Swinging at Rosario Beach

Tell us your tale of coming nose-to-nose with a 6 gill [--this big--], or about your vacation to turquoise warm waters. Share your adventures here!
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Tubesnout23
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Swinging at Rosario Beach

Post by Tubesnout23 » Mon May 03, 2010 9:38 am

Few days ago I thought that I had experienced all different types of poor visibility known to divers of the Pacific Northwest. Last Wednesday Nature caught me by surprise once more. I showed up at Rosario Beach with my regular buddy convinced that the ocean was waiting for us in a good mood because, according to the weather forecaster, the wind was blowing South/South East, the beach faced West and was protected by a hill on its southern end.

How wrong I was! Despite the lack of wind on the beach 4ft waves were tumbling down crushing on the gravel shore with a rather loud thud! The surface beyond that point was choppy but without whitecaps. I watched the wave action on the beach with some disappointment trying to figure out whether I wanted to face that watery instability loaded with scuba gear or not. I was probably more concerned than my buddy because after looking at the restless sea for a short while, he did not hesitate to walk back to the parking lot to assemble his gear.

I soon followed him, brushing any traces of anxiety from my mind. When we were all dressed up we walked to the northern side of the beach while listening to the thundering sound of the collapsing waves. Contrary to my thinking, entering that water was not that difficult even if its restlessness made the donning of our fins a bit more challenging than usual. In this kind of situation I want to be able to wear the fins as quickly as possible and the bungee cords at the back of my fins helped to achieve that more rapidly than a buckle.

We were bouncing around like two medium size buoys. After making sure that we were both OK we tried to surface swim for a while but gave up after few kicks because the surface of the water was too unsettled. We submerged while the waves were rocking us back and forth and plunged into a cloud of silt so fine that it was like being surrounded by thick fog on an early morning in November in the Po Valley (the area of Italy where I come from). Pieces of seaweed in all different stages of decomposition were floating around us heading toward shore.

We swam close together dodging boulders that would appear out of nowhere as dark unrecognizable shadows while the sea kept rocking us back and forth like broken kelp. It was not the first time that we dove there. We knew that the bottom was pretty shallow and we would have to swim a hell of a lot out to reach maybe 40ft. However, I was a bit surprised to notice that when we finally reached a depth of 20ft we were still tossed around by the wave action. If there was any consolation, the visibility improved a little.

It was very clear who was the master in that churning, yet full of life, underwater world. I saw red urchins as big as cantaloupes populating the base of the boulders and rocks without any sign of discomfort. Different fuzzy shapes of fish zoomed by leaving us wondering what the hell they were and a red pen point gunnel entangled its slim body in red seaweeds in the attempt to avoid us. Northern Kelp Crabs were swinging on blades of kelp as kids in a playground. At times we would swim through clouds of tiny shrimps. I almost bumped my nose into the jaws of a ling cod and all of a sudden the bright fleshy spotted small bodies of a leopard and clown dorid would appear without any notice.

We were at the mercy of a force that on one hand was unsettling but on the other not scary. It was actually fun to let ourselves swing like those crabs! However we were also careful to not let this fluid force crush us against the boulders and rocks. After one hour we were ready to face the rolling surface again. This time exiting the water in our usual manner, by standing up, was a bit problematic and we decided to bend our knees and crawl out as if we were two pinnipeds. It was something that we have never done before. What a disconcerting reminder of the law of gravity! Now I know what a plumped seal must feel every time it hauls on shore and I am glad that my only ‘flippers’ are small and forked.

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LCF
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Re: Swinging at Rosario Beach

Post by LCF » Mon May 03, 2010 2:29 pm

I don't mind surge, although it plays merry hell with the viz, but I sure mind surf entries and exits. Good for you that you were able to manage a crawling one -- I've never been successful doing that!
"Sometimes, when your world is going sideways, the second best thing to everything working out right, is knowing you are loved..." ljjames

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Alexitt
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Re: Swinging at Rosario Beach

Post by Alexitt » Mon May 03, 2010 8:26 pm

That entry and exit sounds like my Sat. night at Muk T-dock shrimping...
Vis was awful till we got below 30'
Rough stuff 2-3' waves in the dark 10pm ...:nervous:
-Alex-

"so in the interest of advising something...let's see..."the early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese!" -Eliseaboo



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Tubesnout23
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Re: Swinging at Rosario Beach

Post by Tubesnout23 » Tue May 04, 2010 6:55 am

LCF wrote:I don't mind surge, although it plays merry hell with the viz, but I sure mind surf entries and exits. Good for you that you were able to manage a crawling one -- I've never been successful doing that!


So how do you get out of the water in those conditions?

I cannot imagine how somebody can crawl out like that wearing doubles...Is it possible?

I think we got really lucky that the weather did not got worse during this one hour-long dive...I am still wondering if we did do the right thing...I guess I had a inexplicable feeling that we would be alright...

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Tubesnout23
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Re: Swinging at Rosario Beach

Post by Tubesnout23 » Tue May 04, 2010 7:06 am

Alexitt wrote:That entry and exit sounds like my Sat. night at Muk T-dock shrimping...
Vis was awful till we got below 30'
Rough stuff 2-3' waves in the dark 10pm ...:nervous:


Glad to read that it worked out.

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LCF
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Re: Swinging at Rosario Beach

Post by LCF » Tue May 04, 2010 8:26 am

I think it's possible to crawl out wearing doubles. The times I've tried it, I was in a single tank, and still got rolled. Surf exits just baffle me -- there doesn't seem to be any successful way for me to do them.
"Sometimes, when your world is going sideways, the second best thing to everything working out right, is knowing you are loved..." ljjames

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Alexitt
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Re: Swinging at Rosario Beach

Post by Alexitt » Wed May 05, 2010 7:11 pm

Tubesnout23 wrote:
Alexitt wrote:That entry and exit sounds like my Sat. night at Muk T-dock shrimping...
Vis was awful till we got below 30'
Rough stuff 2-3' waves in the dark 10pm ...:nervous:


Glad to read that it worked out.


It was interesting trying to keep my footing in the dark with the waves trying to beat the stuffing out of me...
but the shrimping was good and it was a good dive... I just went along as a spotter and to see how it was done... Plus it
was my first intentional night dive and one of my deepest so far 80'... All in all a very good time although I think for the next night dive I'll shoot for a bit less surfing action...
-Alex-

"so in the interest of advising something...let's see..."the early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese!" -Eliseaboo



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ljjames
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Re: Swinging at Rosario Beach

Post by ljjames » Wed May 05, 2010 9:34 pm

timing is everything with surf exits. crawling out with dubs is not ideal (at least not for me) as it's much easier to get face planted. Best bet is to inflate your bcd and let the waves for the most part carry you up as high as possible, use your scooter as as cane if you must, get your legs ready like the road runner (okay, or more like the giant monster robot in the monster movies) and hope for the best... if all else fails, hope you have a big strong buddy to help steady you (or drag your carcass) on the way out ;)

with a single, crawls are actually kind of fun...

oh ya, and being strong is good... listen to Ken Kopp and 'dette about their surf exits... seems like it's part finesse, part brute strength, part experience and part balls ;)
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Re: Swinging at Rosario Beach

Post by gcbryan » Mon May 10, 2010 3:11 am

The worst is that combination with a steep sandy bottom. As the water washes out, your foot goes down into the sand almost like quicksand just as you're trying to climb up with the water at your heals and then of course it comes back in and tries to knock you down!

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