Columbus Day – Who’d ‘a Thunk It?

It was hot again today, but I’m not complaining.  Harvey Leonard, the weatherman on Channel 5, said we’d probably never see the likes of this Columbus Day Weekend again in our lifetimes.  I’ll take it.  I could get used to it.

The breeze was coming from the WNW and we were choosey about where we’d dive because it was just me, The Captain, Pete and Jacki K.   After motoring around a bit, we decided on the world headquarters of the Red Roof Inn – or not.  That’s just what Pete calls it.  It’s really a huge mansion called Rockledge on the edge of Magnolia Point that was built for Hiram Walker of distillery fame.  It has a distinctive red tile roof.  We anchored in about 25 feet of water just below its eastern rampart.  You may recognize it from this picture I found on the internet:

Rockledge

Rockledge

We were all alone at this anchorage except for a flotilla of trolling fishermen that arrived after we’d set the hook.  They proceeded very slowly around the cove like Indians around a circle of wagons.  I swam over to Jacki’s bubbles when they passed between us and the rocky shore and were turning around to do it again.  At least I’d be a beacon to them to stay clear of someone who didn’t know they were there.

The water was exceptionally clear on the sandy patches scattered around the bottom – 30 feet.  It was still 59 degrees.

I worked my way up to the tidal swimming pool on the property of the neighbors to the north of the mansion.  The pale blue painted  excavation in the rocks was accessible but in ruins with rusted re-bar extending over the edge.  Peter had clambered in long ago for a Kodak moment, but I wasn’t going to risk ripping my Atlan dry suit on those projections.

I found some pollack that were lazing around the biggest rocks and some little cunner that were just getting up enough nerve to check me out when I started running low on air.

For the second site, The Captain and Pete picked Norman’s Woe.  We didn’t actually anchor there but at a place 1/2 way between Rafe’s Chasm and the rock that is called Norman’s Woe.  Maybe I should label it Norman’s Chasm or Rafe’s Rock.  Here’s an internet-based picture that shows the dive site, right at the bottom of the shoreline rocks in the center:

Norman's Woe Rock

Norman's Woe Rock

It was a gravely bottom with much worse visibility compared to the first place.  Again, we were sheltered below a huge bluff with only the passing boat’s waves to rock us at anchor.  Not many boats were out and we had a leisurely dive with lots of sun for company.

The way home was a short  hop.

We were thrilled to have had such a memorable long weekend with such good people.

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