Saturday, March 18, 2017

Great white shark, you say?

This dive would normally not have warranted a post. We got a really bad parking spot, viz was icky, skills practice was a total fail and we somehow managed to get lost on the way to the Metridium Fields.

One of the exciting things that happened was me getting an honest-to-goodness 1st stage freeflow - the Deep6 reg is now confirmed to have the out of spec DIN component :/

The other one was totally after the fact but scared the bajeezus out of me regardless. We found out that a great white shark attacked a kayak in the same area we were diving at approximately the same time we were there. Rational thinking tells me that we were never in any danger but still ... :O
-> 1hr 46min, 45ft, 53F

 - U

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Hole in the Wall (finally)

I could feel it in my bones. This was the day; it had to be. I had everything I needed to make it this time - a buddy who knew the way there, tons of gas and the frickin' determination to end this travesty. It would be Hole in the Wall or bust.

SeƱor Schneble and I swam out in what should have been great conditions but encountered enough surface chop to drop pretty early. After some initial tomfoolery with navigation, we motored up Middle Reef and made a hard left at the end. I was actually surprised how quickly and easily we found it this way :) There weren't a ton of fish around but I saw the largest Monterey dorid I've seen so far. We had gotten there pretty quickly but decided to head back as SS was close to turnaround pressure. A nice, relaxed return and a mediocre valve drill later, I managed a relatively slow and stable ascent to the surface.
-> 1hr 13min, 75ft, 48F

It wasn't really a memorable dive by Pt Lobos standards but finally getting to Hole in the Wall was pretty satisfying. My manifold was a little looser than I thought it should be so now I have one more thing to play around with along with figuring out the 1st stage issues.

 - U

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Granite Point Wall

A lot of firsts today. Diving doubles outside of the safety net of the class, an argon bottle and, the biggest one for me, venturing outside the relative familiarity of the sand channel at Pt Lobos :O

The plan was for sea_otter and I to head towards Granite Point Wall and explore Middle Reef on the way back. I had some trouble seating my new Deep 6 1st stages that morning which added to the anxiety I was already feeling. I think I may have the "faulty" DIN part that's going to need replacement.

We swam out a fair bit past our usual drop point as the surface was pretty calm and dropped around midway up Middle Reef. Rounding the corner, we took a heading and ventured off over the sand. I was surprised how quickly we got to the wall itself - I think I had psyched myself out expecting a much longer swim over featureless sand. The worm patches along the way were pretty helpful for me to orient.

Granite Point Wall is beautiful. I think it might end up being one of my favorite/default sites at Pt Lobos. Everything just seems bigger here - the fish, the anemones, even the rocks for some reason. We did an almost complete circuit of the wall and saw a beautiful school of blue rockfish above us, backlit by the sunlight above, when we started to head back. We overshot Middle Reef, ended up at Lone Metridium and then headed back down the west side of the sand channel.

The original plan was do some drills at the Worm Patch before ascending - valve drills for me and stage handling for sea_otter - but after almost 2hr in 49F water, we were both frozen and decided to just end the dive. We did a very slow ascent and I was pretty happy overall with the doubles setup.
-> 1hr 45min, 49F, 78ft

Post dive was nice and warm in the bright sunshine. I had a lovely conversation with a couple of divers from Sacramento. It took about an hour to figure out they were Jeff's parents :P

 - U