Monterey dive ends in a burst of bubbles!

Posted by on Aug 25, 2011

The day started out so nicely. It was the NCUPS quarterly dive at Wharf II and there were about twelve of us participating including spotters (required by the harbormaster when diving under the wharf). It was foggy as usual as we were suiting up to dive and there was almost no surf as we entered the water and swam out to the dive site.  

Crab Face
A personable crab peaks out of the rubble under Wharf II.

I descended to the bottom with my dive buddies and we swam along the wall looking for photo subjects. There were lots of crabs and some small fish hiding in the cracks. After a few minutes I swam out through the pilings, buddies following along, looking in the red bryozoa for fringehead blennies, octopi, nudibranchs etc. I found more crabs and a shrimp on a strawberry anemone.

Shrimp on Strawberry Anemone
Shrimp on strawberry anemone.
After a stop on the sandy bottom to photograph another crab I suddenly heard a “pop” and bubbles started swirling madly around my face. “What the…!” I thought. Realizing that the swivel fitting on the second stage of my regulator had blown I switched to my backup and ascended to the surface. I inflated my buoyancy control device (BCD) and drysuit and the air stopped after a minute or two. My BCD wasn’t holding as much air as I would have liked but we were floating.  

About that time I almost got ran over by a kayaker, who then offered to help so I gave her my camera (must save the camera 😉 and she towed me to the beach where Randy came into the water to help and make sure I was ok.

Asilomar Beach
Asilomar Beach before the sunset and the bonfires began.
NCUPS Bonfire on the Beach
Hotdogs roasting by the bonfire.
It was way more exciting of a dive than I had planned. My second stage fell off the regulator while I was being towed to the beach but Susan found it on the bottom later as she was swimming in. I didn’t get to do much scouting for the upcoming Monterey Shootout which was disappointing. But the NCUPS beach bonfire that night was a lot of fun. Luckily when the regulator blew I was only at a depth of 13 feet, I didn’t get hurt, my regulator is being fixed and I’ll be back in the water on Sunday at Point Lobos.
Visit the NCUPS and Monterey Shootout websites for more information on the Northern California Underwater Photographic Society and the 2011 Monterey Shootout.