It's about diving. And cats.

Me diving

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Somewhere on Mt Chamberlin and More Whales!

We were out on the Escapade again, and tried to dive the South Annex at Mt Chamberlin.  We were hoping to make up for last week's failure to dive, and I'm not sure that we can say we really succeeded there...  On the way down the line, it seemed like there was quite a bit of scootering to stay with the line, even though it was pretty much vertical.  That should have been a bad sign, though I didn't really catch on at the time.  When we got to the bottom, the viz was terrible and it was quite dark.  I really had no idea where we were, I just knew that we were on a wall that came up to around 160', and the sand was around 200'.  We ended up calling the dive early, and afterward, Rob said that he was pretty sure we were just on the south wall of Mt. Chamberlin, instead of the annex.  Which made sense based one what we saw, though during the dive, I didn't know.

So, not a great dive, but we made up for it later in the afternoon.  After we got back to Monterey and had lunch, we headed up to Moss Landing, to do a little whale watching from Jim's inflatable (a fairly new acquisition).  We'd been seeing a decent number of whales around Monterey lately, but apparently there were a lot more off of Moss Landing.  By the time we got into the water (maybe 4ish), it was pretty windy, but there wasn't really any swell to speak of.  So it was a bit choppy on the ride out, but that was it.  Clinton was driving, Rob and Jim were taking pictures, and I was taking video.  Once we got out from shore a bit, it seemed like there were whale spouts everywhere, and there were some groups of up to 6 whales together.

We pretty much had our pick of whales look at, so we went from group to group until we found some breachers, which we found a few of.  There was a lot of maneuvering to get on the correct side of the whale (with respect to the sun), and then waiting and hoping the whale would come back up on the correct side of the boat.  We got very lucky with a few really close breachers.  Rob got some awesome shots, and I got some pretty good video.  Good in the sense that I was pointing the camera in the right direction when a whale breached pretty close by :P  Rob was shooting one of Jim's cameras (he didn't have the right lens for his own), and got some great shots.  I think Jim regretted giving him the lens that he did, since it was definitely the right lens for the day.  In addition to the breaching, there were whale tails, tail and fin slapping, lunging, and pretty much all of the whale behavior you could hope to see.  Some of the whales also had an entourage of sea lions following them around, which was pretty cute as well.

We stayed out for a few hours, until sunset was nearing, and managed to get back just in time to grab dinner at a restaurant right in the harbor.

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