USF NH and Kettle Island

Memorial Day was looking like the best of the three day weekend.  Predicted variable breezes, blue skies, and warmer temperature meant I was going to be barefoot in Crocs for the first time this season!  WooHoo!

We had Jacki K., Paul S., David Murphy, and Dennis P., a visitor from Ventura, California on board.  Pat and Pete were crew.  The Captain was planning his first dive after a week of allergies and/or a cold.

It was an easy trip down to the wreck of the USF New Hampshire.  There were few boats out and the sea was calm.  There are now two fish weirs deployed near our favorite sites.  One is at Coolidge Point (near Saddle Rock) and the other is on the west side of Egg Rock.  I’ve never seen two out and never this late in the season.

We had some tidal current coming around the corner of Graves Island but it wouldn’t be there long as the tide rose.  Everyone got into the water together, but I could see their bubbles split up at the bottom of the anchor line.  One set pointed off hard left and that continued until I lost them in the distance.  Time to deploy the inflatable for the first time this season.

It wasn’t an emergency or even a time to get worried.  I just felt the need to go see what was happening.  Rowing is good for the pecs.  Turns out the errant diver made it to the back of the boat before I did.  It’s very easy to get disoriented on the bottom of a sandy cove.  That’s what happened.

So I then rowed over to the point of the island to watch another set of bubbles that were apart.  Again, there was no trouble, but I was happy to take his  camera when he surfaced so that his swim back to the boat would be easier.  The water was 32 feet deep and about 46 degrees.  Visibility was OK, but not great.

There was treasure to admire and, would  you believe hot dogs with Grey Poupon mustard from Chef Pete?  It’s Memorial Day after all.

The second dive was at a calm spot behind Kettle Island.  I anchored in 25 feet of water.  Peter took Dennis, David, and Jacki for a tour.  Paul and Fred went videoing.  We later saw Paul’s rock steady shot of a big, white tunicate and a crab side-stepping quickly into and out of the frame.  He also captured a shot of periwinkles on every frond of a field of kelp.  There were many more than one per frond like there typically are on eel grass.  Maybe this was a periwinkle nursery.

The other divers saw a lumpfish, sculpin, flounders, and skates.  I wish I’d gotten to take the lumpfish’s picture.  I think they look interesting.

There were more hotdogs on the way home.  I was stuffed!

Good fun.

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