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7/11/2009 Granite Point Pinnacles by Harry Wong -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Harry Wong, Ian Puleston, Mark Lloyd
Visibility: 20' - 50' Time:12:00 AM
Temp: 50F - 53F Surge: 2'
Scooter: Gavin Long Burn Time:  
Max Depth: 75FSW Avg Depth: 50FSW
Bottom Time:   Total Time:  
Bottom Gases: 30/30Deco Gases:O2
Backgas Config: Double LP80Deco Tanks:AL40
Deco Profile:
Minimum deco
 
And I thought the winter of wonderful viz in Monterey/Carmel was over, apparently it isn't! It turned out to be a perfect day to fuel my curiosity of the diving between Whaler's Cove, Point Lobos and Monastery Beach. On the underwater topo maps, you can see a never ending topography of pinnacles and reefs in that area.

Today the viz was up to 50 feet and in the summertime too!

The day did start overcast, so perhaps this kept the algae blooms down. Driving down into the parking lot of Whaler's Cove, I could see that the swell models were pretty accurate with some smaller waves crashing into the right side of the cove, definitely not a day to visit the Coal Chute Caverns. In our pre-dive briefing, Ian, Mark and I talked about possible low viz conditions and whether or not we would want to continue navigating to Mono Lobo Wall. We just left it at: "anyone can call the dive at any time." I was half thinking that this dive was just going to be a navigation exercise anyway. It turned out quite the opposite.

The plan was to traverse at 30 degrees from the end of Granite Point Wall to Mono Lobo Wall. We actually didn't know if this was doable as the route we chose traversed directly over the uncharted part of the topo maps. Still we set as our goal to head towards Mono Lobo Wall and see the hydrocorals there.

So off we go, 30 degrees from Mono Lobo Wall and we shortly came to another wall that towered straight up. The viz was so good that I could see that the top that was about 20 feet below the surface and I could see the characteristic air bubbles from the churning action of waves. That was a dead end. So much for traversing in a straight line. So continued north, then north-east to get around the various structures. There were pinnacles, valleys, channels, outcroppings and came up to yet another wonderful structure, a beautiful tall vertical crack full of gorgonians and hydrocorals.

The viz was wonderful and the topography stunning. Each area, unique and stunning, scootering in, out and through the various pinnacles.

Then as I rounded another large pinnacle, I saw what appeared to be a large dark, black chasm. I slowly and cautiously descended into it, not knowing what surprises were in store for us. Sinking down into the blackness, I got to the bottom and saw light. Mark followed with Ian watching over the top and followed after seeing that we were still going into it. It came out the other end and turned out to be a very cool and entertaining arch! I got Mark and Ian to go thru a few times to get some video footage.

We continued on a bit further and realized that the zig zagging traverse we made used up our planned run time, so we turned the dive and headed back south-west back into Whaler's Cove.

What a spectacular day of diving in a new area, I'll definitely be making a lot of future dives in this area.