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Old 07-03-2008, 04:21 PM   #1
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Default 7/2/2008 Naia Wall aboard Phil Sammet's RIB by Alberto Nava

7/2/2008 Naia Wall aboard Phil Sammet's RIB by Alberto Nava -- [View in Reports Page]

Bottom Team:Susan Bird, Alberto Nava
Visibility:100' - 120'Time:10:10 AM
Temp:46F - 50FSurge:2'
Scooter:Gavin ShortBurn Time:0:40
Max Depth:214FSWAvg Depth:190FSW
Bottom Time:0:35Total Time:1:30
Bottom Gases:15/55Deco Gases:50/25,O2
Backgas Config:Double HP120Deco Tanks:AL80
Deco Profile:
Yesterday we took the day off to celebrate Susan's birthday with a little dive. As it was her day we decided to dive Naia's wall which is located just outside the west boundary of the Point Lobos Park.

This is an amazing wall. It starts at about 50ft (deep) and it runs NW to a depth of about 220ft. There are a series of canyons that run perpendicular to the wall which makes the whole structure even more dramatic.

Capt. Phil anchored the boat at the top of the pinnacle, we did our gear checks, dropped in the water and headed down. The water was tropical blue (at least 100ft vis) and the only thing reminding us about the real location of the dive was the 48F degrees temp. Susan noticed a 'distinct lack of current' which was a nice b-day gift from the ocean gods.

As we reached the top of the pinnacle there was a single strand of bull-kelp with the main ball sitting at 40ft. I was amused by the fact that there was so much life shallower as often times the area is pounded with very strong swells. We followed the wall as we freely flowed down to 100ft, then to 150ft until we started to see the ocean floor.

The visibility was astounding... we could see straight down the sheer cliffs all the way to the bottom. We could hear each other giggling through our regulators.

From there we followed one of the canyons that was perpendicular to the wall. Vis was over 100ft and you could see all the various structures that make up this reef. We didn't see as many red fish as expected, but the topography was spectacular. We saw several Vermillions and some Canneries. We found some vase sponges of various shapes and sizes at about 210', and eventually headed back after running along the larger canyon for about 10min.

There were several large decorator crabs doing yoga stretches on various parts of the structure... often reaching between the walls to show off their 'claw spans'.

Once back at the wall we followed the Naia Wall proper. We followed the edge of the wall out which was very interesing. It was vertical on one side going to 220ft with a wide flat area running along the top at about 180ft. We reached a shallower peak on the wall which looked like it was as shallow as 140ft. We thought about using this area for our ascent but very quickly decided to get back to the 50ft spot to reduce the amount of deco time spent diving in middle water.

On the way back we ventured inside the structure and found a nice flat sandy area in the middle of the wall, about the size of a baseball diamond. This looked like a nice place to explore but we were already on the shallow phase on the dive so we looked at it from the top.

A little bit latter we found some massively large white dorids. Some of them were at least 12 inches long and we found a couple of them mating. There was also a nice slope from 150 to 100ft covered with yellow finger sponges which made for an incredible view. At about 100ft we found a nice overhang thar has some metridiums on it, and the roof was covered with unusually long bodied zoanthias. Pretty cool!

We headed back to the shallow peak and looped it several times. The southeast wall was a sheer drop off and extremely colorful. A medium sized school of blue rockfish liked to hang out there because they were was protected from the current.

We left the pinnacle at about 40ft and finished the rest of the deco while drifting North.

The fabulous visibility and the most excellent dive site made for the best b-day dive imaginable!

Good way to celebrate Naia's birthday ;-)

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