Another L Street Beach Dive!

I have to say, I am getting my buoyancy down to near perfect with the dry suit and no thermals! I dropped a set of 2 lb ankle weights to keep my fins from dragging into the bottom. I now using 31 lbs on my weight harness and only one set of 2 lb ankle weights for a total of 35 lbs of lead.

We saw a Skate on this dive! The body was about a foot long and the tail another foot. We also saw a couple of fluke. None of the fluke would have been keepers, they are way to small.

The only bummer on this dive was that I lost my dive light. I had it on a lanyard around my wrist. Somewhere during the swim out to deeper water it must have slipped off my wrist. I tried to look for it, but the bottom has to much seaweed to find anything that has been dropped.

Night Dive at L Street

High tide was at 8:30pm this evening. Because we were diving L Street Beach, we were able to get into the back bay area about 45 minutes earlier. Typically with shore diving we have to carefully plan the dive times so we enter the water during the slack tide. This minimizes the current and gives us the best possible visibility in the water. Because the back bay off L Street is protected, we get away with entering the water on either the early or late side of the tide. The bad news is that there is really not that much in the way of sealife at L Street.

By entering the water around 7:45, we were able to get suited up in the daylight. When we came out of the water an hour later is was dark. We saw some fluke and a lot of crabs. There were blue claw crabs, spider crabs and hermit crabs. After awhile the crabs get annoying as they spread out their claws in defence to us. Continue reading Night Dive at L Street

Diving at the L Street Beach

MYDC0063I got in my second dive of the year!  Carl, Mark, Rich and I dove at the “L” street beach in Belmar.  We all dove with the dry suits to work on our buoyancy.  Overall I did ok with the dry suit, except I think the zipper gave out.  When I got out of the water the top half of my shirt was wet.  Carl is going to pressure test the suit to confirm if the zipper is shot or if there is another problem. It wasn’t to bad getting wet.  The water temp was around 61F degrees.

MYDC0059The L street beach is a good place to work on your buoyancy.  It is a shallow dive site and if you don’t have your buoyancy just right, you broach the surface like a sick whale.  Once you get it right, it can be a good dive place.  The deepest we went was 17 feet.  For the most part we were in 9 feet of water.

I saw a couple of eels and a bunch of baby fluke.  The biggest eel was about 24″ long.  The baby fluke were all about 3/4″ long.  We saw one fluke that was about 18″ long. Everytime Mark retold the sighting of the fluke, it seemed to get about 3 inches long. By the time we hit the dive shop it was close to a 24 inch long fish.

A couple more inlet and beach dives and I think I’ll be ready for a deeper dive off the coast.

Pt. Pleasant RxR Bridge Dive

The first SCUBA dive in over a year! The last time I was in the water was in April of 2006. Since taking the job with Dow Jones I’ve been so busy that I had to take a sabbatical from diving.

Mark & I went in at the railroad bridge in Point Pleasant. I have to say it was awesome! Water temp was 55F degrees. Visibility was 15 to 20 feet. We both dove using wet suits. I had forgotten how heavy all the gear is out of the water.

We had originally decided to stay east of the railroad bridge so I could run through some basic drills. After 5 minutes the drills to find my gear and gauges had become “old”. The one drill I didn’t perform was to flood and clear my mask. Maybe next dive the water will be a little warmer.

After practising the drills I motioned to Mark to head for the bridge. On the other side we found a small 12″ fluke. We then went into the little bay area on the other side of the bridge. There were millions of baby shrimp floating in the water column near the bottom forming a cloud. The shrimp were about 1/4″ long. It was pretty cool to swim through the shrimp cloud. We started to head back to the bridge and came upon a puffer fish. Mark watched in amusement as I poked the fish with my light trying to get him to puff out his spines. I guess I’m not much of a threat. The fish just turned and slowly swam away. We also caught a glimpse of a 18″ long striped bass as we played with the puffer fish.

As we were heading back, we watched a fellow diver spear a black fish under the railroad bridge. He got a good sized fish. At least we know what he had for dinner!

It was definitely a good dive! And it felt great to be back in the water.