Boeing Creek & the 2 ATM Kill Switch
The day was perfect for diving, a bit overcast to keep the heat down with just a bit of a northerly blowing. We got through the locks after a dog & man overboard incident (guy was letting his dog pee and fell off from another boat..!). We headed north to Boeing Creek and motored around to find the slope of the reef (we thought) and dropped anchor with little current showing.
Denise and I dropped in and went down a stern anchor to 30'. She had no problems clearing and seemed to do well. We swam out west thinking to find the reef, but after a circle I decided we'd missed it and after swimming quite a ways north we found it's edge. Carl found it ok as well.
The water was very clear, viz about 35'+ and the reef teamed with life. Lots of fish, and I was very excited to see a huge school of black rockfish going all the way to the surface. A few browns and olives as well. Most were smaller, obviously coming of age since the recent order protecting them in Puget Sound. There were a few larger Quilbacks and Canaries as well as an assortment of lings, C-O sole, even one larger Cabazon. Nudibranchs and other small invertebrates dotted the rocks along with kelp and plumose. The reef in such clear conditions was really beautiful.
Denise did quite well, seeming to be comfortable, until she got a bad leg cramp. So I helped her back up the slope and back to the boat, then continued my dive. I dropped down the anchor to find the scooter tied off, Doc was going to use it, but it seemed inoperable. I saw him, and then did a rather determined spiney lumpsucker search n the shallows to no avail.
Doc had a frustrating dive missing the reef, and while the scooter seemed to work ok on the surface, it didn't work on the bottom for long. Battery was fine and there were no floods, etc. I haven't used it for a while, as I'm usually carrying a large camera, so I thought I'd see what was going on.
Carl and I were up for a second dive, he was working out his weighting and trim. I am pretty comfortable in my new DUI CF200 suit, nice not to have to patch a suit every time I dive. Doc moved the boat north and Carl and I dropped in.
We swam around for a while finally coming upon a large anchor block and old buoy line. I did find a rather large Heart Crab there, with it's triangular body covered in thorns. We swam slowly back until Carl signaled he was low on gas and we came up and safety stopped and swam to the boat. I still had 1600#, so I took the scooter to do some testing. After going along just fine for a ways, I headed down the slope, at 33' it stopped. I swam it back up a bit and then it went off again fine. I scootered along in 15-20' for a long time, buzzing ling cod and generally making a pest of myself. Then I went back down the slope. 33' it stopped again. OK, depth related, I swam it up and at 30' it worked ok. Hmmm, depth is shorting the "kill switch". I tested it 3 more times and it was very consistent. Scooter is rated for like 200' and I've had it down to 120' for quite a while at times, so something is amiss. The guys at UWS will sort it out.
We headed back to the locks in the sun, and got home after a long wait, as they are only using the large locks this summer.
A great day of diving and testing gear!