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12/7/2003 Outer Pinnacles aboard Escapade by Nick Radov -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Gary Banta, Nick Radov
Visibility: 50' Time:9:30 AM
Temp:   Surge: 5'
Max Depth: 98FSW Avg Depth:  
Bottom Time: 0:37 Total Time: 0:57
Bottom Gases: 21/35Deco Gases:EAN50
Backgas Config: Double LP104,HP100Deco Tanks:AL40
Deco Profile:
 
After seeing some previous condition reports and weather predictions we were worried today would suck but our fears proved unfounded. Swells were a little bigger than we like to see but Jim was able to take us around the corner and anchor right on top of the rock. The surge there was pretty intense; it was easier to move by pulling along on the bull kelp rather than trying to swim. I led on this first dive and took us down the west side of the wall to the sand at about 93ft. Excellent visibility all around, really the clearest water conditions I've seen in months. We turned south and made a complete counterclockwise circuit around near the bottom. Even at that depth the surge was significant on the ocean side and I had to clear my ears every time a swell rolled by. Spotted a medium size ling cod, the usual spot prawns, a couple Cadlina luteomarginata, and a small school of what I think were adult yellowtail rockfish. When we made it back near our starting point (as marked by a single large bundle of giant kelp stalks) we gradually ascended the wall along a channel filled with the full spectrum of hydrocoral. The whole area was just carpeted with it. Made a gas switch right by the anchor on top of the rock at about 55ft, hung out there for a few minutes letting the surge toss us back and forth, and then worked our way up the line. A northwest current had picked up a little so we had to hold the line all the way up. Despite the surge it was overall a really fun dive and getting back in the water after being dry for a solid month felt great.
11/25/2003 Pt Lobos aboard Phil Sammet's RIB by Clinton Bauder -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Clinton Bauder, Susan Bird, Alberto Nava
Visibility: 50' - 80' Time:11:00 AM
Temp: 48F - 52F Surge:  
Max Depth: 206FSW Avg Depth: 180FSW
Bottom Time: 0:25 Total Time: 1:30
Bottom Gases: 18/45Deco Gases:EAN50,O2
Backgas Config: Double LP80,LP104Deco Tanks:AL40,AL80
Deco Profile:
Deep Stops,2,8,5,5,5,5,18,6 up
 
Diving with Susan and Beto off of Phil's boat. I got to Carmel early and after a leisurely coffee and a bagel I headed over to Monastery to have a look at conditions before going to Lobos. The north side looked really ugly with big spindrifts and waves going way up the beach. The south side might have been diveable by the gung-ho though a crawling exit definitely would have been required. On the plus side the water was a really clear blue and there was nary a cloud in the sky.



After meeting Phil, Susan and Beto we decided it wasn't that bad and geared up for a dive. We considered going over to the north side of Carmel Bay but the swell had a significant west component and that didn't seem likely to buy us anything other than a longer boat trip. We decided to have a look at D3 which is a pinnacle west of the famous E3.



While we were gearing up someting really, really big apparently jumped out of the water just offshore of us. Phil and I saw the spalsh but not the culprit. Might have been a whale. Anway, as I had suspected from my reconnisance at Monastery the water was incredibly clear and blue though the surface conditions left a lot to be desired. We hurried up and got the heck into the water.



As we neared the top of the pinnacle we were greeted by a big school of rockfish and it only got better from there. This rock has more gorgonians per square inch than any other that I've seen in the greater Monterey area. It also features nice sponges, numerous canary rockfish, at least 3 juvenile yelloweye rockfish and a friendly wolf eel. Wow! And with good vis too!


Eventually we ran low on time and gas and reluctantly headed up for our deco. This was surprisingly pleasant as the waves weren't of a particularly long period. Even the 20 foot stop was tolerable. We did, however, get a few glimpses of the boat as Phil hovered nearby. It looked like a bucking bronco. Sorry bout that Phil! Still, a very nice dive an a spot we'll be sure to revisit soon. After the dive we decided it was good enough for a proper name and settled on Kinder-Garden based on the very large number of juvenile fish we saw swimming over the garden of gorgonians.



