Had a busy weekend:
- got up at 6 AM Saturday to drive to Monterey by 8 AM and do two SCUBA dives by noon.
- went to a party up in the redwoods from 1:30 to 8 or so.
- spent an hour washing all of the SCUBA gear, then collapsed into bed.
- got up at 5:45 AM Sunday to drive to Carmel by 8 AM and do two SCUBA
dives (actually in Pacific Grove near Asilomar) by noon.
- drove home, spent an hour washing all of the SCUBA gear, showered myself,
returned all of the SCUBA gear, then collapsed for the evening.
My apartment looked and smelled like an explosion in a SCUBA shop
after I washed all of the equipment and strewed it around to dry.
My tub drain is still clogged with sand.
Have to do another 2 dives next Saturday, then I'll be finished.
The first 4 dives get me "open water 1 certification".
The first 6 dives get me "open water 2 certification".
It is foggy and cold in the mornings in Monterey.
The last thing you feel like doing is getting in the water,
which is about 54 degrees. I wore normal socks, polypropylene socks,
neoprene boots, 2 wet-suit pieces (overalls and torso), gloves, a hood,
mask and snorkel, buoyancy compensator and regulator and tank,
and 35 pounds of weights. Moving on land (and clambering over rocks)
wearing all of this stuff was a real effort.
With the stuff on, even in the water, most of you feels reasonably warm.
But every gap that lets in water makes your skin feel painfully cold.
Every now and then I'd bend or twist and some gap would open,
and it would feel like someone had dumped ice cubes inside my suit.
Each dive lasted about 20-30 minutes, and that was plenty long enough.
But on the second day, I actually had fun a few times.
So diving in warm water in Florida should be ecstasy.
Horizontal visibility was limited to about 12 feet the first day;
there was a plankton bloom. We dove from a beach right in downtown
Monterey, on Cannery Row. About 60 other divers (mostly schools)
were there at the same time, so it was real mob scene.
Tons of kelp in the water; sometimes it was hard to find a route through it.
Coming out of the water the second time, we actually had a traffic jam,
and had to wait as 12 or 15 divers ahead of us made their way through
the kelp and onto the beach. Looked like a frogman invasion of Monterey,
in some very bad movie.
The first dive on the first day was a checkout dive; an instructor
sat on the bottom in about 18 feet of water, we swam down to him,
did some buddy-breathing, removed and replaced and cleared our mask,
took out the regulator and cleared it a couple of different ways,
swam a circle to demonstrate buoyancy control, etc.
The second dive was more of a fun dive.
The second day, we dove from Point Pinos (aka Sewer's Beach) near Asilomar.
Just us (6 instructors and 4 students). Very rocky, and a tricky entry/exit
through rocks with a small swell coming in. But very nice scenery.
Lots of rocks and kelp, but many nice grottos and clear areas.
Went to about 25 feet, with about 25-foot horizontal visibility.
Lots of surge.
We saw LOTS of kelp and eel grass, a fair number of small fish,
a few 1-foot-long fish, some big crabs, some starfish and jellyfish.
Saw a white seal: once it flashed by about 25 feet away when we
were underwater, and then we saw it on the surface about 100 feet away.
Saw an otter about 200 feet away on the surface.
Me and rocks
Me and same rocks
Mike, me, Shawna