The day was not very «diving». Clouds hang low over the city. Cold wind. Wave. And the temperature is closer to 0 on Celsius. But it would be different underwater.
We met at parking lot near the «rocket» of my buddy Dmitriy Rudas at 10 o'clock. We loaded the equipment and cameras, moored and left. The march to far islands was unequivocally cut off because of the big wave. We decided to go to the Amur Bay — sea is calmer there. We pass the «Russian bridge». The submarine breaks out of the usual landscape — the military begins its maneuvers before 9 May (WW2 victory anivesary day). The wave in the Golden Horn bay forced the boat to jump, but in the Amour bay waves were much more lower . A powerful engine carries the boat past the Russian Island, through the Stark Strait. We was discussing the upcoming dives. After a little discussion, the choice fell on island Lavrov,a beautiful uninhabited island, named after admiral Lavrov.
We put the drysuits on, grabbed a scuba and cameras and fell overboard at the count of «three». I set the azimuth on the compass and fall to the bottom. The depth is 17 meters. Sealife were «boiling» at the border of sand and stone. Water warmed to 4 degrees. Hermit crabs rush through the bottom. The ophiura crawl between the actinias, the sea snails were hurrying somewhere. The wave breaks to the bottom, I have to cling to the rocks to catch at least a little static. Today, field trials of my new underwater equipment (arm, torches). With two large float arms, the camera became not only lighter, but, despite the addition of two heavy underwater lights, it got almost neutral buoyancy. I just hang it in front of me and it stays still. I switch the camera to video mode, and turned on the new headlights. Shrimps curiously study me, looking out of the holes. The huge worm cerebratulus signatus demonstratively creeps along the boulder. In the water, i noticed the Limacina, but, unfortunately, in such conditions it is almost impossible to capture an animal 3-4 mm in size. Immediately, I notice a floating skleton shrimp. For the first time I discovered that these crustaceans are excellent swimmers. The dive computer beeped a 40 minutes divetime. We moved closer to the island, and noticed the crab sex. Large mollusc creep along the bottom among the ophiuras. While Dima captured another masterpiece video, I was flying over the bottom and looking for new beasts. On the scallop shell I notice a brown shaggy hillock — the nudibranch dendronotus. Already after filming, looking through the images, I noticed that it was not alone there — barely noticeable, the nudibranchs Flabelin Atodon, ate some hydroid in the neighborhood. Divetime 60 minutes, it's time to go up, otherwise I will not have time to warm up to the second dive.
Sea become stormy at the surface and it began to rain. We bask and drink tea in the cozy cabin of the boat. We decided to make second dive in Alekseev Bay on the island of Popova. The bay is the base of Oceanological Studies of the Institute of Oceanology of the Far East Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, therefore tourists are usually chased here. But we are researchers 🙂 We changed tanks and fall into the water. At a depth of 12 meters we are greeted by a sandy-muddy seabed and a hydroid, completely «covered» by the nudibranchs flabellina athodona and it's eggs. I fell to the bottom like a bomb, cause was digging through the settings of the camera. The cloud of silt rised over the bottom. Fortunately, the bay is quiet and the mud fell in a couple of minutes. While Dima was shooting a hydroid with nudibranches, I walked along side by side and found a cute tubularia. Hairy crabs sweep along the bottom. After a photo session of one of them, I moved to shallow water. On the way I found a large, already rotten, Admiralty anchor. At a depth of 7-8 meters, the sandy bottom was changed with a stones. A little further I found the octopus house — a well-groomed hole, with a recently cleaned shells. Unfortunately, the octo was gone. Several sea cucumbers crawled along the rocks. I stopped near one of the stones, a small amphipod sprang from the seaweed and jumped to my glove. Divetime 70 minutes.
The way back took about 30 minutes.vbThere were still wavy in the Golden Horn bay . We went to the gas station. Near the pier there were three «bottom hangmen»- small trawl ships. I noticed the tablet «Free» on one of them. Yes, indeed, the seabed is completely «free» after it's work...
We move to the parking lot, passing the unconstructed pier for the «Mistrals». We moor. The dive day is over!