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1/17/2010 Ballbuster aboard Escapade by Mark Lloyd -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Harry Babicka, Mark Lloyd, Dionna House
Visibility: 20' - 30' Time:9:34 AM
Temp: 55F - 57F Surge:  
Scooter: X-scooter Burn Time:  
Max Depth: 146FSW Avg Depth: 78FSW
Bottom Time:   Total Time: 1:39
Bottom Gases: 18/45Deco Gases:EAN50,O2
Backgas Config: HP120Deco Tanks:AL40
Deco Profile:
 
Rob, Allison, Kevin, Susan, Karl, Dionna, Harry, and I, all boarded the Escapade on Sunday to see if we could squeeze in a dive between the storms. The plan was to get out of the bay to Pinnacle Point wall or something in that direction. Everyone was busy getting their gear on, stowing gear, and talking when Jim gave the signal he was leaving. As we were motoring out of the harbor Dionna said, "Where's Harry ?". Oops... Turning the boat around we re-docked and waited a few minutes. Hmmm... no Harry. Maybe he left thinking we left him behind. A few seconds later he appears not even realizing we almost left him behind :-). Now with all our team on board we set off again. The bay was very flat and I was hopeful that we would have great conditions. Alas, that was not to be. Once we rounded the corner out of the bay the waves picked up and the wind was strong. We did a U turn and decided on deep ballbuster. Our plan was to drop on Jim's float and all scooter as one team to Ballbuster from deep ballbuster. No problems dropping in, the teams met at the bottom, spent a bit of time around some deep structures then all scootered off toward Ballbuster as a single fleet. Pretty cool seeing eight scooters with powerful lights sweeping the bottom. We got a bit off track at one point and found ourselves in the sand. Once back on structure again we headed towards Ballbuster but ran into our planned bottom time before we hit it. Everyone deco'd on their own bag and once on the boat we found out that we were only about 50 or so feet away from the main pinnacle. Oh well, fun dive. We docked and some of us grabbed our gear and left while others wanted to do another dive to check on the Octopus at Ballbuster. Not sure how that went.
1/16/2010 E3 aboard Escapade by Clinton Bauder -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Clinton Bauder, Jim Capwell, Joakim Linde
Visibility: 50' Time:10:00 AM
Temp: 56F Surge: 6'
Max Depth: 155FSW Avg Depth: 135FSW
Bottom Time: 0:35 Total Time: 1:20
Bottom Gases: 18/45Deco Gases:EAN50
Backgas Config: Double LP80Deco Tanks:AL80
Deco Profile:
Deep Stops
5,3,3,3,3
17, 6 up.
 
For once I thought I was ahead of the game getting ready for a weekend of diving. I had all my gear including the camera ready to go on Thu PM since I was giving a talk at the Santa Clara Koi Club on Friday and knew I wouldn't have time that night. By Saturday morning though the best laid plans were starting to go awry. First Matt, emailed and said he was sick and couldn't make it. Then John arrived at the dock and realized he didn't have his drysuit! 2 to 0 dive buddies in about 6 hours. Fortunately Jim and Joakim were OK with adding me to their team.

The weather was better than forecast so we started by looking at Naia's wall. Unfortunately there looked to be a ripping current there so we "settled" for E3. Dropping down the vis was nice and blue and there was no current. Sadly only one of my strobes turned on. The batteries are getting old and I think they now self-discharge fairly quickly so my planning ahead backfired.

Arriving on the bottom it was clear it wasn't going to matter much anyway. While visibility was great it was plenty surgy enough to make macro photographer dodgy. I tried anyway and got a few mediocre slug shots before the other strobe died too.

E3 Slug Pictures

Despite the camera troubles we had a very nice dive enjoying a big school of blue rockfish on the pinnacle and sea lions and sea nettles during the uneventful deco. Slightly putting a damper on things was the discovery back on the boat that my trusty UK Remora dive knife had gone missing. Probably has done 1400 dives with me though I think I only used it once or twice in anger (to cut fishing line).

