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4/30/2007 Cypress Canyon aboard Phil Sammet's RIB by Alberto Nava -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Susan Bird, Alberto Nava
Visibility: 40' - 60' Time:10:30 AM
Temp: 44F - 48F Surge:  
Scooter: Gavin Short Burn Time: 0:20
Max Depth: 180FSW Avg Depth: 130FSW
Bottom Time: 0:40 Total Time: 1:30
Bottom Gases: 18/55Deco Gases:50/25,O2
Backgas Config: Double Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
6,4s, 18 up
Susan and I went out for our first dive at the newly created Point Lobos SMR :-). We're so happy to see most of our favorite dive sites in this area now protected as a marine reserve.

To celebrate this occasion we wanted to dive a pinnacle called K2 which is part of the large structure Mt. Chamberlin out of Yankee Point. However, the wind was a little bit too strong to venture south of Point Lobos, and there was a fog bank lurking in the distance.

We altered the plan to dive Cypress Canyon on the north side of the Park. This area is composed of a series of parallel walls running south to north. We anchored at the top at about 80ft and scootered down to the most northeast edge. Visibility was at least 60-70ft and we really enjoyed the view on the way there.

We continued west to another wall while looking for GPO. We saw a big one there last year and we were hoping for another encounter. Unfortunately we didn't see any. We did see a lot of nice rockfish and some cool nudibranches.

As we made our way back we were surprised to see a large percentage of the gorgonians infested by zooanthids. We have seen this before but never in such a large number. The farthest east wall was a perfect gorgonian garden but now 50% of the colonies are infected by yellow/cream colored animals.

I'm wondering what's going on?

After 20min at about 170-180ft we moved up shallower and motored back to the main pinnacle where the anchor was located. At 140ft we found a nice juvenile yellow eye, about 6 inches long. This one was very bold because it was hovering away from its crevice and allowed a close approach by us. Maybe with the new reserve we will start seeing some adults. Of course, we need to wait 10 or 20 years for them to grow :-0.

We spent about 10min btw 120ft to 70ft while looking at all the hydrocorals and lingcod at the top, plus we found several chestnut cowries.

The water was clean but cold. The bottom was btw 44-46 and the deco (from 70' up) was done at a balmy 48 degrees.

Great first dive at the SMR and looking forward to many more :-)