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10/5/2003 Pt Lobos by Mark Lanett -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Mark Lanett, Dionna House, Suzanne B.
Visibility: 20' - 35' Time:11:00 AM
Temp: 52F - 54F Surge: 5'
Max Depth: 50FSW Avg Depth: 40FSW
Bottom Time:   Total Time:  
Bottom Gases: EAN32Deco Gases:
Backgas Config: Single,Double LP80Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
 
It's all fun and games until... Ok, nobody was hurt, but it was a dive to abort.


After dropping and doing some drills, we headed out for Granite Point. Almost immediately we spotted a harbor seal, and it came by a few times, so we slowed to catch more sights of it. It started coming closer and started playing with my fins. In fact it came closer than that, nosing up to my camera and basically getting *so* close that I was thinking "this is a BIG dangerous animal" and started re-orienting myself to keep it at my fins but no closer. But of course the harbor seal is far more mobile than we are so it came as close as it wanted, definitely within my comfort zone. But it was not, as yet, being dangerous.


The harbor seal stayed with us for about all of our bottom time. After turnaround I was further away from the rocks so it checked out Suzanne. It was interested in more than fins, and it was nosing or mouthing everything. Exhaust valve, gloves, then it started biting - biting softly, but biting. It bit her on the arm, checked out the back of her head (but did not bite), bit her hoses, her wings. It did a lot of chewing on her wings, such that I was sure it would puncture them. It also pawed (flippered?) at her tank a lot. It did this to me once and hey, those flippers may be stubby but they are still the arms of a big animal - it can bat you around. I pulled out my backup light and used it as a stick to keep the harbor seal at bay. I didn't threaten it, just made sure that the only thing its mouth got was backup light (and my hand-mounted primary light). Let it bite things that are replaceable.


By this time I was of course signalling *abort*, and we were getting out of there, but... however poor the visibility got, the harbor seal found us every time.


Once in the cove and off the bottom, the harbor seal left us. On land we determined that everyone and gear was Ok; Suzanne's bite was visible but didn't seem to be bruising.


The harbor seal was checking out *everybody* at Lobos. Every group came back in talking about that friendly "seal". It was interesting to note that the less-experienced people coming out of the water described it as really friendly and fun; the more experienced ones called it agressive and something to avoid. My own feeling is that it was just *very* curious, but that with a large wild animal, too much curiosity is a bad thing. It is far more powerful and manouverable than we are in the water, and it has lots of teeth and uses its mouth to investigate everything. We, by contrast, are slow and mostly not scary.


For the second dive we went the other way to Cannery Wall, had much better visibility and thankfully, no visits from the "friendly seal".

9/21/2003 Flintstones aboard Cypress Sea by Nick Radov -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Nick Radov, Julio MacWilliams
Visibility: 20' - 30' Time:8:30 AM
Temp:   Surge: 1'
Max Depth: 93FSW Avg Depth: 80FSW
Bottom Time:   Total Time: 0:21
Bottom Gases: EAN32,30/30Deco Gases:
Backgas Config: Single,Double LP80,LP104Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
 
BAUE club charter today. Due to several people getting sick and cancelling at the last minute we ended up somewhat mismatched on buddies, but it was a good opportunity to get better acquainted with some new and prospective club members. For the first dive we hit Flintstones at Todd's request since he had never been there. Julio and I dropped down the anchor line until the pinnacle came into sight, then jumped off and headed off to the left at about the 85ft contour. Midway through the dive I spotted an interesting specimen of Dialula sandiegensis; usually they're white but this one was a dull yellow color. I wonder if that means it's getting old, or maybe due to diet? Julio was on a small single tank so we had to turn the dive after only 10 minutes and then headed back along a slightly shallower contour. Since the currents were light I decided to skip returning to the anchor line and instead took us to the peak of the pinnacle to check out the hydrocoral there. Then we made our final ascent next to the kelp that grows out of the summit, right through a small school of juvenile blue rockfish. A pair of sea lions kept us company.
9/14/2003 McAbee aboard Cypress Sea by Nick Radov -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Gary Banta, Nick Radov
Visibility: 10' - 15' Time:5:00 PM
Temp: 58F Surge:  
Max Depth: 55FSW Avg Depth:  
Bottom Time:   Total Time: 0:56
Bottom Gases: EAN32,30/30Deco Gases:
Backgas Config: Single,Double LP95,HP100Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
 
