06-01-2009, 08:21 AM
, Tech1, Tech2
Join Date: Jun 2008
5/30/2009 Mount Chamberlin aboard Escapade by Alberto Nava
5/30/2009 Mount Chamberlin aboard Escapade
by Alberto Nava -- [View in Reports Page]
|Bottom Team:||Susan Bird, Alberto Nava, Joseph (Karl) Haywood|
|Visibility:||15' - 50'||Time:||9:55 AM|
|Temp:||46F - 53F||Surge:|| |
|Scooter:||Gavin Short||Burn Time:|| |
|Max Depth:||228FSW||Avg Depth:|| |
|Bottom Time:||0:35||Total Time:||1:35|
|Bottom Gases:||15/55||Deco Gases:||EAN50,O2 |
|Backgas Config:|| ||Deco Tanks:|| |
|After 39 hrs underwater in Mx with 76F degrees I was looking forward to some real diving with 50F water, 20ft vis, dry gloves, 400 undies ;-)|
We boarded the Escapade early in the morning and the small group of T2 divers headed towards Yankee Point Area. The ocean was super flat and the fog was high in the sky so there wasn't much to worry about. On the way, we visited a pod of about 50 Risso dolphins who had congregated to play very close to shore just north of Point Joe. They looked like they might be feeding, and they were slapping their flukes and jumping out of the water in bursts of excitement.
After tearing ourselves away from the dolphins, Dionna, Mark, Susan, Karl and myself headed for a dive at Mt Chamberlin. The plan was to dive the K3 dive site but starting more at the north-end tip which would make for a shorter swim or scooter ride to the west side on the wall.
Capt Bligh deployed the hook and very shortly afterwards we jumped into the calm water. First thing I noticed the water was that it was a bit colder than Mx, but not bad. The next thing I noticed was that when I hit the trigger my scooter propelled me backwards at a very good pace :-(. I had accidentally connected the power plugs in an inverted position, so I had to hand the scooter back to Michael and Jim on the boat... and they did a great job of reconnecting it the right way :-).
Karl, Susan and myself descended with Mark and Dionna following behind. The down-line was almost vertical which made for a more difficult scootering descent while trying to stay on the line, but after a few minutes we made it to the bottom at about 170ft.
We found a canyon on the north end of the structure and followed it out to the edge of the wall at about 200ft. We looked around for a few seconds and Susan gave the signal to go down. We descended to about 225-230' and motored on the way south for a little bit. Susan found some nice basket stars and there were some very large lingcods and vermillions.
After about 20min of enjoying the scenery, we headed back to the canyon and returned to the down-line location. After that we motored along the K2 wall and as we were looking at the terrain we saw Mark and Dionna in the distance. We signaled them to join us at the wall and we spent another 10min playing in the 150-140area.
The interesting thing about this site is that the proliferation of colorful marine life extends well beyond the 180ft range, in to the deeper water. We had the pleasure of observing yellow & orange sponges, healthy gargonians, multiple clusters of juvenile fishes congregating around outcroppings, crabs, treefish, hydrocorals, etc. during all portions of the dive. Towards the end of our adventure we found some really large hermisendas with a vibrant red coloration, and also a war bonnet out in the open.
We eventually made it to the top of K2 and were able to locate the 60ft peak. The water here was greener/murkier than at depth, dropping from 50ft viz at the bottom to about 20ft near the top of the pinnacle. There were some large sheepheads challenging our presence on their turf, and some very large schools of blue rock-fish.
After about 50min of diving we deployed our SMB and started our drift deco.
All in all it was a great way to get back into cold water
On the way home, Capt Bligh got a call from the whale boats, and we were able to see a blue whale swimming along the calm surface of the sea. We got close enough to clearly hear the whale exhale through its blowhole. Very cool!
To complete a perfect morning, Jim (AKA: Bligh) took us out to visit the Risso dolphins one more time. They had relocated slightly further off-shore, but were still up to their dolphin-esque antics. Sadly, Jim missed a golden photo opportunity to catch 3 dolphins jumping in tandem above the surface... oh well, maybe next time Jim!
Monterey diving rocks!
I was so inspired that I went home and mowed the (jungle-like) lawn.