Posted by northcoastdiver on October 13, 2002 at 21:57:09:
Saturday I took two of my friends out for a couple tank dives out of Albion.
I left my house in Santa Rosa at 5:15 and headed north to pick up one guy in Cloverdale. As I'm approaching Cloverdale on the freeway the transmission in my van blows spewing tranny fluid all over the bottom of the van and soaking the boat and trailer. The trans is slipping like crazy and I can smell burning transmission fluid. Great!
I get off the freeway and hobble the van to his house. As I pull up to his house he's standing waiting for me as I get out, smoke still billowing out from under the car, and I'm laughing that I just smoked the tranny.
We hooked up the boat to his truck and spent 30 minutes fiddling with the wiring for the trailer to make the lights work. With all that done we set off. As we're driving it begins to set in that I have nothing to drive when we get back, and that it will cost me some major $$. When we get to Albion the third guy is waiting for us all pissed that we're late. The first thing he say's to me is, "Where's your van?".... *%$#@!+!!!
We get all the gear into the boat and I am determined to salvage the rest of the day and forget about how I'm supposed to get home. At least I know that my new Yamaha 60 runs good!
Both of the guys I took out had new dry suits that they where bragging about. They said I was crazy for diving up here wet and "don't you get cold".
For our first dive was just an orientation dive for one of the guys who hadn't been in the water for 3 years. We anchored in Albion bay in 40 feet of water so both of them could check their buoyancy before going out to a different dive site. Either of them could not put on enough weight to sink those 7mm neoprene drysuits. Finally one guy managed to get down but the other guy after several attempts in and out of the boat, adding weight, flooding his suit, completely exausted, he flat gave up and he declared that he was done for the day and said "you guys go ahead" We did the shallow dive, very nice vis (20 feet) lots to see.
When we got back into the boat the guy I dove with said that his suit had leaked like a sieve all over and he couldn't understand it. He pulled down the top and his sweat shirt was ringing wet.
He wanted to do more diving though and the other guy didn't mind the boat ride and hanging out, so off we went out of the harbor and up north. I decided to go to the sand channel, a wall right on the furthest edge out from Vandamme cove.
As I dropped the anchor I could see the line way down in the water so I knew the vis was going to be outstanding.
Sure enough when the two of us got in and went down the line the vis was 45 ft at least. The anchor was in 50 feet of water right at the edge of the wall. When we got down to the chain we stopped for a minute to let my buddy orient himself then we went down the wall. What a great dive this is! the wall cascades down to about 100 feet to a sand channel that sits between two reefs and is about 8 - 15 feet wide and winds it's way up to about 70 feet. From there you turn around and head back up the reef at an angle back to the anchor. There are all kinds of fish hanging out and usually a few monster Lings on their perches. This used to be a great place for scallops but it get's dove often and there isn't much left now.
I signalled to my buddy if he was cold and he made the "a little bit" sign, so I got him back to the anchor line and we went up for our stop. I remember looking up seeing the boat in 58 feet of water!. Pretty killer for the North Coast.
After re-entering the boat I watched as my buddy took down his suit and he had more water in it than on the outside of it.
I made a joke that he should have just gone ahead and peed in it then he coulda had a hot water suit just like the commercial divers, ha ha ha .
Never the less he had a great dive, and even though he was soaked in his "dry" suit he wasn't that cold on the dive.
When we got back to the harbor he took off his suit and he had water in it up past his knees. The laughing and ribbing continued. He claimed he is going to return it and get a wet suit.
The other buddy of mine, the one who skipped the diving, helped me out and towed my boat back to Santa Rosa. This was Super of him. I poured some ATF into my van and hobbled it home with him following.
This morning I went out and bought a brand new Toyota Tacoma 4x4 and the first place I stopped was the local dive shop to get a dive sticker for the back window.
Next stop, launching my boat out of Ocean Cove, gnarly steep dirt road down to the beach launch and all.
So, who want's to go divin' ?
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