Have been trying to get in one last wetsuit dive for the year, and therefore put off facing up to the fact that my regular trips to Izu are coming to an end. Normally by this time of year i’d be back in a drysuit, all closed off from the water and sweating profusely.
However, this year, in mid-November, the water temperature is still above 20ºC. That’s just about my cut-off my point for comfort. While i’m pretty sure things would be survivable down to something like 16ºC, 20ºC is a nice round number. It turns out that the only problem with colder water (in a wetsuit) is the feeling that you’ve been put through a mangle – i’m covered in bruises, but despite a degree of scrabbling around under rocks (for on that in a moment) it wasn’t a particularly rough day. Body temperature wise i’d go as far as to say it is pretty close to the perfect for a 5mm suit.
Two dives, first one in blue, second in orange. Target for the first was an unusual seahorse (オオウミウマ) living on a outcrop of soft-corals in the sands, down at 35m. Not exactly the easiest thing in the world to find in ~5m visibility, and i’m pretty sure we over swam it by quite a way. Anyway, we found it… which is actually fairly unusual in itself! Normally all our adventures to deep places for tiny creatures are more about the journey than the destination – if you see what i mean.
Second dive was backwards route out to ichi-no-ne, on to kue-ana, and round kame-iwa (found Pikachu – first one of the season!). On the way back we swam through the channel on top of ichi-no-ne, which i don’t think i’ve done for years.
IOP is crawling with frogfish at the moment. A count at the end of the day said we’d found eight, three different species (ベニ、イロ、オオモン). The missing one (クマドリ) was supposed to be around, but 20 minutes of searching, over two dives, didn’t find it. It was fun – for the first time in ages i’d dragged my light along for the ride, and was in full on search mode.
The little statues at the top of this post have recently turned up in a little cave on ichi-no-ne. Nobody seems to know who put them there… or they’re not saying.
Last night, on the shinkansen home, i was reflecting that i’m really going to miss my regular opportunities to dive. All of which led to me building lists of things that i will and won’t miss about Tokyo. The lists will make good posts at some point.Did nothing to change my impression that shinkansen are a most melancholic form of transportation.
As Huxley said “Speed provides the one genuinely modern pleasure”, but the shinkansen robs you of that pleasure by extracting ever ounce of excitement and sensation from the experience!