Season Dive: 4
Site: Portsmouth Access, Portsmouth
Avg/Max Depth: 20/30
Buddies: Curtis & Kristen
It’s been over a month since my last dive and my equipment has been packed tightly into my trunk for about as long. It made packing for Blog Cabin a cinch having the largest, heaviest and most important-to-not-forget items all ready to go.
It seems like as time goes on we’re less motivated to get to the dive site at the crack of dawn. We didn’t even discuss diving until after noon. Since I had just finished polishing my fingernails a glossy shade of black, we decided to wait until around 3:00 to head out.
Curtis decided we would dive at Portsmouth as long as there weren’t any boats about. It was a nice dive site in all aspects. A nice paved parking lot to set up shop, an easy access into the water via the boat launching area and an outhouse if necessary. It was nice to have a hard, flat, non dirty surface to set up and disassemble on. Unfortunately Kristen and I hit some rough spots in our attempt at getting our suits on. First I forgot to zip mine up, Curtis noticed I was wide open after I had my BCD on. Kristen put one of Curtis’s weight pouches in hers by accident. Better he have to hang out with zipperheads he knows than newbie zipperheads. Our transition to the water was pretty seamless. Curtis gave us a briefing of the directions we would be going and we were under the water at 4:00 pm.
There was a nice wall that we followed and the angle of the sun made beams filter over the wall in some spots. The water felt considerably warmer than the last time I dove. The thermocline was below 20′ but even then it wasn’t uncomfortably cold. There were a few fish we passed along the wall, mostly small ones. It must be of the fish psyche to follow thing larger than themselves, because they joined our school of divers, filing in between Curtis and me.
We swam around on top of the wall for a while. When we turned around Curtis descended over the side and I was holding up the rear. At around 17′ my ear decided it wasn’t having the constant depth changes any longer. I ascended up to 8′ before it became comfortable and followed Kristen’s bubbles, watching Little Jilly swimming inside of them. After a short while they both ascended a bit. I was almost directly above Kristen as I watched the turn of events unfold. Kristen turned around and scanned the waters for me, her head shifting around impatiently. I waited for her to look up, but she turned in the direction of Curtis, fumbled around for her octopus and banged it noiselessly on her tank. I couldn’t swim down to her and had no noisemaking devices on me either. Would yelling to her under water work? The dive master in Grand Cayman seemed to vocalize to the zipperheaded couple in the deep seas. She turned in my direction again, I took a deep breath, removed my reg and yelled “KRIIISTEEEEEEEEEEEEEEN!” Nothing. The water bubbled out of my ear. Ah, sweet relief. Just as I was about to grab her she took off in a frenzy toward the direction Curtis had disappeared in. The situation was immediately humorous to me and I started laughing, and it’s hard to descend and swim quickly while laughing. I couldn’t see Curtis yet, but I tried to swim to the side of Kristen so he would be able to see the both of us. Kristen caught up to him, through up her arms in panic, whipped her head around and looked shocked to see me directly behind her. She looked relieved then angry and I felt bad for being so obviously entertained by my life flashing before her eyes. Well, bad that she caught me anyway.
Curtis had no idea what had just transpired and thought she was angry that we passed the entry point, which was part of our original plan. He should know by now that both of us are too directionally impaired to have any idea where we are in the mine pits, let alone below the surface. We continued the dive, found what appeared to have been a snowmobile at one time and saw some more small fishes. We turned around to head back to the boat launch dock and once we surfaced had a good chuckle about the events that went down. It was nice to be able to desuit and pack up our gear without worrying about getting full of red dirt. Kristen and I even enjoyed a dip afterward. We drip dried in the sunny parking lot and ate a bunch of Nutter Butters before driving back to the cabin.
Unfortunately my nail polish didn’t survive the dive. At all. The polish came off in 10 perfectly shaped polish chips that resembled Lee press ons through the course of removing and packing all my gear.
Read Curtis’s version of the dive complete with photos here.