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7/17/2011 Mount Chamberlin aboard Escapade by Robert Lee -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Robert Lee, Allison Lee, Kevin Dow
Visibility: 40' Time:10:00 AM
Temp:   Surge:  
Max Depth: 260FSW Avg Depth:  
Bottom Time: 0:45 Total Time:  
Bottom Gases: 15/55Deco Gases:EAN50,O2,21/35
Backgas Config: Double LP104Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
 
We finally caught some weather luck this Sunday and headed south for some rare (for this year) diving :-)

There was some discussion of where to go and trying for further south, but "a bird in hand..." was the prevailing mindset, so we set about to drop the shotline at Mt. Chamberlin. I love this spot, as it easily supports a wide range of dive profiles and is big enough to not get old.

After dropping into almost no current, we quickly made a beeline to the bottom where we found a decent 20-30' of viz, but very dark. We headed west for deeper water and started working the base of the wall looking for strange critters. We passed a basket star and some other interesting stuff and just as I stopped to shoot a juvenile lingcod that had a rockfish in its mouth, I started getting the very distinctive "GPO" light signal from behind me :-)

Sure enough, as I turned around, I found a diver-sized GPO just hanging out and walking along the reef. For the next 15 minutes or so, we hung out with the octopus taking pictures and watching it as it walked around trying to figure use out. At one point, it decided that it found my strobes interesting and started to wrap its arms around them. I managed to pull the camera away and hand it off to my teammates only to find that the GPO was now exploring my arm. Soon, my entire arm up to my shoulder was enveloped in GPO (which by the way is a very cool sensation) and it was starting to pull on me (these things are strong!).

At some point, it occurred to me that while I have plenty of gas/time, we are a bit deep, and I don't have *that* much time. After a bit of a tug-of-war, I eventually got my arm back and we resumed the photoshoot.

All too soon, it was time for us to leave him behind and head up the wall for shallower waters, but it was an amazing encounter. Scootering north toward the K2 pinnacle, we came across a big (3-4') eyed skate on the bottom (which turned out to be dead or dying).

Overall, it was quite a dive, and made up for some of the lousy weather this year so far.

Some pictures here
7/2/2011 Pt Lobos by Harry Wong -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Harry Wong, Gary Banta
Visibility: 3' - 70' Time:10:00 AM
Temp: 48F - 51F Surge: 5'
Scooter: Gavin Long Burn Time:  
Max Depth: 110FSW Avg Depth: 70FSW
Bottom Time:   Total Time: 1:40
Bottom Gases: EAN32Deco Gases:
Backgas Config: Double LP80Deco Tanks:AL80
Deco Profile:
5, 2, 2,3,4,5
 
Point Lobos Diving on the East Side

The weather coming into Whaler's Cove was overcast, though San Jose and Carmel Valley was a sunny clear-blue-skies day and we were hoping it would clear up soon for our dive. More sun, more light and more visibility underwater was the hope. I got there a bit later than Gary who wanted to secure a good parking spot, fortunately I was able to park right next to him in my usual big blue van. Lots of tourists and not many divers today. Besides Gary and I were a few divers from Wallins.

Getting suited up in my fresh, just back from DUI, newly zippered and reseamed suit, I was DRY!

We headed out on the surface of Whaler's Cove, which was a dense mud puddle, on scooters with the kelp starting to get pretty thick. We dropped just past Worm Patch to 3 foot vis and chopped kelp salad. Gary was not optimistic that the dive was going to be worth the cost of 32%. I led the way along Middle Reef and turned at the end getting to Granite Wall. From there we went into Granite Point Pinnacles in a NE direction. The aim was to find "the arch". Vis had opened up to 15 to 20. We followed a path that was very cave-like: meandering, vertical walls that slowly got narrower. It was like cave diving, only with no overhead. We found a narrow crack that looked promising but finally shallowed out. It got pretty surgy in there and looked like it went to 20 feet, too shallow for want we wanted to do, so we went back. It was a half attempt to look for the mythical "Arch." From there I led us into Moss Cove Sand Channel. I always love to go down to the sandy bottom and pick up a handful. It amazes me how the makeup of the sand is half way between the Monastery Beach "Monster Berries" and the sandier, siltier Whaler's Cove sand.

