Posted by Ross-O on March 10, 2003 at 22:17:48:
Captain Max Bottomtime was kind enough to invite me and Beth out for a day of local PV diving on the good ship "Giant Stride". The first dive was at (an undisclosed location) not too far from Pt. Vicente that is known by the captain to hold a lot of lobsters. The vis was absolutely incredible! From the boat, we could see Garibaldi on the bottom at 30fsw! We dropped in the water and headed out to several reefs that Phil described during the dive briefing. Vis was better than 40 ft. We saw all sorts of good stuff, including a few nudis that I've yet to photograph, but we didn't find many bugs. Beth was getting really cold so we escorted her to the anchor chain and dropped her off so we could continue the dive. Well, we really didn't get her to the anchor chain, but we did point in the general direction of the boat and wave bye-bye. She seemed cool with this we took off in the direction of the boat with our eyes glued on the crevices in the rocks. Suddenly there were bugs everywhere! We had swam all over creation and all the bugs where right here under the boat! I found a big crevice that went back about 15 ft that was packed with big bugs. The bugs seemed to know how long my arms were so they stayed an inch or so out of reach.
PADI convinced me to dive with a 3 ft primary hose. My DIR buddies convinced me that 7 is the way to go. Some of my bug hunting buddies told me that I needed at least a 15 ft hose so I could take off my backpack (proper bug diving gear) and squeeze under ledges, into crevices, or into other tight spots while dragging that 15ft hose with me. I totally understood their point as I made a futile effort to grab the bugs. I must have looked like I was having a seizure as I was trying to wiggle into that crack. I finally managed to annoy one enough that he made a bolt for safety and smacked me square in the face mask. I had the presence of mind to smash him between my mask and the rock until I could get my hands around him. Phil and I caught several in that area but only 2 were legal. That's just fine with me because all I needed was 2 for dinner! I chased lobsters until the SPG was into the red before calling it a dive and heading for the boat.
The next dive was Old Marineland. Beth was seriously cold from the first dive so she decided to hang out on the boat while Phil and I did the 2nd dive. We dropped into the heavy kelp and, as Phil later joked, it took him a good 10 minutes to lose me. There were no bugs in the kelp so I headed in shallow. Sure enough, there were a bunch of them in the rocks near the area where people usually enter from the beach. I even came across a bunch of old twisted metal. I figured this was the wreck of the Newbern. I've read that it's missing some silver bars so I kept a close out for those. No such luck but I did have a good time looking for 'em. I surfaced and checked in with Beth in case Phil surfaced and was looking for me. I goofed around by swimming back and forth from outer edge of the kelp to the shallow rocks until the SPG said it was time to start looking for the boat. Upon finding the boat, I added some air to the lift bag on the anchor as a sign to Phil that I had made it back. Phil showed up a few minutes later and we both agreed that it was a perfect way to spend a Sunday morning.
We looked for whales or dolphins but we didn't see any this time.
7 dives in 5 days from 2 different boats and 2 different beaches.
Life doesn't get much better than this! This is therapy for the soul.
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