BAUE Trip Reports


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9/20/2008 Kinder-Garden (D3) aboard Escapade by Dionna House -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Harry Babicka, Dionna House, Mark Lloyd
Support Team:GUE Training Director Gideon Liew
Visibility: 15' - 25' Time:12:00 AM
Temp: 52F - 54F Surge:  
Max Depth: 220FSW Avg Depth: 200FSW
Bottom Time:   Total Time: 1:22
Bottom Gases: 15/55Deco Gases:50/25,O2
Backgas Config: Double HP120Deco Tanks:AL40
Deco Profile:

After long discussions of dive planning and decompression with Gideon Liew over a wonderful dinner at Siamese Bay, we continued to discuss our plan for our T2 experience dive on Saturday at the hotel. I practiced the dive over and over in my head while trying to sleep. I know my buddies were doing the same thing. This is what we have be practicing for!! Mark was navigator, Harry runs deco and I will shoot the SMB, Gideon will oversee. We board the Escapade at 8am Saturday morning, it didn't take long to board, because we loaded the gear the day before. We motored south to look for depths of 220fsw. On our way south Jim received a call from Brian on the Beach Hopper saying they spotted a Basking Shark north of Pt Lobos. I wasn't really paying attention to the exact location. At the time we were confirming our dive plan for our experience dive. Ed came down the ladder and said, “Basking Shark ahead”. We dropped all our GUE EDGE... and went to the side of the boat to look. WOW!!! This was definitely more important than our T2 dive. The shark had to be at least 20-25ft long with it's mouth wide open. Jim mentioned to me to jump in with it... I thought... Is he crazy?? Later, I learned that Basking Sharks are very tamed and gentle. Harry and dive crew member Ed quickly suited up and jumped in to try to swim with it.... but, couldn't keep up.... Jim repositioned the boat and Harry got in again, and this time got to slip and slide with a dorsal fin.... Wow!!! We watched as the basking shark submerged and went on its merry way. Next time I will not be so timid, but, my leg would have fit into his mouth!! Picture to come soon. On a side note, it pays to bring Gideon Liew here... Last time he visited from Singapore, he saw orcas feeding on whale blubber.

Back to diving.... I couldn't help but thinking... what if this basking shark comes along on our deco?? I don't think my sac will be as good.

We arrived at Kindergarten D3, Jim dropped the anchor and we geared up, did our equipment checks and clipped bottles on and jumped in. The surface current was manageable. We descended at the bouy as a team in to the deep dark unknown. Fortunately my ears were cooperating. We arrived at 200fsw to beautiful elephant ears sponges, rosy rockfish, gorgonians and lots of colors to look at. We only stay there for a brief moment. Mark had to reach his destination of 220ft. We venture off to the sand to look for 220fsw. We saw wonderful sand particles, an orange sea pen, a flat fish. Look pretty dismal....Oh.... Mark and his depth of venture!!! Finally he came to his sense and turn around to go back.... We arrived at the pinnacle again for a brief moment to look at a rosy rockfish and more colors, than it was time to get up to our deep stops. Harry took over as deco captain. We ascended up to the top of the pinnacle where I shot the bag. Off we went for a comfortable deco into the greenish waters. All went as planned. All that practicing paid off. On our long long 20ft stop, I signaled to Mark and did the chicken dance, Mark copied it back. This got Gideon's attention as he circled us from above and beside. He came down to check... I pointed to him and signaled shark... I took my reg out of my mouth and smiled. He gave me the monster mash sign.... I think he caught on to our humor and jokes. Gideon came to each of us on our 20ft stop and shook our hands to congratulate us. We made our slow ascent to the surface and gave Jim the OK... and cheered.... Jim and his crew cheered us on too. We motored back for lunch and final discussions about the dive and of course what we need to still work on, because what is a GUE class for? Especially with one of the GUE Training Directors. Thanks to my buddies, Mark and Harry, for being patient and committed to training while we had fun. Thanks to the folks that let us borrow their gear to make this class happen.

Later that day we met up with the BAUE members that were on the afternoon charter for fun, laughs, celebration and dinner at Siamese Bay.


