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Brad Fitzpatrick

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Dive Report [Jan. 15th, 2007|11:04 am]
Brad Fitzpatrick
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After the sun came up yesterday, the weather got pretty nice. Still cold, but not windy nor rainy, and the clear skies meant the sun warmed us up pretty well.

First dive:

Breakwater... followed the pipe out to the Metridian Fields. whitaker and I love the Metridian Fields. I guess these anemones things normally only live in incredibly deep water, but because of the sea floor in this area and how the water gets pushed around (forgot all the details), there's a ton of these things in only 40 feet of water.

So after finding and following the pipe out, you go due north and suddenly in the distance there's fields of bright, bright white all around you... and these things are huge.

Pictures on the web were lacking, but I found these, now mirrored here:





I really need to get a camera enclosure so I can go and take my own pictures.

Anyway, very peaceful. Whitaker and I like to just adjust our buoyancy perfect and just remain there motionless for long periods of time, looking around. There's a good dozen or more of these big rocks covered with the metridian, so it's fun to circle around them all... and in the middle some kelp going all the way up to the surface, which looks nice contrasted against the bright water above.

Second dive:

Drove to Lover's Cove/Park (had never been there before). We suited up on a big cement platform that had stairs going down into the water so we didn't have to do a beach entry (we'd never seen that before). After talking to other divers coming in, we got pointed in a good direction, took a heading, dropped, and followed our compasses out to an incredibly cool area with big rocks and steep walls and canyons and lots of fish ...

Normally at ~40 feet the surge from above is gone and the water is pretty still, but it was bad above (we'd seen the crazy breakers in this area when we arrived), so we were getting pushed around a lot under water, even at 40 feet. But that was a lot of the fun... big schools of fish were being thrown all over.

The highlight of the dive was when Whitaker and I were swimming up between two rocks walls, angled apart in a "V", in a sort of narrow canyon... the sun was right ahead of us, big schools of fish everywhere, bright starfish on the walls, and then a big current comes down the V, much stronger than regular, Whitaker and I kicking as hard as possible just to stay in place, and a school of big fish then comes at us, backwards, being pushed behind us. Pretty surreal. Again, wish I'd had a camera.
LinkReply

Comments:
[User Picture]From: scsi
2007-01-15 07:41 pm (UTC)
Rather than spend the cash on an enclosure which could possibly flood and ruin your 2,000 camera, I think you'd be better off with buying a dedicated sealed underwater digital.
Reasons:
  • Some enclosures dont have a hotshoe or remote flash relay, meaning you wont be able to attach a strobe. A strobe will make or break pictures (mostly reds), and the die hard photographer that I used to go diving with said to spend your cash on the stobe, and skimp on the camera.
  • Since reds only travel 5 feet underwater (meaning you'll need to get 2.5 feet from the subject), you'll need a good macro lens. Macro + cropped sensor on 20d = $1000 dollar 10mm fisheye.
  • So you have $3000+ of equipment in an enclosure that will leak and flood unless you take perfect care of the O-ring (and keep it perfectly clean), not to mention the controls, etc.
    Better off buying a dedicated underwater digital kit.
    As you can tell, i've looked into this.. :)
  • (Reply) (Thread)
    From: ashura93
    2007-01-16 12:17 am (UTC)

    I went through this decision recently. My conclusion was somewhat similar; rather than spend $1000+ on a housing for my 10D, it's less hassle to buy a digicam and housing (in this case an Ixy 800 IS) and live with the limits.

    To take anything interesting down below about 10m requires some serious investment in gear (camera + housing + strobes). While i really did miss being able to shoot in full manual mode, diving with a SLR, and using a rangefinder would be a real hassle.

    The results are passable, but the compromise is obvious... For me it comes down to whether i want to dive for the fun of diving, or dive to take photographs. Maybe one day it'll swing the other way, but right now i'm in for the former.

    (Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
    [User Picture]From: jackbrinks
    2007-01-15 08:36 pm (UTC)
    The Metridiums flourish in only a few places on earth. The deep-water nutrients that come out of the nearby deep sub-marine canyons have something to do with it.

    A friend of mine has a website where he posts Monterey/carmel dive reports, photos, and videos that he takes on his dives. They're very good. http://www.metridium.com

    I've talked to a few friends about U/W photography and they have strongly recommended Light & Motion housings. (http://www.lightandmotion.com) If you're lucky they'll make a housing for your camera.

    Down in Monterey, Backscatter seems to be the place to go for information and selection on U/W photography and video. http://www.backscatter.com They have a housing-finder web form for digital cameras.

    If you get into U/W photography, you can get flood insurance that will cover replacement cost for your U/W rig. I don't know anyone who hasn't flooded at least once.

    Finally, if you liked the topology at Lovers 1, you might like Butterfly House (on a calm day) and the areas west and north of the mouth of Whaler's Cove at Pt. Lobos. You have to make reservations to dive Pt. Lobos, but it's one of the best dive spots around and the entry/exit is a boat ramp, no sand!
    (Reply) (Thread)
    [User Picture]From: brad
    2007-01-15 08:42 pm (UTC)
    Great links, thanks!

    (and that's how you spell Metridium! ... :-))

    And I seem to recall that we've done Butterfly House before (or several times?) on boat dives. But I can't remember it specifically right now, just that it sounds very familiar.

    If you get into U/W photography, you can get flood insurance that will cover replacement cost for your U/W rig. I don't know anyone who hasn't flooded at least once.

    Must be pricey insurance then! Good to know.
    (Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
    [User Picture]From: jahiel
    2007-01-16 07:46 am (UTC)

    Pipe?

    So, what's in the pipe? Not sewage, I assume, otherwise you probably wouldn't choose to stay near it.

    Underwater human-made stuff fascinates me. Whenever I go sea kayaking, I always wonder what's down there.

    Graham
    (not a diver, obviously)
    (Reply) (Thread)
    [User Picture]From: brad
    2007-01-16 04:21 pm (UTC)

    Re: Pipe?

    No clue. Nothing abnormal is at the end of the pipe... no signs of anything coming in or out. Maybe it's no longer used?
    (Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
    [User Picture]From: scsi
    2007-01-16 04:51 pm (UTC)

    Re: Pipe?

    Isnt it by the old sardine plant? Or some fish plant that was once in use.

    Probably drainage of unused fish parts or something.
    (Reply) (Parent) (Thread)