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5/24/2009 Twin Peaks by Mark Lloyd -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Ian Puleston, Harry Wong, Mark Lloyd
Visibility: 20' - 80' Time:12:00 AM
Temp: 48F Surge:  
Scooter: X-scooter Burn Time:  
Max Depth: 158FSW Avg Depth: 76FSW
Bottom Time:   Total Time: 1:14
Bottom Gases: 21/35Deco Gases:EAN50
Backgas Config: Double Deco Tanks:AL40
Deco Profile:
 
I talked Harry Wong into letting me dive with him, Ian, and Chris at Lobos on Sunday. The plan was to go out to Twin Peaks, spend 15 mins out there poking around and enjoying the area then back in again. We were diving 21/35 and doing our deco on 50%. Harry was on a long body Gavin, Ian was diving a short body, and Chris and I were on X’s. Once we our of the cove the vis opened up quite nicely and once past Beto’s reef we estimated it to be around 70-80′. Since there was no sun up it was a bit dim but you could still make out structures from quite a distance. The team stayed together very well and once we made it out to TP, Harry requested a few ‘fly bys’ for his video shots. Ian and I spotted a number of big Tritonia festiva nudis and the usual rockfish were in the neighborhood. We scootered around the end and headed back in towards the Sisters then over to Betos till we reached our deco depth. After deco we fought our way back through the kelp and back to the boat ramp. Our surface interval consisted of lunch, of course, and chatting to Chris about diving in the LA area. After lunch we decided to do our next dive out to Granite Point Wall. Chris was diving with his wife so it was just Ian, Harry, and me. After arriving at the wall Harry again wanted to some video so I aimed my scooter right at him through a nice rock crevice and attempted to go over the camera. One small problem, his light got in the way… clunk! “Ahead all stop captain”. No damage and a lot of laughing.. we continued on. After we left the wall and were over the sand patch Ian found what looked like a stingray, except it was rock hard. We guessed it was an old whale bone and after playing with that for a while we headed back around to Middle Reef and finished our deco then scootering back in on the surface. Great day of diving, no sun, but can’t have it all.
5/3/2009 Pt Lobos by John Heimann -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Matt Vieta, John Heimann
Visibility: 10' - 30' Time:10:30 AM
Temp: 50F - 50F Surge:  
Scooter: Gavin Short Burn Time:  
Max Depth: 132FSW Avg Depth: 120FSW
Bottom Time: 0:35 Total Time:  
Bottom Gases: 21/35Deco Gases:EAN50
Backgas Config: Double LP80Deco Tanks:AL40
Deco Profile:
5,3,2,2,3,10,5
 
Matt and I went back to see if we could find Okenia Felis (the new species of nudibranch that Allison, Rob, and I collected recently) again. After about 15 minutes of hunting in the general area where we'd found them before, and where I found them again with Clinton, Matt spotted one on the rock. We hunted around for a while and found two more. Both Matt and I want to go back to that area - it's deep enough not to have seen much traffic and therefore has the prospects of offering new species, but easy to get to with the proper tools.
5/3/2009 Monastery North by Mark Lloyd -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Harry Babicka, Dionna House
Visibility: 20' - 40' Time:10:30 AM
Temp: 50F - 51F Surge:  
Max Depth: 100FSW Avg Depth: 52FSW
Bottom Time:   Total Time: 0:59
Bottom Gases: EAN32Deco Gases:
Backgas Config: Double Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
 
