The two highlights of my week so far right there.

Saturday was a mostly lazy day, with nothing much happening other than a lot of productive football watching. We gave up on the USC-Ohio St game at half-time and headed to James and Cara’s place for the night, where much grilling and Xboxing was done by all.

Sunday, we went diving, and it was easily one of the top 4 dive days I’ve ever had in Monterey. Flat water, partly sunny, no swell or surge, beautiful visibility. Best of all, we were helping Nate and Shelly with their “supervising certified divers”, the last requirement for their Divemaster candidacy. This means we’ve helped them go from Open Water divers and in the ocean for the first time ever all the way to professional divers. It’s a super cool feeling.

The diving itself was pretty awesome, too. We’d planned to head out to the Metridium Fields (think super large white anemones that look like bunches of cauliflowers), but as we kicked out, we realized we were about 20-30 feet from a mother and baby dolphin, who were splashing and playing and possibly fishing right beside us. There were a lot of schools of fishes, so that may be why they’re in the area, but they’ve been reported at Breakwater beach for about a month now. We just floated in the water for quite awhile, letting them swim around us. Then, instead of heading to the Metridiums, we dropped and headed in the direction of the dolphins, hoping to see them under water.

No such luck, but we still got to play with a friendly harbor seal, and saw a ton of fish and crabs, including one of the biggest ones I’ve ever seen at Breakwater. It looks like the marine protected area restrictions are working out–there’s a lot more life at Breakwater now then I’ve seen in the past. We swam in and around the kelp, enjoying the dappled light and just being underwater, for about 45 minutes.

Our second dive was out along the Breakwater wall. We swam freakishly far out before dropping, and ended up in the 30-40 foot depth range along the wall, where the visibility opened up to probably close to 50 feet, which was pretty amazing. We had another harbor seal come play, and also saw a ton of fish and crabs, lots of nudibranchs–Sea Lemons, Mimics, and San Diego Dorids. A lot of the nudibranchs were pretty big, as in the size of a sub sandwich. It was pretty cool. We saw what we thought might even be a crab eating a nudibranch. Or they were just getting up close and personal. John and I also found a 2.5-foot cabezon (lingcod maybe?). Those suckers are ugly, but damn tasty eating.

All in all, an awesome day, and Nate and Shelly are officially Divemasters–the lowest rank on the Professional totem pole, but easily the hardest rank to earn. This is what John and I are, although we’re working on Assistant Instructor. Good times.

We also learned, upon arriving home, that our white cat, Tubby McFatterson, can hold his bladder for at least a 24 hour period. Poor guy snuck into the bedroom, and then got locked in there while we were gone. This also means that it is definitely the gray cat, Baldy McSkinny (I’ll post pics soon), is the one pooping on the bed when he gets upset with us leaving him alone. Mystery solved.

Then, Monday, Bob arrived! My new computer is shiny and fast and wonderful and I love him. He’s all that I hoped he could be. And best of all, I can check email at work now (or, you know, blog a bit) without worrying about using one of the public computers. That said, it’s been a bit of a crazy week, with lots of stuff to do during the day, but also something diving related every damn night. I’ve headed south (or will head south) all 5 nights this week–twice for meetings, twice to take a class, and once to teach a class.

I only hope something else super good happens–good things come in threes, right? If I could pick, it’d be a successful visit to the reptile house at the SF Zoo on Sunday, but I’m not holding my breathe. We’ll see if the phobia therapy has paid off. Cross your fingers for me, eh?