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4/19/2003 Eric's Pinnacle Damnit! aboard Escapade by Nick Radov -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Gary Banta, Nick Radov
Visibility: 15' - 20' Time:8:15 AM
Temp: 51F Surge: 3'
Max Depth: 54FSW Avg Depth: 45FSW
Bottom Time:   Total Time: 0:59
Bottom Gases: 30/30Deco Gases:
Backgas Config: Double LP104,HP100Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
 
Descended the anchor line to the sand channel next to the pinnacle. We made about 2.5 circuits around the pinnacle, plus excursions to the smaller rocks next to it. Saw 3 Hermissenda crassicornis of various sizes and a couple medium size ling cod. There was a lot of Corynactis as well. (Gary was actually using his new Pressed Steel E-series tanks so we need to add an option on the form for those.)
4/13/2003 Mile Buoy aboard Escapade by Clinton Bauder -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Susan Bird, Clinton Bauder
Visibility: 10' - 30' Time:2:30 PM
Temp: 48F - 52F Surge:  
Max Depth: 145FSW Avg Depth: 140FSW
Bottom Time: 0:27 Total Time: 0:57
Bottom Gases: 21/45Deco Gases:EAN50
Backgas Config: Double LP80,LP104Deco Tanks:AL40
Deco Profile:
5,2,2,2,2,8,5
 
Diving from the Escapade Sue, Beto and John H. Amazingly this was an excellent dive. The weather forecast was for rain and thunderstorms with a 12 foot swell and 20-30 knot winds. The rain didn't materialize but rather we had blue skies with puffy clouds. The swell was from the west and the wind from the south so Monterey Bay was flat as a lake (Carmel probably looked like Victory at Sea). The water was a bit green but not too dirty.


Sue and I were in the water first. The water was a bit murky at the surface but as we descended it opened up a bit to maybe 30 feet at depth. It was quite dark but otherwise quite scenic. We found 2 Tritonia diomedea nudibranchs out on the sand and also saw quite a few other interesting branchs including Flabellina iodinea, Tritonia festiva and several very large Triopha catalinae. Also of interest were a large sheep crab with gorgonians growing on it, several big lingcod and 3 wolf eels including a big old male that had to be at least 6 feet long.

Deco was straightforward though the current was just strong enough to be annoying and the large amount of boat traffic kept us from leaving the anchor line and just shooting a bag.

Susan I and also did a practice dive later at Hopkins deep reef. We didn't see much, but weren't looking either. Vis there was about 20 feet.

Here is a map of the area.

3/29/2003 Que Paso Pinnacle aboard Cypress Sea by Nick Radov -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Pete Gelbman, Nick Radov
Visibility: 6' - 40' Time:11:00 AM
Temp: 49F Surge: 4'
Max Depth: 128FSW Avg Depth: 110FSW
Bottom Time: 0:30 Total Time: 0:54
Bottom Gases: 30/30Deco Gases:EAN50
Backgas Config: Double LP80,LP104Deco Tanks:AL40,AL80
Deco Profile:
 
There was a strong surface current running so we had to pull down the anchor line during the first part. In the shallow area on top of the pinnacle visibility was poor and surge was strong but conditions deep were far better. We swam along the wall on the south side of the pinnacle and saw a cowrie shell, some metridiums, and a patch of hydrocoral. Passed Sami, Clinton, and John on the way out as they were coming back and then turned around and trailed them a few minutes later. At about 125ft on the wall we ran across a giant pacific octopus. Woo hoo! That was my first time seeing one underwater and it was a really impressive sight. At first I didn't realize what it was since the coloring blended in with the rocks so well; I just saw its left water intake flashing open and closed. But when we got up close there was no mistaking it. The size wasn't as large as they get in Pudget Sound but still pretty good for this area; its head looked bigger than my head. Unfortunately we couldn't hang around and watch it very long as we were running out of bottom time and were near the depth limit for our mix (back gas was actually only 27% oxygen after topping off but 30/30 was the closest option on this form). This time we did make it back to the anchor line and I spotted a kelp greenling just before we started ascending. The current wasn't too bad so we were able to hold in place by just finning slowly. My right drysuit boot was leaking badly but luckily I just bought a new Thinsulate undergarment and that kept me warm enough throughout the deco. Back on the boat Capt. Phil said that octopus has been hanging around the pinnacle for at least a couple of months so if you dive there keep a close eye out.
3/23/2003 Pt Lobos by John Heimann -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Alberto Nava, John Heimann
Visibility: 5' - 40' Time:11:30 AM
Temp: 50F - 55F Surge: 5'
Scooter: Gavin Long Burn Time:  
Max Depth: 148FSW Avg Depth: 130FSW
Bottom Time: 0:40 Total Time: 1:49
Bottom Gases: 21/35Deco Gases:EAN50,O2
Backgas Config: Double LP104,HP120Deco Tanks:AL40,AL80
Deco Profile:
Deep Stops,
5,2,2,2,3,15
 
