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1/7/2006 Mt Chamberlin - South Wall aboard Escapade by Alberto Nava -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Susan Bird, Alberto Nava
Visibility: 20' - 50' Time:10:00 AM
Temp: 52F Surge: 10'
Max Depth: 165FSW Avg Depth:  
Bottom Time:   Total Time:  
Bottom Gases: 18/45Deco Gases:50/25,O2
Backgas Config: Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
 
BAUE chartered the Escapade today for our first trip of the year. We wanted to start the new year with some good diving. However, after reading all the reports about how bad the weather was going to be, and receiving hints that this would probably be a better day to clean the garage or do other labor-intensive activity at home, we didn't set our hopes too high.

We were happily surprised, and were reminded how different diving can be if you're on a big boat, vs diving from shore diving or off of a small boat. With a big boat you can get away from shore and if you go deep you'll aviod most of the swell. As a local captain used to say..... 'during winter .... go deep' ;-)

We left the bay at about 8:30am and ventured past Point Pi~nos. There we some big swells (9-10') but nothing the boat could not handle. We passed at least a half dozen migrating whales along the way, one of which surfaced just behind us in the wake of the boat. We soon arrived at our destination, a nice pinnacle out of Yankee Point on a very large area we call Mt. Chamberlin. There are two peaks on the mountain that come all the way to 100ft. We named them appropiately: K1and K2

We anchored at the top of K2 pinnacle and Captain Jim gave us instructions to head down, swim north-east until we find a very large wall and then follow the wall on a 300 degrees heading for about 25min. We all got our gear on really fast (who wants to be on the surface on a rolling boat?) and started our dive.

Susan and myself descended first, finding the top of the pinnacle at about 100ft. We could not really see the wall yet and since there was no sign of the other dive teams we went out for a little 5min scout trip along a mini-canyon looking for the wall. We found the wall at the opening of the canyon, and returned to the anchor line to meet Clinton and John H, then we all headed towards the wall. There were a tremendous number of gorgonians along the canyon and several decorator crabs hanging on the rocks.

After a 5min swim we reached the East side of the wall and headed on a 300 degree heading for the rest of the dive. This is an impresive wall, going from 120' to 160' on the East side and 190' on the West side. We thoroughly enjoyed the terrain. During our swim we were visited by some very nice Vermillion rockfish, and some enormous lingcods, one of which we called Ling-Kong. These are probably bigger than the ones in BC.

We also saw 3 large tree fish swimming in the open ocean, and a gigantic Wolf Eel that was lying lazily inside a crack.

Once our 30min bottom time had expired we headed up towards the top of the pinnacles, which were surrounded by a huge school of blue rock fish peppered with an occasional sheepshead. We joined the school during our deep stops.

Once we got to 80 feet we encountered 4 nice, healthy mola mola. There were getting cleaned by groups of small sea perches. It was such a delightful experience to swim within feet of the tame molas that some of us almost forgot to switch to 50% at 70'. We all got excellent views of the molas from various (close) perspectives.

What a dive!!!... and the deco was a lot of fun too-- hanging out at the mola-mola cleaning station.

We compared notes with Dionna and MarkL once we were all back at the boat.

Visibility was about 50ft at the bottom and 20ft in the shallow. Water temp was a warm 54 degrees.

On the way back we have found several whales and a big, cooperative pod of Risso dolphins. The Rissos stayed with the boat longer than normal while we looked at the them and cheered all of their water ballet movements.

Here is a link to a animation of the pinnacle.

All in all it was a much better day than staying home and cleaning the garage or scuba room.

A video from the day's diving can be seen here.