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Old 07-14-2014, 08:59 AM   #1
ghbanta
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Default 7/12/2014 Harry's Fairyland Arch by Gary Banta

7/12/2014 Harry's Fairyland Arch by Gary Banta -- [View in Reports Page]

Bottom Team:Gary Banta, Harry Wong, Doug Simmons
Visibility:10' - 30'Time:12:00 AM
Temp: Surge: 
Scooter:Gavin ShortBurn Time:1:45
Max Depth:90FSWAvg Depth:56FSW
Bottom Time: Total Time:2:10
Bottom Gases:EAN32Deco Gases:O2
Backgas Config:Double HP100Deco Tanks:AL40
Deco Profile:
10 at 20, 6up
 
On Saturday Harry Wong, Doug Simmons and I went seeking and found the mythical arch north of Granite Point Wall. Harry found the arch years ago and revisited it a number of times since but never could reliably locate it on a map.

The backstory is that prior to 8-10 years ago, the area north of Granite Point Wall hadn’t been systematically explored on scooters. Harry and a few others (including me) started exploration one year when the kelp cover in the area was EXTREMELY thick. So much so that it was “cave-dark” once you turned into the pinnacle area. Harry found a path that wound through the area that was bounded by walls about 15 feet apart that came to be named the “Magical Mystery Tour”. On one of these tours Harry either went exploring or got lost (my bet) and accidently found the arch. Since that first visit, only Harry has been able to re-find it but couldn’t do so reliably.

Recently Harry found it again and point on the model to where he thought it was. I knew that area well and knew there wasn’t an arch where he said it was but I did believe it must be nearby. So a few weeks ago, Jon McNeill, Suzanne Baird and I went to search the area. Harry insisted that the arch was up a dead-end channel and then down to the left. So we explored this path but abandoned it as wrong when it topped out at ~20’ with surge blowing us around. We continued to explore the nearby nooks and crannies without luck.

So Saturday, with low surge conditions Harry took us up the same path and then dropped down a channel to the left – no arch. Then went back up and took the second left – voila! There was the arch.

The area under the arch is about the size of the Whaler’s restroom and is beautifully decorated. The opening is oriented north-south and the floor is at about 40fsw. To the south, the passage dead-ends so continuing south requires ascending to the surgey path that Harry used. The best approach is from the north. But the entrance is not easy to spot as its hidden behind palm kelp and just looks like a dark wall because very little light passes through from the south side. Jon, Suz and I had been with 5 – 10 feet of it and didn’t see it.

Doug Simmons has posted some nice video on Facebook and has applied the name Fairyland Arch. My counterproposal is Harry’s Fairyland Arch.

After exploring the arch we headed north into the area east of Thumbs Up that has been minimally explored. The new frontier. We will be back!

I have added a map and GPS coordinates to the BAUE website’s dive sites.
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