It's about diving. And cats.

Me diving

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Back to Sur-D

For a second week in a row, we had very good weather, good enough to make it down to Big Sur on the tech charter.  We also happened to once again have a boat consisting of all Tech 2 divers, so the idea of going back to Sur-D again came up.  On the one hand, we'd just been there the previously week.  On the other hand, it was an awesome dive site, and since we can't always go there even when we can make it to Big Sur, it seemed like it would be squandering an opportunity if we didn't go there.  When Nick mentioned that he hadn't been to Sur-D before, the right decision was clear.  (I was glad when Nick chimed in with that, since I really wanted to go to Sur-D, but it didn't seem like everyone else was on board with that idea.)

Once again we had great viz, in fact it was even better than it had been the previous week.  Maybe the viz was not technically better, but it was more blue and less green.  Not that the previous week's viz was anything to complain about, but it was more of a teal shade of awesome viz, while this week was more of an aqua shade of awesome viz.  In terms of current, though, this dive could not have been more different than last week's.  Last week, there was no current.  Today, there was a raging current on the bottom.  It was one of those dives where the whole purpose of the dive seemed to be to make it up-current to the other end of the pinnacle, only to be shot back to the other end once you got there.  It made posing for pictures a LOT harder.

We did a brief search of the area for our 8-legged friend from last week, but we couldn't find him.  We spent more time on this dive on the main structures (there are two structures that are much bigger than the others; I'm not sure which of them is "the" pinnacle) than on the little side structures, mostly because some of their crags and protrusions afforded us a tiny bit of protection from the current.  There was a spot right near the center of the big pinnacle where there is a crack (that's not quite the right word) across it, where the structure dips down a little, which seemed to be a relative dead zone for current.  Conveniently, there are also some monster heads of hydrocoral in this spot, which are quite photogenic.  So we spent several minutes here during the middle of the dive, and again near the end of the dive, while we caught our breath from dealing with the current.

Today's dive seemed a bit fishier than last week, with a bigger school of (adult) blue rockfish congregating near the top of the pinnacle.  I don't know why they weren't hunkered down in a spot where they could hide from the current.  That's what I'd do if I were a fish.

Deco was uneventful until the very end.  When we were doing our last 30 second pause at 5 feet, what looked like a thick rope came drifting along.  But it wasn't a rope.  It was actually a kelp stalk that was super encrusted with barnacles.  So encrusted that you couldn't really see the stalk at all, and the white barnacles made it look like a fat rope.  It was a really bizarre thing to see drifting by.  Rob pulled out his camera to take some pictures.  I hung out for a bit, and finally got sick of hovering at 5 feet (my least favorite deco stop of all!) and went to the surface and watched him.  The picture turned out pretty well.

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