It’s official: last night, I did my 100th dive at the T-dock in Mukilteo. This is not a particularly overwhelming accomplishment, considering the fact that it took me a little less than ten years to accrue this much experience. A traumatic dive during my advanced open water course in the Florida Keys turned me off to the sport for many years (perhaps I will blog about this at a later date). In addition, paddling around in the carp-infested mud pits of Michigan and Ohio is completely underwhelming, and Great Lakes boat charters tend to be expensive, so I didn’t bother diving very often while I was living in Ann Arbor. However, there are definitely more opportunities for quality shore diving in Puget Sound, and I’ve been taking full advantage of it over the past year or so. The extra practice is paying off – I consider myself a much stronger diver than I was a year ago, and I am now quite comfortable going out in less than optimal environmental conditions.
I met up with three fellow Marker Buoys near the Mukilteo ferry terminal at dusk and proceeded to suit up in the rain. Things were pretty churned up in the 0-25′ depth interval, with 3-4′ of visibility at best. My buddy and I ended up getting separated from the other two people in our group at the beginning of the dive because of this, so we decided to go ahead and explore on our own. We descended to about 65′ and gradually zigzagged our way up the slope. Not a lot was out last night – there were the usual Dungeness and hermit crabs scampering about, but not much in the way of fish. I spotted a few shiner perch and tubesnouts in the shallows, but the deeper areas were pretty desolate. We only stayed down for around 30 minutes due to the fact that my buddy was diving in a wetsuit and was beginning to get cold.
Overall, it was not the epic milestone dive that I was hoping for, but it was another chance to get out and practice. I suppose I will have to start planning for a 200th dive somewhere in the Indo-Pacific or Costa Rica. Or perhaps the Galapagos? Considering how long it took me to gain this much experience, I will probably have plenty of time to plan and save up for my next grand adventure.