North Coast dive today!

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Posted by Eric S on January 15, 2005 at 20:34:41:

Finally got out for a dive up at Gerstle. Steve and I went and we burned our steel double 72's.
On the drive up the coast the ocean looked very clean. All the streams running into the ocean had sparkling clear mountain water so we knew run off was not going to be an issue.
There was only little ankle slappers at the beach and not much swell, maybe only 1-2 footers once in a while. The sky was clear and there was no wind to speak of. Down on the rocky beach area of the cove the still air probably got to 75 degrees. I was sweating like hell in my drysuit getting geared up.
For our first dive we went straight out and a hair north. There were tons of lings in the cove and some big females in the rocks laying their eggs. We saw clouds of those rubber lipped perch and also numerous spotted greenlings. Occasionally we would run into a few good clouds of blues in the water column from teeny up to 2-3 lbs.
The vis in the cove was kind of milky maybe 10-15 feet but when we were way out of the cove in open ocean the vis got to 40 feet. The water temp was 48 degrees.
I didn't see it but Steve saw, as he explained it, the biggest fish he has ever seen while diving up here. It was the shape of a salmon or some other broad type profile fish and it was jet black. It was about 3 1/2 - 4 feet long and he estimates it was 60-70 lbs. It was laying in a vertical crack in a rock in about 90 feet of water.
I thought it was possibly a huge female black cod. I know it wasn't a BSB because we don't have those up here, or do we?. Damn I wish I saw it!!
Steve found an old encrusted spear gun and as we got back into the preserve I found a mask and snorkel.

On our second dive I shed the doubles and went and got my new homemade custom backplate.
I designed a new ergonomic plate designed to fit my exact body shape solely for single tank diving that allows for full freedom of movement of your shoulder blades while securing the tank to your body like no other rig I've ever used.I can spin around full 360 with lightning speed and the tank does not wobble or slide around. It can be used with or without a wing. Today I used it without a wing and it was the closest thing to freediving I have ever done with scuba. I managed to dial my weighting in perfect so I was positive on the surface and with a steel 72 at 500 lbs at 15 feet- perfectly neutral.
I think I will use this plate for single tank diving exclusively from now on.
It would make a great bug hunting rig or for other athletic type scuba diving activity.

All in all a very good winter day diving.

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