For dive 2 we headed over to Ballbuster to meet the new Giant Pacific Octopus that has apparently moved in there. For some reason we never had the conversation about where the anchor might be if it wasn't exactly on top of the pinnacle. Naturally we found ourselves at 100 feet with no pinnacle in sight. We tried East, South, and then West with no success. Fortunately North was the correct answer and as it happened the pinnacle was only barely out of our visibility from where the anchor was. We quickly found the octopus and introduced ourselves before we ran out of time and headed back.

Lunch followed at Baldemiro's which current evidence suggests was a mistake, though it was delicious.
12/5/2009 Outer Pinnacles aboard Escapade by Robert Lee -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Allison Lee
Visibility:   Time:12:00 AM
Temp:   Surge:  
Max Depth:   Avg Depth: 70FSW
Bottom Time:   Total Time:  
Bottom Gases: EAN32Deco Gases:
Backgas Config: Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
 
A bunch of us wound up on the Escapade on Sat. for a recreational trip. Hopes were high as we rounded the corner and pretty soon we were steaming toward Lobos Rocks. Unfortunately, as we arrived, the long-period swell was pounding the rocks pretty impressively, so we decided to relocate to nearby Soberanes Wall.

This was my first time here, so as we dropped, I did my best to get my bearings in the 5-10' viz. We slowly worked our way around the pinnacle a couple times before heading up. Highlights of the dive were a large (18"?) Treefish, as well as some kind of yellow mollusk that we haven't seen before (almost like a snail/nudibranch hybrid).

For our second dive, we headed back up to Carmel to find some shelter at Outer Pinnacles. We dropped onto a spot that we've been to several times before, so we quickly headed over to my favourite hydrocoral spot for some pictures. Was happy to find that both the scooter and the camera housing stayed water-tight on this outting after some service to both. After that, Allison forced me to go zooming around the area in between tight canyons and cut-throughs :-)

Was great to get back in the local waters. Just a few pictures here.
11/22/2009 K2 aboard Escapade by Alberto Nava -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Susan Bird, Alberto Nava
Visibility: 70' Time:10:30 AM
Temp: 51F Surge: 8'
Max Depth: 178FSW Avg Depth:  
Bottom Time: 0:40 Total Time: 1:40
Bottom Gases: 18/45Deco Gases:EAN50,O2
Backgas Config: Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
 
Inspired by Gary's Epic swimming report we decided to leave the scooters at home and go for a swimming dive at K2. We dropped in at the East end of the wall. We swam for about 20min to the West end and then back to the shallow peak at 70ft :-).

We saw tons of fish at the base: Lingcods, Vermilions, a few tree fish, and a nice friendly Mola that was being cleaned by a cluster of small Sea Perches. This little mola kept swimming close to us to check out what we were doing.

Visibility was spectacular and I had to double check my depth gauge to remember I was in Cal and not in the tropics. The terrain was very nice as we swam along the shear wall during the deep portion of the dive and then to the flat-lands for the shallow portion. We all enjoyed looking at the drop-off near the end of the wall.

We saw several juvenile yellow-eyes hiding in cracks, a large school of rock-fish at the top of the pinnacle, and some good size sheep heads.

We had several Molas visit us during deco, one in particular who was visible for very long periods on 6 of our stops. :-)

It was a very relaxed trip, and while the swells were still quite large the duration was long-- so we had a smooth ride home. As a final treat, a pod of about 20 risso dolphins meandered past on our way back to the harbor.


