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8/15/2005 Pt Lobos by Devin MacKenzie -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Devin MacKenzie, John Heimann
Visibility: 15' - 50' Time:2:00 PM
Temp: 49F Surge:  
Scooter: Gavin Long Burn Time:  
Max Depth: 185FSW Avg Depth: 140FSW
Bottom Time: 0:40 Total Time:  
Bottom Gases: 18/45Deco Gases:EAN50,O2
Backgas Config: Double LP80,LP104Deco Tanks:AL40,AL80
Deco Profile:
15@20



5@70
 
Fast scooter out Beto's Reef then W across to reef chain to Twin Peaks. We had the intention to clean up the line around Twin Peaks. However, we scootered on line to the pinnacle and around counter clockwise and there was no stray line visible.

Topside conditions were dreary but vis was good outside of the cove and there was decent ambient light making it a 'blue' dive.
7/29/2005 Pt Lobos aboard Phil Sammet's RIB by Alberto Nava -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Alberto Nava, Susan Bird
Visibility: 20' - 60' Time:10:30 AM
Temp: 48F - 53F Surge:  
Scooter: Gavin Short Burn Time: 0:25
Max Depth: 200FSW Avg Depth:  
Bottom Time: 0:25 Total Time:  
Bottom Gases: 18/45Deco Gases:O2
Backgas Config: Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
 
Susan and I went for a dive this morning at Point Lobos on Capt. Phil Sammet's RIB. Based on all the discussions about getting 'Lost At Sea' we were going to be really careful. We didn't want more incidents in one week. We have several plans depending on the conditions of the day. Lucky for us it was really calm seas, maybe 2-3ft swell not more. The fog was a bit dense (as it always is in summer). We met with Phil at 9:00, well 9:15 :-).... loaded our gear in the boat and headed towards sea.

We had plan A, plan B, plan C and Option 1 ;-). We headed for the area of Plan A to see what the conditions were out there. This plan was to scooter Pinnacle Point Wall on the north-west corner of the Park. This wall is 700ft long, starts at 70ft and it drops down to about 220ft towards the end.

We motored to the shallow spot and evaluated plan A. One of the main dangers of diving this area are the famous Sea Lions Rocks. Waves break pretty badly over these rocks in strong weather. Today that was not a issue, even if we drifted into the rocks it would not be a problem (we might even see some cool sea lions :-) ). We then evaluated the fog. It was a thick fog, but with a high ceiling-- Phil said this has been the pattern over the last couple of weeks. We had at least 1/4 mile visibility, consistent with recent weather patterns. There was a very slight current, as predicted by the software which forecasts current conditions.

So divers and Capt. decided on Plan A. We would drop at the shallow spot, scooter in a 330 degree heading to the end of the wall and then loop around until our 25min bottom time was exhausted. Capt Phil would motor for 600ft from the descent point and hang there to wait for our bag to pop up.



The dive was really good. The shallow area of the wall has some big and healthy hydrocorals, some of them as big as the ones on Big Sur's banks, although not quite as abundant as we see there. The water was clear at the surface (40ft), there was a middle layer with a lot of particles, but it cleared again once we hit 100ft mark, aloowing at least 60ft viz. We scootered for a bit until we found the side of the wall. It drops from 100ft to 220ft at the sand. What a view!! :-).

We followed the wall for 4 min while looking at the usual marina life. The wall was carpeted with corynactous, elephant ear sponges, and many gorgonians. Half way along the wall we saw a little pinnacle on the left side and we looped around it a couple of times. Really nice terrain to play around. Once back at the wall we continued towards the deep section. The wall was really vertical and it has some very pointy ridges and deep cracks. At the end it breaks down and meets the sand at 220ft. Looking back from the sand to the top of the wall it looked to me like a huge castle. Here we were surrounded by all kind of rock fish. Vermilions, Rosie, starry, etc. We also saw many juvenile rock fish including one Yellow Eye.

After checking the end of the wall, we headed back to the middle section and surveyed the wall back and forth. We saw a very nice Cabezon resting on a Elephant ear sponge. This was a photo contest winner!!! We didn't have my camera, which is back at the shop for some upgrades :-(... next time...

