On Again and Off Again Sun with Clouds and a Smattering of Rain

That’s springtime in New England. We had droplets that didn’t amount to much as we drove around looking for a good site. South looked smooth, but sludgy from a week’s worth of rainy days and southish winds.  The drive over the top of the island brought us to Folly Cove and a very clear appearance to the water.  North it was, for our first trip of the season up the Annisquam River.

We had David Murphy who wanted to practice with his new Atlan dry suit from Ted Barnes’ Freedom Diving.  Also aboard for their first trips of the season were Jacki K. and Richard Brandolini.  Peter and Pat were crewing, The Captain was videoing, and I drove the boat.  No one else seemed to be out.  It was lovely to have no bouncing from passing boat wakes.

I anchored us in next to the A.R./E.R. graffiti on the west wall.  It was about 20 feet deep.  The divers reported that there were skates and quohaugs and the visibility was good at 15 feet, but the water was only 43 degrees.   We could see bodies on the bottom from the deck and knew that the visibility was good from that viewpoint.  The tide was coming in, so it was going to be cold on the bottom for sure.  Everyone was diving with a dry suit for comfort.  The air was about 60 degrees.

Our second dive was off the Lobster Pool restaurant on the east side of the cove.  There are lots of jumbled boulders and the water is a little deeper at 35 feet.  I was David’s buddy this time and we toured the site to find critters to video.  I was surprised to find not a single decorator crab when there had been so many last weekend at Kettle Island.  There were certainly enough ghost traps for them to colonize here.

David and I saw a dead cormorant in one of the lobster pots that was freshly baited.  We also saw two sluggish skates, one of which let me hold it by the tail for a moment.  There were some small white anemones open on the rocky edge of the steep part of the wall.  I also marveled at a line of sea urchins consuming the sea weed on a boulder in military formation.  Shoulder to shoulder (if they had had any shoulders), they were marching up the flat surface, eating any blade of weed in their way.  I remembered the term urchin barren when I saw the smooth, clean granite they left behind them.

Our trip home was fueled by vegetarian chili, thanks to Pete the Cook.  Pat brought pizzelles (sp?), a flat, Italian cookie.

A good time.

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