Report and Photos
Diving with Ross O.
The Ace I, T-69, and Pt. Vicente
July 19, 2009
and Photos © Elaine Jobin,
may not be reproduced in part or whole without advanced written permission.
Ross took Claudette and myself out for a day in the big pool. Ross and Claudette had their scooters, I had my camera. Our first stop was at the Ace I.
The water here was chunky, murky, and green. Below 80 feet, visibility began to open up. On the wreck visibility was at least 25 feet and probably would have been more but the clouds in the water column blocked out so much of the sun. As we hovered next to the upside down hull Ross gave me the "hop on" signal and took me for a spin around the perimeter of the wreck.
It would have been so cool.....except, when I grabbed on, I had my camera in my right arm and was holding on with my left. Ross took off counterclockwise, so, I was facing the wrong way. All I could see was the sand. We flew to fast to change arms. Oh well, next time.
Ross dropped me off back at the anchor line and he and Claudette took off on their scooters. They were so into swooping and sightseeing on their scooters they barely hung around as "photo models" - I did manage to grab a few shots of them though.
While I waited near the anchor I spent some time looking at the structure, taking pictures. The Ace I is such a beautiful wreck. Not because of the shape of the upside down hull, but because of its marine life cover.
A wolf eel peered out from the metridium field and a lingcod swam past as I prepared to make my ascent.
Back on board the Orion everyone was noticeably more mellow than they had been at the start of the day. It was like whatever had been weighing down our minds and our spirits didn't matter any more. The fantastic dive had set us free to just enjoy the day.
We couldn't exactly figure out where to dive next. The Olympic was now two deep to be a decent second dive. Ross kind of wanted to swim in kelp. As we cruised during our surface interval the decision was made to do a short, exploratory dive on "T-69" an unknown accentuated pixel or two on Ross's satellite assisted dive site map. "T-69" looked like it might have the potential to be a sunken something, or it could just be rocks and a cloud of fish. With a sense of adventure and a little imagination as to what we might find, we anchored on "T-69"
"T-69" turned out to be a small low relief reef. There were lots of nudibranchs and small fish. The only thing I saw that was man made is captured in the bottom photo. It is a brick and I don't know exactly what else. When we returned to the boat Ross made the statement that is probably more truth than fiction "Well, we were probably the first people to ever dive that site if that means anything".
Our last dive was off Pt. Vicente - one of Claudettes favorite spots. Ross reluctantly agreed to haul me around on the scooter again for a little while. It is his new toy and he wanted some quality time with it. We swooped through the kelp, sometimes like it was a slalom course. An abandoned lobster trap caught our eye and we stopped for a look.
A horn shark and a small lobster were trapped inside.
Claudette went to work on the trap. She opened the lid, made a calculated grab at the horn shark and lifted him to freedom. Then Ross reached in and pulled out the small lobster. We watched as they both made their final escape back to life as it should be in the kelp forest.
The door on the trap was then removed, and, we continued onward.
Ross wanted to look out in the sand for halibut.
After a few minutes of searching over the sand we returned to the kelp forest and came across a long pipe of some sort.
Ross let me off at this scenic spot to get some quality photo time in. He and Claudette took off on a quest to find the source of the pipe.
I sat quietly for a long time just enjoying the beauty of the area and observing the fish that came by to check me out.
When Ross and Claudette returned, they posed for some pictures before we began the final run back to the boat.