BAUE Trip Reports
6/23/2012 Nixies aboard Escapade
by Alberto Nava -- [View this report only]
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Susan Bird, Alberto Nava
30' - 60'
50F - 53F
|| ||Deco Tanks:|
I was the organizer for today's tech charter :-). During the week the plan was crafted. First dive would be at Mid-way where there will calm seas and no current, with 100ft visibility and several large yellow eye rock fish, followed by a nice splash at Lobos Rocks playing with the sea lions.
As the weekend approached conditions looked pretty bad, but it started getting better on Friday and Capt Jim decided to go have a look in the morning.
We motored out of the bay where seas were pretty calm, and found a strong winds but moderate swells in Carmel. So far so good. As we passed Carmel the Capt started to get a bit nervous about the forecasted winds for the afternoon, and they decided Mid-way was not a good option :-(. Instead, they decided Nixies was a better option.
We dropped down and headed West and descended on the pinnacle until we found a sandy patch about about 210ft. Soon after arriving Susan found a very nice Rat Fish and we stayed with it for about 5min. We covered our lights a bit no to disturbed it too much and after a few minutes it was very comfortable with us. It swam back and forth btw Susan and myself. Clinton's team also had a good encounter with this or other rat fish, and he got some good images here.
After playing with the fish we moved south on the pinnacle, and found a nice purple sea fan in the middle of a gorgonias field. We showed the sea fan to Dionna and Mark which seem to enjoying the strange creature. We moved a bit farther south and ran into a group of 4 basket stars that were resting on top of a large elephant ear sponge. There was a nice juvenile rock fish in the middle of this pack. I think it was a juv tiger rockfish.
A little bit more scootering and we raw into a nice pack of dinoras, and soon after that we reached a section of the reef where you could see the sand slopping down to 250ft. Too deep for us so we headed back and motored towards the shallow part of the pinnacle. There we found a mid-size wolf eel picking out from a crack. The eel was sharing its den with a nice china rockfish.
So very good first dive, however part of my plan has been spoiled. We decided that at least we needed to do Lobos Rock so we headed a bit farther south. We got to the rocks and although there was a strong wind the swells were not that bad so we decided to test the water.
Susan and I got in the water and totally ignored the anchor line and just headed for the rocks where btw 20-30 seals were waiting for us. We descend to about 20ft and spent the next 1hr playing with the puppies. At the beginning they really didn;t know what to make of us, but after a while they realized we were not dangerous and that we wanted to play. Susan and I alternated at going into the pack and scootering with them, and towards the end we were all very close together and near the surface admiring and enjoying this unique opportunity to engage with this sweat animals. I hope our dog, Naia, could be with us. I'm sure she would have had fun with them.
The ride home was a bit knotty, but totally worth while. We had 3 humpbacks and dolphins riding the bow again.
Lunch at #17 st bistro.
Another grand day out!