Where to go on Sunday? The vis in the Monterey Bay was rumored to be 10-20′ which is not really good enough to drive down to. No of us had Lobos reservations so Dionna suggested Monastery, which I had never done after all the years of diving here. You can only really do Monastery when the swell and waves are very small as it can be very dangerous otherwise. We set up our tables at the North end on the beach then humped our gear down and set it on the tables. Harry just purchased his table this morning and obviously they know the DIR crowd likes them as they now make the legs DIR black instead of shiny aluminum. We then geared up and swam out about 5 mins before dropping down. I could clearly see the bottom for most of the swim out but near the end I lost site which looked to be about 40′. As we dropped down Harry who was leading followed the wall on the right till we leveled off at 100′. The usual slugs and fish were waiting for us and after about 20 mins we turned the dive and followed the wall back in. Again, lots of the usual varieties of rockfish, nudibranches, kelp, and a few nice Greenlings but nothing out of the ordinary. As we got closer in we ventured into the shallows and poked in all the holes we could find trying to see if anything was home. Lots of krill about and large schools of Tube-Snout. As we reached 10′ Harry called it and then the fun began. Getting my fins off I attempted to scramble up the sand but the sand acted like a treadmill and it took 3 or 4 attempts before I made it out of the water. I was glad the table was there because I was pooped at the effort. After a short rest we all trekked our gear back to the cars and Dionna and I stopped at Sea Harvest in the mall to have lunch. Nice dive site but I’m not sure the effort is worth it.
A few topside pictures here: http://mlloyd.homedns.org/v/2009/monastery/
4/25/2009 Pt Lobos by Dionna House -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Masao Yoshimura, Dionna House, Andreas Huber
Visibility: 40' - 60' Time:10:00 AM
Temp: 46F - 48F Surge: 3'
Max Depth: 62FSW Avg Depth: 40FSW
Bottom Time:   Total Time:  
Bottom Gases: EAN32Deco Gases:
Backgas Config: Double LP80Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
 

Sorry this is late, I had the pleasure to dive with Masao, Andrea, and Andreas on the BAUE project fair. After discussing our GUE EDGE, we all geared up and surface swam out to about the 30ft worm patch. We made our descent as a team and swam out to hole in the wall. It has been awhile since I swam out. We went through the small canyon just before hole in the wall. Andrea saw many nudibranchs. We arrived at the eastside of hole in the wall and swam around to the west side to look through, I saw a large vermillion. After meandering around, it was time to turn the dive. I went east to come in on the west side of the middle reef in hopes to check out Itchy and Scratchy. They were not around for a visit. We meandered around to the east side of the middle reef looking at all the sponges,crabs,anenomes,nudibranchs and topography while heading south west into the sandchannel. I was hoping there would be a leopard shark or a ray in the sand. No such luck!! We made a slow ascent to the surface and kicked in quickly due to being cold. Great dive and great fun.
4/21/2009 Monastery South by Clinton Bauder -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Clinton Bauder, Robert Lee
Visibility: 40' Time:9:30 PM
Temp: 49F Surge: 2'
Max Depth: 45FSW Avg Depth:  
Bottom Time: 1:15 Total Time:  
Bottom Gases: EAN32Deco Gases:
Backgas Config: Single HP100Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
 
Rob sent me an email on Monday complaining about the miserably hot weather and suggesting we should do a night dive to cool off. This certainly seemed logical to me. With a very flat forecast and good vis recently in Carmel we decided to go visit the harbor seals at South Monastery.

We've had good luck in the past diving at dusk with the seals. They tend to figure out that if they hang out at the edge of your light they can see the fish but the fish can't see them. Easy fishing! It looked promising early as several seals checked us out on the swim out. On the downside my HID light kept losing its strike. I eventually concluded the cord must be bad and started to get a bit grumpy as I'm leaving for a dive trip in 2 weeks and really didn't feel like arranging for an emergency repair. Ah well, at least my LED backup light worked and was bright enough to make do with.

We dropped down into very clear water. It's hard to judge visibility at night but I'll conservatively estimate 40 feet. Right away I started to feel better about being on the backup light as Rob was instantly surrounded by a thick cloud of krill and small fish. The little backscatter causing critters seemed much less entranced by my wimpy backup light.

For some reason the seals kept their distance during the dive. We saw plenty of them and Rob says he saw them take a few fish but it wasn't as intense a show as I'm used to.

While Rob was struggling to figure out how to shoot seals inside his cloud of shrimp I started looking for little things. I'd brought macro thinking that seals were too difficult to shoot at night. Certainly was an interesting dive for critters as I found a snailfish, some kind of clingfish and various slugs and worms.

Getting out at Monastery can be a bear but it's great at night when the only lights are your own and you can see every star in the sky. Certainly better than roasting at home in my non-air conditioned apartment. Dinner was at In N Out in Gilroy which conveniently is open after midnight.

Back home I discovered the bulb on my light had come loose from the socket explaining the failure. Fixed that and the light now works perfectly. Whew!