Gary took over navigation from there and led us along the sand/boulder line NNE to his 90' reference which marked the south edge of Thumbs Up. From there we followed the contour north along the outer edge of Wall Street. Vis had opened up to 50 to 75. I found it magical as a school of Blue Rockfish descended upon us. They were swimming down upon us at a 45 degree angle which was a bit bewildering to me, but hey, they seemed to tolerate, if not like us. They completely surrounded us as we watch the gentle dance. We slowly kicked an motored along the Walls and pinnacles, all beautifully decorated.

Visibility: 20' at Granite Wall, then opening up to 30' in the crevice in Granite Point Pinnacles. The the farther we got out, the clearer it got with about 60' at Wall Street which is at the far north edge of the East Side. There the sun must have come out as it got a lot brighter even at 100' depth. Very very cool!!!

Current: there was definitely some along Granite Point Pinnacles as I could sense the slower speeds of our scooters at times.

Surge: very mild in Whaler's Cove and Granite Point Pinnacles, calm at Thumbs Up and Wall Street.

A very memorable dive after all.


6/19/2011 Breakwater by David Chamberlin -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Clinton Bauder, David Chamberlin
Visibility: 15' - 20' Time:9:00 AM
Temp: 52F - 53F Surge:  
Max Depth: 47FSW Avg Depth: 40FSW
Bottom Time: 1:03 Total Time: 1:03
Bottom Gases: EAN32Deco Gases:
Backgas Config: Single HP100Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
 
What what? Who is this Dave character writing a trip report? Yes, after about 4 years only diving BC and Alaska, and taking the last 2 years off I finally got back into the Monterey waters.

We were pleasantly surprised to see how empty Breakwater was. For a good-weather weekend day there were surprisingly few people there.

First dive we just went out along the wall, headed over the sand and came back over the sand. Nothing particularly noteworthy, just a very pleasant, very relaxing dive. Except for the "fun" of hauling gear down to the beach (which was actually made much easier due to having my very own gear sherpa - thanks Clinton!), across the beach and doing a longish surface swim, you really couldn't ask for a better re-entry into Monterey diving.

Somewhat counter-intuitively it seemed that we were able to see more things over the sand than along the wall on the first dive, so for the second dive we decided to stay over the sand most of the trip. And we were well-rewarded.

We saw not one, not two, but three sarcastic fringeheads (though not nearly as sarcastic as the bunch at Phat Burger, but I'm getting ahead of myself). We also spotted a Pleurobranchaea californica nudi, which is one that neither of us had seen before. We also found a fair number of little octopi hiding here-and-there. And finally on the swim back we ran across a very sad fish with a hook in its eye. Poor fishy. :-(

Clinton got some good shots which you can see here.

Afterwards we met up with a group of folks over at Phat Burger. In attendance were Jim, Julia, Mike, Vanessa and Michael (nice to see one of my first DIRF students again!). As we joined them they had apparently just finished scaring away some poor, hapless visitors. Quite the rowdy collection there. It was fun seeing some new (to me) faces, and seeing some very old ones (with girlie shoulders) too. :-)

Great being back in the water again. Thanks for being a great buddy Clinton!
6/11/2011 Kawika's Gorgonian Garden aboard Escapade by Alberto Nava -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Dionna House, Alberto Nava
Visibility: 10' - 25' Time:7:00 PM
Temp:   Surge: 3'
Max Depth: 127FSW Avg Depth:  
Bottom Time: 0:30 Total Time: 1:00
Bottom Gases: 21/35Deco Gases:EAN50
Backgas Config: Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
 
Yesterday we had a R3 trip scheduled on the Escapade. We were hoping to dive some of the amazing sites in Carmel/Big Sur, as for example, Flintstone, Soberanes Wall, Alan Arch and many others but the weather was less that cooperating so we ended diving in the bay. On the boat were Allison/Clinton, Brian, Ted and Ben, and Dionna and Beto.

