Dive Report 03/13 - You do well, Grasshopper, perhaps too well...

Great Dive Trips at Bargain Prices with the Sea Divers

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Posted by Patrick on March 13, 2010 at 22:07:50:

As most local divers know, the weekend diving opportunities for the last few months have been few. Between the weather and the swell/surf, there have been few opportunities to get wet in something other than rain.

The crew on this outing was Commodore Andy, Dr. John, Captain Cindy and Captain Patrick. There were indications it would be an unusual day as soon as we arrived at the del Rey launch ramp. Some thoughtful fisherman had left a portion of his cleaned catch sitting on the ramp where were launching. The remains appeared to be that of a salmon or steelhead! Pretty unusual for around here.

On clearing the breakwater, we were confronted with a moderate swell and confused chop. The run out to the first site was uncomfortable, but not enough to cancel the enthusiasm of divers who had been denied their saltwater immersion fix for the last six weeks.

John jumped on the first dive and reported 15-foot visibility and few bugs. Dive two was made by Commodore Andy who reported pretty much the same situation. Since the major secondary point of the trip was to pickup a few bugs before the season end, it was decided by the crew to head for the “secret” lobster spot – the one that is listed on only 35 or 40 location web sites.

Cindy and I were buddied up for the first dive at the “secret” spot. Conditions were good with better than 15-foot visibility on the bottom but with a decidedly attention-grabbing 50-degrees as well.

Once on the bottom we could see why it is the lobster hot spot. The good news was there were bugs everywhere. The bad news was that most were undersized fleas. Even so, there were plenty legals to be found too if one were stealthy, quick and careful. These were the tricks-of-the-trade I was attempting to impart to Cindy, a virgin lobster diver on her first lobster dive. I had bagged a couple of very nice legals before Cindy made her first successful capture. It was an example of quick learner, fast hands, but an inexperienced eye. Her first catch was a short and after measuring it a couple of times she released it back to a nearby crevasse. By the close of the first dive I had four nice bugs in the bag, and although Cindy had honed her technique amazingly in the one dive, she still hadn’t bagged a legal.

On Andy and John’s dive, they both scored well and the thought of some limits began to be a possibility in our minds.

For Cindy’s and my second dive, we moved to the other side of the secret spot and descended. Things began to change the moment we hit the bottom. Even before I managed to clear the down-line weight from the reef, Cindy was holding out about a 4-pound bug and pointing at the game bag I was carrying. In it went.

Very good Grasshopper. You heed the wisdom of the old ones and learn quickly…

Shortly thereafter, I too caught a legal +++ bug and as I was bagging him, here came Cindy again with another big bug, gesturing for the bag and grinning widely behind her mask. The remainder of the dive was somewhat confusing. I seemed to be spending more time bagging Cindy’s immense bugs that I was spending catching my own!

Enough, Grasshopper! Remember it is a long swim back to del Rey…

By the close of the dive we both had limits and thank goodness we only had one bag since the mixing of bugs allowed some confusion as to who caught the biggest bugs.
But I knew…

Cindy, whose seven bugs were as large as or larger than any of ours was heard to ask, “So what’s the big deal about bug diving? I thought everybody says it’s so hard…”
The replies that came back are unable to be printed.

Despite the slight embarrassment on being bested by a tyro (and a bit of pride for the same reason), a limit for the boat this late in the season is a very good reason to smile – all the way till next season.

Stay wet

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