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1/7/2011 Flintstones aboard Escapade by Alberto Nava -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Susan Bird, Alberto Nava
Visibility: 40' Time:12:00 AM
Temp: 53F Surge:  
Max Depth: 192FSW Avg Depth:  
Bottom Time: 0:56 Total Time: 1:30
Bottom Gases: Deco Gases:EAN50,O2
Backgas Config: Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
 
Today we were lucky to have two Capts on board of the Escapade. Jim had his captain's hat on as always, and 'Capt in Training' Luke was at the helm for most of the trip. Luke is building experience on the Escapade so he can be the designated mid-week Capt. Early in the morning the wind was not too strong but the swells were already11ft :-) outside of the bay.

As we motored out, the bay was unusually calm and was carpeted with a massive pod of Risso dolphins lazily making their way towards the harbor. They were very close to shore and we saw many mom & baby pairs.

Once we rounded the corner, it was a different story. Due to the large swell we decided for an off-shore pinnacle. We went over Mt C. and continued all the way to Flintstones, which is always one of my favorite dives.

We set the float and headed down towards the bottom while following the large North-South canyon that divides the structure. Vis was 40ft but a little milky and the swells were noticeable all the way to 190ft. We checked out a portion of the canyon on the south and then headed for the parallel reef west of the main structure. There were tons of gorgonias and some large red rock-fish. After about 20min we moved back to the main structure and located a large school of blue rockfish and several small baby yellow-eyes.

We finished the dive by circling the shallow part of Flintstones while sharing the area with hundreds of rock-fish of various sizes. We were being pulled up and down with the swells like a couple of rag dolls. At one point I saw about 9ft difference in my computer in no more than 3 seconds. The weird thing was that I didn't move too far from my visual reference on the reef... so a huge swell must have been rolling overhead.

After 56 min of fun we deployed SMB and drifted the deco while looking for grey whales. No luck this time, but Jim & Luke said there were several whales that passed within 50 ft of us.

By the time we surfaced the weather had picked up quite a lot and it was tricky to get back on the boat. Large swells and confused seas... a bad combination.

On the way back we saw several grey whales and we met the large school of Risso Dolphins as they were heading back south & out of the bay. We spent a few minutes with them as they swam super close to the boat.

All in all a great diving day on the Escapade!