Diving the Catalinas

Sometime in mid December I dropped off my regulator at the local dive shop for annual servicing. I had a long conversation with the person working there about my upcoming trip and specifically asked if it would be done in time. She said that yes, no problem, it would be done by the end of the week.

The week went by and then another. Finally I called, and they said they would try to get it done in time but were unable to make promises.

They did get it done in time (and admonished me for not informing them I needed a rush on it), and when I picked it up, something felt loose, but I couldn’t quite figure it out. Until I got here and tried to use it, and it was leaking like an open hose (don’t ask why it didn’t leak at the shop – I attribute that to “weird things happen”).

It leaked initially, then worked for 3 dives, but by this morning’s second dive in the Catalinas it was leaking again. This was significant because the whales were breaching not far from our boat and I couldn’t get in the water. The divemaster quickly set me up with another kit, and we were on our way.

And it was a terrible dive.

The already turbid water was rendered even more so when we passed into the foul brume of a red tide and the world took on a sickly ochre hue. Visibility was even more limited than before and we lost one of the divers, so had to cut the dive short and go to the surface (per protocol). We had been down 45 minutes, so not much was lost, and honestly I was more worried about the missing diver (who was fine, but lost sight of the rest of us in the morass).

It turns out we never saw the whales, nor heard them. Truly, they could have been 30 feet away and we wouldn’t have seen them – that’s how poor the visibility was.

All wasn’t for naught however, and we had some great moments today, as you can see from the photos above.

I especially like this little nudibranch – he’s gorgeous

And these two eels were almost posing for this photo.

In the evening, a few of us of us went out for dinner and ended up on the beach at sunset.

And sometimes that a day that seemed to start out wrong ends up just right.

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