Checking up on my bee video from yesterday and came across this related little piece. I’m nottttt to sure how I feel about this. This could be crossing the line.
this, of course, led me to another related video
soooo, just, weird.
IN OTHER NEWS:
Kelp forest tank dive FOR THE WIN!!!!
This picture isn’t actually of us, I just got it off of google. WE looked waaaaay better hahaha. Better bouyancy control and overall sex appeal fsho. It was SO cool though! Besides the general novelty of actually diving in the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s famous kelp forest exhibit… it was just a really amazing dive! PERFECt visibility. NO current or surge. And TONS of diversity and quantity of fish and inverts and algae!
But the overall dive atmosphere was kind of strange. We put on all of our gear outside the aquarium, got let in through some sketchy back gate, shuffled with all our weight and tanks on into this crazy shipping elevator, told to BE QUIETTTTT because there were sea otters in rehab around, and then quickly divided into teams of 4 and plopped into the water with a stern “DON’T TOUCH ANYTHING OR BREAK ANYTHING. Hit ANYTHING with your tank (ESPECIALLY) the glass and we will SHOOT YOU. DON’T GET TANGLED IN THE KELP. 15 minutes and out GO!”
So we plop into the tank, drop down soooo slowly to not hurt anything, do a few slow laps around, ID the fish and do a count, make faces in the webcam, anddddd times up! Ascend pack up and get out! And don’t forget the otters are around so BE QUIET! hahahahahaha sooo weird! BUT STILL AWESOME.
It was so cool to be able to see through the glass from the OPPOSITE SIDE! You could float up and down between two stories effortlessly and soar around next to workers walking around. It really was like flying. So peaceful and beautiful and strange.
My dad and Karen of ALL people managed to figure out their computer to actually be able to see me make faces at them on the webcam! I thought for sure they were going to have computer problems, and that they’d miss it or something because of it, and I also thought that mom and Britt would be the most excited to see it but….. well I was wrong on all fronts! Dad and Karen saw the whoooleee thing and were waiting with it on full screen for 15 minutes before we ever got in the water while my mom… completely forgot. Nice.
I got a text from dad saying that it worked out and he saw me, so I got all excited and texted my mom saying “Didja see? Didja see? Dad and Karen saw me!” And hours later I got a voice message that was like “See what? I have no idea what you’re referring to.” Well… oh well I guess. :/
The rest of the day was spent at Hopkins Marine Station, which is right next to the Aquarium. The place is owned by Stanford and is only usable by “scientific purposes” so it was a real privilege that we were able to dive there and practice kelp swaths and fish transects.
Again, this is just a picture from google haha. The ocean was NOT that calm hahahahaha I don’t think I have EVER in my LIFE seen the ocean so calm.
The first dive was really fun! We swam out to this buoy offshore and dropped down. I had a little trouble with my sinuses but I just kind of… went with it hahaha. Patrick and I came up with really good data and then swam in for lunch.
The second dive, however, definitely did notttt work out so well. Usually, if I drop down and can get to about 20 feet, I can slowly ease my way down from there and be okay with ears and whatnot. Dropping down at the buoy for the fish transects, however, I seriously could NOT get below 7 feet. Sure, I could clear my ears, but then alll that pressure I had just relieved would refocus itself on a tiny tiny pinpoint just above my left eye.
It was THE most.
e v e r.
Patrick tried twice with me to get down to depth, but haha seriously every time I went like an INCH lower and the pain intensified, I seriously went CROSSEYED!!!! hahahahahaha Patrick must have been having a good laugh. So, called my little dive.
SOOOO back to the surface. Just Patrick and me and fifty thousand harbor seals and sea lions. We deduced that it would be better for us to just wait there until Steve or Dave figured out we were missing and come up to look for us, than to swim in and have them realize we were gone and look for us… with no one to be found. So we wait… and wait… Patrick starts freestylin a little bit…. we start singing flight of the conchords, and thennnn WHOooo decides to come scare the crap out of us but THE hugest, fattest male sea lion I have EVER SEEENNNN!!!!
I saw him swimming in from a long ways off, a huge pale mass just below the surface, swimming STRAIGHT FOR US. Patrick and I turned around, and basically started screaming. The sea lion popped its gigantic head out to make sure he was still on course, and then back into the water again… We realized that the two of us together don’t even shake a stick at the size of that daddy. Seriously it was SO SCARY I was like “HOLD ME PATRICK AHHHH!!!!!” and we huddled close together next to the bouy and just started yelling because he was just SOOOO BIG I CANNOT STRESS THE SIZE ENOUGH!!! The sea lion came right to us and swam riggghhhtttt next to us before diving down and disappearing….
….into a cloud of DAVES BUBBLES AS HE SURFACES AT THE EXACT RIGHT MOMENT TO SAVE THE DAY!!!!!
it was soooo epic. The timing and placement was so perfect it seriously could have been that the sea lion morphed into Dave and gave off a mysterious cloud of bubbles in the process.
Anyways, we talked our situation over with Dave for a minute and he was just like, “Allllrighty then. Patrick, let’s go do some fish transects. Katie, you stay here at the bouy and wait for a group to come back.”
“Yeah you won’t have to wait too long, and I can’t have you swim in alone, it’s the rules.”
“Umm. So you want me to float out here in the ocean alone for the whole dive?!”
“Yep. Can I borrow your slate?”
“Uhh yeah butttt”
And Patrick and Dave disappeared below the surface of the water, and all was silent in the ocean.
I. Almost. Cried.
So, yah, here I was, chillin on the surface of 30-40 feet of murkyish ocean with a bunch of baby seals and seal lions around. I definitely went into mental survival mode. I just got really quiet. Really tense. Breathed slowly but deeply. Made little movements. Kept a lookout on all sides–especially below. The first thing I thought was sharks, and the thing I ALWAYS kept thinking about was sharks. I also kept a lookout for the seals and sea lions who kept making little passes by me. They are know for gnawing on your hoses and fins and stuff, which for some reason doesn’t bother me when I’m actually 30 feet below, ONLY right then. haha. I also thought about, wow, this must be kind of what it feels like for someone who goes overboard and sees the boat drifting away.
It was really weird. I was SO scared, but then I just came to this very very grim acceptance of my situation.
In reality, that was probably the most education experience of the whole day in itself. Helped me kind of get over lonely, eerie, solitary open water situations… haha because maybe the reason I do okay at lifeguarding is I get out there to the person and grab them and then it’s like “LETS GET THE FUCK OUTTA HEEREEE!!!”
Anyways, I floated for a solid 20-25 minutes before the first group surfaced, and then I was able to swim in with them.
ANYYHOOOO no one probably read this far because I typed so much today but schwateva! Goodnight!