9/19/2008 E3 aboard Escapade by Dionna House -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Harry Babicka, Mark Lloyd, Dionna House
Visibility: 50' - 70' Time:12:00 AM
Temp: 52F - 54F Surge:  
Max Depth: 165FSW Avg Depth: 155FSW
Bottom Time: 0:25 Total Time: 1:00
Bottom Gases: 18/45Deco Gases:50/25,O2
Backgas Config: Double LP80Deco Tanks:AL40
Deco Profile:

As some of you know Mark Lloyd, Harry Babicka and I have been working towards getting our GUE Tech 2 rating. GUE Tech 2 instructor, Gideon Liew came out from Singapore, on his way to Mexico to check us off. Our first site was E3. Jim Capwell motored us out and dropped the anchor. We geared up and did our GUE EDGE as Gideon Liew observed, then jumped in. There was a little bit of a current running while going down. I had some ear issues that delayed our descent a bit. Once we got down, I navigated North East to get to 160fsw. We stayed there for about 25minutes, enjoying some of the big Elephant Ear sponges, We also followed a big male sheephead. Saw some lingcods and many gorgonians. We could have stayed down longer, but, I got confused with all the different discussed plans.. I thought after were done with the bottom stage we come up. Oh Well...I was getting ready for tomorrows deeper dive. There is always another time. Unfortunately I think Gideon wanted to enjoy the bottom a little longer. Thats what you get when you put a student in charge!! Mark Lloyd took over as deco captain and Harry Babicka shot the bag.
Deco went well. We discussed our dive and what we needed to get better over lunch. Gideon saw what he needed to see for our next day experience dive into deeper depths.
9/18/2008 Grand Cenote by Kevin Dow -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Kevin Dow, Don Chennavasin, Elissa Lee
Visibility: 100' Time:11:02 AM
Temp: 79F Surge:  
Max Depth: 42FSW Avg Depth: 31FSW
Bottom Time: 2:34 Total Time: 2:34
Bottom Gases: EAN32Deco Gases:
Backgas Config: Single,Double AL80Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
Don, Ellisa and I decided to do a stage dive up to Box Chen via Paso De Lagarto - Much's Maze lines. I ran the reel from the cavern line to the mainline. We traveled up the main line until we hit the Paso De Lagarto jump and then we took the jump. From there we continued on up until we were about a minute from the jump to Muches maze. I signaled the drop of the stages here in a tighter passage and while it wasn't my best stage drop we got it done and continued on to the jump where we jumped right. Much's Maze is a very very cool passage that has quite a bit of decorations, though it starts sorta like a phreatic tube. After coming to the EOL we jumped back onto the main line and turned right again. Maybe a minute later we were at the box chen jump where we jumped to the right onto Box Chen. We continued on that line where it got incredibly decorated. The line also was very very steep in some parts dipping down 10 feet before going 10 feet above your head in a very tight passage.

All to soon we turned the dive and headed back. The trip back seemed to fly by with the added benefit of a small amount of flow pushing us along. Back at the cavern line we decided to ditch the stages and do a bit more exploration on back gas, but soon after decided to end the dive due to ear clearing issues.

9/14/2008 Pt Lobos by Matt Vieta -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Matt Vieta, Leah Wadler
Visibility: 40' Time:2:00 PM
Temp: 55F Surge: 1'
Max Depth: 61FSW Avg Depth: 40FSW
Bottom Time: 1:02 Total Time: 1:02
Bottom Gases: EAN32Deco Gases:
Backgas Config: Single HP100Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
min deco
Leah and I spent the afternoon diving at Point Lobos. We wandered around the north end of middle reef and saw some neat shrimps and crabs. We saw a Tritonia festiva on transect 2. We headed around the corner to the east side admiring the anemones. At some point we cut back west over the ridge in time to pay the war bonnet a visit. We headed past the bouldery area and eventually back to play around in the sand channel. Relaxing and fun!
9/13/2008 Local's Ledge aboard Escapade by Dionna House -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Clinton Bauder, Dionna House
Support Team:Melissa Litwicki
Visibility: 30' - 50' Time:12:00 AM
Temp: 52F - 55F Surge:  
Max Depth: 70FSW Avg Depth: 50FSW
Bottom Time:   Total Time:  
Bottom Gases: EAN32Deco Gases:
Backgas Config: Double LP80Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:

It was definitely a weekend for diving... The BAUE scheduled recreational boat traveled to Locals Ledge for the first dive. Before arriving at the site we got a little side tracted watching breaching whales out in the outer bay. We arrived at the site and geared up. I had a little ear trouble going down, but, it eventually cleared up. Melissa had some issues with her depth gauge. Reading error... I guess it pays to wear a back up. Clinton and I kepted her in good depths. We meandered around as Clinton took pictures of the critters. Apparently spotted that wolf eel. Darn!! I didn't know that was what he was taking pictures of... I was just very happy to be underwater.

