Archive for October, 2010

Windy Again

October 30, 2010
partlysunny
Today
Partly sunny. Highs in the mid 50s. West winds 15 to 20 mph with gusts up to 30 mph.

We had a cross-over candidate who wanted to become a NAUI instructor, Will G.  He wanted to go.  Folly Cove looked do-able, so we went.

The wind was pushing us across Essex Bay from the stern.  There was grand fish-tailing happening.  I had to slow down to keep the tanks and gear on the deck from rolling and falling.

The cove was flat and we anchored near the A.R. + E. R. graffito on the western wall.  Will demonstrated skills and did bail outs.  He was good, no question.

Then it was time to return the way we’d come.

The wind had freshened.  It was now a steady 20 with 4 foot seas.  I made headway against the wind, but the incoming tide had set up steep standing waves at Folly’s mouth.  It was nasty going until we reached Plum Cove.

By then the fetch of the wind had lessened and we were able to increase speed a little.  The ride down the river wasn’t bad and the wind was mostly from the west by the time we needed to return to the slip.  We didn’t need ropes to leverage our way into it.

Since tomorrow was going to be a repeat of today with a little bit more wind and a little bit more cold and clouds, we decided to end the season a day early.

Today was our last trip of 2010.

Tomorrow we prepare the boat to be hauled out for the winter.

Bummer.

But it was a good season, while it lasted.  Lots of fun dives, nice people, and warm weather.

Can’t wait for Spring.

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Guess What?

October 23, 2010

It was very windy today.

That’s hardly a new condition, is it?  It’s been too windy for fun diving for most of October’s weekends.

Today the wind was snappin’ out of the WNW.  At least there were no competing waves out of the ESE.

Pete and Pat took our friends Linda and Dallas Edmiston out for a quick salt water dive.  They’re from Buffalo, NY, and haven’t had salty gear since their trip to Grand Cayman in August.  We fixed that.

The only place that was doable was up in the corner at Magnolia Harbor.

They reported the visibility was “awesome.”  Pete said 50 feet.  And the water was 50 degrees at almost high tide.

It wasn’t very deep – only 15-20 feet – but that matched the wind speed, so it was all good.

There were moon snails, and jonah crabs and little cunner too.

The sun was bright and warm out of the wind.

They had fun.

Too Windy to Dive

October 17, 2010

The Small Craft Warnings were still out today.

NW 10-20 with crashing waves still coming in from the south east.

Nowhere to go.

So, we didn’t.

No Diving Today 10/16/2010

October 16, 2010

Too much wind for diving.

Darn.

Clear and Bright

October 11, 2010

Columbus Day was warm, sunny, bright and clear.  And it was two out of four underwater as well.  Pete and Cecil B. DeCalhoun were videoing again at Stone Garage.

I zipped each of them into their dry suits and kept watch topside.

There was scootering going on

Reaching for the Scooter

Pete reaches for the scooter, photo by The Captain

and I could see bubbles marching all around the boat.

It was very clear again, about 25 feet of visibility and still 55 degrees.

We had fun.

Nobody Here But Us Chickens

October 10, 2010

It was sunny and not as windy today.

No customers signed up, so we went out by ourselves.

The Stone Garage had had such great visibility yesterday, Captain Cecil B. DeCalhoun decided to get wet himself to shoot some video.  Pete was the designated diver.

I hear it was 55 degrees at 25 feet and the visibility wasn’t as good at only 25 feet.  Pat and I could see the mushroom anchor at the bottom of the down line.  It’s about 20 feet long.

We were rocking on the surface in a cross between an incoming tidal current and the westerly wind (“10-15 knots”).  It smoothed out a little as the divers came onboard:

Pete on the Back of Easy Diver

Pete Poses on the Stern of Easy Diver, photo by Pat Walsh's Blackberry

The weather continues to improve, but the season’s almost over.

Yahoo and darn.

Flappin’ Like a Flag

October 9, 2010

It was windy.  Oh yes, it was.

We have had a week of rainy, windy weather and now the sun has come out.

We drove around looking for a good spot and decided that the Back Shore had the best conditions.  However, after I anchored near the flagpole at the Atlantis Motor Inn, the wind hadn’t decided if it would be blowing from the northwest or the north.  We did a slow motion flap at anchor in an underwater field of huge boulders.  Linsley and LD explained that they were polished clean near the shore and some had a surface resembling an elephant’s skin.

Linsley and Kevin Mordasky, Jonathan Matthews, and LD joined Pete in sight-seeing or hunting.  They reported water of 57 degrees and good visibility.  I understand there were lots of too big lobsters.  LD brought up an unusual one that was legal, but had a mutant claw:

 

Mutant Lobster

LD's Lobster with the Strange Crusher Claw, photo by Pat Walsh's phone

 

The second dive was at Stone Garage, very close into the bluff to stay out of the wind, which was freshening.  Kevin, Linsley, and Peter made this dive and said it was even clearer here.  Pete said he could see the bottom from the surface and said the visibilty was “…50 feet.”  The water was 55 degrees.  The air was in the fifties with a 20 knot wind gusting to 30 knots.

But the sun was bright and it was warm enough if you sat out of the wind, facing it.  At noon, it was still very low in the southern sky.  The water was sparkling and the air was crystal clear.  We could see Boston looming on the southwestern horizon.

The way in was against an outgoing tide and I got too close to the Miss Sea, the whale watching boat out of Cape Ann Marina.  Her engines churned up a big wake as we made it through the Blynman Bridge cut.  I should have hung back more and the ride would have been smoother.

We had the ropes deployed to assist us in getting back into the slip against the wind.  Everyone hove to and we cheated death again.  And the ramp into the parking lot was so flat that we had to walk down to get onto land.  Here’s another picture from Pat’s phone:

 

Flat Ramp

The Flat Ramp

 

Not a bad day, considering the conditions.

October 3rd = Nada

October 3, 2010

It is still blowing.  Now it’s out of the northeast – the worst direction.

Not worth it.

We cancelled the trip.

Nowhere to Go

October 2, 2010

Conditions ranged from bumpy and surge-y to bouncy with whitewater all over Cape Ann.  It looked like this on the Back Shore:

Northwest winds of 20 knots were frothing Essex Bay.

Waves were breaking on the south side of the island from the remnants of Hurricane Nicole.  Even Niles Beach was stirred up and messy.

We drove around and saw bunches of fully clothed beginner divers clustered with their leader.  They were obviously reconsidering their planned dive.

We did too.

Everyone went home dry.