It's about diving. And cats.

Me diving

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Three-Dive Day

Photo by Clinton Bauder
We were originally planning on diving on Saturday and Sunday, and then Saturday's boat was cancelled on Friday night, due to hellish weather (which according to Jim turned out to be the right choice).  We had Lobos reservations on Sunday, but there had also been talk of going out on the Escapade for a rec charter in the afternoon.  When our plans for Saturday disintegrated, we decided to do the unthinkable... Lobos in the morning, and the Escapade in the afternoon!

For the Lobos portion of the day, I was diving with Rob and Matt.  After the successful visit to the Granite Point GPO the previous weekend, we decided to head over there for a visit, and also meander about on the Cannery Point side of the world too.  Sort of a tour of the shallow areas of Lobos.  We went to Granite Point and found the GPO without much trouble (Rob led us there).  He was there, and was pretty squirmy and active in the crack, but not too interested in coming out to play :(  There was a nice pile of shells outside of his crack.  Since I had apparently missed the super obvious "Lone Metridium" the last time I was there, I looked up from the crack and realized that Clinton was right... it really was right above my head, and hard to believe I hadn't noticed on the last dive.  But it was all closed up, at least today, so maybe that is a good excuse.

California Trivia Snail, aka the zebra snail
Photo by Clinton Bauder
After visiting the sure thing GPO, we went over to the Cannery Point side and meandered around between Hole in the Wall and Lone Metridium.  During the meander, Matt managed to find another GPO (maybe the one that's been around that area for a while, but I'm not sure, since I'd never seen that one before).  This one was not as big as the Granite Point one, but still a great find!  Rob was being oblivious when we found it, so I had to basically scooter over to him and demand that he follow me, in order to show it to him!  The GPOs were the only really noteworthy finds, though I did see another Limacia this week (pretty close to Lone Metridium).

On the way in, when we got to the sand channel, we did a few drills and then we headed in.  The exit at the ramp was dramatically different than last time.  The tide was pretty low, but it was lake-flat.  For some reason, I still needed a hand from Matt getting out.  I think I've lost my touch at the Lobos ramp; just out of practice, I guess.

Photo by Clinton Bauder
We headed to K-dock, with a stop at the deli across the street.  I didn't know they had tacos there; that is a bit of a game-changer.  John and Clinton were joining us on the boat, and I guess John got stuck in the afternoon traffic coming into Monterey (the downside of the afternoon boat), so we were a bit slow getting going.  But there wasn't really any hurry, since we were planning to dive in the bay.  Since we were planning to dive in the bay, I was just sort of assuming it would be a calm, easy day on the boat.  But it was actually a bit rocking and rolling by the time we got out to Aumentos, where we did our first dive.

The viz was above average for a bay dive, but it was pretty surgy at the bottom.  I think the viz was actually better mid-water, because it was just a bit churned up on the bottom.  We saw a few (tiny pacific) octopus, which was the highlight of the dive for me.  Rob kept finding them in funny places, where I would refuse to see them and then realize I was staring right at it.  And I saw another Limacia!

Photo by Clinton Bauder
For the third dive of the day we went to... drum roll... Eric's Pinnacle!  Rob has long claimed that he has never been to Eric's Pinnacle, and so he always refuses it when it is suggested.  He considers it a badge of honor that he's never dived Eric's.  I have long claimed that I have done one dive there with Rob (and several without), but I've never thoroughly researched his claim.  Turns out he has dived it before, though from the sounds of it, it wasn't a very memorable dive.  But while we were picking the site on the boat, we all thought this was going to be Rob's first dive there.  Quite exciting.  Overall, it was quite a nice dive, though there wasn't anything specifically awesome to mention.  We circled around the pinnacle like one and a half times, peering into cracks as we went.  I was thinking it might be a good spot for GPO peeping, since there are so many nice-looking potential octopus dens, but it was not to be.  For reasons that were a bit controversial on the dive (and not because we couldn't find the anchor line), we ended up shooting a bag and surfaced not too far from the boat, but just far enough to be too lazy to swim back.  So we had a little bit of a wait to get picked up by the boat.

We headed to dinner at the sushi place at K-dock, where, amazingly, I have never eaten before.  It was an acceptable meal.  John had brought his family (or two-thirds of it) on the boat, and Bev joined us for dinner, so it was quite the social occasion.

Since Rob wasn't taking pictures and I wasn't videoing today, I am posting a few of Clinton's pictures from the boat dives (gotta milk that lifetime license for all it's worth).  I really like the lingcod eye, but what I *really* like is the snail.  Why?  Because I have been occasionally seeing this snail and not knowing what it was (I've been calling it the "zebra snail") for a few years.  I actually just saw one recently, and was wondering about it again.  So it's great that Clinton got a picture and ID'd it for me.  I know it was just for me :)

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