Our second dive was at one of the Outer Pinnacles. There was a little surface current while kicking to the anchor. We started our descent and was followed by Chad that asked to join us... Sure come along.. It was Clinton, Melissa, myself and Chad. Vis was not as good on this dive, there was some surge to play with too. Once again we meandered around looking at cool hydrocoral and critters. Ben Villao signed to me to do the chicken dance... Okay... I turned into the dead bug and did the dance... Are you happy Ben?? ;-). Staying at a depth of 60-70ft. Temperatures were around 52-55. Nice and warm... But, not for poor Chad... I was very lucky to be his buddy on his last wetsuit dive in cold water.
We got to the anchor line... there was some current.. so this kept Chad busy kicking and warm on our ascent.

After eating sandwiches and watermelon, we were entertained by Whales, sealion, and sea birds.

Good day of Flukes!!
and feasting on Oysters!!

9/6/2008 19SUR aboard Cypress Sea by Alberto Nava -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Susan Bird, Alberto Nava
Visibility: 10' - 100' Time:10:00 AM
Temp: 10F - 60F Surge: 2'
Max Depth: 150FSW Avg Depth:  
Bottom Time: 0:30 Total Time: 1:10
Bottom Gases: 21/45Deco Gases:50/25,O2
Backgas Config: Double Deco Tanks:AL40
Deco Profile:
Saturday was BAUE's second Big Sur Banks trip of the year.

The weather forecast looked great. Alll divers were ready with tons of
gear including doubles, stages, and scooters :-) . We left the dock at 6:05am and headed towards the banks.
The swells were so small that it looked like Monterey Lake and not Monterey Bay. So far so good.

The moment we got to Carmel Bay we encountered a little issue. FOG.... it was not unexpected as the weather forecast was
"Patchy Dense Fog" and not the normal Patchy Fog we have seen over the last couple of months. We entered into the fog zone and continued motoring south for another hour. The fog got denser and denser as we ventured south. We arrived at the banks and had some interesting discussions about the decision to dive or not dive, and we soon headed east towards the coast looking for a miracle.

We hoped that the fog would vanish closer to the coast. (Based on Friday's Lobos surface conditions & limited visibility due to fog, this was not very promising.) However, as we reached the coast we saw a small clear patch near Bixby Bridge. A circular area on top of Las Piedras Wall dive site was completely clear of fog. We decided to do a couple of dives there and see if the fog to the south would burn off after a few hours.

Las Piedras is a very impressive 400ft long ridge with a sheer, dramatic, & colorful wall on the South end. However, all teams decided to head North and check the area there. The North end is equally as colorful and beautiful, but different, with jutting fingers and many crevices. There were a lot of rock-fish, a couple of nice wolf eels, and a lovely big sheep-head on the top of the wall. Nice dive ... but not Big Sur banks.

After conducting two dives near the coast the miracle happened and the fog lifted enough that Capt Phil decided to run us back down to the Banks, to our original dive destination :-) . We arrived at Sur19 and there was no fog in the vicinity! Hooray! The captain anchored the boat and after delaying to make sure the down-line was at the right location the scooter teams went for their dive. The water past 40ft was amazingly blue and clear. There were hundreds of rock-fish congregating at the pinnacle, and huge hydrocoral bushes everywhere. This is Northern California diving at its best :-) There appeared to be line dancing and much celebration going on during deco, a sure sign of a great dive.

After about 90min the swimming teams were dropped for a drift into the down-line. Crew and divers waited with anticipation to see if the swimming teams would make it... and fortunately all divers were able to reach the downline and make their way down to the site. They reported gentler current than the last outing, and a fantastic dive!

While they were diving it was incredible to enjoy the nice warm/sunny weather on the surface at the banks while the boat drifted along, following the divers. It was a 180 degree change from the morning weather ....

On the ride back home we came across a large school of humpback whales which were working a school of bait-fish together with some sea lions and birds. At times we would count 7 spouts at a time in one condensed area... while more whales surfacing & spouting in the distance. After a magnificent breech and multiple tail flops, we finally headed home.

What an amazing day!

We will do more of these trips next year :-)

Here are some photos.

8/16/2008 19SUR aboard Cypress Sea by Alberto Nava -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Susan Bird, Alberto Nava, Devin MacKenzie
Visibility: 10' - 60' Time:12:00 AM
Temp: 48F - 57F Surge: 2'
Scooter: Gavin Short Burn Time:  
Max Depth: 160FSW Avg Depth:  
Bottom Time: 0:25 Total Time: 1:10
Bottom Gases: 21/45Deco Gases:50/25,O2
Backgas Config: Double HP120Deco Tanks:AL40
Deco Profile:
Yesterday was a very successfully diving day. BAUE booked the Cypress Sea for some tech diving at Big Sur Banks. It has being quite a long time since we have had an all BAUE charter at the banks and we were all looking forward to it. We had 11 divers on the boat split into 4 teams and the objective was to do 4 dives (2 per team) at the famous 20SUR and 19SUR pinnacles on the south end of the banks.

