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6/20/2010 Outer Outer Pinnacles aboard Escapade by Clinton Bauder -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Clinton Bauder, Jim Capwell
Visibility: 70' - 100' Time:10:00 AM
Temp: 46F - 50F Surge: 1'
Scooter: X-scooter Burn Time:  
Max Depth: 165FSW Avg Depth: 140FSW
Bottom Time:   Total Time:  
Bottom Gases: 18/45Deco Gases:EAN50
Backgas Config: Double LP80,HP120Deco Tanks:AL80
Deco Profile:
Deep Stops
5,3,3,3,3,
17, 6 up.
 
This has been a rough year for local diving and for me personally. The weather has been consistently awful, and the worst of it has consistently coincided with dates I was to be diving. Add in some distractions and illness and I'm way behind on my dive quota for the year. Saturday was a good start in erasing that with a great dive at the East Pinnacle followed by some low-vis branching at the shale. Sunday I was diving with Jim for a T1 dive and we hoped to repeat the previous day's "run down to Carmel and get a dive in before the wind kicks up" plan.

As on Saturday the wind hadn't really started when we left the dock and we headed South. As on Saturday the water cleared up at Cypress Point and we dropped the downline at Lunaticos Annex at the Outer, Outer Pinnacles. Immediately upon descending we knew it was going to be epic. The reef was visible below us almost immediately and we knew the top was about 110 feet. The upper water column was filled with jellies promising an entertaining deco.

Arriving on the bottom we were presented with the sad sight of a relatively newly dead sea lion. Well, I guess starfish have eat too. Moving deeper John, Matt and Kevin found a ratfish cruising at the base of the wall and it patiently hung out as I tried to figure out how to take pictures of a 2 foot long fish with the 105 mm macro lens. Yes, I'd brought macro. I was tired from the previous day and didn't feel like re-configuring the camera. I was also worried that we might be limited to something in the bay where wide angle would have been pointless. Instead I was in Carmel in 100 foot vis. Ah well, time to look for macro subjects...

...And it didn't much looking to find said macro subjects. There were interesting nudibranchs everywhere. So many that I didn't really do justice to some of the photo ops as I buzzed around like an over-caffinated hummingbird in a field of flowers. Good fun. Highlights included Cuthona albocrusta, Catriona columbiana and Doriopsilla spaldingi.

All too soon our bottom time was up and Jim send up our surface marker. About this time it began to occur to me that the water was cold. Really cold. I hadn't noticed while I was busy with the camera but now that we were sitting still, decompressing I started getting really cold. Note to self: Get that new drysuit and undergarment ordered ASAP! Eventually as we settled into the long 20 foot stop I unclipped the camera and started shooting the weird little critters floating by and this started warming me up, or possibly just distracting me from being cold. Either way the rest of the deco went by fairly quickly.

Back on the boat everyone had a grin from ear to ear. Definitely the best dive of the year so far. With the wind coming up we decided get out of dodge and call it a day. Next stop was Henry's BBQ on Lighthouse Ave. Summary: Great pulled pork and sweet potato fries, Meh tri tip and friendly but very slow service. Good thing I drank lots of Iced Tea or I think the food coma might have been a problem on the way home.

Pictures here:

http://www.baue.org/images/galleries/v/local/TechnicalBranching/