Monday, August 10, 2009

Great Dive Trip - Long Recovery

Had a great time on the channel islands trip.  My boat dive fears were unfounded, the patch (Transderm SCOP - scopolomine) worked great and I had no trouble with sea sickness.  There were some side effects after the trip though.

I was on the boat around 8pm Saturday and we hung out until bedtime.  The crew were not onboard at the time.  The boat left harbour around 4am I think - I woke up briefly - and headed for the North West end of Santa Cruz island (

Weather has been bad around the islands, with a large swell coming up from the south west, hence, we were destined to stay on the northwest end for the three days.

When I awoke, bleery, on Sunday morning around 8am the crew were still scoping out an appropriate dive site.  That gave me time for a little 'pre-breakfast' before the orientation and the first dive.

We had a schedule of five dives per day on the first two days.  As I hinted, the first dive of theday was before breakfast, but after a snack of bagel, toast, muffin, coffee, etc.  The last dive of the day was a night dive around 9pm, after dinner but before dessert!

In the morning it was generally foggy, so the first dive of the day was usually a little dark.  The third dive on both days was great in my opinion due to better light.  I did the first three dives, skipped the fourth, to rest-up for the night dive.  Night dives were good, the first night dive I didn't dive so well, but the second night dive I really enjoyed.  The shrimp, crill and eel made it.

On the last day we moved from Santa Cruz towards Anacapa island, then back to Ventura.  We had time for three dives on the last day.  I slept in so I entirely missed the first, but I wasn't too bothered.  The first dive was a wreck dive on "The Peacock".  The dive was great, visibility was amazing and the fish variety was good.  This is where I got my best spanish shawl photo.  There was a bit of an issue at the end of the dive.  I got my camera ina tangle with my inflater hose and fish ID chart, got in a bit of a panic, but recovered in time to ensure I made a SAFE accent ... With the exception of the full safety stop and a mere 350psi in my tank.

Second dive of the last day was the best of the trip.  Around the kelp forest at Anacapa.  We were bugged by Garibaldi and Sheephead, spotted lobster and glided through exquisit kelp.

The return to land from Anacapa was about 2 hours.

Once back on dry land that's when my troubles started.  Removing the SCOP patch I soon started with lack of balance and blurred vision.  These lasted from Wednesday until Sunday.  I was exhausted, had trouble sleeping and weird dreams.  10 dives also took a toll on my ears.  Got a ringing in my left ear for a week and ear ache started in both ears about Monday of the following week, which resulted in a doctor visit for antibiotics.