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7/28/2007 Big Sur Pinnacle aboard Unknown Boat by Alberto Nava -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Alberto Nava, Susan Bird, Devin MacKenzie
Visibility: 20' - 50' Time:8:00 AM
Temp:   Surge:  
Max Depth: 100FSW Avg Depth:  
Bottom Time:   Total Time:  
Bottom Gases: 30/30Deco Gases:O2
Backgas Config: Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
 
On board of the Cypress Sea for another Big Sur extravaganza day. We started very early and left port about 6:00am. On board we had some of the usual suspects: Clinton, Cameron, Susan, and Keith, and we had Devin with us for his first Big Sur trip.

The forecast was for strong winds and gale force winds south of Big Sur but Clintonís report on the 3am forecast was a little better so we decided to head south.

The first dive was at a pinnacle a few hundred feet west of the Point Sur lighthouse. We have gone by this reef structure many times but the 10ft shallow peak plus the large waves break at the top made us continue our drive, and we have create a strange name for it, Bloody Stump. Today the weather was the best we had in a few weeks so we decided to give it a try.

Capt Phil anchored the boat and let go of enough scope on the line so the boat was clear of shallow peak. Susan, Devin and Beto jumped in the water and were dragged by the current towards the anchor line. We descended to find a 60ft ledge with a lot of bulk kelp attached to it.

Our plan was to circumnavigate the reef which was about 600ft long. We head NW for about 10min. The terrain was not expectatular but there were a lot of purple algae covering the terrain. The force of the waves washing the area is so strong that very few animals can attach and survive in there. We reach the north end and turned around, no without first noticing the 1 knot current that was going North :-0.

The south side of the reef had much more life and we found a small appendix to the reef where we saw several huge lingcods and vermilions hanging around.

We made it back to the anchor line and rejoined with Clinton, Cameron and his brother for a nice safety stops on the anchor line. Visibility was not as good as last weekend but still good 30 to 40ft.

This site was not as interesting as we expected but we did it and were back in the boat with no injury ;-)

For the second dive we motored south to get protection from the weather and dove Compost reef. This is always an incredible dive with several wolf eels, octopuses and amazing invertebrates life. Especially there is a nice overhand at 60ft which is cover with corynactus of different family competing for space, some pick and some purple.

For the third dive we decided to head even farther south moving away from the strong winds and large swells on the north. As always Phil wanted to dive Partington canyon and we almost had a mutiny about it. We have dived it at least once on all the trips down there. Itís good but not that good. So we headed a little farther south looking for some clear water.

As we looked at the laptop and other tools on the boat we realized we were out of the sonar data range and left with the old tools: depth finder, terrain, rocks and kelp to locate good dive sites. I thought we had all the sonar data we needed but this proved we can still venture outside that range.

We ended anchoring the boat at the Partington Point proper and located a nice reef with clear/water and some nice kelp. Susan and I descended, crossed the kelp and found the wall on the other side of the kelp. It was really fun to be scooter in and our of the breakers and we eventually headed SW to the deeper section of the reef. We located a nice cavern on the wall and entered to look for invertebrates. We were hoping for an octopus but no luck. At the end of the reef there was a huge school of rockfish and all kind of clam shells, some abalones and quite a lot of crabs of all kind.

All in all it was great diving day. Ahh yes I almost forgot to mention the ride back home. One of the worst I ever had with lights, cabinets and boxes coming from the roof and walls of the boat as we had to endure several hours of pounding waves and winds :-0

Click Here for some maps of the dive sites.