We wanted to try a boat dive, and Rebecca felt her ears would be able to make it,
so we booked one with Island Divers,
who had been recommended by
Dolphin Scuba here
in Sacramento. We called them up, intending to go to the shop, but they were on Hickum
Air Force base and it would have been a hassle to get there. So we booked it over the
They picked us up from the hotel, which was nice, and took us out to the marina. They
are in the process of opening a shop next to the dock, but were still painting it so
it wasn't ready. But they loaded all our gear onto the boat (the Nori Z, captained by
Captain Joe), and we found that we would
be diving with Bill and Cameron, a father and son who were finishing up their basic
open water dives for certification, and Baret and Yvette, a young couple from the Monterey
area here in California. The dive master for the two students would be Ken, and ours
would be Kris, a girl young enough to be my daughter (probably) and already a dive master.
I mentioned I was an air hog, and would probably run out of air first, and Ken, the other
dive master, told me they call us ASD's. (Air Sucking Dogs.) :-) Sigh.
Somewhere in here Rebecca and I were having a discussion on age, probably prompted by the
lack of it in our dive master, but at one point Rebecca asked me how old I was. Kris got
a really funny look on her face, the "what kind of question is that for someone to ask
her husband?" look. We've seen it before, we've been mistaken for a couple while diving
a few times. Kris said "So... how do you guys know each other?" and Rebecca filled her in
on our standing, and that our spouses and kids were out running around. I had to mention
that here cuz it always cracks me up. I suppose I should also point out that I had made
the same assumption about Baret and Yvette, however I was later proven correct in that. :-)
Anyway, Captain Joe finally showed up (he works off "Aloha Time" :-) and we took off out
to the first of our sites, called Turtle Canyon. It only took a few minutes to get there.
I think it's about where the "a" in "East Side" is in the island graphic above. (Which is
also a link to Island Divers.) (Which is
where I got the graphic. :-) We tied
off to a line that was anchored there, got a briefing from both dive masters, and hit the
water. We were to get in at the back of the boat, and pull ourselves around to the front
on a rope tied there. We did, and had gotten in first so Rebecca could start her descent
before everyone else in case her ears acted up. Good thing, cuz I was on the surface
hyperventelating just a bit, partly cuz of the cold and partly cuz I don't know why, I do
that sometimes. Maybe if I got in shape... naaa.
Eventually we all got down, and swam around the area. No turtles, but lots of fish. Lots
of coral and sand, too. Kris was watching us (probably cuz I had a little trouble getting
down), but we were ok. Then Baret lost his camera, and was apparently searching for it on
the bottom. Cameras float, because the housings are full of air, but he didn't realize that.
Kris went and got him, took him up so she could explain all this, then they came back down
and continued the dive.
Eventually I did start running low on air, so Kris led Rebecca and me back to the line to
the boat. We started up, and she went off after Baret and Yvette. We got up and started
switching our gear to the other tanks for the second dive, and Kris came up alone. She
couldn't find the other divers! She was half angry and half terrified. Then one of the
other dive boats in the area called and said they had picked them up. Kris was relieved
and a little miffed. :-) When they got back to our boat, she gave them a nice lecture
on staying with their group. :-)
It all turned out well, the other boat had even picked up Baret's camera. We took off
for our second location.
The picture of where I think we were is from Google Earth Kris posted her own
report on the dive,
though it seems to be missing right now.