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1/21/2012 Rock Garden by Gary Banta -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Gary Banta, mykle hoban
Visibility: 40' - 75' Time:9:00 AM
Temp: 51F Surge: 3'
Scooter: Gavin Long Burn Time:  
Max Depth: 78FSW Avg Depth: 41FSW
Bottom Time: 1:40 Total Time: 1:50
Bottom Gases: EAN32Deco Gases:
Backgas Config: Double HP100Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
 
…. Actually, not so much….


With the scary looking wave model and buoy data I decided to get up early and check out Monastery before 7AM. I drove through intermittent strong showers and gusts to find Monastery free from any swell. There was no wind the but there was surface chop of 2 feet with no organization. OK!

At 9AM Mykle and I scootered out to Worm Patch to find that from the surface 1” shells were clearly identifiable in the sand. OK!!

We dropped and headed out west past Rock Garden to the next “peninsula”. I have wanted check this area out since it faces the swell and should be beautifully decorated on the NW facing walls. But I needed a very calm day. We climbed to about 50' to find exactly the decorations I expected plus clouds of Blues, sea lions, and more Sheepshead than we have ever seen. At one time we had six directly in front of us. There lots of medium sized vertical walls all covered with red, pink, orange corynactus and red and orange sponges. The richest life is on one undercut wall rippling with red and orange life with six GIANT Metridium in the middle. The stalks are 10 to 13 inches! These must be very old or very well fed or both.

At the north end of the peninsula we hit 78 feet. We could see way north at the 100’+ bottom. We then rolled over to look up to the surface to see the sun ripples on the surface silhouetting a massive could of Blues, many of them very large. Nice tropical viz.

The barnacle debacle is over. Nearly all are dead and their shells are disappearing under new colorful life. A few swarms of Onchiadoris remain on cleanup duty, but soon they all will be headed off in search of the next crisis.


REMEMBER: Contestants MUST Be Present To Win

[Chuck, how did the dishwasher installation go?]
5/31/2010 Rock Garden by Matt Vieta -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Leah Vieta, Matt Vieta
Visibility: 20' - 30' Time:10:30 AM
Temp: 50F Surge: 2'
Scooter: X-scooter Burn Time: 0:25
Max Depth: 60FSW Avg Depth: 45FSW
Bottom Time: 1:18 Total Time: 1:18
Bottom Gases: EAN32Deco Gases:
Backgas Config: Single LP104,HP120Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
min
 
After an exhausting trip back from Montana, Leah and I decided to be lazy on Monday and sleep in. Kevin was kind enough to give us his Lobos reservation for the day, so off we went!

Leah has been wanting to do a fun dive at Lobos with her camera for quite a while, but it kept getting postponed. We finally made it! We headed out to the Rock Garden area and enjoyed a long, relaxing dive. The slugs were out in force, especially Phidiana hiltoni. We also had 2 separate encounters with Cuthona divae!

Turned the dive on cold and met up with the boat divers at La Tortuga for dive #2.

Some pictures are here
11/14/2009 Rock Garden by Gary Banta -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Nick Radov, Gary Banta
Visibility: 30' - 100' Time:9:00 AM
Temp: 50F Surge:  
Max Depth: 111FSW Avg Depth: 70FSW
Bottom Time:   Total Time: 2:15
Bottom Gases: 30/30Deco Gases:
Backgas Config: Single HP100Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
 
Nick and I did a swimming dive at Pt. Lobos. The primary aim was swim out to Shortcut Reef while further checking out "Rock Garden" on the way. We planned one LONG dive. The ramp looked like a well maintained fish tank with perfect viz and the cove was flat and no wind. YES! Our plan was to swim to the east side of Bird Rock on the surface and descend to get to Rock Garden. After visiting the site head off to Shortcut Reef.

We carried 80cf stages of 30/30 so we had plenty of gas. We swam up out to and up to the east side of Bird Rock and found that we could safely approach within arms length since that side is vertical to the bottom. We descended to 20' and moved a few yards to the north. Underwater the rock has a notch about 10 feet wide that you can swim through. As we approached it through mixed species of kelp, backlit by the sun, a MASSIVE cloud of tube-snout (needle fish) swam toward and past us in the notch. It was jaw dropping. Passing through the notch we descended and located the two vertical blocks of granite that mark the beginning of Rock Garden. Turning back at a third block that I now understood to be the north face of Bird Rock Nick and I look up through the beautiful viz to see a big school of Blue Rockfish above the notch with rock, kelp and surface ripples completing the shot. Too bad it was only the camera of memory. We then investigate the full extent of Rock Garden for about 10 min. The site is a boulder field that broke off of Bird Rocks west face in the pounding seas. Many blocks are over 30 feet. They create a maze that is very intriguing. Some are decorated, other are not.

Moving on we headed to Shortcut Reef (SCR) by following the 70 foot contour west until it intersected the rock bridge to Shortcut. Viz opened up as we came around shortcut. While at 110 feet the 145 foot bottom was completely visible. At the end of SCR we jumped to the Great Pinnacle which was just barely visible well over 100 feet way. We headed south and looped our way back south along Marcos Pinnacle and then east along the wall to the cove.

For the first time on a swimming dive I brought a wet-note sized map enabling us to be certain of our path at all times.

I completed a dive site description of Rock Garden, including a maps that is accessible on the BAUE site:

http://www.baue.org/reports/dive_locations.php?locationId=115

This is a very accessible site for any divers that are comfortable finding Lone Metridium.


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