Tuesday, March 5, 2013

McKenzie Bight 03/03/2013

For this dive, we decided to go to McKenzie Bight. I thought that I had dove McKenzie Bight before, because it was so close to Willis Point. Once Jim and I arrived, I realized that it wasn't. I was thinking of Henderson Point. The reason I hadn't done McKenzie before was that the walk down to the entry point was far. I remembered that when the idea came up, the other people I was with vetoed the idea, hah. It ended up not being that bad of a walk at all. It certainly was far, but doable. I would say three time the distance down to the Cut at Whytedliff, but much less steep.

When Jim and I arrived, we met Shawn and Greg and a new diver that I had not met before Damien. Damien  was using a single steel 130, so in terms of gas-planning, that made things easier. Minus the double cylinder part!

It was a beautiful day. Clear, sunny, but not that warm. Two out of three, I'd take. We geared up in the parking lot, but all of us with doubles carried our rigs down first before getting into our dry suits. There were a lot of nice logs to set up on at the beach.

Greg led the first dive, and we did our dive plan. We decided to go to the right from the beach, and stick with an average depth of 18 meters. Jim and I formed one team, and Damien, Greg and Shawn the second. I was a bit worried about the visibility as the surface looked very brown. At the start of the dive, we would descend to 6 meters and see what it was like to do a valve drill and S-drill. Happily, visibility was very good, and at 9 meters it was great. We finished up our drills, then continued on the dive. The rock topography of McKenzie Bight was very cool. We didn't see a lot of major critters. The octopus rock that Damien showed us had no one home. It was easily recognizable because of a small statue on the top of it. There were a variety of nice nudibranchs as usual. along with a lot of scallops and small shrimp.

Damien didn't do the second dive, so we had a nice surface interval chatting and he left. On the second dive, I led the dive because none of us had gone to the left at McKenzie Bight. Some other divers told us about a dead octopus at the bottom of their dive float, so we wanted to check that out too. Not knowing much about what we were going to see, our plan was pretty simple. Head South and keep an average depth of 15 meters.

At the start of the dive, we came across the dead octopus easily. It was one of the tentacles, and it was quite a big piece. I thought it was probably the octopus that Damien had tried to show us. The rest of the dive was quite nice. We went south for about 20 minutes, after completing some skills. At the end of the dive, we did some propulsion practice. Shawn is the model in the bit of video below. I also found some interesting new small nudibranchs that I had not seen before. Jim found a nice red fur crab in a crack.

On the whole an great day of diving!


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