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7/5/2004 Rubicon Wall by Delia Milliron -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Joe Talavera, Delia Milliron
Visibility: 20' - 40' Time:12:00 AM
Temp: 44F - 60F Surge:  
Scooter: Gavin Long Burn Time:  
Max Depth:   Avg Depth: 150FSW
Bottom Time:   Total Time: 1:30
Bottom Gases: 21/35Deco Gases:EAN50
Backgas Config: Double LP80Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
 
Joe and I got out and did a little diving this weekend, too. On Monday, we headed up to Tahoe to DL Bliss state park to rinse our gear. (No, really, I hadn't rinsed my gear since Wednesday's ocean dive!) I had never been to Rubicon and was looking forward to some cool rock formations, having seen Joe's video of the site. I wasn't disappointed! We put in at the beach and scootered for 20 minutes or so, playing around and speed matching as we went, across the sand in 10-40 feet of water. Then, we hit the drop off. Wow. We bombed down the sheer rock wall, pausing to check buoyancy periodically. Before I could blink we were at our planned depth - around 150 feet.

We cruised the wall, ducking around pinnacles, cruising by massive cracks. It was hard to really get a sense of scale - I felt as small as the little crawdads tumbling down the rocks. At one point we saw a large dinghy on a ledge below us (maybe at 170-180 ft). It was pretty ripped up, making me wonder what happened to it. We were diving stages to save enough backgas for a second dive, so we switched to back gas as our stage gas ran low. It was pretty wild stage switching on a sheer cliff with blue all around compared to the well-contained cave passages we'd been stage diving in recently. We continued along around 150 ft in the same direction until we hit our planned bottom time (25 min), then ascended up the wall for our deep stops and our gas switch at 70 ft. We switched and started cruising back along the wall as we deco'd. Ten minutes into the deco we had passed through enough thermoclines to warm me up and I was really digging the brightly lit boulder field. There were several schools of fish who parted for our scooters as we slowly ascended, all the while traveling back along the wall. The timing worked well to finish our deco about when we reached the end of the wall and we finished ascending in the sand flats next to an anchored boat (where we wouldn't get run over).

This was a cool dive at every depth. Unfortunately, the surface swim is long, so it is most fun to scooter or get a kyack ride out there . We decided to skip the second dive and beat traffic back over the pass, but it was a completely worth while day!