Mellow

Today was going to be a hole in the donut.  There were showers as we woke up.  We were hoping for some sun and then there would probably be showers or a thunderstorm in the evening.   If we were lucky, there’d be a window of opportunity for diving.  Because the winds were slated to be from the south west, we went up the river to the north side of Cape Ann.

We had Pat and Karen Hatcher, Linsley and Kevin Mordasky, and LD with Pat Walsh, Peter Donahue, Kathy Cardinale and me as crew.  The Captain reigned supreme.  Because we were trying to video as well as search for lobsters for Pete’s cookout on Monday, I picked the restaurant at Folly Cove for our first dive.  The sun was getting stronger as we anchored in about 25 feet.  The tide was rising to high at 11:30 AM, so we had plenty of water.   I directed the out-of-towners over to the wall for scenic critters and hollowed out areas with lobsters and crabs peeping out.

I went down the downline and saw clear water.  Of course, I had sunk to 40 feet over a bottom of jumbled granite blocks and they leant themselves to clear water with little silt.  I saw four abandoned lobster traps in various stages of decay, but none had any decorator crabs on them.  There was a curious striped bass following me along the wall.  I think he was waiting for me to catch a lobster and then drop it as being too small.  He’d then dash in and pick off the victim before it landed on the bottom again.  Too bad for him that I was videoing and not hunting.

The water was about 55 degrees at 40 feet.  Visibility was 25-30 feet down there, but only 10-15 feet in the warmer shallows where the water was probably 60 degrees or more.  We saw lots of little cunners and I videoed a crab wedging his crusher claw into a mussle shell and then eating the insides with delicate dipping motions of his other claw.  The mussle had barnicles and limpets on it, so I think it was pretty old.  Interesting image.

For the second dive, I moved out of Folly Cove and started back down the Lanesville shore line.  There was a large tarp spread on poles at or near a local landmark called Tide Rock.  There were people diving from shore who looked like they were part of a large picnicking group.  I anchored before we got to that site and nearer the cemeteries just outside Folly Cove.  We passed Fran Linnehan and Down Under anchored right at the point.  That area had too much current for me, so I pulled further in towards shore and 25 feet of water. 

This time the visibility wasn’t as good at 40 feet, but Peter and L. were down on the sand hunting.  Visibility was 20 feet or better up in the shallows in about 15 feet of water.  Here the sun was glinting through tall stands of sea weed that were gently waving in the surge.  It was past high tide by this time, but the area was almost still.  Clumps of cunner and some small striped bass were cruising the area too.  It felt like an octopus’ garden, according to Kevin and Linsley.

The weather closed in as we were packing up and got ominous as we powered back down the Annisquam.  Little dribbles and spits of rain was all that happened, but the clouds were scudding from the northwest and over-spreading the area quickly.  We were glad to get home before something worse blew up.

Wonderful day with nice people.

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