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6/28/2008 Midway Pinnacle aboard Escapade by Alberto Nava -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Susan Bird, Alberto Nava
Visibility: 30' - 60' Time:11:00 AM
Temp: 50F - 52F Surge: 2'
Scooter: Gavin Short Burn Time:  
Max Depth: 200FSW Avg Depth:  
Bottom Time: 0:35 Total Time: 1:30
Bottom Gases: 15/55Deco Gases:50/25,O2
Backgas Config: HP120Deco Tanks:AL80
Deco Profile:
6,4s
18
 
Saturday was a good diving day. After a couple of years of talking about diving Midway pinnacle I finally had a chance to dive the site. Several other BAUE members dove it a few months ago but I happened to be in Mexico at the time.

Mid-Way pinnacle is located between the BigSur light-house and BigSur Banks. That's why we decided to call it "Mid-way Pinnacle". It looked pretty attractive on the sonar data scan with the top at 120ft sloping to about 200ft at the bottom on the sand. Most of the other sites at the banks are more in the 130-160' range so they do not have the dramatic drop that Midway has.

We had great weather. It was a calm sea with minimal tidal current due to the moon phase, very little wind, and insignificant swells. The air was smoky from the big fires so we were a little worried about the surface visibility but as we approached the site it had cleared enough that we could see shore two miles away. Good enough to go diving :-)

We deployed our newly designed (well it's actually a few months old) grapple hook and it stuck pretty well to the pinnacle. All divers (Nick, Harry, Dionna, Mark Susan and myself) got ready with all out gear attached to us, and the boat dropped us upstream from the float. There was not much surface current so we all congregated at the float and started our dive.

Susan and I decided to get a head start with the scooters so see if the hook was on the pinnacle. We descended to about 150' following the line and it got a little darker down there. I think the smoke covered enough of the ambient light so that not much was left at depth. At about 160ft I was starting to get worried but the angle on the line was at about 45 degrees so it was surely attached to something as we'd only put out 200ft of line. After a few seconds we saw the shallow portion of the pinnacle and followed the line down to about 180ft to see where it was connected. The hook came down from the top of the pinacle and landed on the SW side. The line was wrapped around a rock which was going to be a problem for the boat to remove later. I looked back to see where the other two teams were and there were half-way down the line. So we decided to start our dive and come back later to fix the hook and make sure every body was down at the pinnacle.

Susan and I headed south through a small canyon that separates the main pinnacle from another small rock. As we crossed the canyon we started noticing a lot of big red fish. One very large fish came directly towards us as if saying 'what the heck are you?' and as the fish turned I could see it was a very large yellow eye rock fish. He was so big that he looked like he had strong muscles on the side of his body. He swam off and we followed a little bit away from the pinnacle. He guided us to a small ledge at about 200ft which was full of more red fish. At one point I counted at least 7 yellow eye in my field of vision. I have never so many together and they were of all different sizes. We could have stay looking at the 'yellow eye rockfish hideout' for the entire dive.

After a few minutes of enjoying the fish hideout we headed back to relocate the hook away from the pinnacle so it would not get stuck when the boat pulled it. We then circled the structure in several passes. We did one at 190ft and another one 170ft. As we headed shallower an abundant garden of very large hydro-coral started to appear at the south east side of the pinnacle.. A massive school of rockfish hovered over and around the large colorful congregation of hydrocoral. It was a busy intersection!

After about 30min of amazing diving we all swam towards the shallow 120ft spot, deployed our SMB's and headed up for our deco while looking at moon jellies, egg yolk jellies, and were met at the surface by a a cute, curious seal lion.

A pod of 300+ Risso dolphins and other cetacean friends escorted our boat back to the dock.

That's was sure a nice day out!. Can we do this again soon?