You can see a gallery of still images from the video I shot on this dive here.
11/20/2003 Pt Lobos by Delia Milliron -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Delia Milliron, Jim Hayward
Visibility: 1' - 30' Time:12:00 AM
Temp:   Surge:  
Scooter: Mako Burn Time:  
Max Depth: 104FSW Avg Depth: 100FSW
Bottom Time:   Total Time:  
Bottom Gases: 30/30Deco Gases:O2
Backgas Config: Double LP80Deco Tanks:AL40,AL30
Deco Profile:
 
Joe might be out of town, but his scooter is not. Jim Hayward and I jumped in at Lobos for some midweek fun. Jim hadn't been on a scooter in a while, so we made a pretty conservative plan. The vis in the cove was about 3-5 feet until we hit the kelp, when it dropped to 1-2 feet. Fortunately, things openned up nicely outside the cove. We followed the Cannery Point wall out past hole-in-the-wall. The kelp forrest boulder field just outside hole-in-the-wall was especially fun since it was black as night and more than a little spooky. We briefly checked out Beto's Reef for fun and as a reference point, then headed along the ~100' contour towards Blue Fish. We hit some nice pinnacles, but I'm not sure the vis was good enough for me to confidently place them on the map. We cruised back in and turned a little early, but Jim got us turned around and back to the sand channel. We did a mellow deco in the cove, then climbed out.
11/16/2003 Pt Lobos aboard Phil Sammet's RIB by Clinton Bauder -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Alberto Nava, Clinton Bauder
Visibility: 40' - 60' Time:10:00 AM
Temp: 54F - 58F Surge:  
Max Depth: 195FSW Avg Depth: 180FSW
Bottom Time: 25:00 Total Time: 1:30
Bottom Gases: 18/45Deco Gases:EAN50,O2
Backgas Config: Double LP104,HP120Deco Tanks:AL40,AL80
Deco Profile:
Deep Stops, 2,3,8,5,5,5,5,12,6 off,6,6 up.
 
Beto and I were diving today from Phil's boat at a new spot just outside of Point Lobos called Pinnacle Point Wall. We had low expectations for the day as the forecast wasn't so hot and reports from Saturday indicated pretty rough conditions. Instead we were greeted with sunny skies, light winds, clear blue water and a measly 6 foot swell. Wow, doesn't get much better than that. Indeed the dive was quite memorable.


The wall extends out to the North from Pinnacle Point Cove. The top is at about 120 feet with a precipitous drop straight to 200 feet. The best life was near the top but the bottom featured a couple of vase sponges, a multitude of starry, canary and rosy rockfish and even a red irish lord. The latter was so well camoflaged that when I looked up to signal Beto I lost sight of it and couldn't find it again despite not having moved more than a few feet. Beto also found a juvenile yelloweye rockfish. As we moved up the reef we were greeted by dense corynactis anemones and big elephant ear sponges.


I'd like to say the deco was uneventful but one of my deco regs decided that just wasn't in the cards. Despite working on the surface it immediately started to freeflow when I switched to it at 70 feet. We thought about switching regs or maybe swapping in a new second stage but I decided to feather the valve instead (only turn it on when I was actually taking a breath). This worked surprisingly well but I did have a few choice words for the reg when I reached the surface. One nice thing was the warmth of the water at nearly 58 degrees. That sure made the deco more comfortable.



A gallery of video frames from this dive can be seen here.



This image shows the route we followed during the dive.
11/13/2003 Breakwater by Clinton Bauder -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Clinton Bauder, Eric Maiken
Visibility: 15' - 25' Time:7:00 PM
Temp: 52F - 52F Surge:  
Max Depth: 50FSW Avg Depth: 40FSW
Bottom Time: 1:30 Total Time:  
Bottom Gases: EAN32Deco Gases:
Backgas Config: Double LP80Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
 
