Redondo Beach with Bob Bailey and Kathryn Arant
Redondo Beach, Des Moines, WA. Instead of the usual GUE Tweak on Wednesday evenings Kathryn Arant and I opted to dive with Bob Bailey at Redondo Beach. We dove Bob's Reef then headed down towards the bottle field. Photo above shows an octopus hanging out on some wood.
The octopus were out in full force. There were times when each of us had our own octopus to photograph. Photo above shows an octopus playing inside a bottle.
Situational awareness is key if you want to avoid jellyfish stings! Egg Yolk Jellyfish attacking Bob Bailey.
Saltwater State Park with Kathryn Arant
Saltwater State Park, Des Moines, WA. The tides and currents were perfect so Kathryn Arant (GUE) and I decided to go for a scooter dive.
The visibility was some of the best I have ever witnessed at Saltwater State Park. The artificial reef was full of life.
Anemones eating Egg Yolk Jellyfish. After being stung multiple times in the face by jellyfish I have a new found respect for the anemones. Unfortunately I got stung during this dive about 3/4's of the way in.
Seiku Jetty, Bachelor Rock, and North Beach Reef
Seattle, WA. We caught the 6:20 AM ferry from Edmonds to Kingston. The first stop was Seiki Jetty, Seiku, WA. Divers beware, these sites are off the grid! After leaving Kingston mobile data services was extremely limited and cell coverage was extremely spotty. I love disconnecting from the world whenever possible so the lack of data services didn't bother me. Cell coverage on the other hand makes you think twice. It would have been nice to have 911 services in that unlikely event of an accident. Pre dive safety checks and diving within your limits was paramount!
The giant boulders and kelp forest create an amazing habitat for the sea creatures.
GUE Divers Jeremy Freestone (GUE), Don Winslow (GUE), and Douglass Dwyer perform their pre dive checklist. Other divers not shown included Peter Vanags (UTD) and his son Nick Vanags.
Next stop was Bachelor Rock, Port Angeles, WA. Yes, the swim out to the rock is at least 30 minutes. Then you gotta do another 30 minutes to get back to shore! Archis Gore (GUE) and Shashank Tyagi joined us for dives 2 and 3.
The size and number of Sea Urchins is unbelievable. They were literally larger than beach balls!
The last dive was at North Beach Reef, Port Townsend, WA. The weather turned for the worse and our dive only lasted about 10 minutes. The visibility was poor due to the waves and windy conditions and I ended up experiencing vertigo. It's an interesting experience to have the ground move one way, your body move another, and the Eelgrass go a third. On this dive we were hoping to see rock formations and kelp forests. After a long day of fun I finally made it home and into bed at 1:30 AM the next day! I can't wait to visit Bachelor Rock again. It's now my favorite dive site in the Pacific Northwest.
Saltwater State Park with Kathryn Arant
Saltwater State Park, Des Moines, WA. The visibility was outstanding! Probably the best I've seen at Saltwater State Park to date. GUE Diver Kathryn Arant taking a photo of a giant Lingcod and Sunflower Starfish.
XS Scuba Pro Valve vs. Thermo Pro Valve
Below are two images that show the differences between a XS Scuba Pro Valve and a Thermo Pro Valve.
For the most part the two valves are identical. The XS Scuba Pro Valve above uses a bonnet o-ring. Various websites indicate that the bonnet o-ring size is a Viton 015 which is incorrect. While the o-ring fits, it doesn't seal the valve correctly and will leak once pressurized.
The Thermo Pro Valve instead uses a copper crush washer (not shown) to seal the valve assembly. Also not shown is the teflon packing that goes in-between the hand wheel and bonnet nut. Valve service is easy and straight forward. The plug and seat assembly, teflon packing, stem o-ring (Viton 010), and inlet o-ring (Viton 214) are universal between valves. The remaining parts are cleaned and reused.