Saturday, March 10, 2012

Whytecliff The Cut 03/03/2012

Jim Dixon and I decided to go out to Whytecliff Park for our first tech dive after the Tech 1 course. We had heard about the huge cloud sponges at 140 feet, and wanted to see them for ourselves.

I went by IDC to pick up my doubles and deco bottle that morning, and we met at 11:30. It was a very relaxing morning start! Our dive plan was quite simple. 140 feet for half an hour, and a corresponding 25 minutes of decompression on 50% oxygen. The day was a bit cloudy, and the IDC van was out at the park. Genessa was teaching a course that day. Jim had talked them them before I got there, and got a bit of a visibility report. Apparently it was very good! Dave Williams was out in the bay practicing for his upcoming Fundamentals class too.

Jim and I geared up and headed down to the water. We had planned it so that we'd be in the water for high tide. The dive went very well. It took us longer to get to depth than it should have, so that was something we still had to work on. It was quite hard to get down deep quickly after being so used to just taking our time. But when you are paying for helium, you don't want to be wasting it at anything below 100 feet!

The dive was good. We didn't see any cloud sponges as big as cars, but we joked that probably people would say that they were just deeper, and to take Tech 2. We did see a really big tanner crab though. One had a dead red rock crab in its clutches. Jim wanted to try and rescue it, but didn't after we realized that it was just its lunch. Didn't want to steal anyone's lunch!

On our decompression stop at 20 feet, we had a pretty good time since we had a lot of stuff to look at. We were in the shallows out front of the Cut and had starfish and little critters to look at during our time there. It was a bit better than staring at each other in open water for 20 minutes! We started to appreciate how dull deco could be.

Here is a short video clip.

Til next time!