11/14/2009 Ed's Wall aboard Escapade by Alberto Nava -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Susan Bird, Alberto Nava
Visibility:   Time:10:30 AM
Temp:   Surge:  
Scooter: Gavin Short Burn Time:  
Max Depth: 237FSW Avg Depth:  
Bottom Time: 0:30 Total Time: 1:40
Bottom Gases: 15/55Deco Gases:EAN50,O2
Backgas Config: HP120Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
 
Out again for the Nov BAUE tech charter. This time we went to Ed's Cooper wall. We dropped in at the middle of the wall at about 140ft. From there we headed W to the edge and motored NW for about 10min. We found the nice V shape cayon, where several sponges hang from the walls. From there we headed back SE following the wall from 230ft to about 150ft. There were quite a lot of fish and some very large nudies on the structure. Once at 150ft we headed into the canyon that crosses the wall in half and we spent another 10min having fun and looking at the marine life.

We located the old Wolf eel (named Cooper) at about 120ft and there were tons of blue rock-fish as we moved from 120ft to 80ft where we deployed our SMB.

Visibility was amazing and it was a great dive :-)

Here is a map of the site

http://www.baue.org/lobos_maps/sites/edward coopers-wall/edward-coopers-wall.html

Thanks to MarkL for organizing the trip.



11/14/2009 Rock Garden by Gary Banta -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Nick Radov, Gary Banta
Visibility: 30' - 100' Time:9:00 AM
Temp: 50F Surge:  
Max Depth: 111FSW Avg Depth: 70FSW
Bottom Time:   Total Time: 2:15
Bottom Gases: 30/30Deco Gases:
Backgas Config: Single HP100Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
 
Nick and I did a swimming dive at Pt. Lobos. The primary aim was swim out to Shortcut Reef while further checking out "Rock Garden" on the way. We planned one LONG dive. The ramp looked like a well maintained fish tank with perfect viz and the cove was flat and no wind. YES! Our plan was to swim to the east side of Bird Rock on the surface and descend to get to Rock Garden. After visiting the site head off to Shortcut Reef.

We carried 80cf stages of 30/30 so we had plenty of gas. We swam up out to and up to the east side of Bird Rock and found that we could safely approach within arms length since that side is vertical to the bottom. We descended to 20' and moved a few yards to the north. Underwater the rock has a notch about 10 feet wide that you can swim through. As we approached it through mixed species of kelp, backlit by the sun, a MASSIVE cloud of tube-snout (needle fish) swam toward and past us in the notch. It was jaw dropping. Passing through the notch we descended and located the two vertical blocks of granite that mark the beginning of Rock Garden. Turning back at a third block that I now understood to be the north face of Bird Rock Nick and I look up through the beautiful viz to see a big school of Blue Rockfish above the notch with rock, kelp and surface ripples completing the shot. Too bad it was only the camera of memory. We then investigate the full extent of Rock Garden for about 10 min. The site is a boulder field that broke off of Bird Rocks west face in the pounding seas. Many blocks are over 30 feet. They create a maze that is very intriguing. Some are decorated, other are not.

Moving on we headed to Shortcut Reef (SCR) by following the 70 foot contour west until it intersected the rock bridge to Shortcut. Viz opened up as we came around shortcut. While at 110 feet the 145 foot bottom was completely visible. At the end of SCR we jumped to the Great Pinnacle which was just barely visible well over 100 feet way. We headed south and looped our way back south along Marcos Pinnacle and then east along the wall to the cove.

For the first time on a swimming dive I brought a wet-note sized map enabling us to be certain of our path at all times.

I completed a dive site description of Rock Garden, including a maps that is accessible on the BAUE site:

http://www.baue.org/reports/dive_locations.php?locationId=115

This is a very accessible site for any divers that are comfortable finding Lone Metridium.

11/11/2009 K1 aboard Escapade by Alberto Nava -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Susan Bird, Alberto Nava
Visibility: 5' - 40' Time:10:30 AM
Temp:   Surge:  
Max Depth: 178FSW Avg Depth:  
Bottom Time: 0:40 Total Time: 1:20
Bottom Gases: 18/45Deco Gases:O2
Backgas Config: Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
 
Out again on Weds with Susan, Jim and Joakim.

This time we headed for K1 Peak. Last time we were there we dove the SE part of the pinnacle so we want to explore the N, NE area this time.