Scootered out of Whaler's to Montana pinnacle. Checked
out conditions at site. Fair amount of surge on deco.
Beautiful gorgonians, corynactis, hydrocoral, elephant
ear sponges, and ascdia callosa at the pinnacle.

This image shows the route we took:

3/22/2003 Monastery North by Nick Radov -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Pete Gelbman, Alex Berthet, Nick Radov
Visibility: 20' - 35' Time:4:00 PM
Temp: 47F - 48F Surge: 1'
Max Depth: 103FSW Avg Depth: 70FSW
Bottom Time: 0:47 Total Time: 0:58
Bottom Gases: EAN32,30/30Deco Gases:
Backgas Config: Single,Double LP80,LP95Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
minimum
 
I had to sit out the first dive due to equipment problems. The other Carmel sites were blown out with heavy chop and large swells so we decided to return to the same site for the second dive. There was very little surface kelp today so we had an easy swim out to near the wash rock. Dropped down where it's about 30ft deep, did a quick round of gas sharing drills, and then followed the edge of the down to around 90ft. We proceeded along the contour at that depth for a while, then moved up shallower after turning the dive. Surge was very light below 70ft but somewhat worse in the shallower areas. For marine life we noticed an abundance of Cadlina luteomarginata. Also saw the usual rock fish and a single painted greenling. At one point a harbor seal flashed by, and then we saw it again later at the surface. Overall a nice dive, but water temperate was as low as I have seen it in a while. I was actually glad to be using a single tank today as it gave me a good excuse to call the dive after I got cold. :-)
3/22/2003 Hopkin's Deep Reef aboard Escapade by Sami Laine -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Clinton Bauder, Sami Laine
Visibility: 10' - 20' Time:12:44 PM
Temp: 52F Surge: 1'
Max Depth: 66FSW Avg Depth: 48FSW
Bottom Time: 0:30 Total Time: 0:47
Bottom Gases: EAN32Deco Gases:EAN50
Backgas Config: Double LP80Deco Tanks:AL40,AL80
Deco Profile:
min deco + 2,2,2,2,2,2,2
 
Clinton and I got in some practice off Escapade. The first dive was at the inside edge of Hopkins Deep Reef, which was great for us as we were practicing with multiple stages.

Clinton and I both had double-LP80's, with two AL80's and one AL40' (filled with practice mixes of 32% and 50%). The boat was full of 'advanced class' students who probably didn't know what to think of us, heading in for a 70' dive with 380 cubic feet of gas, each! ;-)

After a quick bubble check and descent drill, we descended to the anchor and switched to the bottom mix stage. Clinton did a quick tieoff, and off we went reeling out, practicing ties. This was my first time carrying two AL80's and one AL40 as stages, and even with heavy nitrox fill in one of the 80's (several pounds heavier than 21/45 trimix would be!) the balance, trim and swimming with them was easier than I expected.

The dive was fairly uneventful, with no unusual critters spied and fairly low visibility of green murk and 'sea snot' (dinoflagellates perhaps?) in the water column. We turned the dive on time and while reeling back we switched off the bottom stage to backgas to get some stage stowing practice, which we need more of... ;-) On the ascent we did a gas switch to 50%, and practiced moving the stages around a bit. We then simulated a switch to O2 at 20' by swapping onto the AL40's. All in all, a good practice dive in ho-hum conditions.
3/16/2003 Mile Buoy aboard Escapade by Sami Laine -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Clinton Bauder, Sami Laine
Visibility: 5' - 10' Time:2:03 PM
Temp: 50F Surge: 1'
Max Depth: 149FSW Avg Depth: 140FSW
Bottom Time: 0:25 Total Time: 1:00
Bottom Gases: 21/45Deco Gases:EAN50
Backgas Config: Double LP104Deco Tanks:AL40
Deco Profile:
deep stops,
3, 2, 2, 2, 2, 7, 3
 
John Heimann organized a quick afternoon charter despite the forecasts of 'big storm' weekend. Well, the forecasts were wrong, and we drove from the South Bay rain into beautiful sunshine and springtime mild winds of Monterey.