At 8:05 we arrived at the banks (5min late ;-) ) and we started to deploy our down-line which consisted of a hook, some line and
a couple of red marine buoys at the end. We watched one of the buoys disappear underwater which was a sign of strong current. We added one more line and a third buoy so the divers had space at the surface to hold while waiting for their team mates. The fog bank was large but it was high in the sky so we decided to try a live-drop of the first team and see how they would handle the current.

Allison, Kevin and Robert were in one team and Dionna, Mark and Harry were in the other team. They drifted nicely towards the line and started their descent. We watched for about 10min in case any of them could not make it. However, it looked like they were all diving :-). After 60min they all surfaced, and they reported the hook had moved to deeper water and they had missed the target of 20SUR pinnacle :-(.

After getting all the divers back on the boat we relocated the hook while using a bigger/heavier object as a hook, because it looked like the tension of the pulling divers was too much for the little hook to handle. Clinton, Nick, Susan, Devin and myself were in the second group. It looked like the current was even stronger as the tide changed so the surface current was pretty fast.

It took about 6min to descend to 150ft while using our scooters but we finally made it to 20SUR. We landed on the north side in front of the pinnacle and headed for a loop. We rapidly found the canyon that runs through the middle of the pinnacle and let ourselves drift with the current from one end to the next. There were tons of purple hydrocoral and several school of small fish. I was a little surprised that we could not see that many big fish. We could not see vermilion nor yellow eye rock fish.

We motored to the south and found a nice congregation of blue rockfish. After about 10min we returned to the north to check if we could see the team of Clinton and Nick at the site. We could not see them so we decided to go and check the top of the pinnacle. The moment I looked towards the top I saw the reason why we didn't see many fish at the pinnacle. There was a large (10-12ft) thresher shark hovering over the shallow peak at 20SUR! There was strong enough current that it did not need to swim in order to get water thought its gills so it just sat there. It was difficult to see if it was hunting or just being cleaned by the school of little fish at the top.

I moved my light to try to signal my buddies and as I did that the animal sensed the beam of my HID light and it moved its tail very quickly and looked at me. We both looked at each other for about 3 seconds and it then swam away from the pinnacle. I signaled my buddies about the shark and we all waited to see if it would come back. I know that threshers are not aggressive towards humans but there is something about having 20 min of deco to do and seeing a big shark underwater, especially for certain members of our team who have mild phobias about sharks. We waited a few minutes and after that we moved to the top of the pinnacle to enjoy the purple/pink hydrocorals at the pinnacle.

We did find a juvenile yellow eye rockfish at the top, near its favorite crack. After 25min we called the dive and had a "nervous" drift thinking about our friend.... fish are our friends ;-)

After our dive we knew the hook was in the right place so the first set of divers and Clinton/Nick decided to go for a second dive using this confirmed down-line. Using the same procedure that the first dive the teams were able to drift into the ball and pull themselves down the pinnacle. It was pretty interesting to see 8 divers drift towards the float and swam in an angle in order to hit the target. They had about 90 seconds to make it to the float or get push past it. This worked much better than the anchoring of the boat we did on the second dive.

For the 4th dive of the day we went to 19SUR. Susan, Devin and myself went for another drop. The moment we saw the pinnacle we realized where all the fish had gone. I think the shark scared the fish from 20SUR and they all congregated at 19SUR (300ft away) There were school of vermilions, yellow eye, china rockfish of all sizes and colors. We saw a very large, old, yellow eye at about 170ft and we could also recognize the area where we once saw the nice posing GPO on the DSV DVD. Susan found a couple of nice mola mola and Devin found a free swimming wolf eel at the top of the reef. It was a super dive in an amazing place.

Everybody did a great job on their planning and execution. I'm looking forward to the next trip in September :-)

Here are some photos from the team.
8/2/2008 Montana aboard Escapade by Alberto Nava -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Susan Bird, Alberto Nava
Visibility: 60' Time:10:00 AM
Temp: 50F Surge:  
Max Depth: 172FSW Avg Depth:  
Bottom Time: 0:40 Total Time: 1:20
Bottom Gases: 18/45Deco Gases:50/25,O2
Backgas Config: Double Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
This Sat we went out for the monthly BAUE tech-charter. We had a good turn-out which consisted of 9 of our members: Allison, Robert, Kevin, Dionna, Clinton, Harry, Susan, Karl and myself.

