Warm rinse water sloshed in the jug as my car hugged a sharp turn on California’s Pacific Coast Highway. I looked left at the mighty Pacific Ocean, the cliffs tumbling to the sea dotted by rugged pinnacles, stretching farther up the coast than the jam band solo currently playing out of the car speakers. Deep blue, favorable conditions all week, minimal swell, no-wind forecast—only unpredictable visibility could affect the diving today.
The parking lot was empty as we unloaded and set up our gear on a downed redwood tree trunk. Today would be a wetsuit dive, since my dive buddy and I would be doing a lot of swimming. The cool steel 117 (15L) tanks were filled to the max. Ziiiiiip.