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6/22/2010 Uncle Phil's Deep Trench aboard Phil Sammet's RIB by Kevin Dow -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Kevin Dow, Joseph (Karl) Haywood
Visibility: 60' Time:9:44 AM
Temp: 50F Surge:  
Scooter: X-scooter Burn Time:  
Max Depth: 278FSW Avg Depth:  
Bottom Time: 0:20 Total Time: 1:51
Bottom Gases: 15/65Deco Gases:EAN50,O2,21/35
Backgas Config: Double HP120Deco Tanks:AL40,AL80
Deco Profile:
6's, 30 6 up
A tale of three dives – Part three

Uncle Phil’s Deep Trench/Crinoid Canyon-n-n-n

The final dive was to be Karl H’s going away dive. Karl had completed his Masters degree here in Monterey and was in the midst of packing for his move down to San Diego. He graciously took a day off to dive with me on Phil’s Rib.

For this dive we targeted a bit of new area that is marked on the map as Uncle Phil’s Deep Trench but has also been referred to Phil as Crinoid Canyon. Phil had dove it just the other day and he said that for sure we would see Crinoids.

After gear checks and a quick splash we headed down to do our final checks and adjustments of equipment that may have gotten moved around after the back roll we traded okays, pointed our scooters down and hit the trigger. As it got darker and darker we started wondering when we would ever hit bottom. Thankfully we did and after a quick orientation we headed down the slope into the canyon. One the way down we had a positive moment as we immediately saw a rock with two crinoids sitting on top.

We meandered right along the canyon without seeing any more crinoids but came upon a nice Rat Fish hanging out on the bottom. I made sure to point him out to Karl as just a few minutes prior on the boat he had been remarking that he had not seen one while he was here. The Rat Fish took the opportunity of having our lights about to quickly chomp down something he had been eyeing on the bottom. We were happy to be of service!

After seeing a single lonely basket star on a Gorgonian the wall petered out so we reversed course and headed in the opposite direction. Here was where all the Crinoids were hanging out. It seems like every rock had at least four or five of them! No matter where you looked there they were in all sizes. Also in evidence were quite a few juvenile fish.

All too quickly we were out of bottom time so we it the trigger to start our ascent. We quickly passed by D3 and a small pinnacle west of E3 before ending up F3/G3 where we completed our ascent. All in all a wonderful dive.
2/16/2006 Uncle Phil's Deep Trench aboard Phil Sammet's RIB by John Heimann -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: John Heimann, Phil Sammett
Visibility: 80' - 100' Time:9:00 AM
Temp: 48F - 48F Surge:  
Max Depth: 254FSW Avg Depth: 248FSW
Bottom Time: 0:20 Total Time: 1:40
Bottom Gases: 15/55Deco Gases:EAN50,O2,35/25
Backgas Config: Double HP120Deco Tanks:AL40,AL80
Deco Profile:
deep stops 170-130 1,1,1,3, 3, 7,5,5,5,5,27 + up
Took the morning off work and finally got to see the epic vis we thought we would get last Saturday on the BAUE LRR dive. This was my first dive to Uncle Phil's. Initially conditions looked a bit choppy and we thought we might have to look at the mud in the trench off Monastery, but what we got was just the opposite. Vis was truly superb - it had the electric blue shimmering quality of cave water - and there was a lot of natural light at 250. I was very impressed with the diversity of life at this site; it had the elephant ear sponges, gorgonians, diverse rockfish, corynactis, etc. that one typically associates with the 180'ish zone, but also had boot sponges, and a deepwater species (Phil told me the name but I forgot) that is normally found at more like 3000'.
12/2/2004 Uncle Phil's Deep Trench aboard Phil Sammet's RIB by Peter Gelbman -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Susan Bird, Nick Radov, Peter Gelbman
Visibility: 30' - 80' Time:10:53 AM
Temp: 50F Surge: 10'
Max Depth: 222FSW Avg Depth: 210FSW
Bottom Time: 0:30 Total Time: 2:10
Bottom Gases: 15/55Deco Gases:EAN50,O2
Backgas Config: Double LP80,LP104Deco Tanks:AL40,AL80
Deco Profile:
1 min deep stops from 170 to 130
7 50%
12 on O2, 6 off, 12 on, 10 up

We were shooting for 240' ish dive at Uncle Phil's Deep Trench but after some anchoring adventures, we actually ended up on a little ridge between Uncle Phil's and Deep E3.

Based on Phil and Susan's prior experiences at this site we were prepared for some potentially wild mid-water column currents, but were pleasantly surprised to only have a fairly mild current in one direction and were able to make it down the anchor line pretty peacefully. Flying squirrel descents in blue water straight down to 200+ are great!

Stunning clarity on the bottom, we worked our way slowly around a fairly sharp pinnacle face and several colorful smaller reef structures. A sea lion put on a show for us at 210', coyly covering his eyes with one fin and waving at Susan.

Several large clusters of Vase Sponges, large Lingcod. Susan pointed out a pretty Spiny Lithoid crab and also a cool Crinoid, neither of which I had ever seen before... About halfway through the dive Nick spotted a 2' Longnose Skate that let us check him out for a while. Since our depth was shallower than planned we extended our bottom time to enjoy the scenery.

Some of the prettiest part of the dive was at some shallower reef that we swam to during our deep stops in 150-160'. I think this was deep E3 foothills. We we ended up playing around here for a while, no one wanted to leave the bottom today! When we finally decided to depart, a dense cloud of Blue Rockfish bid us fairwell.

Per our plan, Nick shot a bag at 120' to make sure Phil knew our whereabouts as early as possible. Good thing we did, because Phil said we drifted about 1.5 miles from the time he saw it, he ended up picking us up outside of Pinnacle cove on SW side of Lobos.

If vis is anything like it was today, weekend diving should be fantastic.

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