Our plan was to stay inside the bay to hide from the big swell (13' and westerly) and dive the Mile Buoy. When we got to the site there was very little swell, no windchop, perfect topside conditions. However, there was a sailboat regatta with one of their turnpoints close to the site, and a 866 foot cruise ship (Mercury of Celebrity Cruises) anchored half a mile away and getting ready to sail. This meant that coming back up at the anchor was definitely called for!

We descended in soupy green vis, and took 4 minutes for the first 40ft, just practicing tight descent control, then headed down for the dive. Clinton had a video camera, so I handled the reel. Visibility stayed low at 5-10 feet throughout the dive, so the reel was definitely useful today.

We headed north from the high point at 130' and peeked through the rocky ledges for a couple of hundred feet. Big, bushy Red Gorgonians were open getting well fed from the soup, as were metridiums. We saw a Tochuina tetraquetra nudibranch again, this time next to a gorgonian but not feeding on it. There were also Spanish shawl nudibranchs (Flabellina iodinea) everywhere, we saw close to a dozen of them.

Fish life was represented mostly by big Canary rockfish (Sebastes pinniger), and schools of Pile Perch (Rhacochilus vacca).

Our profile ended being average 140' for 25 minutes. Throughout the dive, we could hear the cruise ship's engines running. At our 70' stop, it became very loud, they probably started the main engines to prepare for departure. As we got up it was still at anchor, a half-mile away. Those things are LOUD! After we had gotten out and the crew was pulling the anchor, the cruise ship got underway, and the Coast Guard was running interference for them.

Despite the low vis, this turned to a very dark, mellow, nice and enjoyable dive! In sunny weather, nonetheless!
3/16/2003 Mile Buoy aboard Escapade by John Heimann -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: John Heimann, Isaac Callicrate
Visibility: 5' - 10' Time:2:00 PM
Temp:   Surge:  
Max Depth: 150FSW Avg Depth: 140FSW
Bottom Time: 0:22 Total Time: 0:55
Bottom Gases: 21/45Deco Gases:EAN50
Backgas Config: Double LP104Deco Tanks:AL40
Deco Profile:
 
Sami summed up the trip pretty well, but I have to add that we spotted a couple of species I happen to like, namely glassy tunicates (ascidia callosa) and elephant ear sponges. We did a slightly longer deco because I'd been in the ocean all morning with an OW class, and was a bit tired. The sea was refreshingly calm given how big the surf was at the Monterey and Pac Grove beaches. Overall a great dive on a great boat.
3/13/2003 Breakwater by Pete Gelbman -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Jason Nemecek, Pete Gelbman
Visibility: 10' - 15' Time:7:24 PM
Temp: 50F Surge:  
Max Depth: 54FSW Avg Depth: 39FSW
Bottom Time: 1:04 Total Time: 1:04
Bottom Gases: EAN32Deco Gases:
Backgas Config: Double LP80Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
 
Sketchy weather reports and storm was due to arrive, but as of lunchtime wave models still looked decent so we headed down anyway. I'm suffering from 2 weekends of NDSPKD (non diving spouse peace keeping duties) so I had to get a dive in sometime this week, and managed to convince Jason to skip out of work early to go with me. San Jose was rainy and windy when we left at 4:30 but we were pleasantly suprised by Monterey topside conditions, sunny and not much swell and vis along the Breakwater wall looked reasonable. By the time we got suited up wind had picked up and there was some surface chop. We surface swam out northeast from middle of the beach, dropped right onto end of the big pipe, hit the Metridium fields then swam back towards wall and in. Vis was kind of green and stirred up. As soon as we descended we immediately saw a pretty large thorn-back ray (correct name?) about 2.5-3' long, which I've never seen before. He was pretty tame and let us check him out for a while. Pretty good size octopus too, much larger than the normal small ones I've seen in the sand at night. Near the Metriduim fields we ran into a huge swarm of krell (correct name?), they were so thick it was sort of like gnats and felt like they would clog up my reg. Surge had picked up a bit during our dive and we got bounced around in the shallows on our way in.

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