Monday, August 24, 2009

Whytecliff Park 8.22.2009

On this dive, my buddy was Joaquin Puga. We did two dives: one to the left side of the cove to the rock reef 10m down, and the second along the rock wall to the right of the cove.

Highlights included a number of sea anemones on the rock reef. Small ones that had semi-transparent tendrils, and a large orange cauliflower one that wasn't open unfortunately. It looked a bit like a big orange pop can, and we weren't quite sure what it was until later. There were a lot of blue fish that were about 6 inches long, too that I'll need to look up. Oh and tonnes of starfish of course (orange and pink). On the right hand side, there was a small scuttling crab, more of those blue fish, even more starfish all over the rocks and in some rusting metal boxes, some sea grass, and a school of small yellow and black fish. I'm really going to have to get a marine life identification book!

The tide was going out, but even so the visibility was very good. Lots of sunlight down to the 10m we spent most of our time at. The water was quite warm too; around 14 degrees Celsius. Both dives were about half an hour, and we weren't left with much gas. Got to work on that breathing! It was warm and sunny, and quite a few other dive groups were out. Most looked to be training.

It took a lot more time to get set up for each dive, a lot more time than I planned. We arrived around 1pm, and didn't get into the water for the first dive until 2:30. We were out of the water around 3, and didn't start the second dive until about 4:30. Then it took about an hour to pack up, so we didn't leave until 6. What I've learned from this is that getting out early is very important, especially if you want to do multiple dives. You also get a better parking space! My goal is to get more efficient at setting up / taking down. But, if you are planning on taking your time, giving 2 hours is a much better estimate for getting into the water. I'll have to keep that in mind :-)

This was my first dive after completing my Open Water Course on July 20, 2009. It was a practice dive to get familiar with my new gear that I purchased recently (mostly the BCD, regulator and dive computer), and to focus on some buoyancy skills. Just for my reference, here is the gear I was using (minus hood, boots, and gloves).

Nexgen Shell Dry suit (rental for the time being)
Apeks XTX 200 Sealed Regulator (I want to do cold water/ice diving sometime)
Halcyon Eclipse MC System BCD w. stainless steel backplate for extra weight
Princeton Shockwave LED Primary Light
Halcyon Scout Back-up Light
Wenoka Squeeze Lock 3" dive knife
Suunto Vytec Deep Stop dive computer
Suunto SK-7 wrist compass
Atomic Aquatics Frameless Dive Mask
SP-170 TUSA Platina II Hyperdry Snorkel
TUSA SF-6 Imprex Tri-Ex Fins

I'm kicking myself a bit that I didn't get vented fins off the bat. I can see myself wanting to start practicing back-finning very soon! Argh, oh well...

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