Posted by Dick Analog on May 04, 2005 at 13:48:51:
In anticipation of hearing lots of great reports from today’s Chamber Day dives, I thought I had better let Elaine and Max know much I enjoyed their reports and photos – before their reports get pushed way down the BBS page.
I don’t know how you do it Elaine, but you seem to be a bat ray magnet. And your camera is ready to fire when you see them. I’ve seen a few, but have never taken a single shot – they’re usually long gone before I can even get the camera pointed in the right direction. I’m reminded of a funny experience Jan and I had during one of our dives at the Avalon dive park. I was seated, ankles crossed, on the concrete block which anchors the buoy at the extreme NE corner of the park (at exactly 100ft depth). We were waiting for our friends to catch up with us, and Jan was hovering a little ways off, in front of me. I noticed that Jan’s eyes suddenly got very large, and she started gesturing excitedly for me to turn around. Just as I started to turn, my peripheral vision caught something large and black, passing very close. I hoped/expected to see a huge black sea bass, but as I completed my turn I saw a very large bat ray, swimming lazily away. Of course, there was no time to even find the camera (it was clipped to me somewhere) before the ray vanished. Jan later told me that what first caught her attention was the weird ‘tail’ that I seemed to have grown while sitting on the anchor. As she studied this biological wonder, the tail moved, and of course it turned out to be attached to the back end of a bat ray. Apparently the ray had been resting quietly right next to me. (In my own defense I must point out that visibility that day was very poor – 5 to 10ft at best – and it was really dark at that depth, with that visibility!)
Anyway, Elaine's report and photos got us really excited about diving at Farnsworth Bank; another must-do on our list. That’s one of the great things about being a new diver – there’s still so much out there to be discovered for the first time. One question for Elaine: did you have your directional beacon switched on when the boat was drifting away? If so, how did the receiver respond to the boat’s movement and increasing distance? I’ll bet that was pretty freaky, seeing the boat going away. Good thing you didn’t know Lucy was in the neighborhood, as you bobbed on the surface ;-)
I also enjoyed Max’s photos from their dive on the Jenny Lynne. That’s something I’d sure like to see a lot more of on this BBS – reports and photos from places and depths where many of us don’t go. So Max, Ross-O, and the like – how about keeping a little digital point-and-shoot packed in one of your drysuit pockets! And using it!
Lastly, Jan and I spent last weekend in the Puget Sound area on a fun (albeit non-diving) mini-break. On our last day we dropped in to the Seattle Aquarium and watched an IMAX-format film: “Into the Deep”. Based on the film’s title, we had hoped to see images of the strange creatures which live beyond the reach of Scuba. Instead, the film could be more accurately titled: “30ft Into the California Kelp Forest”. Not that it was a bad film, just not what we expected. We did get some additional insight into garibaldi nesting and mating behavior, and there was a cool time-lapse sequence showing a lobster molt. If you have non-diving family and friends, seeing this film would be a good way for them to appreciate what we see every time we put our masks below water in So.California.
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