It's about diving. And cats.

Me diving

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Pickup Rec Boat

The Escapade was available on Saturday, so we organized a last minute recreational charter.  It was supposed to be pretty windy, though after the backwards conditions on Friday, we didn't really know what to expect.  As it turns out, we were able to make it all the way to Flintstones.  Woohoo.  And when we got in the water, we found not much current.  We brought scooters anyway, though we didn't cover too much ground, since Rob was shooting macro.

The viz was not particularly wonderful for the first half of the dive or so.  It was green and fairly murky, maybe 20 feet of viz.  There were quite a lot of juvenile rockfish about, though it didn't compare to the insanely thick school of them that we saw the day before.  I didn't really feel like I had brought my macro-critter-peeping A-game, but I tried to find a few subjects for Rob.  We were pretty deep at the beginning (up to 100'), not too far from the metridium wall.  Eventually we came around the pinnacle a bit (counterclockwise), and settled in an area that had really good viz.  It was really strange.  We came over a shallower plateau and then back down to the wall on the other side, and once we were below about 70 feet, it was so clear and bright!  I don't know what was going on.  It was still green, but in all other respects, it seemed like we were in a completely different patch of water.  We saw some fishies in cracks, but mostly I was just marveling at the anomalous viz, while Rob took some pictures.  Then when it was about time to end the dive, we headed back to where we started, killed some time right by the anchor, and then headed up.

It was pretty calm when we surfaced.  We headed north for the second dive.  We were planning to go to Outer Pinnacles, but when we got there, there was another (private) dive boat anchored there.  So we were forced to dive Locals' Ledge, what a bummer :P  The viz there was similarly weird as it was at Flintstones.  The viz was pretty terrible up on top, but around 70' or so, there was a crisp line below which the viz was excellent, and bright.  I don't get it, but I suppose one shouldn't question surprise good viz.  We went over to Rob's favorite hydrocoral spot, and wandered around there a bit.  After heading back, we had two cool finds.  First, I found a crab running across the bottom, carrying and attempting to snack on a sea urchin.  It was so cute!  Then Kevin found a juvenile wolf eel, who was surprisingly tolerant of lights, strobes, etc. being pointed at it.  Those little red spotted eels are so pretty!

On the way up, the viz was bad and it was also kind of a washing machine above 30'.  I actually temporarily lost the team on the move from 30' to 20'.  I guess we were at slightly different depths and the surge blew me around differently than them.  I don't really know how it happened, but it took a bit of looking around to find them (though honestly I'm not sure they even noticed I was missing).  After that I suggested we just get the heck out of there.

All in all, a nice day of diving.  Making it to Flintstones on a rec boat is always a treat, though I think I preferred the second dive because of those two nice finds.

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