MW Mobile Blog

For friends, family and the random search engine visitor. This blog started as an experiment in mobile blogging from my Palm TREO 600 700 Prē HTC Evo,Samsung 5. Now it serves as a simple repository of favorite activities. Expect bad golf, good fishing, great sailing, eating, drinking, adventure travel, occasional politics and anything else I find interesting along the way including, but not limited to, any of the labels listed here...

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Second and last dive of the season

Can our second day of diving be as good as the first? Why yes. Yes it can.
 The morning sun on the cove was gorgeous:


Was it possible that conditions could be even better today than yesterday?  We couldn't wait to find out.  Of course, there was the matter of getting into a cold damp wetsuit on a still cool morning.

Bracing.
The climb down the hill got the blood circulating again and we were quickly in the water.


Visibility was fantastic. I was actually more excited about taking pictures and vids than getting abs.


I even got a couple of abs to sit still for portraits:


The vids in this post are placeholders until I edit down higher quality YouTube compilation.


One consequence of this kind of extraordinary visibility, is that you see things you've never seen before. Here's one:


 A starfish flipped an abalone on its back and was devouring it. Not sure what kind of starfish this is. If there are a lot of these loose in the cove I fear they could do some real damage to the abalone population.  Will need to do some more research.

UPDATE: Research completed. This is a sunflower sea star (Pycnopodia Helianthoides). They're common up and down the North America Pacific coast and they love to eat urchins and abalone. According to this article:
 "When a Northern Abalone is attacked it responds by twisting its shell side-to-side and rapidly gliding away for the attacker. If it doesn't respond quickly enough and the star gets a good grip with its tube-feet, it's game over."

 

Definitely "game over" for this guy.

Another unique sighting for me this day....

We often see seal in the cove. But I've never watched one swim underneath me to check me out.


In our flippers and neoprene wetsuits, I suspect they think we are the ugliest seals they've ever seen.

After I picked my limit, we swam out to the point where Jeff went hunting for more blackies




With my limit in the tube, battery dying, and a bit of a chill setting in, I reluctantly left Jeff to wreak havoc on the fish population and swam back to the beach to tag my abalone take.


I also took the opportunity to explore the tidal shelf, or what I like to call The Raw Bar.

  Mussels ...

Fingered limpets - a smaller version of the limpet clams I sampled in the Azores ...

 Urchins aka "Uni"

Jeff eventually got out of the water and brought in another impressive catch:


It was a great way to finish the season...


... or, for that matter, start the season as we did yesterday. I used to think Doug was the alpha hunter in the cove. Jeff may be the new King of the Cove.


I was too tired to go through the traditional abalone prep,  so enjoyed the sunset with a little abalone sashimi.

 

While this may have been our shortest season ever, it may also have been the best.

Dive Day 2 - Preface


 In the early light, the ocean is calm and clear again, so heading back to the cove.

Going early this morning to catch the low tide, be that as it may.


There is only a 2.7  foot difference between the  plus 4.7 foot high tide and the plus 3.1 foot low tide.  Still, that's 2.7 feet closer to the abalone and a little more bottom to look for that trophy ten.


Cove condition cooperation continues...

Sent from my Sprint HTC smartphone.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

First Dive of the Season - Limit Out

The cove - as good as it gets.
The day lived up to its promise. Fantastic conditions with some of the best visibility I have seen in the cove. I was joined by  new dive  buddy Jeff, who did the work regrading our driveway earlier in the year.  We talked then about diving together, but it didn't happen until now.


 As always more and better pics will be updated to this page when I return.

* Sent from my Sprint HTC smartphone. *

UPDATED: More details on the day with better pics and vids...

Jeff arrived with a crew in tow - Blaine (11) and Travis (6). I assumed they were here to carry our weights and gear up the hill.


Once suited up, we roped down the hill to the cove...

Blaine leads the way

 There are only seven days left in the season, but this was the first dive for Jeff and me.


With conditions this good, we couldn't wait to get in the water.


The camera was acting up (or the operator forgot how to use it in the water), but got some shots and vid before it crapped out with a low battery indication.



Looking for abs
Jellyfish
I'll edit the video with better quality eventually, but, for now, this clip offer some sense of the visibility we enjoyed. As you can see in the clip, after encountering the abalone, a wrestling match ensued...

 

... which I lost when the abalone threw me back to the surface. 


After picking my limit, I went back to beach while Jeff continued the hunt.  Replacing the battery got the camera working again. The boys help me properly document the haul...
I teach Travis the proper way to photograph a catch

Blaine presents the catch and also helps out as photographer.


The boys got bored with me and played in the surf waiting for Dad...
  

Jeff brings in his haul...


... welcomed by the boys.


An impressive day at the office...


Six blackies and three pigs.


It gets dark early, so time to get back up the hill...


... and properly document the catch.


Along with some traditional apres-dive refreshment.


A great day. Jeff said it was worth it to miss the entire season to dive on a day like this. I agree. We immediately made plans for another dive in the morning.

The best news for me was that the shoulder held up.  It is five months since my rotator cuff surgery. At my last checkup, the doc said I should wait for next season.  OTOH, my  physical therapist Sasha thought I was ready. Of course neither of them had ever been abalone diving. So there is that.

No harm, no foul.