Saturday, January 28, 2017

Breakwater by Braille

... and kelp carnage. Last weekend's storm took out practically everything inside the cove and washed it to shore. This is the 3rd time this winter this has happened. The photos don't really do justice to how much kelp there was on the beach.
With the water almost reaching the steps in the morning, it was pick your poison for the entry - tangling up in the bull kelp strands or trying to go around it and hoping you remembered where the rocks are. I attempted the latter, did not pick a good route and ended up cracking my knee pretty hard :/

Visibility was a dazzling 3ft at its best, which meant we were hugging the sand the entire time. This wasn't as bad as it initially looked as I saw a ton of rainbow nudibranchs and 2 of the largest Kellet's whelks I've seen - they were both at least 4-5" long.
-> 41min, 47ft, 53F

Last week's neck seal surgery seemed to work out - no leak and I'm now able to wear the seal much higher on my neck and get more seal contact area. I still felt like there was a leak at the very start of this dive and suspected the inflator but am now convinced I'm just imagining it.

 - U

Saturday, January 14, 2017

The name's Freely. I.P. Freely

My dives have been getting longer. Not by a huge amount but enough that the need to pee towards the tail end of the dive is starting to get more urgent and more uncomfortable. I've already gotten dehydration headaches a few times on dive days and I'm now chugging water pretty much all day, starting during the drive down. And with a move to diving double tanks imminent, a P-valve was a no-brainer.

P-valve kit
Technically, it's Halcyon's balanced overboard discharge valve. All this means is that the pee goes straight out the valve into the ocean but the ocean can't go back in the other way. Anywater had it installed in record time and Rochester Medical Supplies sent a surprisingly large quantity of sampler condom catheters and, uh, measuring tools to get me started off.

Crotch shot of the installed P-valve
With the regular dive buddies out or sick, I joined Anywater's monthly fun dive at the Breakwater. It ended up being just me and the DM doing a dive to the Metridium Fields. It was a nice easy dive with quite a bit of life on the pipe as well as at the fields - lots of little rockfish (young of the year, maybe?) and nudibranchs. The ling in the end of the pipe looked even bigger than the last time.
-> 56min, 58ft, 53F

The good news was that the P-valve worked perfectly - it's well worth the extra steps needed to use it. The bad news was that I had a slow but persistent neck seal leak. I found a small nick which was probably exacerbated by me trying to gear up a lot quicker than I should have.

 - U