Archive for May, 2011

Windless and 88 Degrees

May 30, 2011

It got hot on Memorial Day.

We had Bill Low with Pete, Pat, The Captain and me on board.

The south side of the cape was still bouncy and roiled up, so we went north to get calm water.

The Restaurant at Folly Cove is the Lobster Pool.  I anchored just off their front yard in about 25 feet of water.  As we were suiting up, a family with a little boy came to the edge of the granite wall to watch.  It seemed they might be living in the yellow house on the pier.  They were friendly and the little guy watched intently.

Peter went to check the anchor and Bill Low swam over to the wall on the bottom.  They were watching his bubbles and I commented that the wall is a beautiful dive site.  The younger of the two adults said he had seen it himself and agreed.  What a nice surprise.  No hostility.  No rude gestures.  Must have been tourists :^)

I used the rest of one of my tanks for the dive.  1000 lbs was enough to determine the deeper water was murky, cold and dark.  I swam inshore from the downline and moved along the edge of the wall to warmer water with 15 feet of visibility.  There were nudibranchs and tiny shrimp everywhere.  Here’s a picture from the internet of what I saw:

Nudibranch

I saw a nudibranch that looked like this one.

I would have thought that warmer weather would have driven them deeper.  They’re usually gone by this time.

Our second dive was across the cove at the outer edge of Folly Cove.  This was a deeper anchorage at about 40 feet.  Again, going down the line, I was attacked at the thermocline by an ice cream headache.  Peter and Bill said it was 45 degrees down there.  I swam across to the rocks and practiced videoing to get the hand of it again.  Upon reviewing the footage later, I learned that the winter has caused my rock steadiness to leave as well as my memory of not shooting into the sun.

I used 2/3rds of my tank and felt my fingers getting cold.  Time to head back.

The ride to the marina was a hot one.  Not a breath of air was moving.  Wingaersheek Beach was packed and there were even lots of brave souls in the water (up to their calves).  No Hampton Beach vacationers there, Veronica.

Wingaersheek Beach

Wingaersheek Beach next to the channel, Coffin's Beach further north

We had a Memorial Day feast, thanks to Pat Walsh, cooking by Pete.  Bill even got a charred hot dog that was to his liking.

Great time.

Good people.

Fun, fun, fun.

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Finally

May 29, 2011

Today was a perfectly lovely summer day.

Wait.  It’s still spring, isn’t it?  Yup.  But it’s also New England.  Therefore, anything is possible.  On the water, it was about 80.

It was sunny after the fog burned off.  And the breeze was brisk from the southwest.

We decided to go north because the fog had been extremely think as we drove around the cape with our early morning coffee and corn muffin.  North looked like it would be clear first with a southerly wind.

We had Jacki K., Anna, and Bill Low along with Peter and Pat as crew.  I drove the boat and The Captain maintained decorum.

We anchored off the cemetery at Lanesville Shores for the first dive.  It was about 20 feet deep.

Pete reported that the water was 56 degrees, Bill got 51, and Anna saw 45.  I guess it depended on where you went and which thermometer you believed.  There was no question, however, about the visibility.  It wasn’t good.  Pete said he saw a flounder, but couldn’t determine how big it was because he couldn’t see the end of it.  Ha.

The breeze freshened to 15 – 18 knots from the WSW, so we decided to find a more sheltered spot for the second dive.

I picked the outer wall of Folly Cove.  It was deeper here at about 40 feet.  Jacki said the visibility was a little better, but it was colder than the first place.

All the cold meat eaters enjoyed Pete’s chicken noodle soup, while the vegetarian was happy with her hummus, olives, and taboule sandwich.

The ride back down the river was pronounced heavenly with the bright sun, warm breeze and lack of very much river traffic.

Even though it was low tide as we returned to the marina, it felt good to work the winter flabby muscles and help unload gear.  They won’t stay weak if this weather continues.  In the parking lot, it was over 80, that’s for sure.

Good day.

Nice people.

…and Yet Again

May 22, 2011

No diving due to cold, foggy weather.

May 14 & 15, 2011

May 15, 2011
Rainy Image

Rainy Windshield

No diving due to yucky weather.

But, there ARE some flowers out there somewhere.

Flowers through a Rainy Window

Weatherwise, It’s Such a Lovely Day

May 7, 2011

It was one of the best, first days of the charter season, weatherwise.

There have been other first days that were rainy, cold, dreary and windy.  Pick two.  Or three.

Today was sunny, almost cloudless, and calm-ish as we started out with Alan Hicks, Peter Donahue, The Captain and me.  It was predicted that the wind would pick up from the SSW, so we decided to go north.    We saw Captain Fran Linnehan of Down Under powering back to the Cape Ann Marina with his customers.  They looked to be having fun.

The Captain picked Lanesville Shores, so I anchored in about 25 feet and the boat lay parallel to shore, pointing into the southerly wind.  The Dive Flag was flapping noisily and Himself was irritated by its snapping.  Funny how wind gets to you sometimes.  It was blowing about 10-15 knots.

We suited up and found missing pieces and parts in the process.  I ended up wearing a hood that had “Dallas” lettered inside it.  Had to  have help lengthening the backpack’s straps and my weightbelt too.  Hum.  It was a long winter is my excuse.  Not much exercise to be had for 6 long months.

As we slipped in, I noticed the current was moving along quite nicely.  All the hanging lines were flung to the stern with surface ripples.  Since we were facing south, the current sweeping along side could only be an eddy of the incoming tide which was flowing south as well.  It would subside soon.

The water was c-o-l-d because my borrowed hood was too big.  I had an ice cream headache all over.  I swam back to the back of the boat to get out and find another hood and was surprised to feel the coldness go away.  Maybe I was just being wimpy.  I tried the descent again and this time, the water didn’t feel so frigid.  But it wasn’t very clear.  Visibility was maybe 15 feet.  I saw sea stars and mussels, but no fish or shell critters.  The drysuit squeezed me and rubbed uncomfortably on my outer right ankle where I was only wearing a short cotton sock.  I didn’t remember to bring my thick wool socks to prevent that.

I circled the boat for the remainder of my tank and surfaced to find Pete on board because the neck seal of his DUI had leaked gallons.

Alan followed suit in a few minutes and we called it “one and done.”

As we were fussing with the stuck anchor, Fran pulled up with another boatload of eager scubas.  They were going to be going in at roughly the same place we were leaving.  Good luck to them.  It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t that great either.  And it was c-o-l-d at 48 degrees.

All-in-all, it was the nicest weather for a first dive of the season that I can remember.

Not bad.

Glad to be back in the water.