We found quite a lot of sand in suspension near the bottom with some large gorgonias. We followed a little canyon until we got to the N part of the wall.

We saw a juv. Yellow Eye rockfish, nice lingcod and a small cabezon. There were several small basket stars.

The N side of the pinnacle is cover with a lot of invertebrates and the shallow area is really colourful. We found a very large scallop with 3 huge barnacles attach to it.

During deco we had several Mola-Mola swim by. Best part of the dive :-)


11/4/2009 Cypress Canyon aboard Escapade by Alberto Nava -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Susan Bird, Alberto Nava
Visibility: 50' Time:10:00 AM
Temp: 54F Surge:  
Max Depth: 174FSW Avg Depth:  
Bottom Time: 0:38 Total Time: 1:20
Bottom Gases: 18/45Deco Gases:EAN50,O2
Backgas Config: Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
 
I came back from 9 days diving caves in Mx. The color spectrum is on the white/black range with very nice caves but not many creatures or colors.

On Tuesday afternoon I got an email from JimC suggesting a diving outing before the storm gets here. All my gear was full of mud so it was a good excuse to get the gear wet and then rise is properly.

Joakin, Jim, Sue and myself did a nice and relaxing dive at Cypress Canyon. The moment we hit the reef I was very happy to see our ecosystem once again. There are so many colors that it's difficult to take, specially after diving caves for a while.

Sue said I was like a little kid pointing to all the cool things we saw. My favorite was a red gorgonia which a bunch of hermit crabs on it.

We did a nice two steps multi-level, with 20min at
~170 and 15min at 130. Towards the end of the dive
Susan took us to a nice area with tons of hydrocoral and some very nice decorate crabs.

Vis was a milky 70ft, and it was nice and warm 53 :-)





10/17/2009 Pt Lobos by Mark Lloyd -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Dionna House, Mark Lloyd, Harry Babicka
Visibility: 15' - 30' Time:10:14 AM
Temp: 56F - 57F Surge:  
Scooter: X-scooter Burn Time: 1:04
Max Depth: 99FSW Avg Depth:  
Bottom Time:   Total Time: 1:55
Bottom Gases: EAN32Deco Gases:O2
Backgas Config: Double Deco Tanks:AL40
Deco Profile:
 
Harry W, Harry B, Dionna, and Mark met at Lobos today to do the grand tour. The tour consisted of heading out to Granite Pt Pinnacles, winding our way to Mono Lobo Wall then turning to Thumbs Up, back in the direction of Mono Lobo wall then back to Granite Pt Pinnacles again, and back into the cove. I was the only one with an X-scooter, while the rest had long body Gavins. Since we estimated my X would not last the whole journey I towed a Gavin. Once in the water, and never had the experience of towing a scooter, I found that I was going through the water like I was pulling a piano. At Granite Pt Harry W. took the scooter and after a bit of trial an error we finally got things streamlined. Vis was at best about 30 ft so acceptable but not ideal. We had been around the Granite Pt. pinnacle area quite a bit but I don’t think Dionna, Harry B, and I had been as far as Mono Lobo. We crossed over the sand channel and arrived at what I think was Mono Lobo but to be honest didn’t see much there. Once we turned and headed to Thumbs Up the scenery improved quite a lot with the sheer walls, corals, big schools of rockfish and two or three Mola Molas. These Molas were not fish food yet, like many that were fin-less scattered about. Coming back from Thumbs up was a nice straight line back into the sand channel then into the Granite Pt pinnacles. Just before we turned toward Granite Pt wall the kelp monster grabbed Dionna. She put up a heroic battle and I was cheering her on as she defeated the enemy. As we turned neared Granite Pt wall I grabbed the Gavin from Harry W. as my X was getting close to the max time. A few minutes later the X died and I switched to the Mac Truck. We made it back into the cove, switched to O2 and completed a bit of deco. Very cool dive, almost 2 hrs in the water, and luckily for us a nice 57 degrees.
10/16/2009 Pt Lobos by Harry Wong -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Alberto Nava, Todd Lasman
Visibility: 10' - 20' Time:12:00 AM
Temp:   Surge:  
Scooter: Gavin Long Burn Time:  
Max Depth: 105FSW Avg Depth:  
Bottom Time:   Total Time: 0:01
Bottom Gases: 30/30Deco Gases:EAN50
Backgas Config: Double LP80Deco Tanks:AL80
Deco Profile:
 
