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7/13/2003 East Pinnacle Ridge aboard Escapade by Sami Laine -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Ian Puleston, Clinton Bauder, Sami Laine
Visibility: 15' - 50' Time:3:35 PM
Temp: 48F - 52F Surge:  
Max Depth: 153FSW Avg Depth: 145FSW
Bottom Time: 0:30 Total Time: 1:21
Bottom Gases: 21/35Deco Gases:EAN50,50/25
Backgas Config: Double LP104Deco Tanks:AL40,AL80
Deco Profile:
deep +
5, 3, 3, 3, 4, 16, 8
 
Escapade on the Sunday afternoon turned into the Hunt Of The Blue Water. Or perhaps 'Victory at Sea'. Morning fogbank was gone by 2:20 pm when we were heading out, and it was bright, sunny, windy; beautiful and ugly all at once! There was hardly any deep ocean swell, but the wind waves were tall, steep, hard and nasty; the water also had the color of gas station coffee, translucent dirty brown. Mmm-mmm! The Krispy Kremes we had before leaving the harbor would mix in nicely!

Eric was driving and working hard at the wheel and throttles even before we got past Aquarium to avoid going airborne, and there were windcaps -- and By-The-Wind-Sailor jellies (Velella velella) -- everywhere you looked.

We bounced and slogged our way out to Carmel, hanging on as we weaved south, props cavitating out of the water every 5-10 seconds. Soon past Pt Pinos, the boat's wake turned crystal clear blue! Unfortunately the rough seas made the clear waters around Cypress Point, Locals Ledge and Outer Pinnacles undiveable.

We traded the blue water for smoother anchorage with a bit greener shade, out of the worst wind and beating. Our aim was a spot a few hundred yards from East Pinnacle that some of us have called The Ridge. We dove here last eight months ago on 11/13/02, but this time we ended up a bit off the last spot and didn't see the same steep wall structures.

Ian, Clinton and I were a team #2 in the water. Although we anchored, we were going to do this as a liveboat, Jim and Eric pulled the hook a few minutes after the teams were down. There was enough current running combined with topside boat motion that deco on the anchor line would have been uncomfortable. The visibility was low near the surface, the top 30' of water was chock full of jellies of different kinds; Moon jellies (Aurelia aurita), Beroe sp., etc.

After checking that the anchor can come free, we cruised along 145' depth on a huge boulder slope, and it felt a bit like N Monastery; fairly sparse in invertebrate life, only less silty and more fishy. Blue rockfish were doing an interesting thing, they were sitting down! The boulders were dotted with Blue rockfish, and they were resting on their caudal and anal fins, just perched on the rocks. This was quite strange to me, as I've never seen Blues do this. We also saw some very large Dirona albolineata nudibranchs.

After the first 20 minutes we arrived at a set of nice pinnacles rising 20'-30' from the boulder slope, with more color and life on them; the first group had mostly sponges on it, the other pinnacles were covered in Corynactis, the usual deep pinnacle top corner inhabitants. We spent another 10 minutes here as I was making Ian and Clinton pose for me. I wanted more 'team diving' pictures in my collection and they were happy to comply.

The top of the reef at 110' was washed with the current and covered in low Pleurophycus gardneri kelp. We said bye-bye to it, and started drifting and headed for deco. This part of the dive was not as simple as one would hope, as Ian had several gear-related complications, but they were dealt with forthwith. All this certainly added color to make this dive a memorable one.

The ride back was quite wild, but in it's own way fun as well, decks awash with sun and salt water spray.

7/12/2003 Pt Lobos by Pete Gelbman -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Pete Gelbman, Nick Radov
Visibility: 15' - 30' Time:10:28 AM
Temp: 48F Surge: 5'
Max Depth: 109FSW Avg Depth: 80FSW
Bottom Time: 1:15 Total Time: 1:42
Bottom Gases: EAN32Deco Gases:EAN50
Backgas Config: Double LP80,LP104Deco Tanks:AL40
Deco Profile:
Long slow swim back to the ramp ;-)
 
