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2/13/2011 19SUR aboard Escapade by Alberto Nava -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Joakim Linde, Jim Capwell
Visibility: 40' Time:11:00 AM
Temp: 50F Surge:  
Max Depth: 155FSW Avg Depth:  
Bottom Time:   Total Time:  
Bottom Gases: 18/45Deco Gases:EAN50,O2
Backgas Config: Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
 
Yesterday we were really lucky with the weather for a Feb BAUE tech charter. For the first dive we dove SUR 19 part of the Big Sur Banks. Visibility at the bottom was very good, at least 50ft, but towards the top of the pinnacle is was a bit
dark. We enjoyed looking at the purple/pink hydro-corals and found large school of rock fish and olive swimming around the pinnacle. We also located about 6 juv Yellow Eye rockfish :-) I'm again surprise of the lack of large red fish at this site :-(. There used to be severals adults Yellow Eye and tons of Vermillion of large size

For the second dive we enjoyed a nice loop around Lobos Rocks and visiting with the sea-lions with the movement of the swells.
At some point we had 4 seals lions swimming with us inside a large cloud of white water. I'm almost sure they were asking themselves what are these divers doing here ;-) This is probably my favorite dive site on the coast.

Here is a link for images of the dive.

Amazing condition for a Feb dive!


2/5/2011 McAbee aboard Escapade by Alberto Nava -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Susan Bird, Alberto Nava
Visibility: 20' Time:6:00 PM
Temp: 50F Surge: 3'
Max Depth: 50FSW Avg Depth:  
Bottom Time: 1:15 Total Time: 1:16
Bottom Gases: EAN32Deco Gases:
Backgas Config: Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
 
Saturday evening found 15 BAUE members celebrating the Chinese New Year with a night dive in Monterey Bay. It has been several years since we've done a night dive from the boat, and it was way too long.

We had two groups: Rob, Allison, Micheal, Clinton, Kathy, Kevin, Gary, MarkL, Sue and Beto, were on the boat, and Dionna, Ken, Fofo, Ben, and Masao were at the break-water.

The boat group had a fun and relax time at McAbee Pinnacle. We found tons of crabs of all forms and shapes, some large octopi moving on the rocks and sand, one nice sail-fin sculpin and many other invertebrates. After about 75min of fun we all surfaced with big smile on our faces. I think we have all forgotten how cool it was to night dive in Monterey.

The shore diving group high-light was a bat ray on the sand, and several small octopi.

We all meet at Gianni's for a nice dinner!

Here is a link of images of the night dive.

Here are some images from the event.



Another fun BAUE event.
2/5/2011 Breakwater by Dionna House -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Masao Yoshimura, Dionna House
Visibility: 5' - 25' Time:5:30 PM
Temp: 50F - 52F Surge: 2'
Max Depth: 55FSW Avg Depth: 36FSW
Bottom Time:   Total Time:  
Bottom Gases: EAN32Deco Gases:
Backgas Config: Double LP80Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
 
It was a pleasure to co-organize a BAUE invitational dive with Ben Villao. If you ever need a site briefing, talk to Ben. Some folks decided to go on a boat, others got enjoyment out of night diving at the Breakwater. People that were present were, Fofo Gonzalez, Ken Yuan, Masao Yoshimura, Ben Villao. After taking pictures, joking around and laughing, we planned our dive.

We swam out to the Metridium Fields via the big pipe. For a short time the visibility dropped, then got better as we got deeper. The metridiums were all out and feeding. we saw the usual suspects. Once time to turn the dive and head home, Masao and I went south east and Ben and the others went back via the pipe. There was talk of seeing a big bat ray just next to the pipe. The wing span was the length of Ben's arms spread out for a big hug. ;-) 8-)

Masao and I saw two pretty good size octopi, big schools of tubesnouts, and a bait ball. The most unusual finding was a huge shrimp, actually looked almost like a lobster, that burrowed into the sand at 40ish(ft) There were little worms that were darting around in mid-water. We did see a blanket out in 35ft of water near the middle reef area. Wondering how it got there? Perhaps someone in a wetsuit wanted to stay warm underwater? Hopefully, there will be divers willing to pull the blanket out from the bottom someday. It always amazes me how different a night dive can be at the breakwater. Everyone came up with smiles on their faces and hungry for pizza at Gianni's

Thanks to Fofo, Ken, Ben and Masao for a fun experience.

