With very flat swell model and gray skies we were hoping for stellar N.Monastary conditions, but they weren't quite as excellent as we expected.
While searching for a minor leak in my drysuit before heading down, I managed to tear my neck seal. Arg, that has got to be the worst feeling in the world. After swinging by my house to pick up my backup suit, we got a late start out of Bay area and by the time we got to the beach the surf was pounding a little bit. South side was quieter and we hemmed and hawed about which side to do. The water looked a little green and the tide was favorable so we decided to tough it out by timing the sets carefully because we figured the depth offered by North side would lead to better vis. Turned out to be a reasonable plan, since the vis did open up fairly nicely below 50' and the waves quieted down a tiny bit during our dive so we had an uneventful exit.
Diving as 2 teams, Mike and Kirk on singles, John & I on doubles we swam along the edge of kelp line and dropped parallel with the wash rock. Stayed together for one circuit along the deep shelf at 80-100' most of the time. John and I said farewell and headed back for another run. This time a large fat grey harbour seal kept us company on & off for the rest of the dive. At one point he put on quite a show snapping and munching a large fish right in front of us. Several large nudi's, some decorator crabs, and other usual suspects.
Mike's previous experience at N.Monastary had been in the kelp shallows and he wasn't aware of the deep ledge at all, so the tranquility of the deep section was a new experience for him. "Huh, its so much easier to take pictures when the vis is good and things aren't moving around!" Ah, the joys of Monastary night diving! Speaking of which, here are some most excellent shots from his Canon S50.
Have a good weekend, all!