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7/14/2007 Shale Beds aboard Escapade by Dionna House -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Kresimir Mihic, Marciano Moreno, Dionna House
Visibility: 20' - 25' Time:9:30 PM
Temp: 50F - 53F Surge: 1'
Max Depth: 58FSW Avg Depth: 47FSW
Bottom Time:   Total Time:  
Bottom Gases: EAN32Deco Gases:
Backgas Config: Double HP100Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
 

Night Diving at it best!!!!... So I heard there was room on the Escapade for a dusk and night dive. I signed up!! I arrived a little early to get my things settled and to pick up my wonderful picture that Jim Capwell shot. Louie, an Aquarium sea otter, was taking his late afternoon nap right at the K dock. He didn’t seem to mind people watching him snooze. He eventually awoke when he bumped into the dock. Louie entertained us by scratching his face. Some of the tourist told their children it was a seal. A few of us rolled our eyes and commented that it was a Manatee… just kidding.

We motored off towards Ballbusters for the first dive. No luck due to swells and wind. We were sharing the boat with divers from Wallins Dive Shop. The BAUE folks on board were Susan Bird, Kevin Dow, Marciano Moreno, Kreshi and Dionna. We anchored at Eric Pinnacle were the surface conditions looked more tamed. I jumped in the water with Marciano and Kreshmir. We descended into sea nettles and swam around the pinnacle and even had time to venture to a near by small reef. Being that I was on one of my back-up light, Marciano and Kreshi sandwiched me in the middle as I lead the dive. I wanted to save my primary light for the dark night dive. All was good… We saw a rather large lingcod. Marciano’s light failed, but we were at the end of the dive. We juggled the team around and made our ascent. Vis was about 20-25 feet. Kind of spotting vis. Max depth 59feet for 43 minutes.


The real dark night dive was at Shale Island….. WoW!!! What a place to be for night time entertainment. The anchor was placed so perfectly next to the shale bed, I navigated along the shale island. I used my primary light, and this time we sandwiched Marciano in the middle. We were able to see a baby octopus. It hung out with us and let us look at it for awhile. I tried to get it to climb up my glove, but, it just sat there next to my hand. The octopus changed colors a little bit, but, nothing to inconspicuous. I saw a few juvenile copper rockfish and lots of clams out feeding. Lots of large size shrimps. The smaller shrimps were the most entertaining by watching them do backwards flips…. Why do they do this???? Bioluminescence was spectacular as well as the free swimming little worms as we made our ascent. Vis was about 25-30feet. Max depth 58feet. Runtime 50 minutes.
7/14/2007 Shale Beds aboard Escapade by Susan Bird -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Kevin Dow, Susan Bird
Visibility:   Time:12:00 AM
Temp: 53F Surge:  
Max Depth: 62FSW Avg Depth: 48FSW
Bottom Time:   Total Time:  
Bottom Gases: EAN32Deco Gases:
Backgas Config: Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
 
Kevin & I joined the Escapade for Sat pm trip over the weekend.

Twilight dive at Eric's was fun, however the night dive on Shale Island was by far the more spectacular of the two adventures.

Kevin & I descended the downline to Jim's anchorage, which was placed just to the west of the gigantic Navy anchor which resides on the island:

http://www.baue.org/projects/shale/#Project_Data

We headed west, towards the mushroom rock, slowly inspecting the area under the ledge of the island, while occasionally shining our lights over the plateau, in search of octopi. The most abundant nocturnal creatures were the clams who were extending their tubular bodies as far out as possible to filter the water. They retracted back into the relief of the ledge under the glare of our lights.

We soon found a six spotted gunnel, and a shy octopus tucked into a hole. The shrimps were having a party, doing summersaults in the 'spotlights'.

Kevin found a lovely octopus, hunting out away from the ledge. This creature gave us quite a show, moving over the rocky substrate, extending its arms into nooks and crannies for snacks. It changed it's shape & texture to try to outsmart us, a very impressive performance.

