Sunday, October 9, 2005

Getting Crazy at Keystone

Old Keystone Pier
Originally uploaded by Pixel Letch.
I lead the first of what I hope will be ongoing club photo dives at Keystone Ferry Jetty on Whidbey Island today.

We had 16 or so divers show up and probably 10 cameras or so! I had suspected that there were a lot of people that had cameras, but weren't using them. Keystone is a great photo site with lots of current and life.

Unfortunately when we got there there was another huge class already there from Silent World, like 15 cars full. OMG! And the calm, partially sunny, day that was promised didn't materialize. It was cold, cloudy and very windy, kicking up a 2' foot or so chop. This is a fairly steep round rock beach, so the chop can be a little treacherous.

Several of us decided to dive the old pier that is just to the south of the jetty and avoid the students. Others went on the jetty and said the most prevalent marine life they saw was other divers. But most all of us had a good dive.

A late arriving group decided to do a drift dive from the pier to the jetty. This is quite doable, but you must stay shallow like 30', or you will get shot right past the jetty and into the state ferry lane, not a good idea. Very unfortunately they did exactly that - went to 55' around the jetty, had the ferry go right over them in 40' of water, then swim back around the end. I climbed out on the rocks to assist one diver who decided to climb out. One of the divers was very upset, scared, and it took a while to talk to her and make her feel better. So I only did one dive.

But the dive was excellent, except for the surge and strong current in 13-22' of water! Very clear viz, had me trying some close focus/wide angle shots, a first for me with the Ike/Fuji F810 system, as we don't get these conditions often. While the subject matter could be more spectacular, I was quite pleased with the shots technically and the stock lens on the F810.

My thanks to all who came and particularly Jim McGauhey who brought his rolling RV party wagon and saved us from the cold winds! It was also nice to meet several new divers in the club and dive with them. And a personal thanks to big Carl Harrington, my dive buddy and fin man extrodinare!