After 25min of fun diving, we headed towards the top of the wall and did our deep stops while still enjoying the site. One we got to 80ft and approximately 600ft from the descent point we sent up our bag, and maintained our position on the wall until we heard the boat engine confirming the position of the divers. Once located, we moved away from the wall and continue our ascent.

Phil said we almost hit the boat with the bag, and told us he would have had to charge us for repairs :-;. That's what I call good team coordination. It's definitely a nice feeling to hear that boat :-).

The deco was quite interesting as we had many egg-yolk jellyfish going by. Some of them had little creatures living on their tops, and one of them was just on top of Susan tanks for a few minutes, yikes. The water was 48 at depth, and 53 degrees during the deco, so it was nice and warm.

All in all another great day of diving in paradise :-).

I hope conditions stay like this for the weekend.

See you on the Escapade on Sunday.

Sue&Beto
7/17/2005 Montana by Alberto Nava -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Susan Bird, Alberto Nava
Visibility: 20' - 50' Time:12:00 PM
Temp:   Surge:  
Scooter: Gavin Long Burn Time: 60:00
Max Depth: 160FSW Avg Depth:  
Bottom Time: 45:00 Total Time: 2:00
Bottom Gases: 18/45Deco Gases:EAN50
Backgas Config: Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
 
Sue and I went for a dive at Point Lobos yesterday. We started the day with a late breakfast and arrived at Lobos around noon.
Our plan was to visit Montana on the west corner of the park. We put all our gear in the water and started our dive around 1:30pm.
Visibility was good. 30ft at the cove and probably 50-60ft as we scootered out. With this kind of visibility it was very easy to navigate to the pinnacle. On the way there we observed that most of our navigation glues were broken :-(, and decided to use a 150ft spool to mark the last section on the way there.
Once at the pinnacle we enjoyed the scenery for about 15min. We saw some very large Tritona Festiva, one of them was as large as my index finger and probably twice as thick. It was in a little sand patch which has some very nice orange sea pens.
There were many Vermillon rockfish, and we saw a large number of juv. Rosies. I have never seen that many in one place.
We found a new colony of Poly. worms. Very similar to the ones south of the hole in the wall, but this colony had 6 individuals.
We also checked the old octopus den, but he/she was not there :-(.
As always the time at the pinnacle went very fast and he headed back to our spool and reel it in as we moved throught 100ft of sand btw Montana and the next reef
All in all a great diving day.
7/16/2005 Monastery North by Nick Radov -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Will Gore, Kevin Metcalfe, Nick Radov
Visibility: 15' - 20' Time:11:14 AM
Temp: 50F - 52F Surge: 2'
Max Depth: 167FSW Avg Depth: 72FSW
Bottom Time:   Total Time: 0:59
Bottom Gases: 21/35,18/45Deco Gases:EAN50
Backgas Config: Double LP80,LP104Deco Tanks:AL40
Deco Profile:
 
Somehow Kevin managed to talk me into doing another deep shore dive at North Monastery. He swam the deco bottles out first with a lift bag, then we all went back in with our doubles, picked up our deco bottles, and swam out even with the wash rock. Once we dropped we headed straight down the wall to about 160ft, then turned and swam along the reef at that depth for a few minutes. There's quite a few red gorgonians at that level and one large cluster of metridiums. Saw a good collection of nudibranchs including several Tritonia festiva and Flabellina iodinea, as well as the usual Cadlina luteomarginata and Archidoris odhneri. The fish were somewhat sparse. We moved up the reef in steps to 140ft, then 110ft, and turned around to head back. There wasn't much real deco required but we switched gasses at about 65ft and wandered back up along the edge of the kelp forest. Will had a leak in his boot so he was rather cold by the time we got out. At least the water has warmed up about 2degF in the last few weeks. :-)
6/25/2005 Mt Chamberlin - South Wall aboard Escapade by Dionna House -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Dionna House, Nick Radov
Visibility: 40' - 50' Time:8:30 AM
Temp: 49F - 51F Surge: 2'
Max Depth: 169FSW Avg Depth: 110FSW
Bottom Time:   Total Time: 1:08
Bottom Gases: 21/35Deco Gases:EAN50
Backgas Config: Double HP100Deco Tanks:AL40
Deco Profile:
 
