Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Tuwanek 17/02/2013

I had a pretty bad cold the previous week, so I wasn't able to dive. I focused on getting better, because there was a big trip planned for Tuwanek.

Jim Dixon talked to IDC and helped kick off the trip. He and Allison were diving together, and Heather and I came along as well. The last time we had seen Allison was at Egmont about 2 years prior. It would be good to see her again. Kevin from IDC took the van with about 8 other certified divers. John, Randy, Dennis and Dave Williams came along too.

The day started pretty early, with everyone catching the 7:20 ferry to Langdale. The day itself was partly cloudy, but not rainy. We had a fun time chatting on the ferry coming over.

Once we all met at Tuwanek, I did a short site briefing for those who hadn't been before. It was funny, I had forgotten that with all the diving Jim did, he had yet to be out at Tuwanek yet. I was pretty excited, because I had wanted to show Heather one of my most favorite dive sites.

Ken from Oceanquest had a few divers out too, so Tuwanek was packed to the gills. There were at least 9 vehicles there, stretching parking to the limit. I'm sure the residents weren't too happy!

One of the high-lights were the two friendly dogs that visited us the whole time we were there. One was a labradoodle named Murphy, and one was a Sheppard named Hawkeye. Murphy was funny because he had a collar tag that had a picture of him and the following "Hi, My name is Murphy, please do not feed me!". Poor Murphy, Allison commented that if he knew what his tag said, he'd try to get it off as soon as he could. Needless to say, Murphy begged for food the whole time. Hawkeye was more concerned with getting anyone possible to throw a stick for him.

On the first dive, we swam out to the North Island and dropped down onto the rock pile. Jim, Allison, Dennis and his partner went off in the direction of the wolf eels, while Heather and I explored the rock pile. There were translucent tunicates covering evererything. I had never seen so many. They looked a bit like large egg cases, but weren't. They kind of were like transparent elongated grapes. The sheer number of them was staggering. I had never seen that before. There were several nice nudibranchs, and a ling cod guarding a large egg mass. The ling cod egg masses always reminded me of white styrofoam. There were several schools of shiner perch, some nice kelp greenlings, a cool decorator crab, as well as colorful chitons. No octopus unfortunately, but later we would hear that one IDC group saw a very nice one out in the open. Lucky them! Visibility wasn't the best, maybe 20 feet, but it was still pretty good.

Jim missed checking his neck seal at the start of the dive, and had a pretty bad suit leak. His undergarment was completely soaked. Allison also had a strange leak, which seemed to be her drysuit inflator valve. She would sit out for the next dive, but Jim was a trooper and put on a dry under layer and would go again. Dave Williams had a camp stove, and there were sausages and hot drinks all around. Very nice! I kept an eye on Murphy who was never far from the food, poor guy.

On the second dive, Heather and I decided to check out the rock reef just off the entry point. I had never explored it much, and was glad we did. It was quite interesting. Again, the tunicates covered everything. Surprisingly, we found 3 Lewis Moonsnails, one of them at least a foot long. Up to that point I had never seen one, and in the last few weeks, we had found 6! The rock reef was easy to get to, and around 50 feet deep. It was great fun exploring the crevices. There was also a small skiff that looked like it was sunk on purpose nearby. It had a huge concrete block sitting in the middle of it.

All in all, a very fun day of diving at Tuwanek! The second dive visibility was better, possibly due to the fresh water run-off from the creek.

I didn't get any video this go around, because the batteries in the GoPro gave out at the start of the first dive. I had charged it the weekend previous, but it doesn't seem that the batteries keep their charge. The camera may be "on" in some capacity even though it's off. The solution was simple, I will just make sure to charge it the day before!

I did manage to get a very short bit of footage of the tunicates:

No comments:

Post a Comment