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8/28/2011 Xanadu aboard Escapade by Alberto Nava -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Susan Bird, Alberto Nava
Visibility: 10' - 100' Time:2:00 AM
Temp: 48F - 53F Surge:  
Max Depth: 201FSW Avg Depth:  
Bottom Time: 0:40 Total Time: 1:30
Bottom Gases: 18/45Deco Gases:EAN50,O2
Backgas Config: Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
 
On Sunday we had the Escapade for an all Big Sur tech trip. As always weather does what ever it wants during our tech trips so we ended having a very foggy day (no the F word). We went for breakfast at the Breakfast Club giving some time for the fog to lift, and headed out at about 10am.

There was not hope for BS Banks, and even around Yankee the surface visibility was too low for doing any tech diving.

We finally settled for diving around the Lunaticos/Outer Outer Pinnacles area, and we dropped the downline at one of Wings Stock's diving places, and descended to find 80ft visibility. I can't recalled if I dove this before but by looking at the sonar data it looked like a 800ft long wall in the SE direction. Which such a good visibility Susan and I could not avoid but hitting the based of the pinnacle at about 200ft and headed in SE direction for about 10min. The terrain was great with all kind of towers and canyons to scooter th and tons of vase sponges. Our favorite one had a juv yellow eye sitting at the opening of the sponge. We got to the end of the wall in about 10min and were not 100% sure we'll be able to make it on the west side, so we back-tracked our steps. On the way back we moved east about 100ft from the wall and could easy see John, Clinton and Dionna at the wall. Easy way to navigate.... follow their lights back :-). After about 20min at the base we reached a split on the wall and headed to 150ft for another 20min of playing on the shallow. There were tons of gorgonias and a very nice school of juv rockfish dacing around the top of the pinnacle.

During the end of the day we experienced a very amazing changed in water visibility. We noticed a large shadow around us and as we looked West we could see a dark wall moving towards us. In about 3min vis went from 80ft to 10ft, and it became a night dive as we were engulf by murky water full of invertebrates. On the positive side, that water was 53F which made it for a nice warmer deco.

Here are some images from Rob and CLinton.

Here is a link for a sonar
map of the site.

Another grand day out!
8/27/2011 Pt Lobos by Mark Lloyd -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Harry Babicka, Mark Lloyd
Visibility: 45' Time:12:00 AM
Temp: 55F Surge:  
Scooter: X-scooter Burn Time:  
Max Depth: 161FSW Avg Depth:  
Bottom Time:   Total Time: 1:17
Bottom Gases: 21/35Deco Gases:EAN50,O2
Backgas Config: Double Deco Tanks:AL40
Deco Profile:
3,3,3,3,3,15
 
Harry and I decided to take a run out to Twin Peaks if the visibility was good enough. If not our back up plan was to stay around Beto's and the Sisters. Additionally Gary wanted me to take some photos of certain sites to document the barnacle encrustation. One area was the Long Metridium, the other was a red sponge on Sea Mount. As we were gearing up in the parking lot we met Vanessa "Shark Bait" Young who was as usual stirring up trouble ;-) Gary and Dionna were also diving and they were heading out to Granite Point wall. We dropped at the Worm Patch, now quite easy to find due to the Project that we had in June. Scootered out and located Sea Mount and the sponge for the second dive, then headed to the end of Beto's reef. We turned West, scootered till we hit the reef again, and followed the edge of the structure till reaching the very end of Twin Peaks. The vis at Beto's was very good and was dark and clear at Twin Peaks. We hung around for a few minutes while I took a bit of video then headed counter clockwise around Twin Peaks. Reaching the turn point to go back to Beto's is quite easy as there is a tire in the sand. There is also another tire half way across and a final tire near a single Metridium close to Beto's. I took some more video as I scootered along Beto's, trying to capture the reef and the barnacles. We cut over to the sand channel at the start of Betos then made our way up to 70' where Harry took us through deco. At the worm patch we switched to our back gas scootered in to 20' and finished up on O2. Nice dive!

For our second dive we clipped on our 32% stages and ran out to the Lone Metridium to get a few shots of the area. We then ran over to Sea Mount and I captured a few shots of Harry hovering/hoovering over the red sponge. Second dive was only 45 minutes but overall not bad vis and the temp was pretty warm at 55 degrees.
8/7/2011 Midway Pinnacle aboard Escapade by Alberto Nava -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Susan Bird, Jim Capwell, Alberto Nava
Visibility: 20' - 60' Time:11:00 AM
Temp: 48F - 55F Surge:  
Max Depth: 197FSW Avg Depth:  
Bottom Time: 0:40 Total Time: 1:30
Bottom Gases: 18/45Deco Gases:
Backgas Config: Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
 
For the last two years we had been trying to dive Mid-way pinnacle. This is located btw Big Sur light-house and the BigSur banks. The list of reason we haven't gone there is quite large: bad weather, fog, people wanting to dive sur19 or sur20, and many others. However, on Saturday we motored out and by the time I went up to talk with Jarrod about dive site destination the GPS was already set for Mid-way or MW as we have been calling it.

We got there, dropped the down-line, resettled the down-line and went for our dive.

By the time we got to 70ft visibility was about 50ft, and the water was nice a blue :-), with a nice current coming from the south.