A large BAUE contingent @ Lobos today. Thanks to a gracious invite from other BAUE members with reservations, Nick and I met up with Mark, Anibal, Kevin and Will at Whalers Cove. Ocean was flat today and we had an easy long surface swim out and dropped close to middle reef. In prep for some upcoming training Nick & I did a full set of S & valve drills at 20' along with a descent drill, then trailed Will & Kevin out along the left side to the rocks. They swim way faster than us, so we soon lost them and ended up hooking up with Anibal and Mark and provided HID lighting for Mark to snap some good still shots, then drifted away on our own. Vis was patchy opening up in spots. No really outstanding animal sitings today but jellies are everywhere and we saw quite a few anenomies gobbling them up. At one point we saw an anenome gobbling a jellyfish who was gobbling a sea star. Lots of Nudies and rockfish. Very peaceful day on the water. I think this is my longest dive in Monterey waters and the first time my toes got cold ;-)
7/12/2003 Pt Lobos by Mark Lanett -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Mark Lanett, Anibal Mata-Sol
Visibility: 35' Time:10:25 AM
Temp: 48F - 50F Surge: 4'
Max Depth: 87FSW Avg Depth: 60FSW
Bottom Time:   Total Time:  
Bottom Gases: EAN32Deco Gases:
Backgas Config: LP80,HP100Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
 
Very, very flat day in Whaler's, but about 4ft swell outside the mouth. We swam out with 4 other BAUE members, but dove separately, although we did run into them from time to time underwater. We swam in the direction of Bluefish but didn't go that far :). We waited to do our bubble check until we were way out there, and then discovered that Anibal's Argon tank was leaking at the neck (valve probably a bit loose). Nothing to do about it (closing the valve doesn't prevent gas loss), but anyway if he ran out of argon he could get some from me, so not huge problem.


Everyone saw lots of large jellyfish, Aurelia I would guess, about 1 every 20ft. They weren't doing a lot and many had run into anemones, or crabs, or starfish, and so were contributing to a locally healthy ecosystem.


Anibal spotted a nudibranch species which I hadn't seen before, and couldn't find in Behrens. I saw another new one right next to it. They are online if anyone wants to ID them (note: now ID'd as Hilton's aeolid and Tritonia festiva): http://www.baue.org/images/galleries/view_album.php?set_albumName=album11


During ascent, we found millions of comb jellies at about 10ft below the kelp canopy.


At 48F, the water kept everyone chilled. Strangely, I wasn't too bad off, even with a leak in my left arm.

7/10/2003 Monastery South by Jason Nemecek -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Clinton Bauder, Sami Laine, Pete Gelbman
Visibility: 15' - 30' Time:9:00 PM
Temp: 48F Surge: 3'
Max Depth: 40FSW Avg Depth: 29FSW
Bottom Time: 1:17 Total Time: 1:17
Bottom Gases: EAN32Deco Gases:
Backgas Config: Single,Double LP80,LP95,LP104Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
 
More midweek insanity. Clinton, Sami, Pete Gelbman and I drove down after work for a night dive at S. Monastery. We got into the water just after the sun went down and had a fantastic 77 minute shallow dive around the rocks. Before we even descended, the seals were curiously approaching. From the start of the dive a few lucky seals stayed around and raced after rockfish that our HID lights pointed out to them.

The visibility ranged from a slightly murky 15 feet to a nice 30+ feet. Surprisingly, not many fish were out and about, Perhaps they saw the seals following our lights and knew better. The ones we did see were hiding under and between rocks the best they could. An excellent albeit chilly dive at 48F. Pete and I who are both new to diving Monastery at night were quite impressed with the show.
7/5/2003 East Pinnacle aboard Escapade by Nick Radov -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Pete Gelbman, Nick Radov
Visibility: 25' - 40' Time:12:30 PM
Temp: 49F Surge: 2'
Max Depth: 96FSW Avg Depth: 80FSW
Bottom Time: 0:44 Total Time: 0:59
Bottom Gases: EAN32,30/30Deco Gases:EAN50
Backgas Config: Double LP80,LP104Deco Tanks:AL40
Deco Profile:
 
Visibility here wasn't quite as good but still perfectly acceptable. We dropped down the line and found another team had tied a reel in to the anchor so we just followed that out towards the west into deeper water. Met the other team just as they were turning their dive. A short distance further we found a cool little rock grotto with lots of overhangs and caves. The nudibranch population was heavy there, mainly Hermissenda crassicornis (including a tiny one less then 0.5in long) and Dialula sandiegensis. With all our goobering around we lost track of the direction back to the anchor. Started ascending along a small pinnacle and I was about to send up a surface marker when Pete spotted the line only a few feet away. A medium size school of blue rockfish passed by in the distance and then at the 30ft stop a large comb jelly came in close to let us have a look. Another great dive (although the ride home left something to be desired).
7/5/2003 Honeymoon Rocks aboard Escapade by Nick Radov -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Pete Gelbman, Nick Radov
Visibility: 40' - 60' Time:10:00 AM
Temp:   Surge: 2'
Max Depth: 111FSW Avg Depth: 100FSW
Bottom Time: 0:42 Total Time: 1:04
Bottom Gases: 30/30Deco Gases:EAN50
Backgas Config: Double LP80,LP104Deco Tanks:AL40
Deco Profile:
 