We had a grandious plan of going to a remote location but the weather gods provided us with a different plan. Defiant of the gods, we still headed out of the bay and ventured towards the Yankee Point area but half-way there we realized it was not going to happen. We checked the NW side of Point Lobos looking for some protection from the swells, and after a while we decided to dive Montana pinnacle outsite of Whaler's Cove. Here the weather finally looked like we would be able to get wet.

Montana is a popular site for scooter divers departing from Whalers Cove. However, diving it from a boat allows for more time at the site than travelling on the scooters. Also, the shallower areas on the site are most spectacular, so given the opportunity, it is a better dive from a boat.

Visibility was very good, at least 50ft, which allowed us to get a good view of the pinnacle from multiple perspectives. Sue, Karl and I descended and headed to the NW side of the pinnacle. We visited the sand interphase where we found large colonies of sea pens and some big lingcods lying in grooves in the sand. Susan also found a couple of basket stars attached to some gorgonias.

We scootered from the North side to the South while travelling on the E wall at two different depth levels. We stopped to check the cracks where we once saw a large GPO but we didn't have much luck finding its descendant.

We saw several large lingcods hanging out on the East wall, as well as many vivacious decorate crabs.

After about 20min on the deeper part of the pinnacle we headed up shallower and torwards the north peak. In that area we found a pair of large dirona albolineata and Clinton pointed out a Bocaccio to us.

After about 40min on the site we deployed our SMB and drifted our deco while looking at jellies and their barnacles & parasites.

Another grand day out :-)

Here are some photos.

7/27/2008 Pt Lobos by Dionna House -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Harry Babicka, Dionna House
Visibility: 30' - 50' Time:12:00 AM
Temp: 49F - 50F Surge:  
Max Depth: 95FSW Avg Depth: 80FSW
Bottom Time:   Total Time: 1:13
Bottom Gases: EAN32Deco Gases:EAN50
Backgas Config: Double LP80Deco Tanks:AL40
Deco Profile:

Harry Babicka and I went for a scooter run out to Granite Point Pinnacles. I have been interested in getting to know the east side of Whalers Cove better. We cruised out and followed the rocky ridge keeping the sand on our left, with a zig zags here and there to look at different pinnacles. We then meandered in and out of the many pinnacles admiring the different sizes and shapes. Also becoming more familiar with the area. All the usual suspects were out. Visibility was about 40-50ft depending on where we were. Very Very cool area.. Will return soon.

After snacking and socializing on the surface with other BAUE members, Harry and I did the usual practice dive in 20ft blue water for our upcoming dives. Scooters come in handy when the "after lunch naptime" sets in. ;-)

Good day of diving!!!

7/19/2008 Pt Lobos by Dionna House -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Dionna House, Ian Puleston
Visibility: 3' - 50' Time:10:30 AM
Temp: 48F - 50F Surge: 2'
Max Depth: 102FSW Avg Depth: 90FSW
Bottom Time:   Total Time: 1:17
Bottom Gases: EAN32Deco Gases:EAN50
Backgas Config: LP80Deco Tanks:AL40
Deco Profile:

I met up with Ian Puleston for a dive at Pt Lobos. Thanks to Suzanne for giving us her reservation. Due to her car break down, she was not able to attend. Ian I planned to go out to Beto's Reef and visit all the Sisters. We surfaced kicked past Hole in the Wall. I was leading and thought I would try to hit Sea Mount by going slightly NW. I ended up at the Lone Metridium... All good.. the visibility was good enough to take a North Heading and go out to Beto's Reef. We swam and found the Beto's Reef. I have been wanting to swim around that area to get to know it better. Lots and Lots of little strands of kelp to avoid getting tangled in. I probably gave some kelp stalks a haircut. ;-). After a short visit to Beto's Reef, we went West to the Sisters. We visited all of them. At the deeper Sisters we were mostly on top of the pinnacles. Ian spotted an unusual jelly. Comb shaped with 4 orange colored tentacles. Back to the Lone Metridium for a gas switch and a nice gentle swim into the cove. I was able to watch a rockfish attack little juvenile rockfish (tough world they live in), also saw an anemome eating a moon jelly, lots of little krill in the shallows. The vis took a big decline to about 3ft and we surfaced right near the parking lot.

We decided to sit out the second dive... too much kicking!!!

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