The seas were flat and we were lucky to have the Escapade all day. What more can we ask for! We headed southbound past Point Lobos and anchored on a spot called Mt Chamberlin. Slight current, but nothing to be to concerned about, since it was a live boat. The buddy teams were Sue Bird and Beto Nava, Clinton Bauder and David Chamberlin, Dionna House and Nick Radov. The depth range was 120ft down to 200ft
Although Beto described the wall running South, we just happened to have been on another reef beside the South wall. We explored the reef running west-east. Nick and I dropped down and found the top of the reef at around 130ish. We both agreed to drop down to 170ft to check it out for a few minutes then come up to 130 and hang out there for most of the dive. We dropped in and out of canyons and finally found 169ft. The vis between 40-50ft. The reef was covered with all the usual species, but what was very noticeable was the Elephant Ear Sponge and the beautiful topography. We made our way up to 130ft as planned and explored the reef until our time was up and we saw lights from a distance. It was Dave and Clinton. Not much longer we saw Sue and Beto. As planned we all met up as a group on our 70ft stop.
Surface Interval: A pod of Risso Dolphin’s came to visit us. We also saw a few humpbacks.
Dive 2:
Fanshell Beach Pinnacle: The top of the pinnacle was 50ish feet and it drop to 120ft Nick Radov decided to sit the second dive out and I was lucky to buddy up with Sue and Beto. We kept our max depth at 100ft. We were fortunate to be able to explore a swim through and on the other side of the swim through, David and Clinton were signaling to us GPO! The GPO was hidden in the cracks. The size of the suckers were pretty large though. Just around the corner, a smaller octopus came out to play with us. Very Sweet!.
6/25/2005 Mt Chamberlin - South Wall aboard Escapade by David Chamberlin -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Clinton Bauder, David Chamberlin
Visibility: 40' - 50' Time:8:30 AM
Temp: 48F - 50F Surge: 2'
Max Depth: 180FSW Avg Depth: 160FSW
Bottom Time: 0:25 Total Time: 1:30
Bottom Gases: 18/45Deco Gases:50/25,O2
Backgas Config: Double LP80Deco Tanks:AL40
Deco Profile:
70 7
60 4
50 4
40 4
30 5
20 18
10-0 7
 
Report from Clinton: We had a good group of 6 one the Escapade Saturday for some exploration diving; myself, Dave, Susan, Beto, Nick and Dionna. The plan was to explore the area Beto is calling Mt. Chamberlin which is a large pinnacle north of Flintstones. Naturally Dave had never seen this spot before and was worried that it might be another "Sammet Spire". Exactly why this was is unclear as the possibility of a dive anywhere near Flintstones being a bust is about zero.

Weather was insanely great with a smallish NW swell, sunny skies and hardly any wind. Better still the water was a completely different color than last week when the visibility was best measured in inches rather than feet. Visibility at Mt Chamberlin was easily 50 feet and it certainly is a reef worthy of naming after El Jefe. Dave and I meandered down a canyon that started at about 100 feet and hit the wall at around 150. The canyon was full of gorgonians and the wall a bright pink mass of Corynactis. We also saw a basket star sitting on top of a gorgonian. The highlight for me was finding a very large nudibranch which I think might be Dialula lentiginosa. This beast was nearly a foot long. If it is D. lentiginosa that's a range extension all the from BC. Pretty remarkable for an animal as conspicuous as this. Now if only I could remember to focus on getting good images of unusual things and and not rush off too quickly to the next thing. :-/

After the nudibranch we headed west until we hooked up with Sue and Beto who were scootering up and down the wall. The area where we found them featured all sorts of interesting topological features with some nice Elephant Ear sponges adding contrast to the Corynactis. During our Deco a bird made repeated visits to us. Seeing a bird fly by underwater makes you wonder if you're narced until you remember you're at 20 feet. :-P

For the second dive we moved up to Cypress Point and the Fanshell Beach pinnacles. Beto wanted me to lead the group to the swimthrough. Problem is I didn't really remember where it was. Fortunately Captain Jim put the hook right next to it. Better still just on the other side of the swimthrough we found a Giant Pacific Octopus back in a crack. 5 minutes into the dive we could have called it on account of already having seen everything.