This was the best visibility I've seen in months, more like winter conditions than summer. We did a quick S-drill at 20ft, then followed the line down to the anchor where it sat atop a pinnacle and continued down the base of the wall to about 100ft. Pete's primary regulator was breathing wet so he had to open that up and realign the diaphragm. It took us a while to get that squared away and by the time I tied off the reel we were already 12min into the dive. I led off along the base of the wall heading mostly north (towards Point Lobos), but after a while we followed a narrow gap off to the right over to a parallel sand channel, then headed north in it for a while. Saw all the usual hydrocoral and corynactis along the walls, plus a number of cowrie shells. A large vermillion rock fish followed us part of the way. We turned the dive at 30min and made it back to our tie-in point with time to spare so I dropped the reel and we spent a few minutes poking around the immediate area. The ascent was extremely easy, straight up the line and no current. Really an excellent dive.
7/4/2003 E3 aboard Escapade by Clinton Bauder -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Clinton Bauder, Sami Laine
Visibility: 30' - 80' Time:3:30 PM
Temp: 48F - 52F Surge:  
Max Depth: 150FSW Avg Depth: 140FSW
Bottom Time:   Total Time: 1:12
Bottom Gases: 21/45Deco Gases:EAN50
Backgas Config: Double LP104Deco Tanks:AL80
Deco Profile:
Deep stops, 5,3,3,3,4,12,6
 
Ahh, 4th of July. What better way to spend a day celebrating freedom than on the water in beautiful Carmel? Unfortunately as we sat in traffic on 101 it seemed we weren't the only ones with that in mind. Happily it turned out that many of our fellow travellers preferred to go boating elsewhere and exited 101 towards Los Banos for waterskiing or other freshwater activities. Traffic after that was amazingly light. Unfortunately parking was another matter altogether...


Anyway we met John and Beto at K dock for some deep diving at E3 off of the Escapade. It was sunny in Monterey but a looming fog bank indicated it might not be that way in Carmel. Most of the thick stuff was off of Cypress Point and Point Lobos had just the right amount of cloud cover turning the famous meeting of land and sea into an ethereal dreamscape with pines poking out of the fog and headlands vanishing into the mist.


The water was a spectacular clear blue and I knew it was going to be a great dive as soon as I hit the water. We headed down the line and were soon greeted by the sensational technicolor verticality that is E3.


For this dive we stayed near the top of the pinnacle where the life is densest. Visibility at depth was easily 80 feet and we spent a leisurely 30 minutes plus savoring the beauty of it all.


The reef here is absolutely covered in life; Corynactis, big sponges, gorgonians, etc. The contrast between the cream colored sponges and the red anemones and gorgonians gives it a sort of a candy striped effect. For variety mix in some yellow sulphur sponges, translucent tunicates and purple algae. As usual there was a school of blue rockfish at the very top of the pinnacle with vermillions and rosies living on the reef itself.


Near the end of the dive I spotted a small wolf eel out in the open. You don't see a free-swimming wolfie against such a pretty background every day. I must have overdone my signalling to Sami though as he turned away from his picture taking with a "You had better be out of air!" look on his face. Sorry bout that dude!


Deco was straightforward if a bit chilly at 48F. Following the dive we headed back to the harbor for some fireworks. Jim's mooring provided front row seats in front of the fireworks barge. This was a perfect venue as we were close enough to really hear the sounds of the rockets and the taut snap of the explosions but far enough that it didn't hurt our ears and with an angle such that we didn't have to crane our necks too badly to watch the show. Ohh, ahhh. Happy 4th!
6/29/2003 Monastery North by John Heimann -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Isaac Callicrate, John Heimann
Visibility: 5' - 40' Time:2:00 PM
Temp: 52F - 56F Surge:  
Max Depth: 210FSW Avg Depth: 200FSW
Bottom Time: 0:30 Total Time: 2:00
Bottom Gases: 18/45Deco Gases:EAN50,O2
Backgas Config: Double LP104Deco Tanks:AL40,AL80
Deco Profile:
deep stops,15,3,3,3,3,17,slow swimming ascent
 
Isaac had never dived North Monastery and I always wanted to do it on mix, so we took advantage of the super calm conditions.

