North Coast backpack dive

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Posted by Eric S on August 24, 2008 at 22:32:47:

Last weekend a small group of us on the North Coast decided to try a backpack dive. Now, I know that this may not be a big deal to many of you Socal veterans, but in our case this was quite a step forward.
Essentially, what we are aiming for is to streamline our gear and weighting so we can at least stand a chance at some socal bug diving. This whole backpack idea was of my own making. Iím actually amazed that I was able to get as much interest in it as I did. Of course my good buddy Brian was and will be there no matter what. I was speaking more about Tao and Kevin who are NCDíers. But none the less I am glad they had the balls to give this technique a try.

In short, all of us met at Gerstle cove in the morning after the rest of the clan did a classic North Coast ab dive at South Gerstle over the wreck. I pulled up at about 8:30 and saw Brian standing on the bluff watching Tao, Kevin, and Jerry in the water working the reef for abs. After everybody got out we headed to north Gerstle for our backpack dive.

Weighting seemed to be the issue initially. Each diver realized how much weight needed to be shed to be able to do this. I think this was a critical lesson in every aspect of diving; weighting.
After everybody got dialed in we set off and began our dives. Brian and Jerry teamed up and went way out. Kevin loosely dove with Tao and I and we stayed in the cove. The vis was horrible. The excessive kelp is beginning to rot and thus reduces vis down to zero. At best we maybe found 1 foot of vis. We puttered around for about 20 minutes and at that point Tao and I decided to go back to the beach.

I would say it was all a great learning experience even with the adverse conditions. The water was calm enough in the cove but visibility was the main detractor.

Here are a few pics from the day:

Tao getting ready

Jerry and Brian

Da backpackín boys

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