Posted by Ross-O on September 21, 2003 at 22:56:56:
Beth and I had another wonderful day diving with Phil today. We met Phil and my buddy Brian at the marina at 8AM as the sun was struggling to burn through the fog. Vis has been so bad lately that we figured our only option was the wrecks. We weren't set up for the deeper stuff so we headed over to the Ace I. I knew we were in for a change when I could see 20 ft or so of anchor rope below the srfc. I haven't seen that in a while! We all descended at once, and after a quick bubble check, I did my usual dive bomb run down the line. Whoohoo! Somewhere around 70 ft I could see the white spots of the metridiums about 40 ft away. When I got near the bottom (about 120'), I turned and could see the outline of the rest of the team heading down the rope. I wish I had a picture of that moment - It's a beautiful thing to see the rope disappear into the green ceiling and see the silhouette of divers with HIDs dropping down the rope. We had a blast swimming around the wreck with at least 30 ft vis. It felt like infinite vis after the last few weeks. We found the usual assortment of BIG fish hiding in and around the wreck. There were some monster kelp bass hiding way back in the bow. We also saw what we believe to be a 3' White Sea bass. Oh yeah, big San Diego dorids are taking over that ship!
After enjoying our lunch and warming up a bit (and I mean a tiny bit) we motored over to the OlympicII. Brian sat this one out since his drysuit boot was leaking and his foot got cold on the first dive (poor thing...). Beth and I joined Phil on the second dive. Vis here was the best I've ever seen. It must have been 50 ft or so. We could see and enormous amount of the wreck and everything seemed so colorful and happy down there. About 20 mins into the dive, we were pushing our thermal limits, NDL limits, and air limits so we sadly headed for the anchor chain. The current was blowing pretty good down there and on the way down I made sure that the anchor was hooked onto a rock. After watching Beth grab the line, Phil and I added some air to the anchor lift bag and floated it a few feet off the bottom. Wow! It was a good thing that we were holding on b/c the current was dragging us and a 15' of anchor chain along the bottom about as fast as we could swim! Phil and I went up to about 70' and just watched the bottom fly by beneath us. Suddenly a big dark spot appeared off in the distance. We were hoping to find a new wreck but it turned out to be a big pile of rocks with kelp growing on it. Not wanting to push our luck on drifting too far, we headed on up the rope to find a nice sunny sky. The vis was really amazing, and the anchor ride was one of more fun moments. I'll have to get Captain Ray to fill me in of the finer details of underwater sled construction and operation!
Phil - thanks for another great adventure!
Stay tuned - the dive reports should get really interesting soon since I've got a drysuit and doubles on the way!
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