The canyon wall has much less life than, say, the outer pinnacles or Lobos, but there were some interesting sights. E.g., we saw a small octopus down around 190, and some of the largest metridians I have ever seen, clustered down in the 180-210' range. There were also a few (but only a few) examples of the typical deep water species - gorgonians, glassy tunicates, a sponge ot two. Vis was relatively green and poor, so we didn't see too much of the canyon structure other than the side we dropped down; where we stopped it was still sloping down fairly rapidly to 250'+.

The dive overall was fun but exhausting, especially since I had just finished an open water class and we didn't get started until mid afternoon. With hiking tanks around, swimming them out to a float, and surface swimming out to the canyon, and back, the whole process took us five hours - definitely a dive to do once and say you did...
6/29/2003 Outer Outer Pinnacles aboard Baby-Back by Nick Radov -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Pete Gelbman, Nick Radov
Visibility: 6' - 25' Time:11:00 AM
Temp:   Surge:  
Max Depth: 158FSW Avg Depth: 145FSW
Bottom Time: 0:27 Total Time: 1:10
Bottom Gases: 21/35Deco Gases:EAN50
Backgas Config: Double LP104Deco Tanks:AL40
Deco Profile:
 
Ian just had his boat serviced and wanted to test it out. With four divers and full sets of gear it was a bit overloaded but we didn't have far to go. All the commercial dive boats were clustered around the Outer Pinnacles area and reported bad visibility so we motored out a bit further. Found a pinnacle coming up to about 105ft so we dropped anchor there and Ian sent Pete and I in to have a look. Visibility was horrendous down to about 80ft but it opened up fairly well at depth. It was a nice nudibranch dive: Flabellina iodinea, Hermissenda crassicornis, and Tritonia festiva. Also saw some schools of rock fish. On the pinnacle itselft was some nice clusters of hydrocoral and red gorgonians. Since Pete was running a reel we made it back to the anchor and started to ascend along the line, but as we got up off the pinnacle the combination of bad visibility and a slight current made it tough to keep the line in sight. We decided to drift the rest of the deco under our marker buoy so Ian and Devin on the boat cut loose from the float ball and picked us up. The plan had been for everyone to do a second dive but with the bad visibility we decided to call it a day.
6/29/2003 Outer Outer Pinnacles aboard Baby-Back by Ian Puleston -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Ian Puleston, Devin MacKenzie
Support Team:Nick Radov, Pete Gelbman
Visibility: 6' - 25' Time:12:00 AM
Temp:   Surge:  
Max Depth: 150FSW Avg Depth: 140FSW
Bottom Time: 0:20 Total Time:  
Bottom Gases: 21/35Deco Gases:EAN50
Backgas Config: Double LP104Deco Tanks:AL40
Deco Profile:
deep-stops from 90,
5,2,2,2,3,7,2
 
Launched from Pebble Beach to dive the Outer, Outer Pinnacles - the hot sunny weather had caused an algae bloom and we got bad vis reports from the other boats everywhere so no point going too far. With 4 divers, 4 sets of double 104s and 5 stage bottles in my 50HP 14' boat we weren't going far anyway!


I had no GPS location for the site so we motored around until we found a pinnacle topping at 105' and dropping to 170'. GPS N 36 33.188, W 121 58.364. We dropped the anchor on top as a descent line, but it ran as a live boat.


Pete and Nick went first and came back to say that vis was terrible shallow, but opened up to 25' or so below about 100'. Then Devin and I went down to find a very nice big pinnacle with sheer walls with lots of white Elephants Ear sponges and Red Gorgonians and a little Hydrocoral. The gorgonians were all open, presumably feeding on the algae dropping from above. We also found a young Wolf Eel in a hole and a big EE sponge that had become home to a colony of brittle stars that were swarming all over it. The upper half of the pinnacle was totally carpeted in red Coynacis.


Devin is an ex-WKPP diver from Florida who's just moved here, and since most of his dive gear is in-transit he was wearing his Florida 200g jumpsuit and getting cold. Hence we cut the dive short and cut loose from the top of the pinnacle for a drift deco rather than continuing back to the ascent line. Got to the first deep stop at 90' and drifted straight into the line - back to plan A! Opted to do the deco on the line gently kicking against the mild current as the best way to keep Devin warm.


Lots of small jellies and many Moon jellies in the murk in the shallows. I took one Moon jelly in the face and discovered that they do have a very mild sting!


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