Thunder and Lightening

There was a fog bank in the harbor and a gentle breeze from the south.  The weather report said it was going to freshen to 10-20 from the south.  In either case, the fog would make diving south unsafe, so we drove up the Annisquam River to the north side of Cape Ann.  There were thunderstorms predicted for later in the afternoon, but the white cloud bank north of us seemed to be scudding northeast.

The Captain and I had driven around the cape in the early A.M. with our Tea/Bagel and Coffee/Corn Muffin (guess whose is which).  We’d seen calm seas and no surge on the north side, so it looked good to go.   Laurent and The Captain had practiced crashing and escaping in the marina, just for fun.  That’s docking and leaving the slip for those who were never Coast Guard types.  Laurent did great and now we have another set of eyes and hands  that we could use in an emergency, should the need arise.

We had Tom and Kathleen Childress of Amherst, MA and Laurent Dubois as well.  The crew was Kathy Cardinale, Pat Walsh, Peter Donahue.  I drove the boat.  The Captain was in charge.  This was Kathleen’s first dive off a boat after being recertified (with their daughter, Catie).  She’d last been with us in 1998 at Kettle Island. 

In her honor, we went into Folly Cove and anchored off Calf Cove, its little shallow offshoot.  Kathleen and Pat Walsh were a buddy team for her first dive.  They found a lobster in a cave and several others that were either too big, too little, or preggers.

I videoed in Calf Cove, The Captain videoed on the sandy plain of the cove, and Peter and Laurent hunted.

It was 57 degrees at 20 feet with a noticeable thermocline at about 15 feet.  Above the thermocline was wonderfully warm, below it was shockingly cold – a mixed blessing.

Because Kathleen did so well, we decided to go around the corner to Lanesville Shores, off the graveyard for a second site that possibly had more prey for the hunters.  I anchored way in shore in about 20 feet of water.  Here, it was 52 degrees at 30 feet, according to Peter.  He also said he rescued a dog fish (small shark) from an abandoned trap.  They are interesting to see because they look so shark-like, but they are small so their teeth wouldn’t hurt you.  Their dorsal spine would, however, so we’re careful whenever we handle them during rescue situations.

There were successful hunters on this trip.  Kathleen and I saw golden fields of Irish Moss in 15 feet and other weedy tendrils that shimmered in the slight current.  There were lots of crabs, both hermit and otherwise.

While we were underwater, the front of thunderstorms that had been predicted formed over southern, coastal New Hampshire and formed a black wall with lightening and thunder.  When Kathleen and I surfaced, Peter hustled us back onboard so we could make our run back down the river to the marina before the rain hit us.  Kathy drove the boat and then Pat took it down the river and docked it in the slip.  Great teamwork.

Thanks to Kathleen and Tom for the scrumptious brownies, and to Kathy for the “legal” tuna sandwiches and watermelon, and to Laurent for the madelines.  We were all well cared for today.

Good fun was had by all.

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