Due to our Astro Van's lack of reliability, we've been slacking in the Vancation department. Instead, we bum rides off of our friends to do cool things. Who could say no to a comfortable ride in a Honda Civic? Am I right!?
For that past two weekends, Pete and I have ventured to the Point Lobos State Natural Reserve in Monterey County, California. One of the richest marine habitats in California, Point Lobos is a must for diving aficionados. So when Pete's co-worker, Robbie, offered the opportunity to dive there, he jumped on it.
Pete, a veteran submariner and former resident of Hawaii, has had a plethora of diving experiences, mostly in tropical waters. Not only would Point Lobos be his first scuba experience in five years, but it would also be his first recreational cold-water dive. Meaning, I would get to take pictures of him looking silly in a wet suit.
DIVE SUNDAY #1
We couldn't have asked for a better weekend for a day at the ocean: 75 and not a cloud in the sky. Point Lobos, being a reserve, only allows a limited amount of divers per day. Pete and Robbie were 2 of 22. So, it's my understanding that Point Lobos' traffic is always "green" on Google Underwater Maps.
Upon arrival, Robbie, Pete, Vera (Robbie's fabulous lady) and I scoped out the beautiful surroundings and gathered tips from the more experienced Lobos divers.
Robbie and Pete showed keen interest in the below-the-sea navigation advice they were receiving. Being the only non-diver of the group, I really didn't understand what dude was talking about. After all, the only experience I have navigating open water is this:
Gear-time followed, which was basically a time for me to giggle at the sight of two adult men squeezing into wet suits.
Pete isn't used to diving in a wet suit. In Hawaii, you've got your tank gear, fins and board shorts. Easy. The wet suit process, on the other hand, can be a lengthy one. And smelly. Pete's rental suit had a cat piss odor about it. And by cat piss, I'm referring to human piss, because peeing in wet suits is not only commonplace, but a body-warming strategy.
You gotta admit though, he makes pretty good arm candy:
After our photo-op, it was diving time. As opposed to the whole take-a-boat-to-the-perfect-dive-spot-and-do-that-back-flip-thing-off-the-side-and-go-straight-down thing, Point Lobos requires divers to enter from a boat dock and swim 20-30 minutes towards a reef and then drop down. So, it's rather exhausting.
From the looks of it, however, the boys had a pretty stellar time under the sea. The visibility that weekend was somewhere near 30 feet, which is pretty good. Watch the video below to see exactly how Pete feels about the whole situation.
OK! And of course, there were fishes! Photo credit to the multi-talented, Robbie!
I wasn't joking when I said it was exhausting. Lots of physical work and really cold water. Just look at the exertion on that face:
Robbie and Pete completed two successful dives, 40 and 46-minutes long, and it was awesome. Robbie's a superb and compassionate leader. Pete was eager to get back into the water. Vera and I basked in the sun's warmth, admiring the water's stillness. A lovely day was had by all.
Needless to say, Pete was beyond giddy about the whole experience.
And yea, he looked silly.
DIVE SUNDAY #2
The following weekend, Robbie once again invited us to the lovely Point Lobos (well, actually, Pete stole Vera's spot on the dive team, but she didn't seem too upset about it...)
Mark and Jeremy, also co-workers, joined the dive crew this time around. Jess, Mark's girlfriend, tagged along for all the lunch, hiking and Honey-Jack consumption.
The weather wasn't as remarkable as the week before, but still pleasant. The rained staved off, which kept the ladies and sandwiches nice and dry.
The wet suit process took a bit more time. One, because there were more dudes. And two, because there were more things to giggle at.
Exhibit A- Jeremy:
Exhibit B- Pete:
Exhibit C- Dive Bromance:
|Pete & Mark|
The visibility was not as great this time around. And the water was even colder (45 degrees- brr!). Pete had major issues with his mask, which kept flooding every 10 seconds. A majority of his energy was spent on emptying his mask and not on concentrating on his breathing. As a result he sucked more oxygen from his tank than he was supposed to. Oops!
But they survived.
After lunch, Vera, Jess and I watched from above as the boys swam to their point of descent. It was getting late, and we worried about the dive shop closing. But, being that most of the other divers had finished for the day, the guys had the whole place to themselves.
Down below, Pete makes for a great underwater model. His underwear modeling skills aren't half-bad either.
Taking advantage of the sunshine, Vera, Jess and I set off on a hike along the ocean's edge.
Thinking we had planned our time wisely in accordance with the divers, we hiked to the end of one of the trails. There, we were greeted by some super-friendly blacktail deer. They just kept walking towards us. It was nuts.
You can listen to our wickedly thoughtful commentary about said deer in the video below. (Disclaimer: No deer were harmed in the making of this movie. Or in the making of dinner later that night).
As it turned out, standing around and watching the deer made us late. The boys finished their dive 20 minutes before we got back from our hike and we had locked the cars. They were cold and smelled of human piss.
We hurried the boys out of their wet suits and rushed over to the dive shop. Robbie was still in his sassy Speedo. Only a few minutes late, the dive shop dudes cut us some slack. And we still got our 10%-off coupon for Duffy's!
Dinner and drinks at Duffy's were pretty good. But the basket of games at the table seemed to win everyone over the most.
Except for me. Girl don't play no games.