Archive for October, 2009

October on the Stolt

Sunday, October 25th, 2009

Someday NOAA will get it right. It just was not today.

With a forecast for northwest winds, and diminishing seas, we headed out for the Stolt. Given all the reports of bad vis inshore, Captain Dan was hoping for reasonable conditions offshore. On the way out there were some rollers from the south, and some chop from the northwest. If the stars aligned, it would all calm down for two dives.

When we reached the Stolt we had some stiff swells, but it seemed manageable, and the NOAA forecast said it was going to die down. I has some gear issues, so after tying in, I came back up and helped the passengers get in. Vis was about 20 ft on the top of the wreck, but I’m sure the bottom was not as clear. Lobster, scallops, and a few fish came up. Everyone agreed that the water was warm, but no one had a temperature.

The surface conditions did not improve during the dive, so we decided to head inshore for dive two. A few weeks ago we dove an intact reef wreck with lots of Tog and Seabass within the state waters. We headed there in hopes that the relief would allow for some vis. Surface conditions were much better inshore, but as expected the vis was not as good.

Everyone was just happy to get in the water after all the blow outs this fall.

October on the Resor

Sunday, October 11th, 2009

It certainly has been difficult to get out diving this fall. However, the few times we were able sneak out, the diving was fantastic. This Sunday we headed out to the Resor with a jam packed boat. Clearing the inlet we had nearly flat seas, and just a breath of a breeze. With the early start, the sun was just rising. We all kept our fingers crossed that the conditions would hold, since NOAA was calling for the wind to pick up a bit in the afternoon.

By the time we reached the wreck, the sun was a bit higher in the sky, and the conditions were still flat. The surface water was a nice Caribbean blue. Dropping down the line it was clear that there was a good current to the east. This made going a bit slow, but we were soon tied in.

While working with the line, shadowy figures kept appearing in the distance. At first I thought the dogfish were back, but it turned out to be bluefish. We saw them inshore last week. Now there was a school buzzing around us on the Resor. Ever few minutes a few of them would dart by. Down on the sand, there were large fluke and flounder almost side by side. Normally we see one or the other, but here the flounder were hunting while the fluke were resting. Both scurried off when approached. Large tog are always around this wreck, and this was no exception. I spotted a few small lobsters, and one good size one with eggs.

I was nearing my turn time when I spotted a nice new Danforth with a long chain. At least I was not going up empty handed. It turns out that the current and the wind were not aligned, and I spent my deco holding my reel in one hand (attached to the Danforth and lift bag) and the shot line in the other. I was just hoping other divers would not get caught in the line.

My hunting efforts had been thwarted, but many others came up with lobster, tog and some nice size pollack. There were various reports of giant lobsters, deep in the wreck, well out of reach. A few folks had ventured out into the sand for scallops, with varying degrees of success.

All in all it was a great day of diving with 30-40 ft of vis and 65 degrees top to bottom. The wind had picked up as we started to head in, but it was still a comfortable ride home.