This was a BAUE invitational event... it started out as night dive for the group but branched out to some going on the Escapade for a night dive and us doing it from shore.
We met at 5 pm with myself rolling in right on the dot.... I forgot about traffic and a delay at the dive shop put me in delay. We had 5 divers. So we split up into 2 teams with Dionna and Masao then Me Fofo and Ken. We decided to get out a bit so the Metridium Field was agreed upon. We kicked out and then dropped early as the line ups are not so obvious at night. It was a good call as at around the last 1/4th of the pipe the vis dropped significantly. Team 1 was barely visable just 1 body length away. Luckily for us the vis opened up at the end of the pipe to about 10 and the dive was on.
The fields were alive with all sorts of small critters. Fofo quickly spotter a big swimming worm.. about 3-4 inches long wiggling thru the water. It was kinda neat... but a little later on closer to the reef more started to appear... small ones... big ones... They seem to be drawn to the light. They were creepy enough for me to be grateful for my otter bay helmet and drysuit. Somehow my imagination was filling up with what these borrowing devils might do if my ears weren't tightly covered.... oh and I made sure to purge my necklace periodically just to be safe!
After the B-movie episode with the worms we kicked around some more getting our fill of Metridiums we were momentarily memorized by some squid eggs on a short kelp stalk... I was hoping for some movement amongst the eggs but I guess it was too soon. Our pause th.ere caused a separation between t he 2 groups... no worries since we were 2 independent teams just diving together... and they had planned a longer dive anyway. We ended up back at the pipe then hung a hard left to make a bee line to the stairs. Heading south we had only gone about 5 yards when we happened upon a large Bat ray just sitting in the sand... we excitedly crept up on it fearing it would bolt away any minute. Me on the left Fofo on the right and Ken in the middle... as we glided closer suddenly Ken was trapped! We inadvertently pinned him in the middle and he was on a Steve Irwin ish flight path right over the ray! He quickly engages his nicely executed Fundies acquired backkick (Told you you'ld get something out of the class ) to arrest the forward progress and we spread out to give him and the ray more breathing room. He was very tolerant of us and never bolted.
We pushed on with our long kick home steadily kicking... finding some huge shrimp, a couple of octos and being thrown for a loop by an unfamiliar landmark we ended the dive at 60 mins just a stone's throw from the entry point. Overall it was a great dive and a nice relaxing kick. Thanks to Dionna, Masao, Ken and Fofo for being good buddies and lets do it again real soon.