Posted by tleemay on October 27, 2003 at 08:39:15:
It was a reasonably productive day for San Nic that
Friday. Topside conditions were good, the vis and
currents were favorable. It was just a nice day at Nic.
Because there was a steady lump all along the Alpha
Area, we decided to swing around the corner to the lee
of the island to have our dinner. After dinner we
planned to have our night dive. There was only one
problem with that plan... the fog was starting to roll
in. A very heavy and wet fog.
After dinner we motored back to the Alpha Area and
dropped the hook. At that time the fog was still
affording about a mile of vis as darkness fell.
"I don't know about this fog, Tim".
"Well, if it's too bad we will just have to cancel
the night dive. How many do you have planning to get
in?" he asked.
"8 or 9 at this time, but more are considering it. I'll
know more after dessert" I quipped.
The fog was starting to lift somewhat. To me that ment
a go for the dive.
"It's up to you. If you feel the fog will be light
enough to see divers on the surface, it's your call to
go or no-go" said Tim.
I went into the galley and announced to our group of
30 that unless the fog lifts more, there will not be a
night dive. The boat roster showed we mostly had well
seasoned divers and bug hunters on board with a few
wannabee's and genuine rookies. The grabs in bags so
far were fair, but good in bug quality, so most
everyone was interested in doing the dive to some
extent. Good thing about Nic, there are tons of bugs
there, but the ones that are there are BIG.
About 15 minutes later the fog lifted enough for us to
see the lights on the island and the shore itself in
the murk. I made the call... dive on!
After was all said and done, only 7 divers hit the
water. Most of them were rookies on their first night
dive for lobster at Nic.
About 20 minutes after opening the gates and letting
the divers in, back came in the rolling fog... really
thick and wet. All sound instantly became dampened.
Uncharacteristic for Nic, there was absolutely no wind.
It was sureal and freaky. I could not see more than 20
feet beyond the rails.
Shortly, diver after diver came back from their dive.
Nice bugs were coming back too. A two pounder here, a
three pounder there. Everyone came back with at least
one in their bag.
Then we heard it.
Elaine was on the bow and said the call came from the
It wasn't a panic call for help, but the word none the
less. I was able to make out two lights on the surface
dimly visable about 100' from the boat.
"Are you in trouble I asked into the fog and the
general direction of the lights.
I picked up the rescue float and ran back to the bow.
By then the two divers were about 20' from the boat and
making way. I shined the light on the divers and saw
one with a rather large bug clutching to his chest. I
tossed the float and both divers grabbed on as I towed
them back to the stern.
On the step I promptly assisted the diver in separating
himself from his catch, which was not as easy as it
sounds as you look at the picture here.
The diver found the bug an the way back to the boat.
Since the lobster would not fit into his bag with the
other lobsters he caught, he decided to hug it and
bring it back by hand. Problem was, the lobster pierced
the diver's BC inflator hose, so it would not hold air
after filling. Turned out, he was also out of air by
the time he got back to the step. The last 20 feet
back to the step he was manually inflating the BC as he could.
Well, this is the picture of him and his prize. Anyone
can go ahead and guess how much it weighed. For scope,
the diver is about 6'1" and about 200 lbs. That lobster
is the entire length of his arm and then some. I asked
him to pose the bug this way so that there was no
fishermens-foto trickery. Also notice that the fog was
so thick by the time everyone was out of the water,
that the flash picked up the water droplets in the air.
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