September 12, 2010 · 10:00 AM
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To heck with all the kelp and sometimes limited visibility we have noticed lately. These sunny days we have had with the high temperatures have caused the kelp to surge in growth and phytoplankton have bloomed. We will descend on the cannery pipes after the shortest of surface swims and thereby have gone under the kelp and avoided the grabbies and tanglies on the surface. Not to worry about the aforementioned phytoplankton. That stuff is the bedrock of the food chain. When that stuff has a population expansion, growth surges up the entire food chain, strengthens the more interesting predator populations, and improves our chances of seeing something worth reporting. We will be diving the best underwater navigation aid we know of. The cannery pipe makes a straight line to farther water and back, we will use it to keep ourselves oriented diving its length and back. If conditions seem auspicious and we have good air at the deep end of the pipe, we may be able to visit Metridium Fields. Park in the lot above Breakwater but look for us at the lower end of the grass with the Meetup sign. We will be near the rocks that suit as support for donning our cylinders as we kit up and head to the water. From where we will meet we can notice if there are any waves that day which might influence how we plan our entry and exit. This looks like octopus habitat although we have only seen them here on night dives. Lots of crevices along the cannery pipes are the kind of place an octopus crawls into for the daytime and feels secure. Bring yourself a 'day light' (smaller underwater flashlight one brings along on day dives to peek into creature hidey-holes to see what might be in there) if you got one. This is an intermediate skill level dive with no dive professional leading. We have a dive plan framework outlined above. We will buddy up and buddy pairs will dive together. We generally try to keep a note of location of bubbles of other divers in our group as different things catch our interest and we cycle between kicking and observing. Please review the Pisces system which identifies criteria for divers of different extents of readiness to manage the risks of diving. Check whether you meet or exceed the criteria for Intermediate experience diver before you consider whether to RSVP Yes for this Meetup. We are flexible regarding the level of readiness of divers with recent experience of Monterey and Meetup. State your case for the relevence of your experience if you do not meet the criteria for Pisces Intermediate. Know that when we consider if someone is ready for an Intermediate Meetup despite not meeting the criteria exactly, we favor recent local diving experience over the 'gin soaked and hand rubbed' experience of resort diving warm water from a boat with hirelings carrying the gear. This is an opportunity for experienced good folks to get together and have fun, not an 'Introduction to Monterey Diving' for divers experienced only in totally different conditions.