Archive for September, 2011

Warmer is Better

September 4, 2011

The sun was only peeking through foggy haze as we drove around to find the best dive site.  There were still waves and rollers to the south and wind was supposed to be freshening all day from the same southerly direction.  North it was to be.

We had Bill Low and three members of the Northshore Frogmen club – Dan Hering, Lauren and LeeAnn (?sp).  Crew were Veronica and Peter.

I wanted warmer water (fat chance) and better visibility than we’d had yesterday.  Maybe continuing further around the north end of the island would provide it.  I chose Gully Cove for the first dive site and anchored just east of Gully Point.  The water was about 30 feet deep and looked marginally clearer than yesterday.  Peter reported 57 degrees at 35 feet, but it was colder deeper.

There was an ear-splitting shriek as one member of the crew hit the cold water in her wetsuit.  I think air raid sirens sounded in sympathy all around the bay.  She later said the cold water felt like a monster invading her suit to grip her in cold claws.  What an image!  Of course, as soon as her body warmed up the infiltrating rivulets, she felt comfortable enough to make two dives there.

The others were successful in lobster hunting as well as general sight seeing.

We certainly felt the effects of the southerly wind blowing across the cove.

The Captain dictated a less chilly site for the second dive.  I thought the deep point at Folly Cove might fill the bill.  As we came around Halibut Point, there were lots of fishermen trolling for blues and stripers.  I kept on course and, as we approached Folly’s outer edge, the water indeed looked calmer and the bluff diverted the chilly breeze.

Everyone went back in for more fun.

I think a blast was had by one and all.

I had spinach and cheese pita pockets, an apple, and V-8 thanks to V.  The Captain had a turkey sandwich from the same source.

It turned out that the visibility wasn’t as good as it had been in Rockport, it was still a beautiful place to dive.

We had a long session at this site and, although the vote was a tie as to whether we should leave the last diver and  head home without him, we returned to the marina with everyone we started with.

Good fun with nice people.

It’s Not Fair

September 3, 2011

The day above water was hot and sweaty and humid.  The breeze was from the southwest and there were long, low rollers from the south east.  They were clumping up on any south facing shore, so we knew we were going north.    Jacki and Sandy along with Bill Low were on board.  Jacki asked for the first dive site because she wanted to show the area to Sandy who’d never been there.  They had 50 degree water at 30 feet at the Restaurant at Folly Cove.  The visibility was about 10 feet.  This was  just after dead low tide.  You would have thought it would be warmer than that.

Pete said he saw lots of everything on the bottom – flounders, skates, cunner and a few legal lobsters too.

The second site was near Tide Rock off the cemeteries at Lanesville Shores.  Again, the water was murky and cold at 50 degrees.  This time Pete said he didn’t see a single fish.  Strange.

After we returned to the marina, we talked to Fran Linnehan of Down Under who had just returned from a seal dive trip to the Isle of Shoals.  He said they had 62 degree water with 20 feet of visibility.  Wha-a-a-a?  That’s only 14 miles north of where we were diving across the open stretch of water known as Essex Bay.

The water was really cold today, compared to what we’d been seeing before Tropical Storm Irene passed through.  Maybe it’s Global Cooling.

Nah.  I think the warm water all got blown north by the south winds from Irene.  The cold water was an upwelling to replace it and that’s why it was so cold.

That’s my theory and I’m sticking to it.

Fun day with hearty folk.