Images Here
4/18/2009 Pinnacle Point Wall aboard Escapade by Alberto Nava -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Alberto Nava, Joseph (Karl) Haywood, Susan Bird
Visibility: 100' Time:4:00 PM
Temp: 44F - 48F Surge:  
Max Depth: 202FSW Avg Depth:  
Bottom Time: 0:30 Total Time: 1:30
Bottom Gases: 15/55Deco Gases:EAN50,O2
Backgas Config: Double Deco Tanks:AL40,AL80
Deco Profile:
 
At 1pm Saturday afternoon we had almost no hope of going diving on the second part of
the BAUE tech charter. The morning group had clear skies, but by noon a fog bank had encapsulated the entire coast. We were having some nice tacos and burritos while waiting for
the unexpected thick fog to clear. At 2pm we walked out of the restaurant to find out we could
see Monterey from Seaside We decided to stop procrastinating and go diving :-)

We motored towards Point Pinos where we found some large swells but 'Virgil Cole' at the helm pushed forward
and we soon found better-behaving swells and a kinder wind direction as we motored south. The edge of the fog bank was just a little
bit south of Lobos so our original target (K3) was not an option. We talked about Lunaticos, Ginder Garden and we finally
settled for Pinnacle Point Wall.

We jumped in the water to found 100ft vis at the surface. Very nice blue water which could be easily mistaken for
Hawaii conditions, except for the 48F degrees water. We motored down following the anchor line into even colder water, until we reached the top
of the wall at about 100ft. We dropped on the east side of the wall and headed towards the base and the north-west end
of the pinnacle. We found some small boulders at 202ft and ventured a little bit along the sand looking for more
structure. Pretty quick we realized there was no more to see, so we turned back to the pinnacle and started going on the West side.

Suddenly we saw a group of 10 canaries swimming towards us at full speed, and they circled us for a couple of minutes. It was a majestic
scene with fish and divers looking at each other.

From there we headed back East on the wall and did a couple of side trips. The wall was covered with elephant ear sponges and
a lot of corynactus and quite a lot of purple hydrocoral. We run into a very large vermilion which Susan said was the biggest she
has ever seen and as we looked at the large fish. Soon a good sized lingcod came to visit and we had some very nice face to face encounters.

Temperature at the bottom was a consistent 44 degrees, but 'scooter chill factor' made it seem colder. Fortunately the color and the beauty took our minds off of the brisk water.

As we ascended on the wall we found many decorator grabs with purple sponges on their body, and some large schools of rock-fish. After about 30min we headed for the top of the pinnacle and called our dive.

Our deco was uneventful, and we saw & waved to the other team (Clinton, Dionna, and Nick) on the way up . As we got closer to the surface the ocean got quite bumpy and we starting experiencing
Taco-toxicity symptoms. It starts with a gaseous, full sensation in your stomach and followed by a fire-like feeling in your esophagus :-(. No more tacos before
going on the afternoon trip please!!!

All in all a great day out.

Photo Gallery

4/18/2009 Dos Gatos aboard Escapade by Robert Lee -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Robert Lee, Kevin Dow, Allison Lee
Visibility: 100' Time:12:00 AM
Temp: 44F Surge:  
Scooter: X-scooter Burn Time: 0:20
Max Depth: 170FSW Avg Depth:  
Bottom Time:   Total Time: 0:30
Bottom Gases: 18/45Deco Gases:EAN50
Backgas Config: Double LP104Deco Tanks:AL80
Deco Profile:
 
With the forecast looking decent for the weekend tech charter, I started plotting ways to steer the boat back to Dos Gatos. Allison and I wanted to explore the area a little more, and Kevin hadn't been out there before.

As we neared Pinos, it became clear that the swell was a little bigger than I had anticipated. Being troopers, we slogged our way down the coast and before long found ourselves anchored on the site :-)

The plan was to go down and head for the 2nd peak, round it clockwise and explore the large crack of gorgonians we had found a month or 2 ago. As we dropped off the back of the boat, it was clear that it was going to be exceptional. There was no current anywhere, and the water was exceptionally blue. We met up at the anchor line after retrieving scooters, etc.. and after a quick bubble check at 15', I looked down and could see the reef. I was momentarily worried that we were anchored on the wrong spot, as the very top of the reef was only supposed to be 100' or so, but the viz was really *that* good.

We started scootering clockwise and soon jumped off of the main reef N-ish. We paused for 10min or so on a deeper patch of reef around 170' that was heavily decorated with the usual sponges, gorgonians etc... before continuing.

