Off Cathedral Rocks

I went diving with my friends Jack and Jane this Sunday. Between trying to do painting prep work, and other interests taking priority, I’ve been diving very little this summer. Bonaire aside, this was only the third time I’ve been diving this year, and the first time I took the camera with me; I seldom take the camera with me on the first dive after a layoff, and the lanyard I use to attach the camera to me broke right before the second dive — fortunately, before I took it into the water.

Sunday’d dives were off of Cathedral Rocks; it’s certainly easier to enter from a boat than it is from the shore there. The first dive was with Jack and his friend Rich, the second with Jack and Jane. The visibility was OK on the first dive, and less so the second dive. 

One of the things you see a lot of here in New England is cunner;  small brown fish flitting around the rocks, but they’re very hard to photograph — they’re skittish, and don’t tend to stick around much. I’ve been trying with less than great results for years to get pictures of them; I finally got a couple on Sunday.

We saw a couple of very large lobsters both dives; Rich found one, Jack, the other, neither one would have been legal to take, so they didn’t even try. Jack also spotted a large red anemone.

The weather was great Sunday — clear and calm and warm, and the water was relatively comfortable too. Thanks again to Jack and Jane for having me along.

Off Folly Cove

I went diving with my friends Jack and Jane yesterday. When we left the dock, the fog was starting to burn off, but there was still a high overcast. Jack chose to anchor between Lanes Cove and Folly Cove, predicting correctly that we would be sheltered on the northern side of Cape Ann. The water was a smooth as glass.

Perhaps a better simile would be as smooth as a bowl of soup. Whether it was the overcast above, or simply an abundance of plankton below, the visibility was pretty crummy, at only about five feet or so.

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Seal Dive

I went on a seal dive today. With the weather we had, it didn’t start out well–swells were predicted, and as we were waiting to get on the boat, the heavens opened up and it started pour. After a half hour hold, the captain decided to take us to the Salvages, an outcropping of rocks off the coast of Rockport, rather than the Isle of Shoals off Portsmouth.

We got to the Salvages, and fortunately, the seas weren’t as choppy as predicted, though it did still rain off and on. As we anchored, we could see seals peeking at us from the water surrounding the  rocks.

For me, the first dive was frankly an abortion. I started off the dive with the back of my wetsuit open; all six of us were in the water together; I ended up following the wrong person, the three of us got separated from the dive leader, I led the other two in the wrong direction, and we were never able to reconnect, and all six of us ended up heading in the wrong direction, away from the seals. And the camera strobe stopped firing. Unfortunately, two of the divers had only brought a single tank.

The second dive was better. The captain moved us a little closer to the rocks, and we went down the anchor line and just hung out there. With the strobe out of commission, I put the camera ISO as high as I could, put it back in program mode, and shot with existing light. Eventually a seal showed up, and watched us from a lobster trap line:

Seal by the lobster line Seal by the lobster line Seal by the lobster line