It's about diving. And cats.

Me diving

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Kawika's Garden

Photo by Clinton Bauder
I was just recovering from a cold (which managed to cause me to miss two awesome days of diving) today, so I was a bit worried that I wouldn't be able to dive.  In fact, I was pretty sure I wouldn't be able to clear my ears, but I wanted to at least try to go for a dive.  We only managed to make it to Kawika's Garden, due to bad weather.  But it was super flat there.  I asked John and Clinton to get in a couple minutes after us, so if I couldn't make it down the line, Rob would bring me back up to the surface and then the three of them could go for a dive.  So, we did that, and of course it turned out that I had no trouble clearing my ears at all, and actually got to do a dive.  Well it was just a dive in the bay, but since it seems like I've been missing a lot of dives lately, I was happy just to go diving :)  No pictures from Rob, so I've snarfed a picture from Clinton to keep things pretty.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Three Nixies

Today we went to Three Nixies.  It seems like there was a period of time where we went here a lot, but not so much anymore.  Or maybe I just remember it differently.  Seems like Mount Chamberlin was, for a long time, the old standby area to go to if we could make it to Yankee Point.  Then we started going to Dos Gatos/Three Nixies a lot more, and now the pendulum has swung back the other way.  Anyhoo, we were there today.

The water was pretty green on the way down, but around 160 feet or so, the water got very clear and very cold.  But of course it was a bit dark down there, under the 160' layer of greenness.  We still had a great dive, though.  We headed down to the sand and after wandering around near the bottom of one of the pinnacles, we headed over the sand to another pinnacle, and along the way, we found a couple of orange sea pens.  I don't know why, but I just love those things... they look so fluffy!  One of them was out in the sand by itself, and we spent quite a bit of time getting pictures of it.  Posing right on the bottom, with a sandy bottom, is always fun.  Not.  To make matters more fun, there was some current (which is why it looks like the sea pen is taking a bow in the picture).  When we finally continued on, we ended up finding another one at the base of a wall, which made for slightly easier posing, but I think a much less cool picture.

It's kind of hard to believe, but by the time we were done with the sea pens, it was past time to get shallower.  Yea, we were playing with those sea pens for quite a while :)  We came back to the pinnacle where the downline was, which comes up to about 100 feet, and we swam around on that for a while.  It was both warmer and greener here.  We eventually ended up at a little side pinnaclet, or really more of a small peak on the main pinnacle, and I was sent UP for some silhouette shots.  I was pretty skeptical that this would work out, since it was so green, but I actually really like the way this picture turned out!  Except that I look like I have three legs.

There was an option to do a second dive at Eric's Pinnacle, which we passed on.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Middle Reef and Lone Metridium

I have a friend at work, Tom, who has been diving a few times in the Caribbean, but never in colder water.  He's been talking about wanting to go diving with us here since last summer.  In the past couple of months, we finally managed to get it together, and he did a little refresher in the pool with Rob.  So we scheduled a dive date at Lobos.  It's been a while since I've been to Lobos.  I guess I got a little Lobos'd out when we were getting up to speed on the rebreathers (I guess I'm still getting up to speed on the 'breather, but now I've at least moved on to boat diving :P).  As usual on a Saturday at Lobos, there were quite a few other BAUE people there, so we chit-chatted with everyone for a while.

We got pretty lucky in terms of conditions, considering we had a new diver with us.  Getting in and out at the ramp wasn't a problem for anyone.  For the first dive, we went to Middle Reef.  We swam out to about the worm patch, and dropped there.  We headed out the sand channel, and then hopped over to the reef somewhere around nudibranch transect 5.  The viz was pretty good, but not great, and there wasn't much surge.  We tried to show Tom some of the highlights of Middle Reef, like the wolf eel's den, and tried to find the transect 4 warbonnet.  He was pretty good at finding stuff that he thought was cool to look at too.  He was pretty fond of the Urticinas.  We made it all the way to the end of Middle Reef before it was time to turn the dive.  I brought us back around the back side of Middle Reef, up on top of it, and then cut back over to the west side at transect 4.  From there, we headed to the sand channel and came straight in.  We surfaced a bit south of the worm patch.

Tom was super excited about the dive (Tom is excited about everything; he's in sales), and eager to do a second dive.  So after a bit of a surface interval and some snacks, we got back in for a second dive.  We decided to try to make it to Lone Metridium on the second dive.  We knew it was a bit of a stretch, but figured even if we didn't make it, it would be a nice area to go for the second dive.  We swam out a bit further on the surface on this dive, and followed along the reef-sand interface on the left side of the sand channel.  We paused at Hole in the Wall to show the hole to Tom.  Then we continued out through the kelp just north of there, and bounced along from ridge to ridge.  We did make it to the Lone Metridium, who was unfortunately closed for business.  But we managed to find a little bit of hydrocoral to show to Tom while we were out there.

It was time to turn it, so we headed back.  Once we got past Hole in the Wall, we stayed to the west of the sand channel, and swam in over the rubbly reef there instead of straight up the sand channel.  We made it back to the sand channel and ascended there.  We headed to La Tortuga with Matt and Kevin for lunch (and ended up joining some other BAUE people that we ran into there).