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Me diving

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Pinnacle Point Wall

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, we had a tech boat on Sunday, which was nearly cancelled on Saturday.  By Sunday morning, it was just Clinton, Rob, and me.  We all brought gear for both an in-the-bay recreational dive and an out-of-the-bay tech dive, depending on conditions.  The conditions were fine in the morning, and I think the forecast suggested we could sneak out before conditions deteriorated.  So we loaded up our gear forthwith, and we were off.  The conditions did in fact hold for us, and we managed to make it down to the Lobos area, where we decided to dive Pinnacle Point Wall.

After our (sort of) recent dive at Lunaticos, which really seemed to be destroyed by the barnacle invasion, I was a bit worried we would find the same thing here.  But I was quite delighted to find quite the opposite.  The wall was just as insanely encrusted and colorful as I remembered, if not more!  And the viz was excellent.  We didn't move around too much during the dive.  For most of the dive, we were just hanging out about 2/3 of the way down the wall, and we could see very clearly to the bottom and along the sand ripples down there.  In addition to the viz being good, it was quite bright and blue down there too.  I was having some problems with my regulator, well not really problems, but more just annoyance.  I reconfigured my regs a bit for the RB (there's an extra hose on the right post, plus I changed the routing a little bit to suit the geometry better).  So instead of having to move things back and forth, I decided to just use my backup (old Apeks) regs for open circuit dives.  Note to self: don't take an old set of regs that's been languishing in the back of the van for over a year on a tech dive.  The primary was a bit bubbly, and the tuning knob was jammed.

Part of the reason that we didn't cover too much ground was that Clinton and I were on a mission.  He was down a strobe, so instead of trying to make do with one, he wanted to play around with shooting video on his camera, so I offered to light for him with my video light.  So I spent most of the dive a few feet above Clinton trying to light whatever his camera happened to be pointing at.  As it turns out, there were some technical difficulties with his housing, so the video trial was not a success.  Meanwhile, Rob was shooting his camera, which he too was having some trouble with (he's had trouble with it ever since the flood and repair), so he said he "didn't get anything".  It pains me to post about a dive with Rob and Clinton with no pictures to show for it!  So I am included a couple of screen captures from the hero cam... I think Rob may have actually taken the video.

Anyhoo, after hanging out in more or less the same spot for most of the dive (meandering shallower halfway through the bottom time), we went for a quick jaunt around a little side pinnacle at the end of the wall right at the end.  Then I think I thumbed it, because I hit min gas, which is super weird.  I never hit min gas on this profile!  I think I was breathing extra much because of the bubbly reg.  It was super annoying to hear it bubbling all the time, and when I inhaled was the only time I got a break from hearing the bubbling!  So, I hit min gas and called the dive a couple minutes early.  On the ascent, I guess Rob got annoyed with watching my bubbly long hose dangling from my D-ring.  At 20 feet, he started to get really antsy about it, and wanted to shut down the post.  I don't know why it was bothering him so much... from the switch at 70 feet, to the switch at 20 feet (including a few minutes on backgas at 30 feet), I had used/lost 100 psi.  I told him I wasn't shutting it down, and he came swimming at me, and I told him very clearly not to touch my gear.  I was annoyed.  Clinton was highly amused by our deco antics.  Rob was scolded on the surface after the dive.

Deco was otherwise uneventful, with quite nice viz.  When we surfaced, the horrible conditions still had not arrived, phew.  Diving in open circuit was a bit weird after not for a while.  Rob told me my buoyancy on deco had gotten better since I started diving the RB.  I'm not sure how to take that!

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