The first dive was at Kawika's Gorgonias Garden. This is always a fun dive with a lot of gorgonias and nudies to see. Dionna and I found 2 toquinas, one of them a little baby that were eating the gorgonias. There we many large vermillions and tons of small lincods at the reef.

Second dive was at "The Drop Zone" #1 alias the Pipeline and we swam a long a nice ledge at 100ft for about 30min. We found a very nice octopus and some of the largest clown nudies I have ever seen. There were tons of juv rockfish on the reef which was really nice to see swim as we moved our lights.

Vis was 20-30ft at the bottom and 10ft during the ascend with tons of jellies to take care of during the deco.

All in all a fun diving in the bay
5/8/2011 Lunaticos Annex aboard Escapade by Clinton Bauder -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Clinton Bauder, Kevin Dow
Visibility: 40' - 20' Time:10:00 AM
Temp: 49F Surge:  
Scooter: X-scooter Burn Time:  
Max Depth: 190FSW Avg Depth: 160FSW
Bottom Time: 0:38 Total Time: 1:30
Bottom Gases: 18/45Deco Gases:EAN50,O2
Backgas Config: Double LP80,HP100Deco Tanks:AL40
Deco Profile:
Deep Stops, 6,4,4,4,4,22,6 Up
 
We met at the dock Saturday morning with somewhat muted expectations. The wind was forecast at 10-20 building to 15-25 in the afternoon. This usually rules out Carmel and enthusiasm for diving Monterey was low. After some discussion we lost a couple of teams who decided to sit it out rather than burn a lot of helium on a braille dive in the bay. Kevin, Jim, Joakim and I voted to go diving anyway. Good thing we did.

As we got underway it became clear the wind had already died a bit from when we'd started loading. In fact, it there was relatively little wind at all so we pointed the boat south and headed for Carmel. Once there it was even calmer than in Monterey and we dropped the ball at Lunaticos.

I was diving with Kevin. We got off to a bit of a slow start as I noticed when we jumped into the water that I'd trapped my light cord. We fixed this and headed down only a few minutes behind the other team. Once we stopped scootering on the bottom I realized my right post was bubbling a bit and had Kevin come over to fix it. As he was doing this I realized I was looking at a juvenile wolf eel. It was just far enough back into a crack to make taking pictures difficult but a cool find nonetheless

Visibility on the bottom was surprisingly good -perhaps 40 feet. We meandered along the south wall of Lunaticos looking for slugs and other small life. Somewhere in there I realized that when I'd fixed my light cord I'd then fouled my scooter tow cord slightly and we stopped to fix that too. Jeesh.


Eventually my minor gear issues added up to a bit more gas usage than I'd expected and we called the dive 2 minutes early. Deco was uneventful with the highlight being a big sea nettle with a juvenile fish hiding in the bell. Kevin tried to point this out to me but by the time I saw it the nettle had moved up to 15 feet and was too far away from our 20 foot stop for me to take pictures.

We surfaced to a scene that was so placid it was almost surreal. The boat was sitting about 30 yards from us in glassy calm water. The crew was sitting on the swimstep enjoying the sun while they waited for us. We scootered over an leisurely handed the gear back onto the boat. The ride home was as easy as you can imagine.

By the time we finished lunch at the 17th Street Grill in Pacific Grove it was getting windy again so I guess we timed it right. Nice day on the ocean.

