July Diving

There are worlds in these eyes...

Ah, what a beautiful day to go diving…

It seems rainy season is done for the year and now we can get on with roasting our plums. It was 32ºC down in Izu, but it felt gorgeous with a nice sea breeze.

The water is also hotting up – 21ºC at the surface, but the last couple of days of winds mixed things up a little down below, where there were patches of 15ºC. Truth be told, it was actually refreshing more than cold – a good layer of warm water in the wetsuit and you’re good to go!

It wouldn’t be a diving trip without a little madness, this month provided by a stray アカグツ (“red shoes”…) that had wandered up from the deep (~500m?) to see what was what. People were getting out of the water giving updates on the location of the thing, as we dashed into the water, and down to ~30m… it moved. We went one way, it went the other. Near miss, but a miss.

Seeing as one hasn’t been seen for a few years it was a big miss. Ah well, just another reason to keep diving.

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うねり

More diving on the spin cycle…

It looks oh so peaceful here, but under the waves the swell / currents were something to reckoned with. It’s always hard to guess, but i’d say that it was moving me about 3m with each push / pull.

To get the shot of this nudibranch shot i was hanging onto a ~20kg boulder, which still wasn’t heavy enough to stop the waves trying to fold my legs over my head, and had another diver pushing down on my tank…

[That’s an アカエラミノウミウシ which i’ve never seen before at IOP, but this year is hanging on for dear life under every rock that you care to look under. It used to be that ムカデウミシ were two a penny, but yesterday i think i saw only one. Talking to some of the older divers, they can’t remember a time when so much has changed so quickly. The water temperature rose 3ºC over night (from 13ºC to 16ºC) on Wednesday!]

Amazing that it can be that deceptive – calm above the water and raging below it. I tried to get a shot of the white out conditions near the exit point, but by the time it got really bad i was too engaged in staying alive to take another shot… This shot is probably 10m from the beach, in at most 2m of water. Just after this the diver in front of me (really shouldn’t be on that side of the rope – there be dragons… or at least really big rocks) lost his weights, and unceremoniously surfaced with great haste. Being the kind soul that i am, i picked them up for him… mistake! An extra 8kg of lead doesn’t do much for you buoyancy… but it does make you get thrown around by the waves a little less. After a little rough and tumble, involving me being picked up and dumped on a large rock, hip first, i got back to the beach. Honestly, it’s much easier to dive on your own… until these kind of things happen to you… hmm. The buddy system. 

Rather disturbingly i’ll own up to loving this kind of stuff – boat diving is for old people! My body however, is not as keen as it used to be. It was a great relief to be able to walk this morning. By the time i went to bed my right hip was feeling like it might seize up and never move again. Don’t laugh (too much) if you see me hobbling around.

Only one dive again – have to avoid making a habit of this… My left ear, the one that i perforated last year (or was it the year before?) wasn’t clearing properly, and while it was manageable, not stopping from diving to 30m, it’s not something that i want to push now. One more tear and i might have to hang up my fins for good. Better to err of the side of caution… which must sound a little off after reading my last couple of diving posts!