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Trip Report and a few Photos - PV today - August 29, 2010


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Posted by Elaine on August 29, 2010 at 21:38:53:

I've been out of my dry suit for so long, I was very hesitant to spend the day doing anything except for making sure that I still had my cold water basics down, and, making sure that all of my equipment was still functioning properly. I've only been out of the water for a little over a month, but my last cold water dive was in a wetsuit and I've been out of my dry suit since February. I was very worried that I'd lost my skills....

Our first stop was in electric yellow tinted pea green water at the Ace I. We made a 15 foot stop on the way down the anchor line so I could make sure all my basic dive equipment was operational and that I still remembered how to use everything. Everything checked out so we proceeded onward.

In the water column, there were thick chunks of stuff globbed between small specks of whatever totally obscuring visibility past 8 feet or so. At 80 feet the water clarity improved a little, but it still wasn't possible to see more than about 10 feet.

Near the bottom, the only thing that was clear, was that the anchor wasn't real close to the wreck. I did my entire first 100 foot reacclimation dive, much to Ross's dismay, with one hand on the anchor line - no way was I going to let go in poor vis until I knew I could still do a totally controlled free ascent in a dry suit. (Was I having a confidence issue or what?) I slowly climbed, hand over hand, back up to the surface.

Back on the boat, we had a long surface interval, during which I'm sure Ross resisted the temptation to throw me overboard. We passed the time listening to the "emergency calls" on the radio. One "May Day" call with no details and no repeat of the message left us and everyone else in wonder. Later, we giggled when a konked out "See Do" radioed in his position with call for help and the Coast Guard kept asking for the "vessel name". Marine radio can be great entertainment.

Somewhere, during all of this, Ross finally decided the answer to my issues at hand, or in my brain, was a dive on the Olympic II. Ross knows I love the Olympic!

This dive went better. The vis was still pretty horrible - maybe .... 6 feet. But, at the end of the anchor line, I held on to the ring at the bottom of Ross's BC and we took off on the scooter for a couple of laps around the wreck. It was slower scootering than usual because the vis was so poor - Ross was being very careful not to run us into anything. We traveled about a foot from the structure and the little pink anemones were as beautiful as ever. At the end of our short bottom time Ross dropped us off back at the anchor line were we made a very conservative assent.

Hanging in the muck it was hard not to think about all of the recent Great White Shark sightings. At least, if there was one near by, we each had a 50/50 chance that he would go for the other guy.......

After the dive on the Olympic I felt back in the groove and ready to go and do a "real dive". Only problem was - vis was pretty miserable everywhere. So....we settled for whale watching instead.

Lots of blue whales were spouting off Pt. Fermin. Huge magnificent blue whales. We went to the dock, picked up Beth and Mia and motored back out to observe the whales. Here are a couple of photos.



OK, glad "reorientation" day is over. Time to get back in the water......





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