Hi, well, it's definitely back in the water for me this last
weekend! The day started out quite nicely, met Todd at 6 AM,
transferred gear to my van and got to Point Lobos to a relatively calm
seas. It was a west swell and our plan was to dive in that exposed
area, so I didn't expect great viz. Beto arrived shortly and we all
geared up.

This is a very long scooter dive and the name "Magical Mystery Tour"
came up when we dove this route some months ago. Magical because we'd
cover so much terrain that was SO varied in it's topography and
scenery. "Mystery" because you never know what will turn up traveling
this far and it presents a somewhat challenging navigation exercise,
especially in low viz. You have to keep your wits about on speed
direction, topography and lack of land marks. "Tour" because we're
just about constantly on the trigger to cover the long distances.

The good thing about scooters is that you can do quite a bit of
traveling underwater, the bad thing about scooters is that you can get
lost for the same reason. Hm...ask me how I know. ;-)

The plan was to navigate out to Granite Wall and head out to Mono Lobo
Wall, over on the Monastery side, then go west past the outer part of
Thumbs Up out to the tip of those pinnacles where Wall Street is and
be just within range of Montana, then navigate back south into
Whaler's cove.

We expected the trigger time on our scooters to be upwards of 55
minutes, so we all had the longer body Gavins. Max depth planned was
100' so we had Tx 30/30 in our doubles.

We scootered out on top and descended at the end of Middle Reef. At
the bottom at 40', I found that my dive computer failed. Hm..well I'm
leading the dive, so I motion to Todd to give me his computer (in
guage mode) and I gave him my bad one. I love interchangeable gear,
he'll just have to have faith in his buddies not leading him astray. ;-)

Viz at Whaler's Cove was "wonderful" at least you can see your
hands. ;-) When we got out to Granite Wall, it did not improve.

Hm....OK, this dive is going to be a challenging navigation exercise.
Just to be extra conservative, with Todd not having a working depth
guage, at 70 feet we switched from our 50% oxygen deco bottles to our
backgas of Tx 30/30. Getting around the corner in that part of Point
Lobos is not a straight line affair. Go the wrong way and you end up
in shallow water. It's no fun to be deposited on top of some sharp
rocks as another diver on ba.diving found out, so the shallowest
depths I'll allow myself to go is about 30 feet. So meandering back
and forth we found ourselves in Moss Cove Sand Channel and at 75 feet,
we hit the little wall and off we went at 30 degrees to Mono Lobo Wall.

BTW, Moss Cove is the cove between Whaler's Cove and Monastery Beach.
You can see the cove off of a boat passing by on the way to Point Lobos.

When I showed Todd where we were on the map taped to my scooter, he
gave me this "whatever" look. OK... I'll just make double sure none
of us get separated. We then went west following the Monastery side
contour and after a quick stop to see if we could rescue a large Mola
Mola that got it's fins eaten off, got to the end of Thumbs Up. The
feature was pretty distinctive and we looked around for a second or
two (this was a tour after all) before continuint to the end of the
reef structure.

We got to Wall Street and Beto wanted to stop and sight-see, but I
kept the team moving. Beto had spotted two large Vermillions locked
mouth to mouth in mortal combat, or was it some kind of mating
ritual? Come on Beto, the plan was to tour and not stop and look for
little critters. We continued, got back into Moss Cove Sand Channel,
over into Granite Point Pinnacles and then back into Whaler's Cove.
What a fun dive.

Kind of like riding a motorcycle thru the mountains touring! ;-)

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