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7/17/2011 Mount Chamberlin aboard Escapade by Robert Lee -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Robert Lee, Allison Lee, Kevin Dow
Visibility: 40' Time:10:00 AM
Temp:   Surge:  
Max Depth: 260FSW Avg Depth:  
Bottom Time: 0:45 Total Time:  
Bottom Gases: 15/55Deco Gases:EAN50,O2,21/35
Backgas Config: Double LP104Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
 
We finally caught some weather luck this Sunday and headed south for some rare (for this year) diving :-)

There was some discussion of where to go and trying for further south, but "a bird in hand..." was the prevailing mindset, so we set about to drop the shotline at Mt. Chamberlin. I love this spot, as it easily supports a wide range of dive profiles and is big enough to not get old.

After dropping into almost no current, we quickly made a beeline to the bottom where we found a decent 20-30' of viz, but very dark. We headed west for deeper water and started working the base of the wall looking for strange critters. We passed a basket star and some other interesting stuff and just as I stopped to shoot a juvenile lingcod that had a rockfish in its mouth, I started getting the very distinctive "GPO" light signal from behind me :-)

Sure enough, as I turned around, I found a diver-sized GPO just hanging out and walking along the reef. For the next 15 minutes or so, we hung out with the octopus taking pictures and watching it as it walked around trying to figure use out. At one point, it decided that it found my strobes interesting and started to wrap its arms around them. I managed to pull the camera away and hand it off to my teammates only to find that the GPO was now exploring my arm. Soon, my entire arm up to my shoulder was enveloped in GPO (which by the way is a very cool sensation) and it was starting to pull on me (these things are strong!).

At some point, it occurred to me that while I have plenty of gas/time, we are a bit deep, and I don't have *that* much time. After a bit of a tug-of-war, I eventually got my arm back and we resumed the photoshoot.

All too soon, it was time for us to leave him behind and head up the wall for shallower waters, but it was an amazing encounter. Scootering north toward the K2 pinnacle, we came across a big (3-4') eyed skate on the bottom (which turned out to be dead or dying).

Overall, it was quite a dive, and made up for some of the lousy weather this year so far.

Some pictures here