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Me diving

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Dos Gatos by Braille

After what seemed like months of bad forecasts and dives in the bay, we finally had a weekend of good  forecasts for July 4th!  And as luck would have it, we had two days of diving planned (Saturday and Sunday).  As expected, the conditions were good and we had no trouble making it down to Yankee Point, where we settled on Dos Gatos.  I was diving with Rob, Kevin, and Matt.  When we got into the water, the viz at the surface was no so awesome.  No problem, I'm sure it will clear up on the way down...

We headed down the line, and at some point, as usual, I fell behind because I am a slow descender (apparently my teammates all have extra holes drilled in their sinus cavities, so they don't have to clear their ears on the descent).  Usually when this happens, Kevin hangs back and waits for me.  I think he actually had hung back to wait for me, but I couldn't really tell, since there was just impenetrable blackness below me.  I saw my light reflected off of tanks for a bit, and then they were gone.  I kept going and going down into the blackness, and then all of a sudden I saw a tiny pin of light, from someone below me, and then the next thing you know, I was on the bottom.  With very little warning that it was approaching.  The viz was probably around 5', and we were at about 150'.  It was not looking promising.  Once we got the team together and okays all around, Rob led us deeper.  I was thinking as we headed down the slope that there were basically no chance that we'd find our way back up to the shallows later in the dive.  But then I noticed that Rob was leading us due west, so there was some hope, since it was a pretty easy path to reverse :)

We got to the bottom of the wall, where there was sand and rubble.  Considering the viz, poking around there looking for critters seemed like the best option.  Not too long after we started meandering along in the rubble, Rob (I think) signaled.  I looked down and saw a small wolf eel, who was out in the open!  I was watching it for a minute, and then I realized that Rob was watching a different small wolf eel, that was also out in the open!  We watched the two of them slither around for at least 10 minutes, and one of them eventually started feeding, or attempting to feed on a variety of other critters.  First, he assaulted a shrimp, who he nibbled on a bit, but the shrimp managed to back away.  So then he investigated some easier to catch creatures, that aren't quite as skilled at evading capture, including a tube worm and finally a brittle star.  I posted a video of the wolf eel shenanigans.  Unfortunately, I was testing out a new hero-cam, which I did not have an LCD screen on, so the footage wasn't as awesome as it could have been :(

Before you know it, it was time to head shallower (or past time, really), so we headed back to the east, and we did manage to find our wall back up to 150'.  Even better, we found our way all the way back to the down line!  I couldn't believe it when we happened upon it.  Up shallower on the reef, we saw a few more notable specimens, including a Pleurobranchaea californica, that was crawling around on an elephant ear sponge... pretty weird, some basket stars, and a BIG wolf eel that was out in the open.  We spent the last 5 minutes of so of the dive watching this wolf eels swim around.  Then it was time to start the ascent.  Deco was uneventful.  Even though the conditions were terrible, we all had a pretty good time on the dive.  It was probably the most fun I've had on a dive in recent memory, with all of the excellent wolf eel stalking!

We (and Clinton), stayed down in Monterey (technically Marina) for the night, since we were back diving on Sunday.  We ended up in downtown Pacific Grove wandering around looking for dinner, and ended up at Jeninni, which was super tasty, though a bit upscale for us slovenly divers.

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