Eric Maiken of VPM fame lives in the Bay Area now and was looking for dive buddies so we went for a midweek night dive. After a long discussion about decompression theory on the drive down we decided that the Breakwater would be our dive site. It was flat calm and the vis was pretty good. We cruised out along the wall until we got to the end and then came back along the sand. Highlights included most of the usual night dive suspects including sailfin sculpin, octopus, cusk eels, etc. We also saw 2 squid and I caught a brief glimpse of a red brotula.
11/1/2003 Aumentos aboard Cypress Sea by Pete Gelbman -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Ian Puleston, Pete Gelbman
Visibility: 10' - 20' Time:1:40 PM
Temp: 55F Surge: 10'
Max Depth: 62FSW Avg Depth: 40FSW
Bottom Time:   Total Time: 0:41
Bottom Gases: EAN32,21/35Deco Gases:O2
Backgas Config: Double LP80,LP104Deco Tanks:AL40
Deco Profile:
5 @ 20' on O2
for the heck of it
 
3rd dive at Aumentos, along Chase reef. Most folks on the boat were tired and ready for home, including us, so we just planned a short training dive. Fairly green and a little surgy. While doing mid-water drills, Ian's 2nd stage started to freeflow. I was wondering why he had started to do a valve drill before finishing our s-drills until I realized he was having a real problem. Unable to solve the problem by tightening down the reg, he left his right post shut down and we head down out of the surge to sort things out closer to the bottom. Ian swapped regs with O2 bottle, still no joy, clearly his o-ring was blown. Briefly ran some line with him on his backup reg just to get in some quick reel practice, then aborted - all good things must come to any end...
11/1/2003 Pt Lobos aboard Cypress Sea by Pete Gelbman -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Ian Puleston, Pete Gelbman
Visibility: 15' - 30' Time:11:13 AM
Temp: 54F Surge: 5'
Max Depth: 95FSW Avg Depth: 85FSW
Bottom Time: 0:40 Total Time: 0:59
Bottom Gases: 21/35Deco Gases:O2
Backgas Config: Double LP80,LP104Deco Tanks:AL40
Deco Profile:
1
1
1
1
1
10
3
 
2nd dive at outer edge of Lobos, Bluefish side. Scott anchored us fairly close to the rocks in about 70' of water. We dropped down the line, did some drills at the anchor line then I ran a reel towards the park a bit. We were concentrating on teamwork so did a few gas sharing and no mask line drills then reeled back to the anchor line. A large male California Sheephead was roaming around the area constantly, seemed like we were invading his neck of the woods. As we started our ascent, Ian noticed a fish below us acting weird. I dropped back down for a closer look: a white fish with spots was hanging vertical in the water, spasing out. From Clinton's website, maybe it was Bocaccio or Grass Rockfish but not sure. Looked like he was having an epileptic fits - his whole body would shudder violenty for a few seconds, then he would go horizontal, swim around for for a moment, then repeat. A Vermillion Rockfish fish was nearby watching him and looked as perplexed about the whole thing as we were. Bizzare, never saw a fish oxtox before... While discussing it in our wetnotes on deco, Ian suggested maybe it was a mating dance? Anyone have any ideas?
11/1/2003 Flintstones aboard Cypress Sea by Pete Gelbman -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Ian Puleston, Pete Gelbman
Visibility: 20' - 40' Time:9:09 AM
Temp: 54F Surge: 5'
Max Depth: 164FSW Avg Depth: 150FSW
Bottom Time: 0:20 Total Time: 0:57
Bottom Gases: 21/35Deco Gases:EAN50
Backgas Config: Double LP80,LP104Deco Tanks:AL40
Deco Profile:
deep stops from 110
5
3
1
2
2
8
4
 