Pictures Here
5/2/2011 Ed's Wall aboard Escapade by Alberto Nava -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Susan Bird, Robert Lee, Jim Capwell
Visibility:   Time:10:30 AM
Temp: 42F - 50F Surge:  
Max Depth: 232FSW Avg Depth:  
Bottom Time: 0:40 Total Time: 1:40
Bottom Gases: 15/55Deco Gases:EAN50,O2
Backgas Config: Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
 
For several weeks we had been trying to go diving on a Friday but the weather has not cooperate with us. For that reason we decided to switch the Mondays, which recently had been the best diving day of the week.

Susan, Rob, Jim and myself heading south hoping for some cleaner water, and calm seas. We had about 6 hrs weather window before the wind pick-up again so we headed for Ed Cooper wall and had a nice dive there.

We anchored at the deep end and motored the wall all the way to 70ft. We saw tons of vase sponges, several Yellow eye juveniles, one scorpion fish and one sail-fin sculping during the deep portion of the dive. Towards the shallow we found some large lingcods, large school of blue rockfishs, several tree-fish and a very nice wolf-eels at 120ft.

Visibility was actually good. We had 20ft at bottom and 40ft as we got to shallower water. Much better than the Bay!!!

Temp was 46F most of the time, with 50 during the O2 hang.
4/23/2011 Pt Lobos by Dionna House -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Clinton Bauder, mykle hoban, Dionna House
Visibility: 5' - 10' Time:10:00 AM
Temp: 48F - 50F Surge: 2'
Max Depth: 50FSW Avg Depth: 30FSW
Bottom Time:   Total Time: 0:50
Bottom Gases: EAN32Deco Gases:
Backgas Config: Single HP100Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
 
It was BAUE day at Point Lobos as well as Earth Day Celebration. I heard the vis was not suppose to be that great, but, it was nice to be in the water and hanging out with friends. I was also going to try doing 2 dives with a single tank, to see how my back would tolerate it.

There appeared to have been a few new harbor seal pups born and perhaps some on the way. Spring is always a great time for a new life. The BAUE days are a special day to dive with someone that you normally do not dive with. I buddied up with Mykle and Clinton joined us. Jim McDonald was suppose to join us, but, he had to plan his wedding. Mykle and Clinton were perfect buddies when you want to brush up on your species identification. Especially Nudibranchs!! We geared up, splashed in and kicked out to around the worm patch area. We descended and swam west on the 40ft conture. We followed the trails until we got to a sight that appeared good for Clinton to take macro pics. Mykle and I both saw a big lingcod. I thought it could have been Lingzilla. The visibility was not the greatest, but, the topography was beautiful.

SI: Lunch time and laughs amongst fellow members. People brought enough food to share with others. Mykle demonstrated some fancy juggling with Trader Joe's oranges at the picnic tables...

Second dive was out to the Middle Reef to look for Itchy and Scratchy, Clinton's fringehead, and to explore the east side of Middle Reef. The fringehead didn't appear to be in his hole, and the visibility was very limited to be able to find Itchy and Scratchy. No luck there. We ended up on the east side of Middle Reef. Fortunately Clinton found a very cool nudibranch that had to be at least 2 mm long. After almost 50 minutes we turned the dive and swam back into the channel. Hardest part of the dive was the swim in against an off shore wind and some headaches about gear issues. :-(

I managed two dives without serious back pain. Just had your typical soreness, that is my usual. Mission accomplished!!

Thanks for Diving Clinton and Mykle.
4/15/2011 K2 aboard Escapade by Alberto Nava -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Susan Bird, Jim Capwell
Visibility: 30' - 10' Time:10:30 AM
Temp: 41F - 51F Surge: 4'
Max Depth: 213FSW Avg Depth:  
Bottom Time: 0:40 Total Time: 1:30
Bottom Gases: 18/45Deco Gases:EAN50,O2
Backgas Config: Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
 
Weather forecast for this morning was NW 15 knots winds which is not the best, but we had been busy with teaching for a couple of weeks so we were itchy for a nice dive. We met capt Jeem in the morning. The idea was to go check and see if we could go out that bay and head for Mid-Way pinnacle, aka MW. We got out of the bay no problem and headed south. We crossed the Kitty team at K2 (diving from Phil's boat) and we continued towards are destination another 30min down the coast. However, the white caps where getting more abundant as we headed south so after another 10min we decided to turn around and go join the Kitties for a dive at K2.