Here are some sonar images.
6/28/2008 Midway Pinnacle aboard Escapade by Dionna House -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Mark Lloyd, Dionna House
Visibility: 40' - 50' Time:10:00 AM
Temp: 52F Surge: 1'
Max Depth: 170FSW Avg Depth: 145FSW
Bottom Time:   Total Time:  
Bottom Gases: 18/45Deco Gases:EAN50
Backgas Config: Double HP100Deco Tanks:AL40
Deco Profile:
 
After months of hard studying in Nursing school, I was able to celebrate my hard work with diving with some good friends and people. BAUE trip was advertised and not many of the Tech 1 divers responded. Susan decided to make it a Tech 2 boat with 6 divers. Perfect set up!!! Since the ocean looked really flat with minimum wind, we traveled a little further south and tossed the anchor in at Midway Pinnacle. Beto mentioned the bottom being at 200ft. We geared up and jumped in with very very minimal current. Went down the shot line and found the pinnacle at about 150ft(ish). We leveled off at 170ft as planned. We spotted some huge Yellow Eye Rock Fish, which I found out later thats what they were. Next time I will make sure and look into the eyes and the two stipes down the body for better identification. Mark and I saw a cool looking bell medusa jelly pulsating its way up from the depths and also spotted many Hermisendas and Hiltons. There were lots and lots of blue rockfish hanging out on top of the reef. We also admiring the gardens of Hydrocoral. On the deco we were followed by moon jellies. I started humming that song by Cat Stevens, "Moon Shadow".
At our twenty foot stop I noticed it got darker and felt like something big was above us.... I thought...WHALE??? It turned out to be the Escapade Whale... It was kinda weird looking up to see that. We slowing made our ascent up to the surface. On the way in we were visited by a big pod of Risso dolphins. They put on a great show for us. Spectacular breaching with frolics off the bow of the boat. Thanks to the Escapade Crew... Greg,Julia and Mike...Jim.. These guys did great... They were AWESOME!!! Special thanks to Susan, Beto, Nick, Harry and Mark... You guys Rock!!!

Let us go back???
6/28/2008 Castle Rock aboard Cypress Sea by Kevin Dow -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Kevin Dow, Jonathan Derosier
Visibility: 50' - 60' Time:8:16 AM
Temp: 50F - 50F Surge:  
Scooter: X-scooter Burn Time:  
Max Depth: 141FSW Avg Depth: 73FSW
Bottom Time:   Total Time:  
Bottom Gases: Deco Gases:O2
Backgas Config: Double HP100Deco Tanks:AL40
Deco Profile:
2's up to 20 and 10 on the bottle
 
The wave conditions were perfect today for a run down to Big Sur on the Cypress Sea. Perfect that is except for the smoke from the fires along the big sur coast reducing the air quality to something on the south side of unpleasant.

It wasn't too long of a ride before we passed the Bixby bridge and pulled up to our first dive spot of the day. Jonathan and I suited up and jumped in the water. There was a bit of a current on the surface but nothing too bad and we quickly started scootering down the anchor line.

Once we arrive at the wall we briefly stopped to watch the other half of team kitty mess with a bit of gear before giving them an okay and heading out.

Viz at depth was at least 60 feet though a bit dark. We headed out southish along hte wall and dropped down to around 120 for a bit of a cruze. The wall itself has numerous overhangs that start around this depth, with some of them large enough for someone to scooter under. After a short while we jumped a small gap in the wall and came to a crazy beautiful mini pinnacle that was covered in pink and purple hydrocoral.

After circling the pinacle for a bit and exploring some of the cracks that jut off from it we circled back and jumped to the other side of our wall for the ride back. Along this side, the structure was covered in walking kelp and formed more of a shelf for the wall on west side. After running back for a bit, we jumped back onto the west side to find our anchor and worked out way up to 70' before calling it a dive and heading up to deco.

Truly a spectacular site, and I hope to visit again on future Big Sur trips.

6/22/2008 Mating Amtracks by Robert Lee -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Robert Lee, Allison Lee, Jonathan Derosier
Visibility: 10' - 40' Time:8:00 AM
Temp: 50F Surge:  
Scooter: X-scooter Burn Time: 0:40
Max Depth: 75FSW Avg Depth: 75FSW
Bottom Time: 1:20 Total Time:  
Bottom Gases: EAN32Deco Gases:
Backgas Config: Double HP100Deco Tanks:AL80
Deco Profile:
1's, 3 3 up
 
Allison, Jonathan and I decided to seize on the weekend's flat conditions to go do a dive that we'd be kicking around for some time. The plan was to go out from Lovers Pt. in search of the Mating Amtracks. While this is typically a boat-dive site, we had been looking at the maps and confident that the distance from shore was manageable, so we set off to Lover's Pt. to begin the quest at about half-past the crack of dawn.




The Amtracks are located about a half-mile off of the point, but without any discernable structure near-by. In fact (as we later confirmed), there is almost nothing but sand for at least a thousand feet leading up to it. We rolled into the parking lot at Lovers 3 and found that all of the signs are for 2hr parking?! Is that a new development? As if the parking situation wasn't enough to dissuade me from diving at Lovers, the base of the stairs in cove 3 have been washed away so that the last 5-10 vertical feet almost require a climbing harness. Oy; barely civilized. After making several trips up and down to schlep the doubles, stages and scooters down, I was almost ready for Turtle Bay. But alas, there is exploring to be done :) Right before we got in, I noticed that the meter-people had chalked my tire (oh yeah, 2hr parking?!). A little spit took care of that (hey, stupid system) one, so take that Pacific Grove.

We hobbled in the water (no camera today for me) and headed out on the surface a little bit. The plan was to take a roughly 30° magnetic heading until we hit the 75'-80' contour, then turn SSE and spread out in a search pattern. We had allocated 10 minutes to searching after hitting the contour before giving up and trying to find something else out there of interest. The trip out was really uneventful, seeing as there's almost nothing there. I kept futilely scanning the sand for bat rays, but I suspect that was mostly out of wishful boredom. Soon enough, we hit the contour and started in on our first search pattern.

The viz which was pretty milky and gross on the surface cleared up pretty nicely below about 30FSW or so to about 40' horizontal, which was good because it allowed us to spread out quite a bit and cover a large swath while scootering in parallel. Allison was anchoring the search in the middle, with Jonathan and I flanking her around the limit of visibility. About 4 or 5 minutes into the first leg of the pattern, Allison started signalling me, so I turned in. I fully expected it to be to regroup and start in on the second leg (since it was approaching the agreed-upon time), but instead I was motioned towards Jonathan's side so we headed over there. Turns out Jonathan's track planted him almost smack into the Amtracks (again, there's *nothing* else out there so these things really stick out like a sore thumb.)

Woohoo (or "w00t" even)! After exchanging a scooter-by high-five, we settled in to examining the Amtracks. Being the first time I've ever been there, I was pretty impressed by the amount of life on them. I suppose this is to be expected to some extent as the surrounding area is pretty barren. There were literally hundreds of Hermissenda, and maybe half-as-many F. trilineata. There were also an impressive amount of rockfish (including many juveniles) settled into various nooks and crannies, as well as a juvie Cabezon and (what I believe was) a juvenile sculpin of some sort.

We spent about 40 minutes on the wreck until our stage bottles ran out. After switching off the bottles, we decided to turn the dive and head for home. We followed pretty much the same path back, heading WNW for a few minutes before turning towards about 210° magnetic. We had agreed to surface from about 30FSW to get our bearings and to avoid getting run into the rocks, so we put a bag up and headed up. I had heard a boat motor by shortly before we put our back up, and surely enough, we surfaced about 100' aft of the BeachHopper. It turned out that we were right on track as we surfaced about 50' or so from where we had dropped, so we surface-scooted the rest of the way back to Cove 3 (though I had half a mind to scooter over the BeachHopper and attempt to "re-board" :) 77', 80minutes, 50F

All in all, it was a great dive, and pretty satisfying that we had found the Amtracks. Having now been there, I'd love to go back, but this time with a camera and a macro lens. I'm sure that there was a fair amount of luck involved in finding the spot so fast the first time out, so I'm not sure how dependable a scooter dive it really is. Probably better to try to bum a ride from some of the local boat crowd...

After rinsing all the gear out from a long dive weekend, we headed to the Chowder House for dive 2, into a bowl of chowder and a crab sandwich.
5/26/2008 Stillwater Cove aboard Escapade by Alberto Nava -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Susan Bird, Alberto Nava
Visibility: 40' Time:10:30 AM
Temp: 50F Surge:  
Max Depth: 40FSW Avg Depth:  
Bottom Time: 1:30 Total Time:  
Bottom Gases: EAN32Deco Gases:
Backgas Config: Double Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
 
Today we had a very different trainning day. We did the first part of Fundamental class at Stillwater Cove :-). We normally dive at the breakwater for the Fundamentals but vis has being so bad in there that we decided to dive in Carmel looking for nice clear water. We were lucky one of the students in the class owns a pretty nice/fast boat ;-) so there we went looking for the clear water.

We anchored way inside the cove and found a nice flat/clear area to work on the skills. Vis was super 30-40 ft which made the drills so much easier to observe :-). We had a couple of cute harbour seals playing with the divers, the reel
and SMB setup.....

Here is a photo of the team at work, and the boat .

After the class we went whale watching in the bay :-)

Stillwater Cove/Escapade trainning rocks!




5/23/2008 E3 aboard Phil Sammet's RIB by Kevin Dow -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Kevin Dow, Robert Lee, Allison Lee
Visibility: 80' Time:10:16 AM
Temp: 48F Surge: 6'
Max Depth: 168FSW Avg Depth:  
Bottom Time:   Total Time:  
Bottom Gases: 18/45Deco Gases:EAN50
Backgas Config: Double HP100Deco Tanks:AL80
Deco Profile:
4 and 3's, 10,5
 
Team Kitty with special guest kitty Jonathan had scheduled a dive off of Phils RIB on Friday but early reports were suggesting that conditions were not going to be good for diving with large swells and high winds.

Passing by Monastery seemed to somewhat bear out the early reports with several large sets of swells rolling down on the beach, but there was very little wind!

After a brief conferring session with Phil we decided to go for it and head over to Deep E3 for a dive. The cove itself was full of the flotsam and jetsam from earlier in the week and was a ugly shade of brown. As we left the cove the water turned a very nice shade of blue. As it turned out the ride out to the site wasn’t too bad and we quickly gearing up and splashed into the water to start our dive.

As it turns out while we ended up on the top of E3. We quickly slid over to the side of the wall and dropped down to our target depth. As expected for a site named E3, there were tons of Elephant Ear Sponges as well as large gorgonians in evidence. Continuing around the wall we came upon a couple of beautiful China Rockfish hanging out in cracks in the wall. All too soon out time was up and we headed up the wall to do deco.

Deco was largely uneventful, with the sole exception of Allison indicating that the she-p had been deployed effectively in its second sea trial.

Pictures from the dive here.
5/16/2008 Mount Chamberlin aboard Phil Sammet's RIB by Alberto Nava -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Susan Bird, Alberto Nava
Visibility: 40' - 80' Time:10:30 AM
Temp: 46F - 50F Surge: 3'
Max Depth: 222FSW Avg Depth:  
Bottom Time: 0:30 Total Time: 1:30
Bottom Gases: 18/55Deco Gases:EAN50,O2
Backgas Config: Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
 
After several weeks of teaching Fundamental Sue and I finally had time to go a do a fun dive :-). We went out with Phil today. Conditions looked good in the morning so we decided to venture out to a new dive site, K3. This is one of the 3 peaks in Mt. Chamberlin near Yankee Point area. We had dove K1 and K2 but never K3.

The area near this site looked very promising. The pinnacle is located on the West side of the Mountain at the wall’s edge. The top is about 120ft and to bottom is +280ft. We descended using our scooter to flight the 1 knot current and after a couple of minutes got sight of the peak. From there we glide down to about 220ft and settled down while preparing for our ride. We headed south a little bit looking for a double reef at 230ft but we were not able to located so we head north on the wall. The topography was incredible with an almost vertical wall full of the typical deep water invertebrates: Elephant ear sponges, gorgonians and several basket stars. We had to keep an eye on the depth gauge as the abyss keep tempting us to go deeper, 222ft was the max depth we allow it this time.

Once we go to the end of the wall we found a great terrain. There was a cavern/tower style structure on the wall with several swimming through and some very large quillback rockfish. We saw at 6 on them in that area. The view was mesmerizing with the top of the structure at 150ft and not visible bottom from where we were. There was a very large school of blue rockfish hidden from the strong current. We found a small crack and ascended on it to a lower plateau at about 180ft.

From there we headed east into a small canyon with a lot of water pushing on the invertebrates. There were several walls completely covered with gorgonians and the blue water with at least 80ft visibility, the view was breath taking. It was at some point difficult to believe we were not in Fiji.

As we motored east we were hoping to make it all the way to K2 but we were not able to get there so we headed to another peak at 120ft. I’m not sure if we made it back to K3 or a small pinnacle btw the two, K2.5 ;-)

From there we enjoyed our deep stops and decompression while looking at moon jellies and clear blue water.

An amazing day out!

Can we do it again soon? :-)

Some maps in here

5/8/2008 Yax Muul by Kevin Dow -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Kevin Dow, Nick Ambrose
Visibility: 100' - 100' Time:12:28 PM
Temp: 79F - 79F Surge:  
Max Depth: 44FSW Avg Depth: 30FSW
Bottom Time:   Total Time:  
Bottom Gases: EAN32Deco Gases:
Backgas Config: Double AL80Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
 
Nick and I were looking for a new cave to dive after doing several dives in some of the most commonly dived caves down in Mexico. During a previous dinner with Fred Devos we managed to get several promising leads to some caves that we had never dove before. One of the leads was a site called Yax Muul. We were told the system had an extensive cavern zone and was somewhat small and shallow downstream and maybe a short penetration possible upstream. We were warned though that the landowners had made a deal with a local tour company for exclusive rights and the Cenote could be closed for diving. After a quick discussion with Nick, we decided to go for it.

The very first question that we needed to answer was, could we find the turn off? Our instructions from Fred were passably vague: “There could be a sign on the side of a road, near a brick wall with some type of chicken wire fence.” Luckily we were able to locate the small sign beside the entrance and turned onto the very rough dirt road that would hopefully take us to the Cenote. Keep in mind that we were currently in a subcompact car that was loaded with four sets of doubles, gear and two dudes who weren’t the lightest cave divers around. Our main goal was to hopefully keep car from high centering and causing the sharp rocks from the road from piercing the undercarriage of the vehicle. A secondary goal was to arrive at the site with our internal organs in roughly the same place they started the day.

After about a mile and a half down, the road the ended near a large rock pile and somewhat small Palapa with a table under it. Could this be the place? We didn’t see any water around, but we did find two nicely maintained paths heading off into the jungle. As there was absolutely nobody around, there was nothing to do but pick a path and hope for the best. Maybe we would find something.

After a short walk down the first path we came to a very beautiful overgrown Cenote that looked promising. Only problem was, the water in it was only about 2 inches deep! Hmmm maybe further back in, it gets deeper? We slowly moved further in until the cave ceiling dipped down to about 2 feet and curved left off into the darkness. As I left my light back at the car, I couldn’t see exactly what was there, so we tossed in an exploratory pebble hoping to hear a nice plunk of water. Instead we hear a wet squish of mud. This did not sound good!

So we decided to go back and try the other path. Once back at the car we were met by a nice Mayan gentleman who worked on the ranch. Unfortunately for us, he did not speak a lick of English and our Spanish was sorely lacking. After some discussion between Nick and I that revolved around if either one of us knew the Spanish word for cave diving (turns out we didn’t) we elected to go with the sign language route and tried to see if it the Cenote was around and if it was possible to dive here. He indicated that the Cenote we were looking for was down the other path but the word “Prohibito” came up quite often. This did not look good. After making sure it was okay with him if we went and took a look at this Cenote we headed down the other path.

We eventually came to a small hole in the ground somewhat overgrown with foliage perhaps no more than 15 feet in diameter with steep stairs leading down. What we saw when we got down to the bottom quite literally made our jaws drop. Spread out before us was a very large underground cavern with crystal clear water covering at least 75% of the floor. Spaced throughout the room were several large scale decorations that seemed to be lit by shafts of light coming from natural sunroofs scattered throughout the room. It was at this point that our hearts were taken with the site and we quietly agreed that we would pay anything in our pockets for the privilege to dive in such a wonderful site.

After admiring the view for a while, we poked our heads back out and endeavored to convince our gentlemen to gain approval to dive here. After several minutes more sign language and some belatedly remembered Spanish words, it seemed we had met with success, so we trekked on back to the car to begin our setup. Unfortunately our hopes were quickly dashed as when he saw our doubles tanks, “Prohibito” was again making itself known. After a bit more discussion we found that we might be able to get permission from the Senora back at the Ranch at the beginning of the road. This would mean another two trips up the kidney grinding road. Were we up for that? Hell yeah!
Back at the ranch we quickly located the Senora and started in on negotiations. We quickly learned that the local tour company did have exclusive access to the Cenote and it was looking like we were going to be out of luck. In desperation we showed her our Cave 1 cards and made mention that Fred and Danny had told us of their wonderful Cenote would be appropriate for divers at our level. Her eyes lit up with recognition with the mention of Danny’s name and her stance immediately softened. She agreed to allow us to go diving, but warned us that it would be on our responsibility and we were not to get hurt. We quickly paid our dues, thanked the Senora for her kindness and after having her write a permission note in our wetnotes for the gentleman we headed back up the road for the Cenote.

After gearing up and humping our tanks the 200 yards down the path to the Cenote we quickly put on our drysuites and splashed in the water and spend at least 30 minutes snorkeling around checking out the nooks and crannies that existed in the cavern zone above the drip zone. We were able to quickly locate the cave line running through open water and even found a permanent cookie on the line that identified the cave as Yax Muul.

We quickly got on the rest of our gear and picked a direction for our first dive. As it turns out we headed in the upstream path. The line started out very shallow with no more than 15’ max depth but heavily decorated. After just a few minutes we hit our first arrow pointing back into the cave. Little did we know that within 5 minutes we would pass right by another unknown (to us) Cenote. After passing and having to mark several more arrows we came to a portion of the cave where the line dropped sharply down. From our briefing with Fred, we thought that this potentially could be the portion where the cave turns to no mount. The strange thing was that it looked quite open down there. After deciding to at least head down to take a peak we quickly followed the line down to 35’. To our surprise and joy the cave opened up to even bigger passageway. We had dropped below the halocline and the cave had changed to the cheese cloth type formation with a fine layer of silt across the bottom. It became quite apparent that the cave hadn’t been dove that often as any stoppage on our part caused percolation and bits of cave ceiling to rain down around us. Proceeding on down the line we saw Styrofoam cups attached to the line and were marked with distance and the name “Lunas and Sombres” (Moons and Dreams). The line arrows were marked with names such as Pablo Diaz, Mike Madden and somebody simply named “The Bear”. We ended up calling the dive all too soon afterwards, for of all things, running out of cookies! While I still had a few left, Nick had run out.

After returning back to our starting place we decided the dive was cool enough to do all over again and went back on in. This time we did some judicious cookie redistribution and were able to get a little farther in before running out of cookies again! The cups at this point were suggesting that we were only 300 feet away from something as they had been counting down on our entire trip in. After forlornly peering further into the cave in hopes of seeing anything we turned and swam on back to our entry point.

After humping our empties back to the car and bringing out second set down we geared up and went exploring downstream. According to this briefing, the cave would be very shallow for quite a while before eventually the line would dip down to 17’ and become no mount. As it turns out shallow was an understatement. For the first 10 minutes we were at times swimming with our fin tips out of the water and sucking in our bellies to keep them out of the silt. Eventually the depth settled down to around 8’ to 12’ and remained there for the rest of the dive
The cave passage here was quit a bit tighter with a somewhat silty floor but was absolutely covered with decorations. Most were stained a nice light shade of orange from the tannins in the water. Once again the cups made their presence known, this time a bit more annoyingly as we often had to cross the line, and the Styrofoam cups, being buoyant would cause the line to float up. After a good 25 minutes swimming, we reached the spot where the line jumped to the right and a final forlorn cup signified that this was 3300 feet from Lunas and Sombres and was indeed End of Line. To me this suggested that the original explorers were running on back mount and the cave narrowed up at that point. Looking at the line that continued on past it was clear we had reached the no mount section. We turned for home and swam on back to our entrance. Once back at our home Cenote, we agreed that we had done quite enough swimming for the day and we were both tired. We packed up our gear and headed out.

These dives were very spiritual experience for me. Being able to wipe the silt off the arrows and read the names of the giants who explore and dove these caves still sends shivers down my spine as I think about it today. It’s a connectedness that leads all the way back to the ancient Maya who used these caves and I feel incredibly blessed to have been able to experience just a small part of it.


5/4/2008 Pt Lobos by Mark Lloyd -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Mark Lloyd, Dionna House
Visibility: 20' - 60' Time:10:40 AM
Temp: 45F - 49F Surge:  
Scooter: X-scooter Burn Time:  
Max Depth: 160FSW Avg Depth: 71FSW
Bottom Time:   Total Time: 1:15
Bottom Gases: 21/35Deco Gases:EAN50
Backgas Config: Double LP80Deco Tanks:AL40
Deco Profile:
3,3,3,3,5,5,5
 
On Sunday Dionna and I came down to Lobos to dive Twin Peaks on our scooters. The condition report didn't look too bad so I was hoping, as always, for great vis. The tide was high at the boat ramp which is always nice for getting in. Once in the water the vis in the cove looked good, about 10 feet or so. Once we descended at the worm patch and got past 100' the vis opened up big time. Woooohooo! Finally, scootering with great vis ! It was so easy to see the sisters, then to the end of Beto's reef, over to the left side then following the ridge all the way up to Twin Peaks. Zooming around the end of TP we turned back passing some Sea Pens on the ground. It was so serene I could of stayed hours playing around out there. As my light flashed past the red and orange sponges, schools of yellow rockfish, and all sizes of yellow dorids, I was regretting that time had passed so quickly. We dodged large bushes of kelp while making our way in, and finally back at the worm patch again we settled in for our final deco stops. A quick check of the temp confirmed that it was a pretty cold 45 degrees. After our deco we surfaced and scootered back to a nice lunch with Suzanne and Gary, unfortunately not in the sun.
5/3/2008 East Pinnacle aboard Escapade by Clinton Bauder -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Clinton Bauder, Matt Vieta, Cameron Wheeler
Visibility: 60' Time:9:45 AM
Temp: 47F Surge: 3'
Max Depth: 78FSW Avg Depth: 60FSW
Bottom Time: 1:00 Total Time:  
Bottom Gases: EAN32Deco Gases:
Backgas Config: Double LP80Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
 
Cameron, Matt and I got in a couple of very nice dives on the Escapade. Reports from Friday had indicated bad vis in the bay and high winds. Jim told me on Friday afternoon that he was fairly sure we wouldn't be able to get around the corner to Carmel. Given this I switched from wide angle to macro thinking we'd be hiding in murky water.

Instead the winds were light and variable in the morning and so down south we went. Shortly after passing a pod of Risso's Dolphins near Point Joe the water started to clear up. By the time we got to Carmel it was a beautiful clear blue and I was cursing my decision to switch to macro.

As we jumped in I got even more mad at myself as the water was not only very clear and blue but filled with Sea Nettles and other jellies like Scrippsia pacifica. Ah well, nothing to do but head for the reef and look for little critters. Happily this worked out well too as we spent an hour finding one cool aeolid to another and I managed some decent shots of some rarely seen species.

Dive two ended up being over on Lingcod Reef. Visibility there was nice as well but being shallower we struggled to look for small stuff in the surge. Still a nice couple of dives.

Note to Team Kitty: Matt says you guys were thinking of coming along. You should have. ;-)

Pictures here.

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