Ian and I originally planned on spending this weekend and next at Breakwater preparing for Cave1 but decided we could do that and have fun at the same time so ended up on Cypress Sea 3 dive charter today. One again weather reports looked a bit sketchy, but an EXCELLENT day on the water. Contrary to web reports, wind was pretty low and only about 6' swell. Capt Scott headed us straight down to Carmel. Sparse turnout on the boat today, only about 8 divers. With conditions looking good we ended up at Flintstones, with a good variety of depths for everyone (Scott is suseptible to a little influence ;-) We dropped down the anchor line on the east face of the main pinnacle, Ian tied in a reel about 15 meters down the slope from the anchor and we dropped over the edge enjoying rich colors and life the whole way down to our planned max depth. Followed the steep wall contour NW for a while then veered over over a sand channel to another part of the reef that caught our eye because it was really colorful. There was a tiny keyhole swimthrough that looked like it needed swimming through but we were out of bottom time so turned the dive. Deep stops up the wall, back up to our tie-in - to our dismay the anchor was nowhere to be seen! Pretty bad when you run a line and *still* can't make it back to upline! We swam around top of reef during rest of our 1 min stops, looking in all directions, then finally proceeded with our gas switch and shot a bag. We guess the anchor got dragged off, but the boat was roughly in same location when we surfaced so mystery never solved...Narcosis on 21/35?
10/31/2003 Chase Reef Inner aboard Xanadu by Pete Gelbman -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Nick Radov, Pete Gelbman
Visibility: 10' - 30' Time:12:10 PM
Temp: 54F Surge: 10'
Max Depth: 129FSW Avg Depth: 120FSW
Bottom Time: 0:30 Total Time: 0:58
Bottom Gases: 21/35Deco Gases:EAN50
Backgas Config: Double LP104Deco Tanks:AL40
Deco Profile:
3
2
1
1
2
8
4
 
After a long surface interval listening to some good sea stories from Wings while munching on some of his awesome home-made pork sausage, we headed back to Chase reef, since we knew it was good vis. The wind had settled all the way down and surface was nice and calm for 2nd dive. A little shallower this time and we could feel the swell a bit throughout the whole dive. Again, lots of large fish, but this time we ended up finding a large chuck of rock with steep relief, some red gorgonians, hyrocoral, the usual bright and beautiful colors, so we hung around enjoying small stuff this time. Some more pretty nudi's:

http://www.metridium.com/monterey/nudibranchs/cadlina.html
http://www.metridium.com/monterey/nudibranchs/odhneri.html

Best Friday I've had in a while. Back again early tomm for an all-dayer on Cypress sea. No rest for the weary ;-)

Wings runs a very squared away boat.

Go diving!!!!!!!
10/31/2003 Chase Reef Inner aboard Xanadu by Pete Gelbman -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Nick Radov, Pete Gelbman
Visibility: 10' - 40' Time:9:11 AM
Temp: 54F Surge: 5'
Max Depth: 162FSW Avg Depth: 150FSW
Bottom Time: 0:25 Total Time: 1:03
Bottom Gases: 21/35Deco Gases:EAN50
Backgas Config: Double LP104Deco Tanks:AL40
Deco Profile:
deep stops
5
3
2
2
3
10
5
 
I had a forced company holiday today and Nick didn't need too much arm twisting to play hooky from work so we headed out with Wings Stocks for some diving. As usual the weather model looked scary but the diving was awesome. Drove through pouring rain the whole way down to Monterey, soon as we got there the sun came out and drizzle stopped. Looking good so far! With 8-10' SW swell and decent wind blowing from the east, we couldn't make it out of the bay on the small boat, but Wings knows some good spots and took his time finding some nice relief for us along Chase reef, a bit west of Ballbuster. Saw Cypress Sea hauling butt back into the harbor with no divers, guess conditions were rough enough for them to abort Carmel diving for the day...

Water color looked promising and sure enough after dropping through a murky layer, after about 50' things got clear although dark. As we approached the bottom we drifted right through a monster cloud of blue rockfish. Nice welcome. Wings ran a live boat for us so Nick led us west along some nice rock formations without worrying about getting back to the anchor. We were deep enough to get away from the swell and it was a very relaxing, peaceful cruise. Nice Metridium bloooms and large umbers of huge link cods, one particularly aggressive blue one was chasing everthing in its way. Summary of this site is large fish, small anenomies. Actually today was my favorite type of dive conditions, dark and good vis, makes for nice setting. Nick spotted a lovely tiny Tritonia Festiva,
http://www.metridium.com/monterey/nudibranchs/triton.html

Relaxing drift deco under a bag is a perfect way to comtemplate how nice it is to get away from the dilbert cubicle!

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