It's about diving. And cats.

Me diving

Saturday, March 22, 2014


Photo by Clinton Bauder
It had been quite a while since I was last on the Escapade, but finally I was on a trip, and it wasn't cancelled by weather.  We got a sort of rocky start, however, because of a problem with the boat.  Jim was in the engine room for a while, and there were voltmeters and discussions of batteries and alternators.  Eventually, the trip was called off, and much of the gear was unloaded.  Then, after further discussion, a few of us decided that we could go out for a recreational dive in the bay, and started loading the appropriate gear onto the boat for that.  Then, after a phone consult with a mechanic, Jim resolved the issue and the trip was back on.  Phew.  So then gear had to be loaded back onto the boat.  We finally got going, I think a little bit before 10.

Rob had brought his camera down, with the wide-angle port, because Clinton was going to loan him his lens (Rob's lens was destroyed in the great camera flood of February).  But Clinton forgot the lens, doh!  So still no camera on this dive :(  I've snarfed a few of Clinton's pictures from the dive, in the interest of having some eye candy in the post.

Photo by Clinton Bauder
I thought the forecast looked not so bad, or at least not bad enough that I thought to take any bonine the night before.  However, it turned out to be a bit snotty.  We made it down to Carmel, but only to Lunaticos.  I was definitely feeling not awesome while we waited for everyone to be ready to jump, but apparently Rob was feeling even more not awesome, since he requested a bucket, and then used the bucket a few times.  And then we got into the water.  The visibility was stellar; the water was very clear and it was also very bright all the way to the bottom.  It's been a while since I've been to Lunaticos, and I don't know if we dropped in a different spot than usual, or if we were just all being totally oblivious to the direction we were going, but for some weird reason, it seemed like we spent most of the dive trying to find our way to the deep part.  And never finding it :)

In pursuit of the deep area, we crossed sand and found lots of little side pinnaclets.  Overall, aside from the stellar viz, and a few good finds, it was a sort of boring dive.  The good finds included a bunch of wolf eels, including one that was out in the open (!), and a Tochuina tetraquetra.  But in terms of the reef, a lot of the structures were just kind of barren, I suspect from the barnacle invasion.  There just weren't as many patches that were covered in Corynactis, bursting with color.  Not a lot of fish either, especially rockfish, really just a few blue rockfish here and there.  There were a far number of lingcod though.  And to top it all off, even the gorgonians seemed kind of spindly and anemic.  We did see some vase sponges, but none of the really big ones.  When we got back to the main pinnacle on our way up, I did find one vertical patch of wall that was extremely colorful, completely covered in Corynactis and sponges.  So I suppose not all hope is lost :)  While I was looking at that patch, a curious sea lion came zipping by too.  I guess that was the spot to be in.

Photo by Clinton Bauder
Not much happened on deco, other than my being rather cold.  I guess that's to be expected with such excellent visibility.  Since it was a bit on the rough side, and even more on the cold side, we decided to skip a second dive, and just headed back to the dock.  We went to lunch at the pub at the dock.  We sat outside on the sunny side, which I didn't even know existed... I didn't realize there was a second outdoor seating area.  We were staying in Monterey for the night, so since I didn't have to drive home, I made the unusual choice to have a beer.  I guess Jim was bored, so he convinced me to have a second beer with him.  So I spent the rest of the afternoon regretting my choice to have two beers in the middle of the day.

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