We never did find the spot we were looking for, but it was fun exploring the area. We ended up hitting several pinnacles to the N/NW, before heading W. There is a ton to explore out here. While I definitely squandered the opportunity from a photography point of view, it was really really fun to tour the area on the trigger in that kind of viz :-)

Pretty soon, we decided it would be a good idea to head back, and so we started back on trigger and several minutes later, found ourselves back on the main site that we had originally left. Off in the distance, I could see the HID lights of Matt and John about 30' above us as they had already started their deco. We spent the last 5 minutes or so of our BT working our way up the peak before heading up.

I really love this site; it is easily as nice as areas of Mt. Chamberlin (in my mind anyway). On the scooter ride back to the main pinnacle, we passed over quite a few deeper peaks (180-200+) that deserve further consideration :-)

Deco was cold, but we did have lots of deco critters to keep us company :-/

Pictures here
4/17/2009 Twin Peaks by Harry Wong -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Todd Lasman, Harry Wong
Visibility: 20' - 80' Time:10:00 AM
Temp: 45F - 50F Surge:  
Scooter: Gavin Long Burn Time: 0:50
Max Depth: 155FSW Avg Depth:  
Bottom Time:   Total Time:  
Bottom Gases: 21/35Deco Gases:EAN50
Backgas Config: Double LP80Deco Tanks:AL80
Deco Profile:
7,2,2,2,2,8,8
 
Some crystal clear abet cold water diving today at Point Lobos today.

No wonder deco was a bit cold at 45 degrees! I had to dump some gas out of my wing to put a little more in my drysuit to stay warmer, thank goodness for a drysuit and dry gloves!

Monastery Beach looked very calm and divable today too. Driving down the road leading to the parking lot of Whaler's Cove offered a very nice picture of calm waters and a promising dive. A calm Monastery Beach always attracts my attention to go explore the Lobos-Monastery traverse again. But not today, that would be a waster of helium in our tanks.

Todd and I arrived at 8 AM to a parking lot full of divers, quite a surprise for a weekday at Point Lobos. Kevin was helping a group of divers from Southern California get oriented with Lobos, a diver was putting together his inflatable soft boat which looked like way too much work for the portability. Beto was teaching Fundies. It was quite a crowd of divers.

We planned our dive and dove our plan of going out to Twin Peaks, doing some video and a nice relaxing drift deco.

The viz was nice enough in the cove to drop down at the ramp and scooter out underwater and it wasn't long before we got to Beto's Reef where we went west, hitting the Road. In the middle of the Road, we came across a nice school of Olive Rockfish, a first for me and I think I got some good video of them which I'll post later. We passed the Sea Pens and went around Twin Peaks counter-clockwise. Darn, both video lights failed so I relied on the ambient light at 150 feet for my video whch surprisingly came out well for no lights.

Todd led the way, freeing me up to do video. Unfortunately we couldn't spend too much time at Twin Peaks as it was time to turn back. So we followed the road, hitting the Sisters and then back to Beto's Reef.

To prepare for our ascent, we stowed our scooters by locking the trigger, depitching the prop and using the short tow cord to attach the scooter to our crotch D-Ring. We then ascended to 70 feet where we did our gas switch and Todd shot his bag with me running the deco. Beto's Reef below remained clear in sight and I could still see the bottom for most of our ascent!

Things were pretty relaxing, so I pulled out my wetnotes and challenged Todd to a game of Tic-Tac-Toe, which he readily excepted. I started with an X on one corner, he replied with an O in the center. This went on for another couple of turns and I knew that he knew the Tic-Tac-Toe pattern, so of course it ended up in a draw. Next time we'll do Hangman. :-)

There was very little current as I could still see Beto's reef on the ascent and when we came up we were at the mouth of Whaler's Cove out near Bird Rock, wow, so this was where Beto's Reef was in relation to that landmark!

Scootering back on the surface proved too much work with all the kelp so we ducked down 5-10 feet scootering under the beautiful kelp canopy traversing the various skylights of light that would push down into the water in the openings of the canopy where there was no kelp. It was almost surreal. Coming back in, I could easily spot several dive teams in the water and even Beto and Susan in their Fundies class. They had run some line over by Worm Patch for their students whch brought back fond memories my classes with them.

Equipment: doubles, deco bottle, Gavin scooter with mounted video camera.

45 to 50.7 degrees..burr! 90 minutes dive, 30 minute bottom time, 155 feet max depth, visiblity 60' to 80'

Tomorrow should be just as nice! But alas, I'll be at the Bay Area Dive Show in San Jose talking about Sinking A Ship in Monterey.




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