bay.  But not what we had become accustomed to after yesterday's dive :)  The drop down the line was slow and pretty painful to my ears.  Oddly, it was my other ear that was problematic today.  (In hindsight, after the dive was over, I would say that the dive was probably not worth the descent.)  So we got to the bottom, and meandered around.  We didn't see anything super awesome on the dive.  There were a fair number of lingcods, and otherwise the usual assortment of fish.  There were some groups of juveniles, but nothing like the bigger schools that we've seen recently.

It was quite cold on the bottom.  My gauge had 48 degrees.  So it wasn't as cold as the clear water in Carmel, but it was relatively cold for the bay.  I was quite chilly, though perhaps that was residual coldness from the day before (I've often wondered about this... if I do back-to-back days of long cold dives, I feel colder after the first day; is there really anything to that?).  I was trying to find some photo subjects for Rob, but nothing that I found ended up making the cut.  The best thing I found was an interracial Geitodoris heathi couple with an egg mass.  I love it when you can see both color forms in one shot.  After the dive, I mentioned that I would have liked to see a Tochuina.  Then Rob said "oh I saw one".  What the heck!?!  Isn't this what dive buddies are for?  To point out the good nudibranchs?  And not only did he see one, but he photographed it!  Grumble.  (Apparently the nudi formerly known as Tochuina is now officially "Tritonia gigantea" but I am in denial.)

Deco was interesting, only because of the massive temperature shift.  As I mentioned, I had 48 degrees on the bottom.  By the time we got to 20 feet, I had 59 degrees.  So warm!  I don't think I've ever seen such a big temperature swing on a local dive before.

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