Point Lobos SCUBA Dive, August 6th 2000.

We scheduled another practice dive for this weekend before out Vision Boat dive later this month. If you reserve a slot far enough in advance, you can get a permit to dive out of Whalers Cove in Point Lobos State Park. Joe Petolino lives in Palo Also and was able to get up early enough to drive down in the morning. My brother Paul drove down the night before and camped in Mendocino. Maryly and I drove down the day before and stayed at a B&B so we had a short drive to Point Lobos.

Joe brought his Tsunami X2 double kayak that he and I had recently tried out as a dive platform. Maryly and I each brought single kayaks with tank wells, so Paul joined Joe in his double. We figured that with a kayak we could get to one of the less frequently seen areas of the park. From the dramatic description, we chose to paddle into the next cove north and dive onto the "Cannery Pinnacles". Maryly was nervous about diving off a kayak for the first time and I helped her get her equipment off the kayak and into the water. Then as I started to get my own equipment ready, the "O" ring blew out of my tank! I have spare "O" rings in my save-a-dive kit, but it was back in my car. Next time I dive off a kayak I'll bring the kit with me. I had to abort the dive and Maryly decided to stay topside as well, so Joe and Paul dove the Pinnacles without us. The kelp on the surface was so thick that they described it as a dark dive, almost as dark as a night dive.

On the way back to the launch spot, my Frenzy kayak started filling up with water. It occurred to me that this happened the last time I took it diving in Lake Tahoe. I guess I will have to figure out how to fix this before I take it diving again.

After giving Joe and Paul time to out-gas some nitrogen, we went on a shore dive from the boat ramp in Whalers Cove. To conserve our air, we swam on the surface until we couldn't see a clear way through the kelp on the surface. Then we put on our regulators, dropped down to the bottom and followed the clear sand channel out of the cove. Our destination was the "Cannery Wall", an under-water cliff encrusted with life. We found the wall, but were only able to stay there a minute before we had to turn back. We wanted to swim all the way back underwater so we would not have to swim in the kelp on the surface. So we had to turn back when our tanks were still half full.

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All text and images Copyright © 2000 by Mike Higgins / contact