BAUE Trip Reports
4/18/2009 Pinnacle Point Wall aboard Escapade
by Alberto Nava -- [View this report only]
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Alberto Nava, Joseph (Karl) Haywood, Susan Bird
44F - 48F
||Double ||Deco Tanks:||AL40,AL80|
At 1pm Saturday afternoon we had almost no hope of going diving on the second part of
the BAUE tech charter. The morning group had clear skies, but by noon a fog bank had encapsulated the entire coast. We were having some nice tacos and burritos while waiting for
the unexpected thick fog to clear. At 2pm we walked out of the restaurant to find out we could
see Monterey from Seaside We decided to stop procrastinating and go diving :-)
We motored towards Point Pinos where we found some large swells but 'Virgil Cole' at the helm pushed forward
and we soon found better-behaving swells and a kinder wind direction as we motored south. The edge of the fog bank was just a little
bit south of Lobos so our original target (K3) was not an option. We talked about Lunaticos, Ginder Garden and we finally
settled for Pinnacle Point Wall.
We jumped in the water to found 100ft vis at the surface. Very nice blue water which could be easily mistaken for
Hawaii conditions, except for the 48F degrees water. We motored down following the anchor line into even colder water, until we reached the top
of the wall at about 100ft. We dropped on the east side of the wall and headed towards the base and the north-west end
of the pinnacle. We found some small boulders at 202ft and ventured a little bit along the sand looking for more
structure. Pretty quick we realized there was no more to see, so we turned back to the pinnacle and started going on the West side.
Suddenly we saw a group of 10 canaries swimming towards us at full speed, and they circled us for a couple of minutes. It was a majestic
scene with fish and divers looking at each other.
From there we headed back East on the wall and did a couple of side trips. The wall was covered with elephant ear sponges and
a lot of corynactus and quite a lot of purple hydrocoral. We run into a very large vermilion which Susan said was the biggest she
has ever seen and as we looked at the large fish. Soon a good sized lingcod came to visit and we had some very nice face to face encounters.
Temperature at the bottom was a consistent 44 degrees, but 'scooter chill factor' made it seem colder. Fortunately the color and the beauty took our minds off of the brisk water.
As we ascended on the wall we found many decorator grabs with purple sponges on their body, and some large schools of rock-fish. After about 30min we headed for the top of the pinnacle and called our dive.
Our deco was uneventful, and we saw & waved to the other team (Clinton, Dionna, and Nick) on the way up . As we got closer to the surface the ocean got quite bumpy and we starting experiencing
Taco-toxicity symptoms. It starts with a gaseous, full sensation in your stomach and followed by a fire-like feeling in your esophagus :-(. No more tacos before
going on the afternoon trip please!!!
All in all a great day out.