It's about diving. And cats.

Me diving

Saturday, October 1, 2022

Cordell 2022 Day 4: Back to Northern West Ridge

Rather conveniently, the next flat days in the forecast was the following weekend, which made it a lot easier for everyone to make the dives.  So we reconvened in Bodega Bay on Friday evening.  With three successful dives under our belt this year, we decided it was okay to repeat our favorite dive site :). The water was a little swell-y on the way out but it flattened out enough by the time we got to the site. It was overcast (and cold) again, but no fog. Before we even left the surface, I could see that the viz was very good and I could see various kinds of jellyfish (sea nettles, moon jellies) quite a bit down in the water column. We headed down the line, and I was kind of expecting it to get murky at some point, but it didn’t. The water was bright and blue, and surprisingly warm, the whole way down. There was a bunch of scope on the line and at some point it flattened out and started to vibrate… a good sign that we were about to hit some current.

When we got to the pinnacle, I was like… where are the fish? Uh oh. But I hopped over the first little peak, and phew, there they were. The water seemed a little chunkier than last week, but it was still very clear and very bright. In addition to the huge school of widows, there was a smaller school of juveniles. It also seemed liked there were more blues than in years past, but like years past, there were some really big blues.

Since I felt like I got a lot of footage of the school of fish last week, I spent more time trying to capture the reef today. I can’t say I saw much that was different from last week, but a few observations… Kevin found a GPO in a crack again, and it was a huge one. But he wasn’t coming out. There were a lot of big lingcod and a lot of big yelloweyes (and plenty of little ones too!). I was thinking it’s really nice how if you just hang out on any part of the reef and want to look at a big yelloweye, you can find one :). I saw several Boccaccio but not as many big ones. I also had some fun letting the current drag me across the reef and then scootering back.

Rob and Clinton had said they saw some mystery black and white fish on the previous dive here, and I saw what I was sure they must have seen. And I was sure it was a blue rockfish with some weird fin rot. Well maybe not fin rot, but something weird. Clinton and Rob got some pics, and I got some video, and Clinton dispatched a message to Milton and Tom about it.  They both agreed it was a strangely pigmented blue or deacon rockfish.  This also reminded me that there is this relatively newly described "deacon rockfish" (which I don't really know how to distinguish from a blue) and said that some of the fish in our pictures were deacon rockfish.  So I will have to study the photos and videos to see some.  Going to get right on that ;)

The deco was pretty chill (and warm). You could see so far and there were some interesting jellies, so Rob whipped out the boxfish and video’d for a bit.

No comments: