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4/21/2009 Monastery South by Clinton Bauder -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Clinton Bauder, Robert Lee
Visibility: 40' Time:9:30 PM
Temp: 49F Surge: 2'
Max Depth: 45FSW Avg Depth:  
Bottom Time: 1:15 Total Time:  
Bottom Gases: EAN32Deco Gases:
Backgas Config: Single HP100Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
 
Rob sent me an email on Monday complaining about the miserably hot weather and suggesting we should do a night dive to cool off. This certainly seemed logical to me. With a very flat forecast and good vis recently in Carmel we decided to go visit the harbor seals at South Monastery.

We've had good luck in the past diving at dusk with the seals. They tend to figure out that if they hang out at the edge of your light they can see the fish but the fish can't see them. Easy fishing! It looked promising early as several seals checked us out on the swim out. On the downside my HID light kept losing its strike. I eventually concluded the cord must be bad and started to get a bit grumpy as I'm leaving for a dive trip in 2 weeks and really didn't feel like arranging for an emergency repair. Ah well, at least my LED backup light worked and was bright enough to make do with.

We dropped down into very clear water. It's hard to judge visibility at night but I'll conservatively estimate 40 feet. Right away I started to feel better about being on the backup light as Rob was instantly surrounded by a thick cloud of krill and small fish. The little backscatter causing critters seemed much less entranced by my wimpy backup light.

For some reason the seals kept their distance during the dive. We saw plenty of them and Rob says he saw them take a few fish but it wasn't as intense a show as I'm used to.

While Rob was struggling to figure out how to shoot seals inside his cloud of shrimp I started looking for little things. I'd brought macro thinking that seals were too difficult to shoot at night. Certainly was an interesting dive for critters as I found a snailfish, some kind of clingfish and various slugs and worms.

Getting out at Monastery can be a bear but it's great at night when the only lights are your own and you can see every star in the sky. Certainly better than roasting at home in my non-air conditioned apartment. Dinner was at In N Out in Gilroy which conveniently is open after midnight.

Back home I discovered the bulb on my light had come loose from the socket explaining the failure. Fixed that and the light now works perfectly. Whew!

Images Here