Archive for May, 2013

Finally. Some Sun.

May 27, 2013
How to Measure of Lobster, using a gauge

How to Measure of Lobster, using a gauge

It was lousy diving weather for Saturday and Sunday of this three-day weekend, but today was promised to be better, almost good, actually.  So Pete, LD, The Captain and I headed out to see if everything still worked after a long hiatus.  It had been blowing from the north and northwest, so we went south to the wreck of the New Hampshire for the first dive.

It was breezy as LD set the anchor, just off the southwest corner of Graves Island.  Easy Diver faced into the wind and had her stern to the incoming tide.  The wind won.  We set the downline for ease in ear clearing and watched LD and Pete jump in.  There were several small fishing boats in the area, but they kept a wide berth between themselves and our dive flag, thank goodness.

After surfacing, Pete reported finding a lobster that was too big by an inch.  That’s an amazing sighting so early in the season.  He also saw pollack, flounder and big hermit crabs.  LD returned with a solid copper drift pin that had been peened over on the top as well as two curly nails.  Turns out Pete found a pin too.  Winter storms had churned up the bottom to expose these heavy relics.

For the second dive, I chose the rocky cliff on the west end of White Beach in Manchester. It looked to be out of the wind and less exposed in there.  Maybe I’d find something to video.

I suited up in my Atlan dry suit and a steel 70 that was not my regular tank.  Then I spent 1/2 hour struggling to get to the bottom and stay there.  I sucked down that tank like I haven’t done in a long time.  It left me winded on the swim platform as I doffed my gear to the others.  Where’s my little bomb of a tank when I need it?  Empty in the back of the truck, of course.  And I didn’t even turn on the video because I couldn’t get stable enough to shoot anything.

I saw beautiful purple growth on lots of the rocky surfaces.  There were probably nudibranchs there too but I could stay still enough to locate any.  The water was 50 degrees and visibility was about 10 feet.  There was a lot of “whale snot” in the water as well.  Everything’s spawning or blooming or releasing their eggs at this time of year.  The visibility suffers.

Getting back to the dock turned out to be easy with the help of the men on board.  I docked and did a good job of it even though there was a boat tied up at the end of our finger dock.  Onward and upward to more of the same (only better) next week.

Getting Ready to Dive in Folly Cove

May 20, 2013

Getting Ready to Dive in Folly Cove

Getting Ready to Dive in Folly Cove, photo by Linda Hurd

Leaks, Floaty Legs and Nudibranchs Too

May 18, 2013
Alan Hicks, Captain Fred, and Kevin Mordasky enjoy the sun.

Kerry Hurd, Alan Hicks, Captain Fred, and Kevin Mordasky enjoy the sun.  Photo by Linda Hurd

Today was the first charter of the season. We had Linda and Kerry Hurd, plus Kevin and Linsley Mordasky, with Alan Hicks as well. Crew was Peter Donahue. We went north because I’d read Andy Martinez’s post yesterday about the conditions at Folly Cove being 52 degree water with 20-25 feet of visibility.  The photographers wanted to see if there were any nudibranchs on the right hand side of the cove.  Others were making their first dive of the season and just wanted to get wet (or stay dry) as the case may be.

There were several lobster boats lazing about, waiting for divers to exit the area where we wanted to anchor.  They were eager to pull their trap line and get back to work elsewhere, so they elbowed in and put-putted around the site.  I’d told everyone to stay under the boat until they didn’t hear any engines and only then to venture out to the rocks.

Kerry’s bee-you-tee-full new Water Proof dry suit was quite a sight to see.  He looked like a movie star in it.

Someone else’s sleeve had a leak that soaked up the arm.  Someone else’s feet floated too much.  The Captain donned his Mares “semi-dry” and dropped down to see the action for himself.  He returned declaring that “everything worked.”  The weights were right, the fins (borrowed from Alan) fit, and the suit was warm too.  He did experience an ice cream headache, but that’s a small price to pay for starting your 61st season of diving.

Folks saw several kinds of nudibranchs as well as a white, ribbon-like structure that was probably an egg mass.  Pete and Kerry reported a moon snail that might have been laying down an egg collar.  There were masses of sand dollars as well as skates and a beautiful sea robin right under the boat.

For the second dive, I moved to just outside the rocky jetty beside the Lobster Pool restaurant.  It has a sandy bottom and we were facing into the fresh southeast breeze.  That caused the anchor to drag.  The divers saw less visibility and not as many nudibranchs on this dive.  Someone went to 61 feet to test their dry suit’s seals and see the sights there.  We dragged past their bubbles several times.  Pete pulled the anchor to reset it more than three times.

The drive home had happy faces (see the picture above).