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Follow-up to Jellyfish Invasion Entry
Pyrifera - 8/27/2009 3:21 PM
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Category: Travel
Comments: 1
Follow-up to Jellyfish Invasion EntrySo was helping my instructor to do a deep dive with some students so they can finish off their Advanced Open Water Cert. The two students have both tried this once before and one got narc’d and panicked at 70’ last time and the other got seasick and threw up on the surface in nice one foot swells. The site is known as "Ballbuster" and it is about 3/4 mile into the bay from the Coastguard Breakwater in Monterey, CA (which I think puts it in Pacific Grove territory). The pinacle top starts at ~ 70’ and the bottom is ~ 106. What sets this dive apart is that this past Sunday was SPECTACULARLY clear (for Monterey - which means 40’ vis) and when we anchored you could see a solid "carpet" of Sea Nettle jellies all pulsing in the same westerly direction. Now these were not just the little 4" bell "babies" that we’ve been dealing with in the shallow waters right at the Breakwater. There were also MANY 4’ (that’s feet) diameter bells and 20+ ’ of tentacle granddaddies in the mix as well.

When we dropped over the side and looked down through the water column you couldn’t tell how deep the layer was but it was VERY distinct which made me think there was a thermocline there (and my computer confirmed the temp difference - they were in the 52-55 degree zone). At 15’ we hit them, trying to gently drop through them and giving gentle pokes to the bells of those that strayed too close so that they would turn away on a heading that (hopefully) wouldn’t intersect with my exposed facial features. At about 30’ they just stopped and you could look up through the layer with the sunlight shimmering through them. Kinda reminded me of that scene in the movie "Sphere" that Queen Latifah fans don’t like ;-)

One of the students looked over the side of the boat and decided, all things considered, he didn’t like jellyfish and was staying dry and warm on the boat. The other made it down and we did his Nitrogen Narcosis tests at 102’. He passed and did a little "happy dance" which scared away the few fish that were hanging out looking at us bubble makers doing strange activities.

Someone else (John Y.) took the pictures as I had to concentrate on the student. I think they give you a pretty good idea of what we went (literally) through.


daz88 - 8/28/2009 2:55 AM
Wow, great picture. Really shows how many jellies were in the water. Bastards got me a couple of weeks ago.