De(com)pression Diving

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Posted by Max Bottomtime on April 08, 2012 at 17:06:03:

It's been awhile since I've had some really nice dives. I can count the number of good dives I've had this year on one hand. Two of them were at Morro Bay with current and two feet vis. My depression was building until I heard some good news last week. The swell models were predicting small seas this weekend, so I got my hopes up. I wanted to get some wide angle shots of the UB88 for a long time, so we headed there first. My downline landed two feet from the hull, but the visibility was less than five feet. I knew my camera wouldn't focus in that water so I thumbed the dive. Merry and Kevin dived Coke Bottle Reef, where Merry found another Coke bottle.
The swells picked up and we spent the rest of the day fighting our way through five foot swells back to Redondo Beach.
I was content to sleep in this morning, but Merry wanted to get in a local dive. It wasn't as bad as yesterday, but the water was very green near shore. I made a blue water dive four miles offshore. Visibility was better than sixty feet, but I found only a few tiny jellies, too small for my video camera to focus on.
We thought about diving the landing craft but the surface water looked like split pea soup in a bucket of oil with molasses stirred in. We sadly headed for the barge to look for any vis.
Scott and Margaret Webb arrived just before we did, so we anchored off the southwest corner of the barge. We lowered our cameras into the water and could barely see them a foot below the surface. When I got in the water I couldn't see my fins.
Fortunately, the muck was only a few feet thick, and we enjoyed a good fifteen feet of vis on the bottom. The barge was covered with Hermissenda crassicornis, with a few Tritonia festivas to add some variety. I also found two Navanax inermis, each about one inch long. I still had my wide angle setup from yesterday, so my nudi hunting was limited. Lots of small jellies and yellow snot in the water column.
After getting back on the boat, a small Gray whale surfaced, then dived ten feet off our bow. It swam toward divers from the Divercity dive boat, but none of them saw it under water.

Scott Webb

Margaret "MaggieD" Webb

Maripelta rotata

Painted greenling

Navanax inermis

Cadlina flavomaculata

Tritonia festiva

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