Our First Trip North of the Season

It finally stopped raining, but now we have a Red Tide bloom.  The shellfish beds from Salisbury to Boston are closed to fishermen because of it.  We had a South wind with predicitions of it turning westerly 10-20.  After a morning drive-around, we decided Folly Cove looked good.

The customers were Paul the Nurse and Alice, Laurent, and Bill Low.  Pat Walsh was sitting at St. Elizabeth’s with her dad who had his hip replaced last Tuesday.  Pete anchors us near the Lobster Pool restaurant on the North side of Folly Cove, 42 degrees 41.290 minutes North and 70 degrees 38.4 degrees West.  The water is about 44 degrees, the air is about 60 degrees, and the visibility underwater is about 10-15 feet.

Laurent catches his first lobster of the season.  Pete gets a few too.  Alice’s camera won’t turn on.  Neither will my video camera.  It’s got its lens cover still on INSIDE the underwater housing.  Sheesh!  I make a dive without it to see if I can find any Non Native Marine species.  I found two kinds – Botrylloides violaceus and Styela clava.  They are the orange sheath tunicate and club tunicate, respectively.  I saw both the orange and the red variant of the former.  Now I get to log my first entries with the Salem Sound Coastwatch people.

For the second dive, we moved down the coast to a sheltered anchorage outside the north edge of the rocky sea wall of Hodgkins Cove.  It was shallow and warmer out of the wind.  It was at 42 degrees 40.241 minutes north and 70 degrees 40.128 minutes west. 

Cal fixed the video camera for me and I shot another stand of orange sheath tunicates on the sea wall’s rocky edge.  I also saw the outline of a skate in the sand on my way back to the boat.  He was completely covered and wouldn’t have been visible at all, except that his edge was still higher than the surrounding sea floor.  It was like looking at the chalk outline of a murder victim in an old crime movie.  He didn’t move as I swam over him.

Pete brought up a scallop covered with limpets.  It sat on the swim platform for a couple of minutes and as I came up to it from my dive, I could look directly into the partly opened shell.  I saw the ring of its blue eyes.  One of Pete’s instructors at Outward Bound had been Euell Gibbons, he of the “Stalking the Blue-Eyed Scallop” fame.  How appropriate.

With Pete’s OK, I dropped the scallop back into the ocean and and watched it drift down trailing a stream of bubbles.  It swirled and made a large circle as it descended into the green.

Ramen noodles soup with extra tomatoes was the warming up medium this time.  Pete’s getting creative.

Good fun.

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