Breaking Rules

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Posted by Max Bottomtime on April 26, 2020 at 14:25:34:

Red Tide has turned our local water into a mixture of coffee and chocolate milk. Fish were jumping out of the water inside King Harbor this morning gasping for any oxygen they could find. Under normal circumstances, this was a day we would have stayed home, but times aren't normal. I hadn't dived for almost a month and it had been two months for Merry. Nothing was stopping us today.

It was foggy at home this morning, but Merry said the live beach cameras were clear. We live less than two miles from King Harbor where we keep our boat, so off we went. We arrived to find the marina socked in. I decided to break one of my rules and go out in the fog. It cleared early yesterday, so I was hoping for a repeat performance.

We motored through the fog and brown soup looking for anywhere to get in the water. The entire South Bay looked bad so we went around Rocky Point, where the water changed from brown to green.

Merry snapped this image in one of the few clear spots. She shot the following nearby.

The fog had lifted a bit at Kevin's Reef but was still thick near Pt. Vicente. We used our drop camera to check out conditions before gearing up. The drop camera saved us. It was dark, green, and had less than a foot of visibility on the reef. We moved south to Hawthorne Reef in the fog. The wind was coming up, giving me hope that the fog would soon dissipate. I broke another rule by diving in the wind. As the drop camera descended past the first five feet, the water turned blue! On the bottom, rockfish swam up to check out the little metallic fish who came to visit. The visibility looked fantastic, so Merry and I jumped in.

Visibility was close to forty feet, better than we've seen in a long time. This was going to be a great dive after all. So much for the best-laid plans. After a few minutes, one of my dry gloves began leaking, allowing the 52 water to slowly chill my hand and wrist. This was the least of our worries. A few minutes later, Merry's housing fogged, indicating a leak. She surfaced to find a small amount of water inside the housing, but fortunately not enough to cause any damage.

After I surfaced we packed away our wet gear and headed for home. The fog was now so thick that we couldn't see more than fifty feet. It was now time for our RADAR to save us. We couldn't dive without all these electronic toys. The RADAR picked up a few kayakers in our path. It remained foggy all the way back to the marina. I'm glad we went, but I'll be riding my bike for awhile.

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