The boat was anchored on the far side of the kelp forest near the wall that runs sort of northeast to southeast. We spent the first half of the dive goobering around through the rock field in the kelp forest. Every crack we looked in was filled with spot prawns, never seen so many of those. For the second half of the dive we went back over to the wall and followed it out and back. Lots of various rock fish, including one especially large vermillion stuck back in a crevice. Also ran across a number of Hermissenda crassicornis and a crab with arms near as long as mine. When we returned to our starting point I could definitely hear the boat but we couldn't spot the anchor line. So we started doing a free ascent, but then we heard an outboard motor race by so I decided to send up a marker buoy. It turned out we really were near the boat; when we got up to our 10ft stop I looked up and realized my bag was caught on the swim step. :-)
9/14/2003 Eric's Pinnacle Damnit! aboard Cypress Sea by Nick Radov -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Gary Banta, Nick Radov
Visibility: 10' - 15' Time:2:45 PM
Temp:   Surge: 1'
Max Depth: 64FSW Avg Depth:  
Bottom Time:   Total Time: 0:58
Bottom Gases: 30/30Deco Gases:
Backgas Config: Single,Double LP95,HP100Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
 
I hadn't dived in a single tank for more than four months so it felt a little weird not having the ton-oh-fours strapped to my back. :-) We dropped down along the east face of the pinnacle, then jumped over the small sand channel to check out the smaller rocks. Gary pointed out a clown nudibranch (Triopha catalinae); I hadn't seen one of those in quite a while. We then turned and made a 3/4 circle around the base of the main pinnacle. Caught a large decorator crab in the act of devouring a still living jellyfish. For the second half of the dive we moved over to the other large pinnacle that sits next to Eric's and did a couple circuits of that. It has a nice thick crop of corynactis. That smaller pinnacle tops out at about 43ft so we made our ascent along the kelp that grows from the summit.
9/5/2003 Monastery North by Pete Gelbman -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Jason Nemecek, Pete Gelbman
Visibility: 30' - 60' Time:7:59 PM
Temp: 54F Surge:  
Max Depth: 107FSW Avg Depth: 50FSW
Bottom Time: 0:50 Total Time: 1:47
Bottom Gases: EAN32Deco Gases:
Backgas Config: Double LP80Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
Long slow multi-level swim back to shore
 
This is probably the best dive I've done in Monterey, definitely the best shore dive ever for me. Ocean flat, sky clear, bright moon, awesome vis. 0 surge, 0 current.

We did the typical N. Monastary routine; drop at edge of kelp parallel with the wash rock, swim out the ravine edge around 100' for while then head back, play around the shallow kelp for a long time. Except this was night. With spectacular vis.
And lots of fish. With sea lions, MAN were there sea lions.

We knew it was going to be a good dive when we could barely find the wash-rock because the water was so calm we couldn't see any water breaking over it. Also we could see the bottom from the near the wash rock. As soon as we drop down, sea lions are buzzing us. Man, they love the HID lights. 3 of them stayed with us the whole dive never more than 20' from us. 100+ minutes underwater fun with our own personal sea lion escort. A fat white one, a sleek brown one and a medium gray one. What a show! We'd highlight fish for them with our lights and they gobbled them in front of our eyes. They'd streak by us, bumping and rolling us over squinting thier eyes if we shone our lights too close to their faces. We even got to observe them working in teams - one would chase a fish into a rock formation while the other one would wait on the other side and gobble it up. By the end of the dive they were so full they weren't eating any more, just nosing the fish around like a cat bored with a mouse.

At one point we were hovering under a deep ledge checking out some small life when stuff started raining down on us; cucumbers, starfish, a crab sprialing down right past Jason's mask. We look up and the sea lions are going crazy on a school of rock fish on a vertical wall above our heads - they are zipping around so hard they were knocking stuff off onto us. We were both laughing so hard the whole dive - my stomach hurt when we got out.
Plenty of jellies in the water too, moons & and a few eggyokes.

AWESOME! Conditions are STUNNING!
9/1/2003 Local's Ledge aboard Cypress Sea by Pete Gelbman -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Clinton Bauder, Nick Radov, Pete Gelbman
Visibility: 25' - 60' Time:12:18 PM
Temp: 52F Surge:  
Max Depth: 98FSW Avg Depth: 80FSW
Bottom Time: 0:38 Total Time: 1:00
Bottom Gases: 21/35Deco Gases:EAN50
Backgas Config: Double LP104Deco Tanks:AL40
Deco Profile:
3
1
1
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8
6

 
Dive #2: Local's Ledge, Cypress Point? Vis still nice, but quite as nice as before. A ton of Hycro-coral everywhere, Clinton's camera's HID light sure do a nice job lighting stuff up! Made it back to roughly where we thought the anchor line was but could't find it, later we found out that our bag hit the surface about 20' from the boat...