We checked out the shale ledges extening west from the mushroom rock, which are a usual hangout for vermilions and other large rockfish... we only saw one vermilion, a cream colored rockfish, and a lovely treefish. I suppose the vermilions were out hunting at night.

As we continued around the island, we came across a sturdy looking rock crab, and a lithoid crab neighbor. Earlier, we spotted a lithoid heart crab-- with it's distinctive hairy legs.

We found another octopus on the plateau, but this one didn't budge... it was intent on camoflaging itself by keeping completely still.

As we rounded the east end, we saw a large shape moving fast-- kind of an adrenaline rush for a moment... until we recognized it as a harbor seal out hunting for fish. We were buzzed a few times, as the seal used our light to help with the hunt.

A few moments later we were buzzed by another large hunter, this time a sea lion looking for dinner.

We had enjoyed ourselves so much that we lost track of our time & distance around the island... so the last 10 minutes of the dive moved us a bit faster-- swimming to find the Navy anchor, then the upline shortly thereafter.

We played with luminescence on the ascent, and thoroughly enjoyed the dive.

I highly recommend that we charter the Escapade for a BAUE night dive on Shale Island soon!!!



6/16/2007 Hopkin's Deep Reef by Dionna House -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Harry Babicka, Mark Lloyd, Dionna House
Visibility: 20' - 25' Time:10:30 AM
Temp: 50F - 51F Surge: 1'
Max Depth: 80FSW Avg Depth: 55FSW
Bottom Time:   Total Time:  
Bottom Gases: EAN32Deco Gases:EAN50
Backgas Config: Double LP80Deco Tanks:AL80
Deco Profile:
 

The Nettles are Here !!!!!... Did two nice relaxing dives at Hopkins Deep Reef with Mark Lloyd and Harry Babicka. We have been working hard on our skills lately and really needed this kind of dive to chill out. Surface conditions were nice with no current. We each got a chance to run the reel. Visibility was about 20-25ft. On both dives we were visited by the Sea Nettle Jellies. One jelly had some small fish cleaning it. I think Kawika has a picture of this on his website. We also spotted several nudibranchs and of course lots of Metridium. The nudibranchs were two large Triopha Catalinae, a few Cadlina Luteomarginata and Doriopsilla Albopunctata. The best part of both dives was the ascents¡K. We were bombarded by the Sea Nettles from all directions¡K. It was rather comical trying to avoid them¡K. Then¡K.We gently pushed them away¡K.. Then¡K okay Get Out Of The Way!!!! LOL¡K. ƒº I heard from other divers that they were everywhere¡K. And I thought they were just attractive to Mark¡¦s underarm deodorant. :-p
5/29/2007 Ed's Wall aboard Phil Sammet's RIB by Alberto Nava -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Susan Bird, Alberto Nava
Visibility: 30' - 50' Time:11:00 AM
Temp: 46F - 51F Surge:  
Max Depth: 206FSW Avg Depth:  
Bottom Time: 0:40 Total Time: 1:30
Bottom Gases: 18/45Deco Gases:50/25,O2
Backgas Config: Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
4s,18
 
Beto & I extended the Memorial Day weekend to dive out of Point Lobos on Phil's RIB. We are sure happy we decided to play hooky today!

The day was overcast, with a breeze coming from the south & west. Whaler's Cove was calm, and there were very few divers in the lot. We shared the launch ramp with Bill Gomez (a frequent weekday diver), who was setting out on his boat with a friend.

Based on reports for calm seas, we had discussed diving Ed Cooper's Wall, a site we had visited several years ago. The conditions have to be 'just so' for this site, and we hoped for the best. As we motored out, it was clear that our wishes had been granted.

The site consists of a long ridge with a sheer wall, with several narrow perpendicular channels cutting the ridge into (large) segments. We anchored at the NW end of the ridge, and jumped into a strong current running north. It was a lively few moments, holding tight to the current line while unclipping & readying scooters. Once we let go of the line we were barely moving as we scootered towards the anchor line at full pitch.



We quickly descended to find a big bowl-shaped indentation carved into the top of the ridge at about 140ft. The bowl was 10 ft deep and approximately 15 ft across. We settled into the bowl, completely protected from the current, and caught our breath with the gargonians, vermilions, and rockfish who were also hanging out in the "fish bowl". A nice juvenile lingcod posed in front of a white sponge, wondering where Clinton was with his camera.

We then descended over the west side of the ridge, and dropped-- and kept dropping-- leveling off at 200ft, with plenty of depth left between us & the bottom. It was dark, but the viz was really good, 50 to 60 ft. We scootered along the wall, which seemed to go on forever! Along the way, we hit some patches of brisk, 44 degree water, but the water got warmer as we eventually made our way shallower, leveling off at 48 degrees for most of the dive.



So... the wall... how to describe it? In simple layman's terms, it was spectacular! The ridge creates a long, expansive, heavily decorated corridor, as it parallels a smaller, deeper second ridge. As we looked up, we could see that the wall/s angled out at times, creating dramatic overhang areas, perfect for sheltering schools of blue rockfish. The top of the ridge is quite uneven, containing a plethora of peaks and valleys.

Along the wall, there are numerous cut-out areas, kind of like miniature valleys at various depths. We knew we had a lot of ground to cover, but we nevertheless stopped to explore a few of the indentations. While in one valley area, I signaled to Beto to look back at where we had come from, and there was a huge school of blue rockfish following us hoping in vain that our bubbles were tasty fish-treats. Among the blues there were vermilions, calicos, china, and copper rockfish.



There were hundreds of horizontal and vertical crevices running the length of the ridge, and we looked for GPO's and wolf eels. No luck this time, but in one especially lavish crevice we did see a tell-tale pile of shells, sure evidence indicating a GPO den. Towards the bottom as we continued our journey there was a surprisingly dense population of treefish, some of whom seemed either extremely curious, or territorial.

We passed by the first intersecting channel, which cut a perpendicular path through the ridge from top to the sandy bottom. The walls were close together, maybe 10 ft apart, and both sides were lush with corals, sponges, corynactus, and lunging decorator crabs.



We continued towards the shallower end of the ridge, observing break down areas with huge boulders at the bottom and to the side of the wall. We kept looking up, taking in the craggy profile of the ridge above us, and soon we began to see bull kelp swaying in the surge. More fish, more color, shifting topography as we moved up to 120 - 100 ft range. We began to see hydrocorals, in bursts of color in cracks. We passed the second channel, much more 'open', with a rocky breakdown area.

We completed the dive at a wall with a distinctive overhang, surrounded by rockfish, treefish, perch, and a lone Sheepshead who was afraid of our lights. We looked for nudibranchs on the wall, and enjoyed colorful scenery until we left the top of the ridge at 30ft.



The last half hour of the dive was as lively as the beginning, with a definitive surge bandying us around like helpless kelp fronds. The wind had picked up, stirring the water into confused seas, making Phil's job of picking us up more entertaining for all involved.

This was one of my favorite Nor Cal dives, rating in the Top 10. Because we were on scooters, we got a sense of the massive dimension of this ridge and wall system. It was truly impressive, and we can't wait for conditions to allow us to return to this amazing site.


5/12/2007 Lobos Rocks aboard Escapade by Dionna House -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Harry Babicka, Susan Bird, Mark Lloyd
Visibility: 40' - 50' Time:9:00 AM
Temp: 48F - 50F Surge: 1'
Max Depth: 90FSW Avg Depth: 60FSW
Bottom Time:   Total Time: 1:04
Bottom Gases: EAN32Deco Gases:EAN50
Backgas Config: Double LP80Deco Tanks:AL40
Deco Profile:
 

We had an early morning departure for a wild adventurous boat ride down south to Lobos Rocks. Anchor was dropped and after a quick GUE EDGE, Mark Lloyd, Susan Bird, Harry Babicka and I took the plunge. We started out going North East, crossed over a sand channel and came to a beautiful wall covered with life. Max depth was 90feet. We stayed there for about 15 minutes hoping to find a GPO, than came up to 80feet for about 20minutes. Visibility was in the 60ft range, almost tropical like, except someone turn up the heat. Only saw one sea lion that buzzed past us. The plan was to breathe down the stage and switch to back gas. When we hit the 50ft stop we did a gas switch to our 50% bottles. It is good to practice some of this stuff without having a real decompression. While taking advantage of the 50% bottle we were on our way back to the boat. We came upon an area covered with anemones and various giant spined stars. As we looked up to enjoy the top of the reef, we did see small amounts of white water with the sun shining down the water column. It was very much like “Seeing the light at the end of the tunnel”. We headed South West back to the boat and surfaced. While kicking back to the boat, the other divers on board were observing a whale. It was a Minke Whale. Susan was able to see it underwater. We motored to calmer waters and anchored at “The Needle” for some laughs, stories, sandwiches and clam chowder


The second dive was at “The Needle”. We circled the needle at 80ft for 10minutes then up to 70ft for 10minutes. As we were circling the pinnacle, we did see a large crab bite into something and slowly let go to fall upside down into the deep blue. We watched as the crab hit the bottom and quickly turn itself back on his claws again. Great agility!!! It was lots of FUN to be able to play around underwater with other BAUE divers. We went up to 60ft than 50ft has we approached the anchor line we saw other divers hanging out. Some did their hang a little further away from the anchor line while others were close by. Everyone came up with smiles. Visibility was about 50ft. Total run time was 55minutesSpecial Thanks to the Escapade crew for making the day great.

4/30/2007 Cypress Canyon aboard Phil Sammet's RIB by Alberto Nava -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Susan Bird, Alberto Nava
Visibility: 40' - 60' Time:10:30 AM
Temp: 44F - 48F Surge:  
Scooter: Gavin Short Burn Time: 0:20
Max Depth: 180FSW Avg Depth: 130FSW
Bottom Time: 0:40 Total Time: 1:30
Bottom Gases: 18/55Deco Gases:50/25,O2
Backgas Config: Double Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
6,4s, 18 up
 
Susan and I went out for our first dive at the newly created Point Lobos SMR :-). We're so happy to see most of our favorite dive sites in this area now protected as a marine reserve.



To celebrate this occasion we wanted to dive a pinnacle called K2 which is part of the large structure Mt. Chamberlin out of Yankee Point. However, the wind was a little bit too strong to venture south of Point Lobos, and there was a fog bank lurking in the distance.

We altered the plan to dive Cypress Canyon on the north side of the Park. This area is composed of a series of parallel walls running south to north. We anchored at the top at about 80ft and scootered down to the most northeast edge. Visibility was at least 60-70ft and we really enjoyed the view on the way there.




We continued west to another wall while looking for GPO. We saw a big one there last year and we were hoping for another encounter. Unfortunately we didn't see any. We did see a lot of nice rockfish and some cool nudibranches.

As we made our way back we were surprised to see a large percentage of the gorgonians infested by zooanthids. We have seen this before but never in such a large number. The farthest east wall was a perfect gorgonian garden but now 50% of the colonies are infected by yellow/cream colored animals.

I'm wondering what's going on?

After 20min at about 170-180ft we moved up shallower and motored back to the main pinnacle where the anchor was located. At 140ft we found a nice juvenile yellow eye, about 6 inches long. This one was very bold because it was hovering away from its crevice and allowed a close approach by us. Maybe with the new reserve we will start seeing some adults. Of course, we need to wait 10 or 20 years for them to grow :-0.