We dropped down at the south wall, motored south for a minute or two until we got to the wall. After that we followed the wall south until we got to the drop-off at the West end .We were hovering close to the 200ft mark as we were looking down and trying not to drop pass the mark. The end of the wall was covered with a large school of juv rock fish. I love to scooter in and out of the fish ball and this time I tried to corral the fish toward Susan and Jim. Susan spotted 6 juv yellow eye on the wall and we also saw two Quillback rock-fish. I haven't see one of those in a while. Eventually we headed back inside the wall while moving th some cool canyons and swimming through. We all wished we have save more bottom time in this section to go back through them, but after 20min it was time to head up to 150ft.

We motored to K2 peak going counter-clock-wise which is new for me. We found some really cool crevices and a lot of fish and by the time we go to the K2 wall proper we were inside a large school of blue rock fish. We played around the wall for another 10min and then went to check
the GPO hideout. No luck this time.

Water has very cold. My G2 read 41 at the bottom and most of the deco was 46-48 degrees. I wished I used my 200gr vest today.

here are some images from Rob.

Another grand day out!
3/27/2011 Gran Sabana aboard Escapade by Alberto Nava -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Susan Bird, Alberto Nava
Visibility: 20' - 40' Time:10:30 AM
Temp: 50F - 53F Surge: 6'
Max Depth: 205FSW Avg Depth:  
Bottom Time: 0:40 Total Time: 1:30
Bottom Gases: 18/45Deco Gases:
Backgas Config: Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
 
This past week the weather had been quite volatile. We endured a gale, winds blowing from all directions and the swells were up & down. We had scheduled a tech charter for Saturday, but due to the weather forecast we moved it to Sunday with the option of bailing out if the wind/surge was too large.

On Saturday afternoon I drove to Point Lobos to pick up our forgotten tables that were there since the last day of the Science Camp. I found very calm conditions and nobody at the parking lot. I drove around the park and I could see diveable conditions south of Lobos. I sent an email to the team to motivate them to go for a fun dive on Sunday.

We motored out Sunday morning and were able to get out of the bay with no problems. There were some large swells and anything close to shore was out of the question, so we headed towards Yankee Point. We first thought about doing Mt. Chamberlin's South Wall but we decided to try something new so we headed to Gran Sabana which is a little father south from Yankee Point with the idea of getting away from the overflowing water from Carmel River.

Gran Sabana is a large round pinnacle with the top at 120ft, then a large plateau at 150-160ft and a vertical wall from 160 to 200. We last dove this a couple of years ago and we always wanted to come back.

Susan and I descended to the top of the pinnacle and headed West to find the deep water. At about 180ft we found a nice set of metridium which were quite deep for this kind of marine life. Maybe they get a lot of current from the north-west direction. From there we headed clock-wise on the pinnacle. Susan found a large patch of sea pens littering the sand. There were lingcods if all sizes swimming around and tons of decorate crabs feeding with the current. We found a nice yellow eye on a white sponge, and a reluctant little octopus on a purple sponge.

We spent 20min at the bottom before heading up to 160ft for the second part of the dive. Here we meet with the rest of the team and enjoyed some photo and video session for a while. The 150ft area was covered with elephant ear sponges and the peak of the pinnacle was very impressive. It was covered with corynactus and reached up from 140 to 120ft. There was a lot of current as you moved around the peaks which made for a fun time at the top.

On the way back we saw a large pod of risso dolphins and the top side weather was fabulous with the incredible Pacific Ocean and the mountains in the background.

Here are some images from Rob.

Another grand day out!

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