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Me diving

Saturday, May 16, 2015

The K1 Crack, Found Again

Nearly five years ago, we did a particularly awesome dive at K2, where we found this really cool vertical crack "somewhere north" of K2.   It was one of the coolest spots, topography-wise, that I've dived locally.  It was insanely narrow, so covered with gorgonians on both sides, and in one spot, there was a fallen boulder that was suspended between the two walls.  I loved the spot, Rob got this super cool picture of me between the walls, that was still not nearly as cool as it looked in real life :P  We looked for it on a couple of subsequent dives, and never did find it again.  Then, a couple months ago, when I was sick (with my never-ending cold/sinus infection), Rob went on a dive without me (with Clinton and John I think), and found the crack from K1.  I was pretty bitter that they went back to the crack without me AND the viz was insanely good.  So, we were back at Mt Chamberlin, trying to decide where to dive, and Rob said that he thought he could now find the crack from K1.  Actually he said he was sure he could find it.  So the pressure was on :P

We got into clear, cold blue water, with excellent viz all the way to the bottom.  We came down the side of K1 pinnacle, I believe on the east side, down to the sand, and from there it seemed like we could see forever.  We started to come around the pinnacle, counterclockwise, and stopped briefly to check out a wolf eel.  We continued on our path around the pinnacle, and before long, we were on a less dramatically sloping structure, to our left, with sand as far as the eye could see (and it could see far) to our right.  It was kind of boring.  It was noticeably less encrusted, and while the viz was insanely good, there just wasn't a lot to see.  I was starting to wonder about Rob's certainty that he could find the crack.  Just when I was about to ask him where the heck we were, we encountered a nice big salp chain out over the sand, so we stopped to take some pictures.

Once we got going from there, we ended up at the crack pretty quickly.  Just before we got to the crack, actually basically right at the entrance to the crack, we found a dead GPO on the bottom :(  It was still completely in tact, but completely white.  Not a very nice find, but at least we had managed to find the crack.  We headed in there, from the end where that big boulder was suspended between the walls.  Rob likes to photograph the boulder, even though the walls further in a zillion times more photogenic.  They are just so insanely encrusted, even prettier than I remember them.  I was hanging out in there where the crack seemed to be at its narrowest, while Rob took some pictures.  I must say, it was kind of nice not going up and down every time I inhaled and exhaled.  I could have hung out there all day while Rob took pictures.  The pictures turned out nicely, but I still think they can't possible do the spot justice!  Rob and I were discussing this, and it might be fun to play around with some slave strobes in there sometime, to light up the wall behind me as well.

After we finished up there, we headed out of the crack, where there was a nice colorful spot on the pinnacle with quite a few yellowtail rockfish, and more super-lush gorgonians.  We hung out there for the rest of the dive, getting more pictures and enjoying the scenery.  I wasn't exactly sure if we were back on K1 when we finished the dive, but I guess we were.  I could hear the other team's scooters nearby.  We popped our bag, and had what I would describe as a rather interesting deco. As soon as the bag went up, and we came off of the pinnacle, we went zooming across the pinnacle.  There hadn't been much current on the bottom, but we were flying once we were in mid-water.  And it wasn't just pushing us horizontally through the water.  When we were at around 80 feet, on our way to 70 feet, we can shooting across another structure.  We worked our way to 70 feet, started timing the stop, and then after we drifted across the structure, and were back in deeper water, it was like we were dropped almost 10 feet.  We were at 70 feet and then we were in the high-70s.  We returned to 70 feet, but then for the next couple of stops, we had periodic "current" going up and down, presumably as we were pushed over deeper structures.  It was crazy.  For some of the moves between stops, I felt like I had to swim up just to get up to the nice stop.  Finally at around 40 feet, everything seemed to settle down, and the rest of the deco was uneventful.

I mentioned the wonky currents during deco to Gary and John, who didn't seem to have been bothered by it.  I found this pretty strange.  Then later, Rob told me that he had mentioned it to Clinton, who had no idea what he was talking about.  Then Jim, who had been driving the boat, said that even though we popped our bags really close to each other, after our bag went up we went zooming off in one direction, while the other team's bag just sort of bobbed along slowly.  I guess we were in two different currents for our drifts.  Weird!

Anyhoo, it was great to finally find the crack again, and I'm glad at least one of us knows how to find it again.  I can't believe it's been almost 5 years since we were last there.  That makes me feel old :P

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