We spent about 10min btw 120ft to 70ft while looking at all the hydrocorals and lingcod at the top, plus we found several chestnut cowries.

The water was clean but cold. The bottom was btw 44-46 and the deco (from 70' up) was done at a balmy 48 degrees.

Great first dive at the SMR and looking forward to many more :-)

4/29/2007 Breakwater by Dionna House -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Dionna House, Robert Lee
Visibility: 5' - 15' Time:10:30 AM
Temp: 50F - 52F Surge: 5'
Max Depth: 64FSW Avg Depth: 48FSW
Bottom Time:   Total Time: 1:43
Bottom Gases: EAN32Deco Gases:
Backgas Config: Double HP100Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
Minimum
 

After practicing on Saturday with some BAUE members, Robert Lee and I went out Sunday for a FUN dive. The goal was to get out to the Barge and look for critters along the way. It was a lot cooler top side and sea conditions look liked it calmed down from yesterday. The Cruise Ship had sailed out to higher seas. After our GUE EDGE, we trudged in to the waters at the Breakwater. Along the wall, there seemed to be lots and lots of tube anemones with Dendronitis Iris eggs attached. We did see several Dendronitis Iris nudes. We found the cinder block and I tied off and ran a spool to the line. Vis was about 10ft. While following the line, Robert and I visited his Sarcastic Fringehead friend. He had big eyes, like a bug!!! We got to the end of the line and saw two Hermissenda Crassicornis. Robert tied off his reel and we kicked out to the Barge. We took turns with the reel. While on the Barge, we saw Four Triopha Catalinae, three of them were on top of eachother and the fourth one off to the side. Survival of the Fittest in action. There were some Rockfish, but, not the schools that like to hang vertical in the water column. There was a slight current pushing us south west. It was noticeable when we stopped kicking. We hung out for awhile and looked into cracks and crevices. Saw the usual suspects. It was time to head back. On our way back on the line we saw three divers kicking out with stages and split fins. After we passed them, visibility went from 10ft to 3-5ft. We had the line and compass as our guide. We arrived at the spool that took us back to the cinder block. Once on the wall, I saw a Chestnut Cowry. We usually see them in Carmel. Also saw a pretty good size Octopus that didn’t want to come out of his den. Next time I won’t shine my light on him to much. We cruised back on the wall at 30-40ft looking for critters. I invested in a VEST for warm and wanted to do a weight check. Felt good to be WARM again. Max depth was 64 feet. Average depth was 48ft. Total dive time was 103minutes. Thanks for the dive Robert.
4/22/2007 Pt Lobos by Alberto Nava -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Harry Wong, Alberto Nava
Visibility: 5' - 30' Time:11:00 AM
Temp: 48F - 50F Surge:  
Max Depth: 120FSW Avg Depth:  
Bottom Time: 1:20 Total Time: 1:50
Bottom Gases: 21/35Deco Gases:EAN50
Backgas Config: Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
 
Back to Point Lobos after some Huevos Rancheros at
FirstAwakenings (It's so nice to stay in Monterey
for a weekend as you have time for a nice breakfast)

The plan was to scooter to the Crossroads pinnacle for Harry to get to know the area, and hang there for a while looking at the marine life.

Just as we descended a young harbour seal came towards use and spend several minutes playing with us. It was really close and really cute. I was done for the dive what else do we want... ok we still went for divng ;-).

While at the CrossRoad we found a red gorgonia that was cover with esqueleton shrimps. We got really close to it and looked for the big mother. We eventually found her and it was great to see her defending the little shrimp. I wish Clinton was with us with his macro lens. It would have made for a great macro subject.

On the way back we spent the deco doing survey of the hole in the wall reef.

Second dive we played around lone metridium and the shallow reef around. We hanged around the kelp
bed south of the metridium and it was a beautiful experience with the light coming th the kelp, blue water and many rockfish.

what a fun weekend!!!

Did I ask about warming the water already? ;-)



4/21/2007 Thumbs Up by Alberto Nava -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Anibal Mata-Sol, Alberto Nava
Visibility: 5' - 30' Time:12:00 AM
Temp: 50F - 48F Surge: 3'
Scooter: Gavin Long Burn Time:  
Max Depth: 90FSW Avg Depth:  
Bottom Time: 1:20 Total Time: 2:00
Bottom Gases: 30/30Deco Gases:O2
Backgas Config: Double LP80Deco Tanks:AL40
Deco Profile:
 
It has being a long time since I was able to do a scooter dive at Lobos. A lot of teaching and a lot of travelling so I was finally free for fun diving this weekend :-)

Anibal was nice enough to offer to take me for a Lobos refresher. I was hoping the rocks and cayons were still in the same place but it was always good to have a experience diver with me.

The plan was to go to Thumbs Up. This is locate at the fartest North-East corner of the park. I have always gone there by scooter to the cross-road pinnacle at then up from there. The only problem with this route is that it gets to about 120ft so it's not good for people breathing 32%, 30/30.

For that reason we decided to try a shallower route no deeper than 80ft. We scooters to Granite Point pinnacles and from there we took a 60 degrees heading to the end of the rocks. From there we use the reel to cross the sand channel and make a easy mark for the return trip. We left the reef at about 70ft and headed 330 to Thumb Up. We got to the farest point after about 25min. We hang there while looking at the hydrocoral and rockfish. Really nice terrain :-)

Vis was about 5ft on the shallow and about 30 outside the cove.

Our plan was to call the dive at 40min but both Anibal and myself looked at each other at about 35 minutes and thumb the dive at thumbs Up ;-). The water was about 46-48 degrees so let's go home..

We saw some nice lincods and shipheads as well as some freindly seal lions on the way back.

Great way to get back diving at Lobos. Now can somebody heat the water a litte bit, please....

Back tomorrow for more fun :-)

P.D. I noticed an interesting changed on the scooter diving. The scooters now have those nice lobos mapS attach on the top. At the beggining I was not very excited about it, but once we go on the way it was nice to be able to share with your buddy your location on the maps. I kept asking Anibal for his scooter to see the map ;-) Maybe I'll tape one of those maps in my scooter after all ;-)





3/31/2007 Granite Pt Wall by Ben Villao -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Ben Villao, Robert Lee
Visibility: 30' - 40' Time:9:00 AM
Temp: 40F - 51F Surge:  
Max Depth: 68FSW Avg Depth: 60FSW
Bottom Time:   Total Time:  
Bottom Gases: EAN32Deco Gases:
Backgas Config: Double HP100Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
 
Dive Report 31 Mar 07

Drove down early and snagged breakfast and hung around the Breakwater for a little while. Found the wall full by 0730... I guess it's warmed up enough for the classes. Chatted with Chuck and Glenn for a little bit and admired the huge aluminum dive boat someone hauled out...

Pt Lobos

Dive 1 Granite Pt Wall: Rob Lee and I buddied up and decided on Granite Pt wall. http://pt-lobos.parks.state.ca.us/scuba/granitewall.html

Neither of us have every been there and we felt like exploring so off it was... made it out to the far side of the cove and then dropped to 60 fsw and followed the wall to the North... ducking in and out of canyons... Amazing vis with Hydro coral and sheer walls. The vis was about 40... vertically I could see the waves above... I could also see about 40 below to the sand... at 30 mins we turned and kicked back toward our start point... on our return we thumbed it at 50 mins... taking 10 mins to hit the surface... We were fooled by the "Sand Channel" on the other side thinking we were closer to the parking lot than we were... but what the heck it was a nice day out and the kick back thru the not so think kelp wasn't so bad.

Dive 2 was skills at 20 ft inside Whalers


Pictures from dive 1 here:
http://www.baue.org/images/galleries/album111

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