Images from the video here. Not my best work but at least the video lights worked this week:

http://www.baue.org/images/galleries/album37




And some comments from Beto:

The area that Clinton mentioned is the best topography I've seen in Monterey/Carmel. The wall start at about 140ft and it goes down to 200ft. At the base on the wall there is a canyon going inside the wall for about 150ft. This canyon is probably 30ft width and it's covered with all kind of invertebrates: gorgonias, corynactus, big nudibranchs, etc. There were many species of rockfish: stary, rosy, vermillion, and even some small yellow eyes. Half way th the canyon there is a side tunnel that goes east back to the wall and there is a very nice arch/bridge to swim under. You can probably do a 20min dive just swimming the canyon and the side tunnel. Next time we'll get some video of it. This is probably one of the best tech dives in Carmel/Monterey :-)
6/24/2005 Naia Wall aboard Phil Sammet's RIB by Alberto Nava -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Susan Bird, Alberto Nava
Visibility: 20' - 40' Time:12:00 AM
Temp: 48F - 50F Surge: 2'
Scooter: Gavin Short Burn Time:  
Max Depth: 200FSW Avg Depth: 160FSW
Bottom Time:   Total Time: 1:30
Bottom Gases: 18/45Deco Gases:
Backgas Config: Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
 
Well this week weather was so good that Sue and I decided on a Frid/Sat diving plan. We meet Capt. Phil at Point Lobos and headed south to see what the ocean looked like. It was 2-4ft swell with a south winds, perfect conditions to try some new sites. I had a selection on area to check starting very close to Sea lions rocks (just out side the park) and heading west from there. This is a tricky area as there are some serious breakers to be worry about while doing your deco, but Frid's weather was good enough that we opted for the GPS closest to the rocks. The site, Naia wall, is a 800ft wall that start at 80ft and it drops down to 180-190ft. The wall is 800-1000ft long and it runs 300 degrees. Our anchor line missed the pinnacle by the 10ft and it went all the way to the sand. As we followed it down we had a look at the top of pinnacle. There were 4 to 6 small kelps at the top, and a lot of invertebrates on the way down. Very nice pinnacle. We scootered following the wall for 5 to 8 min, and until we reached a canyon going up. We had to back-up and while doing that we run into a school of about 20 big vermillion rockfish. We checked each other for about 1min. I love how these rockfish are not afraid of divers and actually come close to check you out. We continued scootering for another 10min and reached the end of the wall on the opposite side. This area is quite deep 200-240ft so we kept our depth while looking down at the amazing wall.
The deco was pretty uneventful and we drifted away from the breakers :-)
Here is a map of the area. This site should only be dived in very flat seas and south winds.
BTW, we saw some risso dolphins while entering the water so that's the reason we called Naia (dolphin) wall.
5/9/2005 Outer Ballbuster aboard Escapade by Clinton Bauder -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Clinton Bauder, John Heimann
Visibility: 10' - 60' Time:2:00 PM
Temp: 51F - 58F Surge:  
Max Depth: 183FSW Avg Depth: 170FSW
Bottom Time: 0:25 Total Time: 1:15
Bottom Gases: 18/45Deco Gases:EAN50,O2
Backgas Config: Double LP104Deco Tanks:AL40,AL80
Deco Profile:
6,4,4,4,4,18,6 up.
 
Diving with John off of the Escapade. The original plan was to go South and dive Flintstones but the wind really picked up from the South making anything out of the bay dicey at best. We stuck our nose out Point Pinos for a look and quickly retreated into calmer water. We decided to dive a reef outside of Ballbuster that looked promising.



Visibility near the surface wasn't so hot but below 70 feet it opened up nicely to about 60 feet or more. The reef doesn't have the color of some of the Carmel sites but it was still very scenic with a good covering of Metridiums and gorgonians. We saw about every kind of rockfish imaginable including brown, starry, rosy, yelloweye, vermillion, canaries, blues and gophers. Beto also found a torpedo ray.


Video stills can be found here.

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