The potluck was at our house, and was well attended. Everyone seemed to enjoy the food and the conversation was non- stop.
I finally got back into the water! It was the first time this year. On February 18th Lisa and I did a Deep Diver Specialty for Scott & LaVon Ihrig. They both did an excellent job. Their skills are great. Lisa also did an Underwater Digital Photography Specialty for Scott Ihrig.
On my first dive of 2012 we saw some beautiful critters! It started off with the biggest kelp crab I have ever seen. His legs were big enough to eat! We then charged on down to deep water (since this was a deep diver specialty). The sea whips were beautiful. At a little over 90 feet we encountered a large tritonia nudibranch and a small white knight nudibranch. On the way back to shallower water we saw an eel pout, several copper rockfish, 2 wolf eels and then came the coupe’ de grace! In one of the pipes at the end of the boat ramp I found a juvenile snail fish. That was only the 3rd snail fish I have encountered in the wild.
When we entered the water the winds had come up and the seas were pretty choppy. Once underwater we had about 40 feet of visibility and a water temperature of 36. One of my computers showed 34 degrees, but I am going with the majority. For my friends who do Celsius, no, it was Fahrenheit! All in all, some great diving with some great friends.
The dives on Sunday went very well. Congratulations to Scott & LaVon Ihrig for completing their Deep Diver Specialty. We went down the slope north of DeLong Dock. That is the fastest way to make depth in the cove. We saw a few more interesting critters, including a huge basket star and a lions nudibranch, On the second dive we found sea cucumbers, decorator crabs, kelp crabs, red ribbon worms, copper rockfish and another tritonia nudibranch. Scott and LaVon did very well on their simulated 8-minute decompression stop on the first dive. That is a gruesome task in 36-degree water. You have to stay stationary and breathe off of a stage bottle. The cold pretty much envelopes you. I can’t thank Lisa enough for all of her help on these dives. At 68 I am getting a little old to do all the work myself.
That was the end of my diving for the month. So, until next time: Dive Safe, Dive Often and whatever you do Dive in beautiful Alaska!!!
Greetings fellow divers and friends! It was a lovely weekend with Scott & LaVon. I just love that dive using the fuel dock pilings as a visual reference and then heading straight down the slope. It is very fun. As Jerry said the critter sightings were very good and visibility was splendid.
I am on my final month of work before my retirement!! To say I am excited is putting it mildly. We head off to Kona at the end of April. We will be staying at Lou & Carla’s condo
(Check it out at basslercondo.com). Then we are off to Cozumel at the end of July. In between I have a conference in Orlando and in September I will be helping facilitate a leadership retreat in Colorado. So you know what that means? Yes another hike up Mt. Elbert!! This time I hope to have company at the top and also not have it fogged in so I can see what the world looks like from 14,440 feet.
I am really looking forward to spending time with Jerry and hanging out; doing what we want exploring and looking for beautiful landscapes, critters and birds right here in our magnificent state. We also plan to make some road trips outside. Nothing is planned beyond Hawaii & Cozumel and keeping it open and free is just perfect with me.
If you are thinking about joining us in Cozumel then please let me know. I will be releasing the spots on the boat at the end of March. That does not mean that you can not still come, but that Aqua Safari will no longer be holding the entire boat for our group and that some days could be sold out if you wait too long. So if you let me know the approximate dates I will hold those spots and not release them until later. Many of you have come with us for part of our annual trip and know what fantastic diving it is and what an incredible Dive Master Mariano is and the first class operation that Aqua Safari runs just makes it all that much better. Add to that 2 tank boat dives at about 75.00 per person and if you choose to stay at beautiful Condumel right on the water with it’s own private beach at 120.00 per night, well a better value is hard to find. Oh and that does not count the fun of hanging around with all of us fun folks from home.
Easter is right around the corner and the Underwater Easter Egg hunt will be Saturday April 7th. The hunt will start at 10:00 a.m. followed by prize presentation and lunch at the Anchor Inn. You can arrive either on the 8:30 or 9:30 opening. We will have prizes donated by Padi, Sunshine Sports and Alaska Underwater Adventures. In addition to the underwater eggs hidden for the divers we will hide eggs top side for the big and little people that are there as shore support. They will be filled with candy, money and coins. So bring your youngsters to share in the fun.
We are in Whittier right now. I am doing an Open Water class for Tyler Kirn. He is a 17-year-old lad heading to Hawaii with his family and friends. A very nice guy, who is not too pleased with our 36-degree water! But he is being a good sport about it.
I have to admit that in all the years I have been diving here this is the most snow ever. We have gotten 455 inches so far this winter and believe me it is piled everywhere. The berms are well over 15 feet high. Many businesses are mostly covered and the Anchor Inn has snow piled up higher than it’s second floor windows. When you sit down to eat you can’t see out of them. It is really something to see. It will be August before it all melts.
The next potluck is Wednesday March 14 at Greg & Donna Endsley’s. We always have a great time at their house. Come by anytime after 5:30, bring a dish and what ever you are drinking and join in on the fun. The main dish and directions will be published in the reminder the Sunday before.
Thank you Jim Lima for hosting April. Also, our condolences go out to Jim on the loss of his father. With all of us aging we are facing the final journeys of our folks and it is difficult. My mom just turned 83 and with her health as it is I will be surprised if she sees 84. It is hard, sad and a real balancing act trying to help her and protect her as she walks this road. While she fights with giving up freedom and giving in to the fact that she cannot do for herself, as she would like, we try to help without being too forceful in taking steps to make her life easier and safer. As I said it is a slippery journey. All I can say is God bless our parents and give us wisdom to help them manage without taking dignity.
We need to get an idea of how many divers plan to participate and how many shore support will be there. It is hard to plan if we don’t have some good numbers. The visibility is in the 40-foot range. The sun is beginning to give off some heat, which is making topside time enjoyable. There are lots of wolf eels and other great critters all over the cove waiting to say hi. So come on down anytime and dive with us.
Until then take care - Lisa