Dionna
2/4/2011 Dos Gatos aboard Escapade by Alberto Nava -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Susan Bird, Alberto Nava
Visibility: 100' Time:11:00 AM
Temp: 53F Surge: 3'
Max Depth: 209FSW Avg Depth:  
Bottom Time: 0:40 Total Time: 1:20
Bottom Gases: 18/45Deco Gases:50/25,O2
Backgas Config: Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
 
What better way to celebrate the Chinese New Year than going out for a dive with friends. We met at the harbor at about 9am (very civilized boarding time) chatted for a while and then headed for Yankee Point. We had Jim and Joe, Kitty major and minor (Allison/Rob), and Sue and myself. The boat was handled by Jared who just got back from Antarctica, and said the water here is warm!!!, with Luke and Dave deck handling.

The goal of the dive was to find a GPO, and/or a Rabbit to match the celebration of the day, while doing a nice relaxed traverse from the Volcano to Dos Gatos.

We encountered some very strong current on the descent, and it took awhile for all the teams to get organized and make it to the base of Volcano Pinnacle, at about 190ft. After looking at some 'false crinoids' (AKA: brittle stars) at the base of the structure, we gathered the team together and headed around the main pinnacle.

Vis was close to 100ft and the walls were covered with invertebrates of all kinds. We scootered through a small canyon and then up the wall and landed amongst a massive school of juvenile (2-3" long) orange colored rock-fish. They were everywhere. The only thing I remember similar to this is diving in Fiji with all the small fishes swarming around you. Really cool! Jim said these fish were hitting his face and going inside his scooter prop.

We continued towards the deep Nixies and encountered even stronger current so we decided to head back to the main structure and look for shallower water. We found a nice valley with the base at 150ft and the top at about 90ft. We took turns going with and against the current. At some point I looked at Susan and she's drift-diving and saying look at me, with a big smile on her face. We found a large patch of lingcod eggs, a heart crab, and a school of blue rock-fish.

To end the dive we circumnavigated Dos Gatos for about another 10min and as we made it to the shallow area we finally found the Rabbit. The peak of the wall has two small spikes which look like Rabbit ears. Mission accomplished. Happy Year of the Rabbit!

After about 40min of total fun we called the dive, deployed SMBs and headed north with the swift current.

Here is a little map of the dive


Happy Chinese New Year to all!
1/30/2011 Hopkin's Deep Reef aboard Escapade by Kenn Hwang -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Clinton Bauder, Kathy Dicker
Visibility: 40' - 40' Time:9:00 AM
Temp: 53F - 53F Surge: 5'
Max Depth: 85FSW Avg Depth: 58FSW
Bottom Time: 0:50 Total Time: 1:00
Bottom Gases: EAN32Deco Gases:
Backgas Config: Double LP80Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
 
Despite a light turnout for the charter, Jim was kind enough to run the rec boat for the few hardcore divers willing and able to chance the monster swell forecasts. The forecasts apparently turned into actual 14ft swells day-of, so we (along with every other Monterey dive boat) played it safe and stayed in the bay.

Dive 1 was at Hopkins Deep, where Clinton, Kathy and I descended into clear, blue waters at 40+ft visibility!We could easily see fields of metridium 40ft below us as we followed the anchor line. Not a huge amount of marine life today, but we saw plenty of rockfish hidden in crevices and along the protected faces of boulders. I got a bit too close to a small lingcod, which swam away reluctantly, and found a treefish hiding in a small crack in the rock. Cormorants were also present, a few diving down past us and pecking at whatever they peck at in the sand. At one point, Gary and Suzanne swam over, motioning that they had found an octopus "back over there." We were just about out of dive time though, and ascended up the line uneventfully.

There was a major uptick in swell height predicted for the afternoon, and between anchoring and finishing our SI near Shale Island, a huge brown surface slick had overtaken the boat (by hundreds of yards). Figuring it was a surface layer, Clinton and I volunteered to be test divers to check out the viz (we actually first attached my camera to a spool and lowered it to the bottom to see if the viz cleared up, but it was swinging around wildly and we couldn't see anything other than green on the footage). It was indeed an opaque surface layer about five feet thick, opening into clear blue water all the way down, at which point it again became an impenetrable sludge (an ore cookie dive, I thought). Plus, the surge was up significantly, pushing us 10-15ft in one direction and then the next. We puttered around for 20 minutes trying to get some macro shots, at which point I got picked up by the surge and deposited over 15ft away (and 3x the range of max visibility) from Clinton. I couldn't see him, he couldn't see me, but we were both on the shale ledge so we kept looking one direction, and then the other, until the surge swept one of us to the other, at which point we thumbed the dive. In 3-5ft viz, Clinton led us straight back to the anchor, like a boss, and we ascended back up and through the surface layer.

