Archive for July, 2007

What A Wonderful Day for a Newbie

July 7, 2007

We were happy to welcome Lihui L. today.  She’s doing a basic class with us and already has an excellent attitude.  We went south to get to Kettle Island’s beach for her, with nearby lobster diving possible at the southwest corner of Kettle for everyone else.  That would be Laurent Dubois, Jim Castelli, and John Buhlman.  Kathy Cardinale was crewing as were Pete, Pat, and I.  The Captain was in charge.

The first spot yielded several lobsters with 55 degree water and 10 foot visibility for the other folk.  Pat and I worked with Lihui off the beach.  She got a chance to see a flounder, a skate, several hermit crabs, a large crab’s carapace, and periwinkles.  There were also lots of shrimp up in the shallows ricocheting around the rocky sand.  The green eel grass looked almost iridescent and had tinges of gold as the sun shone through it.  Each blade had its own tiny crab.  Lihui made two dives off the beach – one with Pat and then one with me.

For the second site, we chose the calmest place we could see.  It was the southwest point of Grey Beach in Magnolia.  Lihui wasn’t feeling too good so I rowed her to shore.  We waited for the everyone else to make their dive before I rowed us back to the bouncing boat.

Kathy made us “legal” sandwiches and we chowed them down gratefully.

Lihui will be back, she promises.  I think the Bonine that Laurent bought her will help a lot.

Fun day but quite a workout.

It Feels Like Saturday, But It’s Not

July 4, 2007

It’s the 4th of July – on a Wednesday, and breezy.

We head south with Tom Childress and Bill Low, plus Pete and Pat for crew with The Captain and me.  It’s not too busy with boat traffic, so I anchor us just around the corner of Bass Rocks.  It’s the beginning of the “back shore” according to locals.  The breeze was from the southwest and blowing about 15 knots. 

Boy, was it cold in the water.  Bill clocked 46 degrees on the bottom at about 30 feet.  Maybe that was because the tide was coming in strong.  The Captain battled a mighty current getting back to the boat.  I just hung around looking for video subjects.  I found a low swimthrough beneath huge boulders and it had a resident ocean pout.  We’ll see whether he’s in focus when we review the video later.  The visibility wasn’t that good at about 15 feet.

Pat and Pete were looking for more lobsters for Pete’s cookout later in the day.  Everyone on board had already been invited.  Thanks to Tom, we had gourmet rosemary ham and alpine lace sandwiches with cranberry grain mustard in bagettes, no less.   And no-nuts chocolate brownies.  Whew!  What a classy fellow!

We opted for calm for the second dive.  The Captain picked Brace’s Cove and we anchored in about 20 feet of water there at the mouth.  It was at least 5 degrees warmer on the surface with a distinct thermocline at 15 feet.  The visibility was almost tropical – 30 feet.  Again there were very few boats around. 

We managed to make a return to the marina quickly, even though the tide was almost high, because the bridge tender is very nice and raised the bridge just for us.

The cookout at Pete’s was a feast, as always.  The grand total was 53 lobsters, so everyone who wanted to could have some to take home.

Strange-feeling day, but fun.

Calm and Cool

July 1, 2007

We had just a little breeze from the northwest.  Going south again would be best.

We had Linda and Myanna who were looking for lobsters.  Pete and Pat were crew.  The Captain and I were videoing anything that moved.

The first stop was between Stone Garage and The Silo.  It was 55 degrees and the depth was about 30 feet.   Visibility was back down to about 15 feet.  This is a wonderfully bouldery site with pink coraline algae all over the rocky cliffs.  Everyone was happy with the terrain.  The lobsterers found critters and The Captain and I found something to shoot – the hunters. 

Pete found a large beast under the boat.  After he wrangled it out, he measured it only to find it was too big.  We filmed the commotion from two points of view.  It should be interesting to watch the thing grab Pete’s empty glove finger and refuse to let go, even as it backed into its den.

The second stop was closer to Bemo Ledge, south of The Silo.  We were in 25 feet when we started, but the wind shifted as the tide turned.  All of a sudden, I was alone on the boat with the depth sounder reading 17 feet…11 feet…15 feet…11 feet…12 feet, etc.  We were stern to the rocks and I wasn’t sure the anchor would hold in this orientation.  When The Captain returned, we started the engine to move to deeper water, and the divers surfaced to see what was going on.  It was a quick effort to get them all on board.

Again, the water was warmish, they said.  57 degrees at 25 feet, with a full tide.  They found more keepers here too.  It was pronounced to be a good place for  hunting.

The trip back into the harbor was a quick one.  The Fiesta was gearing up for the final part of the greasy pole contest, so more boats were entering the harbor from the river than wanted to go back to the marina.  We lucked out.

 A great weekend was had by all.