Kettle X 2

We were expecting cloudy with PM rains, but it was a little better than that. How about sunny with huge thunderclouds and lightening and driving rain and then sunny and windless and then stormy again? That was our day.

We had a full component of customers: Linda Giles and Myanna, Laurent Dubois, Ilya Taytslin with his daughter, Yelena, and Mike Russo. The latter two were students working on their basic certifications. Yelena and I were dropped off at Kettle Island’s rocky-rubble beach. We needed to work on her basic skills before going into water over her head. Mike was with Peter for his final skills work before graduation.

Yelena had had one previous day in the ocean, but it was that foggy weekend earlier in the summer when we couldn’t get out of Gloucester Harbor. Today we were in water so warm that we took off our mitts. The scuba stuff gelled quickly for Yelena and we were off to survey the area near the beach. We saw crabs, little lobsters and a striped bass. She was even able to clear her ears and her mask at 15 feet. The water was considerably colder here so we went back to the inflatable which was our surface support vessel and got our gloves. This eliminated the slimy factor so we could explore more and I could give her a crab to hold.

Ilya and Veronica, from the crew, were buddies with the rest of the divers at the northwestern point of Kettle in about 25 feet of water. He reported that the visibility was 20-25 feet there, but there were few lobsters. The water was very warm. After our session completed, Yelena and I snorkeled back towards the big boat as they came to pick us up. We had the inflatable in tow, so it was all hands on deck to clamber aboard with all the gear from the Zodiac while not anchored and while not running aground and while not hitting or being hit by any of the other boats nearby. Peter handled it masterfully.

Our second dive was at the deep wall side of Kettle. Here it was 15-20 feet of visibility on the surface with water temperature in the upper 60s. Ilya’s computer actually registered 72. On the bottom, there was better visibility, but it was colder as the tide rose to high. Yelena made a dive down the down line to its bottom and then we surfaced to go down the anchor line as we practiced her clearing her mask and ears at nearly the same time. It seems that when she smiles (or grimaces, for that matter), her mask tends to fill up. We’re working on having that not happen.

As the divers climbed aboard from their second dive, we could see huge thunderclouds building in the west. That was going to mean a chilly ride home in rain and possibly lightening. So, we packed up quickly and powered back to the harbor.

As we tied up, the crackling and booming was too close for comfort. I got soaked just getting the tanks up the nearly flat ramp and our stuff back into our truck.

At least I didn’t have to wash my gear.

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