Heidi’s Hideaway and The Castle

It’s raining; it’s pouring; it’s Father’s Day.  At least there was pas de vent.  That’s “no wind” to you non-French-speaking types.  We had two students who needed to get in the water anyway.  They were up for it and you know that Peter would go out anyway.  We decided to stay in the harbor to keep from having to make a long trip in the gloomy rain.  Our first stop was Heidi’s Hideaway, a site we named in honor of a friend and dive student from years gone by.  It’s right in front of Beauport, a museum and famous landmark in Gloucester.  Peter Kelsey and Richard Brandolini took off to explore and hunt for lobsters.  Mike Baker and Brenna Bounds were working with Laurent and me.  The Captain was in charge.

We really didn’t care whether it was drizzling or pouring.  We were getting wet anyway.  We picked up a mooring right in front of the museum that didn’t have a whip antenna on it, so we figured its owner wouldn’t be coming for it soon.  It was in 20 feet of water.  We did oral vest inflation both on the surface and on the bottom.  We did navigation.  We did low visibility diving.  We did critter hunting and investigation.  We did buddy team building.  We did weight belt buckle adjusting and rearranging when it slid around the body and settled under the tank.  All this in 53 degree water with about 5 feet of visibility.  Not too bad for a marginal day.

Because we still wanted to do another dive, we moved across the harbor to the castle overlooking Stage Fort Park.  Again we anchored in about 20 feet, but this time there was a gravelly bottom.  Peter had us doing doff and don exercises as a group.  Doffing is pretty easy.  It’s the donning that’ll get you every time.  Nevertheless, everyone got through it and we had a chance for a little fun at the end by just swimming around to investigate.  We saw a confused-looking skate, a moon snail, lots of empty clam shells, and a medium-sized bouquet of squid eggs.  That last one was a surprise to me.  I’d never seen them in New England before.

We returned to the marina and then back here to the condo to do more book stuff with the students.  There was pizza involved.  Good group.

I almost didn’t miss the soup.

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