"Hey Brian, tell us how well that drysuit works! " A North Coast Dive Report

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Posted by Eric S on May 28, 2007 at 21:43:32:

Well, we finally made it out on my boat once again for a day of diving up on the North Coast, or did we?

We got up to Albion from Santa Rosa about a 2 ˝ hour ride through some incredible scenery. We got to the harbor about 9:00 AM. We launched the boat and went down the river and out into the ocean. My plan was to head north to Colby Reef or one of the pinnacles off Stillwell Point. When we got out of Albion bay and attempted to round the point to head north all hell broke loose. The wind waves were horrendous, about 7-9 feet at 7 seconds. This was combined with a north west swell and a south swell of about 2-3 feet. I should have paid better attention to the forecast on the internet but we really wanted to dive so we went for it anyway. There was no way I was going to battle that sea and try and pound my way north, it was pointless.

I decided the best option was to duck into a cove I know of right in Albion Bay and at least try and salvage something that resembled a dive. Brian, my buddy donned his drysuit and back rolled in. Within seconds of hitting the water his eyes grew to the size of golf balls and he yelled that he had a problem, he was flooding bad! something about water coming in right at the crotch of his “drysuit”.

Upon further inspection we discovered that there were at least 8 small slice marks right next to where he had already fixed some other holes from a previous incident. He was so pissed and I started laughing, you know, those giggle type laughs that you can’t stop. The laughing escalated to almost horse laughter. Brian was getting madder the more I was laughing and the madder I saw him get made me laugh more.
The thing is Brian had already seen my M&B wetsuit before and as a matter of fact had already ordered one about a week before this dive trip. I think this is what made him the maddest.
He exclaimed, with many very potent curse words I might add, how he absolutely had had it with drysuits and all the problems they have caused him and how many dives he’s missed due to them. He further went on saying they are nothing but a scam and an unnecessary contrivance that removes the person into some kind off isolated environment and he can’t wait till he can finally feel the refreshing ocean water on his skin once more, and then there’s the god damn pee valve crap and all the hassle, smassle, blah, blah, blah,. I just let him vent it all out, shacking my head the whole time like I knew exactly how he felt. Then he saw how funny the whole thing really was and began laughing himself.

I asked him if he minded if I jumped in and took a look around while we were there and he said “Feel free, wetsuit diver. At least you have the brains to dive wet and never miss a dive”. With that I geared up and jumped in, SOOOOLLLLLOOOO I might add for you team diver zealots out there that might be reading this.

The dive was OK, about 25 foot vis 30 to 45 feet where we were anchored. Lots of big fat urchins, tons of nice abs all over the bottom, not many fish. I was just on a sightseeing tour and after about 35 minutes I came up right next to the boat. I handed Brian a big fat red urchin I grabbed. The water was 47 degrees and after I got on the boat it was all I could do to get that wetsuit top off me before I roasted to death.

Back at the dock we cracked open that urchin and it was the brightest yellow roe I’ve personally ever seen in an urchin.
I scooped out some of the roe and rinsed it with fresh water and down the hatch it went. It was fabulous. I never ate an urchin that fresh and I am now convinced that that is the only way to eat them; as soon as we hit the harbor. There was a Japanese couple at the cleaning station and I could see them eyeing the urchin and muttering excitedly in Japanese as I was slurping and making ooh and ahh sounds. I offered them some and they dove at the offer. We began talking about urchins and the couple had told me how nice it was to finally get fresh urchin because the uni back home was horrible in the sushi bars.

Brian and I discussed what could have possibly caused those holes in his suit. He was always extremely careful with it and being a brand new DUI CF something 400? Suit it was supposed to be top of the line. After lots of speculating he finally deducted that when he rinses it he hangs it on the limb of a big oak tree in his back yard where he lives in a small town called Glen Ellen. There are many cute little squirrels that live in that tree and now it all makes perfect sense that those little holes look suspiciously like little squirrel teeth marks. He hangs the suit in half with the crotch right at the apex of the limb and there you have it.

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