Redondo Canyon 2/8

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Posted by Roger on February 10, 2007 at 11:53:26:

Dove the canyon with Scott and Margaret Webb and Jim Lyle thursday night. Scott took us out in the boat, and due to a cold, stayed on the surface.

Photos here:


Lots of squid egg carpets. Jim saw a squid, showed me a fringehead, and also a juvenile black sea bass, all in 70-80 feet of water. Vis was good.

On the way out, we were talking about a camera problem that Margaret had had, and Jim said, well, who can think in 80 feet of water. I raised my hand. I almost said, "you can give me any camera in any condition and I can make it go." Somebody must have heard me....

I got ready in a hurry, had put my dry gloves on my sleeves in a hurry, and intended to do the final click-seal after I put the suit on.

As we got ready, I got my BC inflator tangled up and scott helped me put it over my shoulder. I didn't bother to velcro it down.

I forgot the wrist seal, so on the descent, I had a pretty major flood on my left wrist. I pinched the seal closed, and think I got it. But I did consider calling the dive.

My right wrist flooded, and I did the same thing. Or maybe my wrist was just cold, since I forgot my glove liners, too. No way could I have a double failure, right? But I did, clamped it down, slowed the leak, it seemed OK.

By now I was nearing the bottom, and had lost my inflator, and sank into the mud. A twist in my inflator hose kept pulling it back over my shoulder.

I unfolded my camera, pretty task loaded, and started setting up. I have an old 5050, and use the my-mode settings... I moved the mode dial over to the my-mode section and pressed the my-mode select button...

and up came the screen to select the drive mode. Not the my-mode.

And I realized that I had just gotten my camera back from olympus service, and all the my-modes were gone. In fact, I had only turned the camera on to set the date. I had a camera that was basically brain-wiped, fresh out of the box, brand new.

Oy gevalt. Time for my butt to cash the check my mouth wrote earlier....

So back to manual mode, back to f1.8, 1/30th of a sec. I bumped the ISO up to 200 to capture divers in the background.

Started shooting... the right of every image was bright, the left was dark. Time to check strobes. My strobe batteries are ancient and dying, power could have failed on the left. More troubleshooting. I finally decided the left strobe was dead or dim, and I'd be running right only.

But the right was still blown out, lots of backscatter. So my left strobe is dim, my right is bright... another double failure? no way. Was I picking up my focus light? the light on my mask? More troubleshooting.

Somewhere in here Jim showed me a fringehead, and I declined to attempt photographing it.

I finally went completely dark, all lights and strobes off, and I STILL had blownout light on the right side. Was I picking up someone else's lights or strobes? donno...

finally, I realized that I forgotten one last setting in the camera: slave strobe mode. My internal strobe was doing full dumps.

Finally, finally, all working, I got on with the dive. I'm not sure how long it all took. But I do remember thinking, damn, not much more can go wrong without it being serious.

Took some shots of the egg mats and Jim and Margaret (mostly Jim, Margaret kept turning away from me), and we ascended and swam back to the boat.

Haven't had a dive like that in a long time.

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