We motored to the base of the pinnacle at about 190-200ft and looked around on the rocks and cracks in the West side. We found a nice wolf eel resting at the bottom. There were tons of fish at the base and did a full circle around the pinnacle while motoring in and out of overhand and large cracks. After 20min we moved up to the shallow (150s) , and spent quite a lot of time looking at invertebrates and hydro-corals.

There were many egg jellies in mid water and we had a lot of fun seeing them fly by pushed by the strong current. At some point we scooter to the south end of the pinnacle and then let go with the current. It was quite fast ride !!!

After the dive we headed home and joined Capt Jim for a celebration of his birthday.

MW pinnacle rocks!


8/7/2011 Pt Lobos by Mark Lloyd -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Mark Lloyd, Dionna House
Visibility: 20' - 50' Time:12:00 AM
Temp: 51F Surge:  
Scooter: X-scooter Burn Time:  
Max Depth: 105FSW Avg Depth: 60FSW
Bottom Time:   Total Time: 1:15
Bottom Gases: EAN32Deco Gases:
Backgas Config: Double Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
 
Reading Gary's email on Saturday, I saw that conditions were very good at Lobos. Cursing my luck at not planning to dive this weekend I assumed the conditions would continue to be poor. Just then I saw another email from Grey Nyce giving up his Lobos spot! I immediately snagged it... thanks Greg ... and proceeded to round up my dive buddy, Dionna. Since Dionna and I both had parties the night before, we met at a leisurely time, 9am. With scooters and cameras we made our way to the worm patch, out to hole in the wall, round to Beto's, then over to the end of Middle Reef, over to Granite Point wall and back. Vis was pretty good at about 50' and the usual barnacle covered reefs were visible.

A few pictures can be seen here:
http://www.baue.org/images/galleries/v/local/Lobosaug72011/

This was a dual purpose dive. First to try and get some additional photos and videos for the BAUE project, and to capture additional images of the barnacle invasion. After 70 mins of zooming around Lobos we exited the water, chowed down on lunch, entertained a few tourists, educated a few divers, then went back in to see if Dionna still had some bottle juggling skills left. Apparently she does and 30 mins later we were out washing down the gear. No sun appeared but it was a nice day of diving all around.
7/31/2011 20SUR aboard Escapade by Alberto Nava -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Susan Bird, Alberto Nava
Visibility: 10' - 50' Time:12:00 AM
Temp: 48F - 55F Surge: 2'
Max Depth: 170FSW Avg Depth:  
Bottom Time: 0:45 Total Time: 1:30
Bottom Gases: 18/45Deco Gases:50/25,O2
Backgas Config: Double Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
 
This weekend we had the first calm conditions in a long time. The swells were 1 -3 and the wind was slow with patch fog but the fog was high on the sky. We were also lucky to have two tech charters schedule for the weekend so we set sailed for Big Sur Banks.

On Saturday the group dove Sur 19. Pretty pick and purple hydro-corals were the main attraction of the day. Sur 19 is the best hydrocoral dive in the coast with big large bushes of these colonies covering the top of the pinnacle. The depth ranges from 150 to 120 allowing team to spent quite a lot of time at the site. T2 teams dive about 50min of bottom time, while T1 team did about 30min. Visibility was about 50ft at the bottom with a green layer from 50ft to the surface. Joakim, Matt, Susan, Rob, Nick, Ted and Ben were on Saturday trip.

On Sunday after a long discussion about the target site, we settled for Sur 20. This is a sister pinnacle to Sur 19. Sur 20 has more relieve, with the bottom at 170 and the top 130 range. There is a nice canyon that crosses the pinnacle and it's usually full of vermillion and yellow eye rock fish. On sunday we thought we were going to have a kick ass dive, but we were actually ass-kick by the current. There was a 1.5 knot current going by and our deployment was pretty challengeing and pushed every body skills and capacity. Once at the bottom the vis was great 40-50ft and we had a very nice time going around the pinnacle and enjoying the terrain, and again the pretty hydrocorals. Mark, Dionna, Kevin, Allison, Susan and Beto were on Sunday trip.

BSB diving season is open!

Cheers
Beto
7/23/2011 Pt Lobos by Mark Lloyd -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Mark Lloyd, Gary Banta
Visibility: 5' - 20' Time:12:00 AM
Temp:   Surge:  
Scooter: X-scooter Burn Time:  
Max Depth: 89FSW Avg Depth:  
Bottom Time:   Total Time:  
Bottom Gases: EAN32Deco Gases:
Backgas Config: Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
 
Gary and I dove Lobos today but with the current vis reports we were not expecting much. Our plan was to go out behind the granite point wall area and do some exploring. We dropped at the worm patch and 10 mins later we were motoring round the backside of the granite point area. The vis varied from about 20' to 10' in this area. Just good enough to enable us to use our scooters without plowing into walls. Gary with his great navigation skills led us into a number of interesting spots then tok us over to the Lone Mitrid. To finish up our dive. The white barnacles are really taking over the walls and hydrocoral near the lone Mitrid. Some of the hydrocoral looks like it covered in ice. Hope that goes away eventually. After a nice long dive we headed back to Garys house for a bit of lunch then back home. This weekend is the motorcycle races but didn't hit any of the traffic.
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

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