May 21, 2016

A beautiful day on Friday foreshadowed a carry over of great weather into Saturday–for at least the first part of the day. Our destination was the Baleen and we had a good group of new and regular divers out with us. With calm wind, sunny skies and calm seas, we headed out. It was a nice ride out and before too long, we arrived. We did not expect to find a mooring, and indeed there was not one present.

Scott, Tim and I suited up to tie in the mooring since Dave was working with students. We suited up and splashed. The visibility on the surface was a bit murky, which isn’t totally unexpected. I made a few adjustments to my mask, which was leaking a little bit and then we were off. There was a fair bit of scope in the line since it was around low tide and the line was prepared with a little extra on it at high tide. The midwater visibility got quite good and then as we got closer to the wreck, the visibility became a bit cloudy. It wasn’t terrible, but I would give it 10-15′ with some ambient light. We landed just forward of the former location of the pilot house, which is now a heap off the side of the wreck. Scott grabbed the line and swam it aft to where planned to tie in.

Scott and Tim put the finishing touches on the mooring tie in and prepare to shoot the bag. Visibility wasn’t perfect and with only one working strobe, this was my last photo of the dive.

Tim set up the bag and weight to shoot it up to the surface once we were tied in. With no official job on this one, I started setting up the camera to get going with photos. Unfortunately, one of my strobes wouldn’t fire. I had some intermittent problems last time I was at the mine, and it seems now the intermittent problem is a full time problem. I tried fiddling with a few things before concluding I could not fix it. I put the camera away and just swam around for the remainder of the dive, which entailed a swim back up and around the bow, and down the starboard side. Visibility wasn’t perfect for photos anyway, but I cringed at the thought of another Ikelite trouble shooting odyssey. My guess is it’s the cord since the strobes both fired back on the boat. We’ll see if I’m right next weekend when I try out a new cord.

Anyway, it was a bit chilly down there with 43F on the bottom and 46F on deco, but I enjoyed some warmth from my heated vest on deco. I have a new undergarment to break out that has been on the to-do list. My latest new piece of gear is the 11 mil DUI hood. It is very nice and I really like it. Thick, but not so thick and stiff that I feel like my head is bound. I’d recommend it!

For the afternoon we headed back out to work with a student. By then, the wind and seas were up. A horrible forecast for Sunday led us to cancel our planned long-distance trip to the Mars. Sunday turned out to be a beautiful day though, and a total miss by the weather forecasters. At least we made the most of our day on Saturday!

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