It's about diving. And cats.

Me diving

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Two Days of Diving by Braille

Karl was in town for the weekend, so Kevin book Phil's boat for both days, and we all stayed down in Pacific Grove for the weekend.  The forecast looked to be pretty good, though it turned out to be a bit sportier than I expected.  It was unexpectedly swell-y in Whaler's Cove, and by the time we got to the point, the conditions seemed pretty unappealing for going any further.  However, Phil claimed that it would flatten out once we were around the point, and he was right.  By the time we got down to Mount Chamberlin, it was flat!  So flat that I think I even stood up in his boat to get into my gear, which I never do.  So that was a pleasant surprise.  We anchored at the South Annex, and while we were getting geared up, the Escapade drove by, headed south.  Bastards.  (Did I mention that we were originally scheduled to be on the Escapade, but since there wasn't room for Karl, we cancelled those plans?)

We flopped into the water, and there was a howling current.  I was diving Ted's Cuda (more on that later), and I was thinking it was a good thing I wasn't diving a Sierra, because I'm really not sure if I would have made it to the downline on a Sierra.  Or if I had, I may not have made it down the line.  There was a screaming current pretty much the whole way down to the bottom.  The viz was terrible too.  I kept expecting at least one of (the viz improving, the current slackening) on the way down, but that never really came.  I was a bit slow coming down the line, and I only knew we were at the bottom when I saw Kevin's and Karl's lights.  And then there was pinnacle.  Just like that.  Right in my face.  So it was a bit deeper than 150' when I nearly ate pinnacle, and we headed down the south side of the wall from there.  The viz could not have even been 15', and it was *very* cruddy in the water.  We basically just inched along on the bottom, inspecting the wall a couple of feet at a time, spending an unusual amount thought on keeping the team (of four) together.  At least that is how it felt to me.  I did manage to see a basket star on a gorgonian somewhere along the wall.  Rob did not ever get his camera out.  I don't blame him; he had wide angle.

Eventually it came to that time of the dive where we wanted to come up the wall to get shallower.  On a normal day, we'd hop across the sand channel to the south wall, but in this viz, I had my doubts.  We came up the wall, and as we were coming up the wall, I realized that we were not on the South Annex at all.  We couldn't be.  It wasn't a ridge with a slope down the other side.  We were now on Mount Chamberlin.  So, we'd been on the South Wall all along, and in 15 to 20 minutes of inching along the bottom of the wall, I had no idea ;)  The viz was actually a tiny bit better on top of the mount, or at least it seemed that way to me.  Maybe it was just a tiny bit brighter.  We started to head north-ish toward the shallower areas on the Mount Chamberlin, and though there was a bit of back and forth and searching around, Rob did what I never imagined he could actually pull off in this viz.  He found K2.  At some point I thought we were very close to K2, but it took another 5 or so minutes of searching (during which I thought we'd lost the scent), before we finally rounded a corner, and there was K2.  Or at least I thought it was K2.  I wasn't sure until I inspected the crack down the side (because in this viz, I couldn't see to the top of the pinnacle!).  Indeed, Rob had done it.  We popped a bag and had a drift.  Wooohooo, did we have a drift.  Of course it didn't feel like there was as much current as there had been on the way down, but when we surfaced, we had drifted quite far.

We saw some dolphins on the way in, seemingly right on top of Great Pinnacle.  The conditions had flattened out by then, so we had a nice ride in.  We lunched at the Little Chicken House (Hut?), Rob's new favorite lunch place.

We'd heard that there was a Bacon Festival going on at the Monterey Fairgrounds, so naturally that was the plan for the afternoon.  We headed over there, and found that parking was impossible.  We did some quick math and determined that parking plus admission for the 4 of us would cost $80, and we all decided that we didn't want to go to the bacon-fest that badly, so we headed over to Taste of Monterey for cheese and wine/beer instead.

The conditions were so bad on Saturday that I normally would have punted on Sunday, but since Karl was in town and we had Phil, it didn't even seem like an option :)  It was flatter on Sunday, so we could pretty much go wherever.  We'd heard from the peeps on the Escapade on Saturday that further south of Chamberlin was no better.  We'd also heard that shore diving at Lobos had terrible viz.  We didn't really have any intel on Carmel diving further north, so we talked for a while about somewhere in the Outer (Outer)+ Pinnacles area, but for some reason then we decided to go back to Yankee Point instead.  Then, as we were coming to the point, we noticed that the water color on the surface actually got worse.  It was green around Lobos, and then it got more like brown all of a sudden.  On that basis, we decided to head back and dive somewhere near Lobos.  We picked Deep E3.

Well, the one good thing about this site was that there was not a ripping current.  On the other hand, viz was even worse, which is hard to believe.  I would say it was more like a 5'-8' viz day today.  But considering the viz, we had a pretty decent dive.  We saw the purple sea fan, and two wolf eels.  As we inched around the pinnacle.  We sort of corkscrewed around up the pinnacle, ending up right by the down line, and when it came time to shoot our bags (we shot 2), it actually got *really* hard to keep the two pairs together in that viz.  But we somehow managed to get two bags up while staying together, and once we were above like 50 or 60 feet, the viz did improve.

So there you have it, two days of diving and zero pictures :(

No comments: