A Doozy

OK.  Where should I begin?  Swimming with the mola mola? Seeing a torpedo ray? Videoing a pack of dogfish? It was a National Geographic Special kinda day.  Hot again, and less wind, but cloudy for most of the time, with a few droplets of rain.

We went north because we couldn’t see the mouth of Gloucester Harbor looking south.  It was foggy, hot and HUMID.  I was drenched in sweat just helping load the boat with the six divers who’d chartered today – Richard Brandolini, Larry Fine, Laurent Dubois, Ben “Nuts & Bolts” Perkins and his friend Ray, and a new NAUI Instructor candidate, Tim Maxwell.  Pat, Pete, and Veronica were crew.  The Captain shouted directions.  I drove the boat.

I had a yen to try Fisherman’s Canyon and as we rounded Pointe des Chenes in Rockport, I saw the flippy, flappy fin of an ocean sunfish on the surface.  We encouraged some of the more intrepid divers and they jumped in to swim with it in just their swim suits, masks and flippers.  The surface is about 60 degrees and there were some yelps as they eased off the swim platform, but we didn’t want to scare it by having them just jump in quickly.  It didn’t go away and let the swimmers approach it.  We cautioned everyone not to try to touch it.  We handed still cameras and video cameras back and forth and they caught up close images of its eye and “beard” of copepods.  I’ll post them here as soon as I get them from anyone.

After about 20 minutes of that, we eased over to Fisherman’s Canyon for sightseeing and hunting.  I anchored in 25 feet.  Everyone was quickly into the water at Peter’s urging because the sky was getting dark and threatening.  It sprinkled while they were under, but no heavy wind happened and no further darkening took place.  Peter said it was 55 degrees at 47 feet and 47 degrees at 55 feet.

There was a move to look for lobsters in a better place on the way home.  I chose the best place near the graveyard in Lanesville for the second dive.  There was a little bit of an outbound current, so I made sure everyone swam into it and didn’t get swept around the rocks at Folly Point.  I anchored in about 20 feet of water.  Immediately upon descending with Tim, we saw a dogfish swimming around the white mushroom anchor.  It must have been intrigued by it, because it let me video it and Tim.  It was about 2 feet long, grey, and extremely sleek looking.

We came to the surface to let Veronica know there were sharks here.  Then we descended again with Laurent and he led us to the place where he’d just seen a torpedo ray.  Of course, it was gone, but there were about 30 dogfish swimming in a pack at 37 feet.  They were skittish, but not fearful.  Everytime we exhaled, they backed away.  When there was stillness, they circled closer and closer.  I could see the white spots along their lateral lines.

When we got back to the boat, we learned that Veronica had rescued one of these sharks that was trapped in a ghost lobster trap using her bare hands and a scuba tank, but no exposure suit in 17 feet of water because Pete told her one was trapped right next to the boat. 

Everyone remarked on the number of huge, egg-bearing lobsters at this site.  We were happy they were there.  It’s neat just to look at them.

The divers returned, all having swum with the dogfish. 

Happy campers.

It was a wonder-filled day.

One Response to “A Doozy”

  1. vAtlantis Says:

    It was a day we will be talking about for awhile. Between mola molas, dog fish and giant lobsters!

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