Sunday, March 28, 2010

Dive report - 2 dives of Pt Loma 3/27/2010

Mikey Bear above the pinnacle:

Dive #1

Date: 3/27/10
Location: Pt Loma kelp beds
Time in: 12 pm
Time under: 42 min
Max depth: 89 ft
Min temp: 54F
Vis: 15-20 ft
Waves: periodic large swells, but no problem
Buddy: Mikey, Dave Hershman
Setup for Wide Angle (hoping to see a sevengill shark)

Hermissenda crassicornis on the reef:

Dive #2

Time in: 2:18 pm
Time under: 42 min
Max depth: 79 ft
Min temp: 56F
Vis: 15 ft
Waves: swells
Buddy: Dave Hershman
Setup for macro

Highlights: Exploring two large pinnacles covered in life. Nudibranchs seen: porters chromodorid, spanish shawl, hermissenda crassicornis, tritonia festiva, stearns aeolid, flabellina trilineata, cadlina luteomarginata. I also saw my first underwater spiders. It was really nice to 'hook up' with Steve Murvine and Gayle Van Leer out on the water.

Mikey holding onto a kelp holdfast:

It was a beautiful day out on the water after a month of storms. The sun was shining brightly. There were occasional large swells, but with a really long period, they were hardly noticeable.

Red gorgonian with kelp in the background:

For the first dive, I was setup for wide angle, hoping for good visibility and a sevengill shark. Even without seeing a shark, the twin pinnacle structures that Gayle and Steve found were amazing, going from about 65 feet down to the bottom at 95 ft. In between was a sandy channel littered with shells and rocks, almost like an underwater river bed. Mikey and I did the dive together, with Dave joining us later due to some equipment issues. It was a pretty cold dive, partly due to a leaking right arm in my mostly dry suit.

Stearn's Aeolid (Facelina stearnsi):

After an hour and a half surface interval, complete with lunch and cookies and wringing out my undergarment, I switched my camera over to macro. Mikey sat out the second dive due to a leaking inflator valve on his drysuit. Right as I got in to the water, Gayle and Steve surfaced and shouted that they had seen a sevengill. But it was too late to switch the lens back, oh well... Dave and I dropped down to the same pinnacles again, looking for macro life to photograph. I didn't explore as much of the structure this time, closely examining the reef for nudibranchs. About half way through the dive, I noticed that my pictures were getting awfully dark. Turns out, my strobe batteries weren't lasting as long as they normall do. By the end of the dive, only one of them was firing... On a positive note, my drysuit stayed dry on this dive.

Mikey pointing to the reef:

About an hour after getting back to the dock, I noticed my left shoulder was a little itchy and felt hot. I looked in the mirror and noticed a mottled appearance with some reddish/black/blue areas. Apparently, I had skin bends on the same shoulder that got the Type 1 DCS hit a little over a year ago. I immediately called DAN, who recommended I go and get checked out, even though breathing oxygen was the only treatment really needed. On my way to UCSD/Hillcrest, I got a call from the diving doctor to confirm what DAN had told him. It was a busy Saturday night at the ER, but they finally got me my on O2 by about 9 pm. The rash went away pretty quickly and they decided no chamber ride was needed (yay!). Now no diving for another 6 weeks :( Our best guess is that I'm not getting enough circulation in my left shoulder, either due to suit squeeze or just low blood pressure.

Diver Dave Hershman looking for macro subjects on one of the pinnacles:

The rest of the pictures are up at: