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Me diving

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Kevin's Birthday Dive

We were scheduled to be on the tech boat on Saturday, which was Kevin's Birthday dive.  Technically his birthday was earlier in the week, but since we all must suffer the indignity of working for a living, we observed the joyous occasion on Saturday.   As it turns out, the forecast was horrible, so horrible that a bay dive was the most that we could hope for.  Kevin had just received his JJ, and had taken it for a spin on Friday.  So he was antsy to get more hours on it, so we agreed to punt the boat and go for a recreational shore dive instead.  We had no Lobos tickets, so we had to figure out where to go.  I suggested MacAbee since, well, it's not the breakwater!  I haven't been there in ages, and I do like MacAbee!  Kevin agreed with it, so there was really nothing Rob could say (he's a MacAbee hater).

One benefit of punting on the boat was that we agreed to meet at 10AM.  Ahh, so luxurious.  I actually got to sleep in, compared to my usual wakeup hour.  That never happens when we go diving.  Somehow even with the late start, we managed to get really good parking spots on the street, right in front of the beach.  We could see from the beach that the Escapade was at Mile Buoy, so we didn't feel too bad about missing the boat :P  We could also see the Beachhopper right off of MacAbee (at the spire, maybe?)  Rob didn't want to put X-tables on the beach, which I found a bit annoying, but he made it out like it was going to be this huge big deal to put the tables on the beach.  So fine, I went along with it.  We got geared up at the back of the van and did all of our checks up there and then headed down to the water.  We swam out a bit and dropped in less than 20 feet of water.  The viz pretty bad, and it was a little surgy at that depth.  The surge was only really notable because it meant there was kelp salad swirling around in parts.  I was supposed to be leading, but I was not doing a very good job of getting us deeper.  I think I unintentionally took us a bit west as we were heading out.  Rob got ahead of us, trying to lead us to where we wanted to be, and the next thing you know, he was gone.  I thought I was following his white tanks, but then I decided it was just a bright clearing ahead in the sand.  Keeping track of people without bubbles is definitely harder.  So Kevin and I surfaced and after a minute, we saw some bubbles, as Rob surfaced too.  He was quite close to us when he surfaced, but the viz was so bad, we never would have seen each other.

We headed back down and then managed to get on the right heading and get deeper.  The viz got better, until it was eventually quite good below about 40 feet.  I found a variety of nudis, including some Hopkins roses, Spanish shawls, and Hiltons'.  Eventually when we got out to 50 feet or so, we put up a bag to do a practice ascent.  That went fine, a little slow, but nothing too dramatic.  We surfaced not terribly far from the Beachhopper, hehe.  After a little debrief and Kevin telling us how awesome the JJ is, we headed back down.  This is when I realized just how good the viz was below 40 feet!  It was murky, murky, murky on the way down, and then suddenly it got really clear.  It must have been at least 30 feet, but it was a nice clear 30 feet.  It was also really cold compared to the murky water above!  We did a few more drills and poked around a bit, and then we headed in.  When we got out of the water, not too surprisingly, I found it annoying to not have a table on the beach.  I took a break on the way up, leaning against a sandy ledge, and somehow managed to get sand all over my suit, my gloves, and my face.  Rob was really annoyed when I brought my sandiness up to the van, which was excellent revenge for the X-table debacle.

After packing up our gear, we were talking about where to go for lunch, and we all sort of came up with Sonic at the same time.  It was Kevin's birthday, so we wanted to go somewhere special ;)  Since I didn't manage to make cupcakes or anything for the occasion, we stopped at Starbucks on the way and I got 3 cake pops, and then we all met up at Sonic for lunch.  Mmmm, tater tots.

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