Saturday, September 9, 2017

Bragging rights

Even though I had completed my Reef Check training a while back, finishing Fundies, the Kona trip and other diving kept me from actually doing any surveys for them up till now. In addition to being my first survey trip of the year, what made it extra special was that it was in the no-diving area of Point Lobos, off the Escapade. Suffice to say, I was thrilled to bits at the prospect of diving a part of the reserve that very few had seen :)

We got to Weston pretty quickly and Team Medusa dropped in on transect 4. There was a lot of rocky relief at the site and was very different from anything I'd seen on my other Lobos dives. I didn't have much to record for my invertebrate and algae transects but there were tons of fish around. The good thing was that there were very few urchins about and another team also reported seeing some sunflower stars. Very encouraging observations overall.
-> 40min, 69ft, 54F

The second survey dive was inside the cove, familiar territory for me. I managed to not make a total fool of myself navigating to our transect to the west. Considering we were fairly shallow, it was super surgy and the viz was pretty bad. We did a couple of extra fish transects before my buddy called it on account of being super jetlagged.
-> 60min, 34ft, 57F

I learned a lot on my first survey dives - what worked and what didn't. I'm totally looking forward to more of these before the season ends.

 - U

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Heatwave and navigation lulz

Back to colder water after the week in Hawai'i, Señor Schneble and I met at Pt Lobos. My doubles had emptied out overnight (again!!) but I was lent a similar set by my dive buddy. A little faffing around with leaking regulators and we were all prepped to get into the water before it got too hot.

I was leading and the plan was to go up Middle Reef, hang right and explore Granite Point Wall. I successfully managed to guide us to Lone Metridium instead - clearly, I have the navigational ability of a hard boiled egg. On top of that, Señor later told me that he didn't actually see said metridium despite all my waving and pointing. We didn't have enough gas to try and re-navigate to the Wall so we explored the Hole in the Wall area and Middle Reef instead. More stellar navigation on my part brought us to the far east side of the cove, with dense kelp between us and the ramp. Applause all around.

The dive itself was great. Visibility opened up to about 50ft of blue water once we got a little depth and there was a lot of large fish activity - lingcods, sheepheads, kelp greenlings, the resident vermillion and a couple of huge decorator crabs. This was also my first dive with my spankin' new Focus 2.0 light - amazing!!!
-> 1hr 28min, 74ft, 50F

And then this shite on the way back home - recorded driving through Salinas.

 - U