All in all, a great day defying the forecasts, and the first dive more than made it worth the drive down!

Video: Hopkins Deep and Shale Ledge
1/29/2011 Breakwater by Kathy Dicker -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Kathy Dicker, Fofo Gonzalez
Visibility: 25' - 40' Time:12:00 AM
Temp: 53F Surge:  
Max Depth: 49FSW Avg Depth: 38FSW
Bottom Time: 1:51 Total Time: 0:01
Bottom Gases: EAN32Deco Gases:
Backgas Config: Double Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
 
Fofo and I planned to explore some of the outer Metridium fields at BW last Saturday. We could still clearly see the bottom at 15ft depth, so expected a great dive.

Turned into a delightful kick out the pipe to incredible vis. My conservative estimate is 40ft?, but it could have easily been more.

It was so extraordinary, that I felt compelled to share. So at the risk of embarrassing myself, I spliced together some footage from my new little camera.

Please excuse the occasional image movement; itís only my third time ever diving with a camera ;-).


Here's a little video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bhT67sH9ofg

1/22/2011 K2 aboard Escapade by Alberto Nava -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Susan Bird, Gid Liew, Alberto Nava
Visibility: 20' - 80' Time:12:00 AM
Temp:   Surge: 17'
Max Depth: 202FSW Avg Depth:  
Bottom Time: 0:40 Total Time: 1:30
Bottom Gases: 18/55Deco Gases:EAN50,50/25
Backgas Config: Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
 
Thursday night we picked up GUE instructor Gideon Liew in SFO and drove him down to Monterey. He's teching a T2 class on Saturday with Matt, John and Jim as the students and with Susan shooting video, and later on he's working with Susan on her IE and with me on my Fundies renewal.

So before embarking on a very long teaching session we wanted to go out and have a fun dive together. Nothing better to bond GUE instructors than a fly-by scooter dive at K2.

We had booked Capt Phil several weeks ago, but we were not sure if the date was still in place. We double checked and he gave us the thumbs-up for our departure. The weather had calmed down a little bit during the week and the forecast was for 3-6ft swell, which is quite OK but the period was 17 seconds which makes for a lot of water moving at once.

While driving south along the coast we marveled at the topside scenery as massive walls of water smashed headlong into the rocks with spectacular force. The sun created golden-white reflections on the water, and Gideon was the first to spot a trio of gray whales swimming parallel to our boat.

After setting up the down-line on our site, we descended and were welcomed by very clear water. As we got to the top of the pinnacle I suddenly saw this very large wolf-eel, and just as I was about to signal by team mates I realized it was actually the steel-gray anchor doing an awesome impersonation of an eel .... ohh well... I'm glad I didn't signal Gid ;-)

We headed NW on the East Wall of K2 and reached the tip at about 200ft. This area has a lot of canyons and tunnels which funneled the 17 seconds swells making for a huge amount of water movement. The surge effortlessly stirred up the sand at 200+ feet!

Any time we stopped to inspect an attraction on the pinnacle, we were thrown back and forth by the mountainous flow of water. There wasn't much we could do to counter-act its effect, not even with a scooter (ohh well maybe a magnus). It was like being attached to the heavy end of a pendulum... we just hung there and let the water move us around as we tried to watch some of the marine life. We managed to find a basket-star and a six-spotted gunnel but you could only see them for a few seconds a time.

Throughout the dive, we noticed that bits & pieces of the pinnacle had been torn off by the surge. It looked like the pinnacle was being power-washed! As all of this was happening I had the feeling of how insignificant our power was in comparison to the ocean.

After 20min at the base we moved up to 150ft and hung out there while looking at the terrain and the marine life for another 20min. We spent the deco looking for southbound whales, to no avail.

We had a great dive,and topped it off with lunch buffet at Sam's.

Here we go on another teaching adventure!

Cherers, Beto (with a little help from Susan)







1/16/2011 Lunaticos Annex aboard Escapade by Ben Villao -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Ted Pimentel, Ben Villao, Robert Lee
Visibility: 70' - 80' Time:10:08 AM
Temp: 50F Surge:  
Max Depth: 150FSW Avg Depth:  
Bottom Time:   Total Time:  
Bottom Gases: 21/35Deco Gases:EAN50
Backgas Config: Double HP100Deco Tanks:AL40
Deco Profile:
 
First boat dive after Tech 1...