Actually most interesting event of the day was the spotting of a very large shark on the surface in between dives. Marcos Guimaraes gave a good account about it on ba_diving. Couple of dolphins followed us back into the harbour. Large animal surface fun has been a big highlight lately!

Some SDUE folks were visiting with Joe this weekend, they seemed to enjoy themselves. A good day on the water was had by all.
9/1/2003 Flintstones aboard Cypress Sea by Pete Gelbman -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Clinton Bauder, Nick Radov, Pete Gelbman
Visibility: 25' - 80' Time:10:00 AM
Temp: 50F Surge:  
Max Depth: 160FSW Avg Depth: 130FSW
Bottom Time: 0:25 Total Time: 1:00
Bottom Gases: 21/35Deco Gases:EAN50
Backgas Config: Double LP104Deco Tanks:AL40
Deco Profile:
deep stops
5
3
2
2
3
8
8
 
Dive #1: Flintstones. First time deep here for Nick and Pete, very cool site. Primary mission was to find the 2nd missing O2 bottle, that failed so we moved on to plan B which was to fart around and have fun. One of those days where the water is flat, the boat trail is clear, the water is blue and you know it's going to be a good day diving before you even get in. Nothing really special on the dive, just lots of the normal colors and topography - absolutely awesome vis made it really lovely. Some seals dive-bombed us down deep a few times then played with us a bit on deco. Moderate current kept us a bit busy around the line on deco.
8/28/2003 Butterfly House by Pete Gelbman -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Jason Nemecek, Pete Gelbman
Visibility: 20' - 40' Time:6:31 PM
Temp: 50F Surge: 10'
Max Depth: 56FSW Avg Depth: 42FSW
Bottom Time: 1:16 Total Time: 1:20
Bottom Gases: EAN32Deco Gases:
Backgas Config: Double LP80Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
 
After I managed to drag Jason out of work and hauling butt down to Monterey we were rejected by Lobos rangers for being 2 minutes late (!?). Monastary was pounding. Decided to take a look at Butterfly house, found it pretty smooth and at low tide, so decided to give it a try. Tons of kelp on the little beach and in the water made it kind of messy to get out, but once we got down it was fun, although a fairly surgy. Good vis and nice long swim through heavy kelp forsest straight out west from the shore in search of deep ravines to escape the surge but never really got to any depth. I think the nice vertical relief must be a little further out and south of the main washrock there. Dusk lighting makes swimming through the kelp forest/canopy very fun. Some interesting rock formations and some decent Cabezons, rock fish and crabs. A seal stalked us for a while - due to dusk lighting all I could see was his dim outline and green dots for eyes which was pretty eery and cool. Jason did a good job navigating and got us right back to where we dropped down, so we had an easy surface swim back in. We were glad it wasn't too dark though - kelp and surge was a little heavy by the end of the dive - navigating through the shallow rocks would have been more of a pain in total dark. Good stuff.

PS. Checking out Mars from a dark spot on 156 on the drive home was an extra icing on the cake.
7/20/2003 Aumentos aboard Escapade by Nick Radov -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Gary Banta, Pete Gelbman, Nick Radov
Visibility: 30' Time:5:00 PM
Temp: 52F Surge: 1'
Max Depth: 52FSW Avg Depth:  
Bottom Time:   Total Time: 0:47
Bottom Gases: EAN32,30/30Deco Gases:
Backgas Config: Double LP80,LP104Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
 
And yet more drills. Gas sharing at 20ft. This time we each took a turn leading the team from 20ft down to 50ft, then back up again. We're finally starting to get the hang of sticking in formation and communicating effectively but still need more practice. Damn I'm tired...
7/20/2003 Ballbuster aboard Escapade by Nick Radov -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Gary Banta, Pete Gelbman, Nick Radov
Visibility: 25' - 35' Time:3:10 PM
Temp:   Surge:  
Max Depth: 111FSW Avg Depth:  
Bottom Time:   Total Time: 0:37
Bottom Gases: EAN32,30/30Deco Gases:EAN50
Backgas Config: Double LP80,LP104Deco Tanks:AL40
Deco Profile:
 
Another round of gas sharing drills at 20ft, then down the anchor line with Gary leading. The anchor had dragged quite a ways off shore of the main pinnacle and was sitting in the sand amongst some smaller rocks. After checking out a few metridiums on the bottom we made a staged ascent back up the line. There was a noticeable surface current running.

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