Saturday, October 1, 2016

Reverse block at Lobos

Once again, I was the beneficiary of sea_otter's foresight for getting reservations at Pt Lobos. One of these days, I'm 50% sure I'll get a reservation before her.

The plan was to make another attempt at finding Hole in the Wall. We swam out to our usual spot and took a heading towards the last bird poop rock. Visibility wasn't the greatest in the beginning of the dive, 30ft but very milky, as we swam along the reef. We remained between 30-40ft for a large part of the swim out which was not what I expected. At one point in the rocks, it got super surgy and that's when I realized we were too far west, right alongside the Cannery Point Wall. A flashback to the washing machine dive later, we cut to the right and very quickly dropped to 70ft. That's when the viz opened up spectacularly and we could see all the way to the surface. A school of rockfish was above us and beautifully backlit by the sun's rays as they broke through the surface. I had just passed turn pressure around then and we headed back. As we turned around a rock, I saw a single, and fairly large, metridium - we had overshot Hole in the Wall by quite a bit and ended up at Lone Metridium. We looked for it on our way back in but weren't able to find it. As we got back to our ascent depth, I found that my right ear was refusing to equalize. It remained that way as we made it to the surface :/
-> 71ft, 52min, 51F

Even after a healthy surface interval, my right ear refused to co-operate and I skipped the 2nd dive. Turns out not taking your prescription antihistamines the day of a dive is not the smartest thing to do and results in a reverse block. Luckily, it was another amazingly bright and sunny day and waiting around for an hour in the parking lot was more pleasant than it sounds. I saw my OW instructor for the first time since my certification and had a nice chat with him and his buddy (who was in a super sweet looking sidemount rig).

Hole in the Wall eluded us again - this is the 4th time for me and is starting to get pretty annoying. We're definitely heading way too far west as we go out and really need to find the sand channel to navigate to it correctly. It should not be this hard to find it. Next time ...

 - U