Very foggy on the drive down and getting a Tech dive in was questionable due to the fog. We cast off anyway and motored down the coast... We were expecting to do a normal rec dive since the fog would have prevented a live boat but we were pleasantly surprised when it cleared up and Jim brought us to Lunaticos.

The site is a series of pinnacles... topping out at 100/90 with the sand around 200. We dropped in with a bit of a kick to the ball.... caught our breaths and then hit it. shot line was exactly where Capt Jim said it would be in between the 2 large peaks. After dropping for 4 mins we followed to the West wall and kicked down to 150. The vis was amazing. You could see this huge canyon and both peaks and another peak toward the end. Details were clear even though some of the structure was around 200 ft deep... the stunning geography of it all was awesome to behold. Rob showed us some boot sponges and also found a deep swim thru that might be worth revisiting next time around. I was very happy kicking thru the canyon and hanging there admiring how huge these pinacles were.

It was great to be able to finally go and do the dives we have dreamed of doing... Tech 1 class definitely paid off with some awesome dives with a solid team.
1/15/2011 Dos Gatos aboard Escapade by Alberto Nava -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Joakim Linde, Clinton Bauder, Alberto Nava
Visibility: 80' Time:10:00 AM
Temp:   Surge: 2'
Max Depth: 196FSW Avg Depth:  
Bottom Time: 0:35 Total Time: 1:20
Bottom Gases: 18/45Deco Gases:EAN50,50/25
Backgas Config: Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
 
Well it looks like I was the only one that had never dove the Nixies. These are a series of pinnacles located south of Flintstones. The pinnacles are spread in a 300x300ft area. Depending on who you ask there are named: Volcane, Nixies, Dos Gatos, etc. All the same name or different pinnacles with different names.

Clinton, Joakim and myself got in the water at about 10am, and Joakim took us for a nice dive. We first went counter-clock wise on around the Nixies, while looking at the terrain. We had great vis (80ft) and Clinton located a nice rat fish. We swam th some nice canyons full of gorgonias, and we found some very large nudies. After about 20min at the based we moved up for another 15 min at the shallower area (150 range). We met with the kitties, did some hand-shaken and went up the shallow peak in the 110fr range. We tried to jump toward Dos Gatos but we over shoot it so we ended ascending at the 110ft peak.

Great dive!

1/7/2011 Flintstones aboard Escapade by Alberto Nava -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Susan Bird, Alberto Nava
Visibility: 40' Time:12:00 AM
Temp: 53F Surge:  
Max Depth: 192FSW Avg Depth:  
Bottom Time: 0:56 Total Time: 1:30
Bottom Gases: Deco Gases:EAN50,O2
Backgas Config: Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
 
Today we were lucky to have two Capts on board of the Escapade. Jim had his captain's hat on as always, and 'Capt in Training' Luke was at the helm for most of the trip. Luke is building experience on the Escapade so he can be the designated mid-week Capt. Early in the morning the wind was not too strong but the swells were already11ft :-) outside of the bay.

As we motored out, the bay was unusually calm and was carpeted with a massive pod of Risso dolphins lazily making their way towards the harbor. They were very close to shore and we saw many mom & baby pairs.

Once we rounded the corner, it was a different story. Due to the large swell we decided for an off-shore pinnacle. We went over Mt C. and continued all the way to Flintstones, which is always one of my favorite dives.

We set the float and headed down towards the bottom while following the large North-South canyon that divides the structure. Vis was 40ft but a little milky and the swells were noticeable all the way to 190ft. We checked out a portion of the canyon on the south and then headed for the parallel reef west of the main structure. There were tons of gorgonias and some large red rock-fish. After about 20min we moved back to the main structure and located a large school of blue rockfish and several small baby yellow-eyes.

We finished the dive by circling the shallow part of Flintstones while sharing the area with hundreds of rock-fish of various sizes. We were being pulled up and down with the swells like a couple of rag dolls. At one point I saw about 9ft difference in my computer in no more than 3 seconds. The weird thing was that I didn't move too far from my visual reference on the reef... so a huge swell must have been rolling overhead.

After 56 min of fun we deployed SMB and drifted the deco while looking for grey whales. No luck this time, but Jim & Luke said there were several whales that passed within 50 ft of us.

By the time we surfaced the weather had picked up quite a lot and it was tricky to get back on the boat. Large swells and confused seas... a bad combination.

On the way back we saw several grey whales and we met the large school of Risso Dolphins as they were heading back south & out of the bay. We spent a few minutes with them as they swam super close to the boat.

All in all a great diving day on the Escapade!


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