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3/8/2003 Outer Outer Pinnacles aboard Escapade by Clinton Bauder -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: David Chamberlin, Clinton Bauder, Sami Laine
Visibility: 20' - 80' Time:3:00 PM
Temp: 48F - 54F Surge:  
Max Depth: 183FSW Avg Depth: 160FSW
Bottom Time: 0:25 Total Time: 1:08
Bottom Gases: 21/45Deco Gases:EAN50
Backgas Config: RB80,Double LP104,LP51Deco Tanks:AL40
Deco Profile:
DeepStops
5,3,3,3,3,10,5
 
This was an area near Outer Pinnacles that we call Lunaticos and today's dive proved to be great. We dropped down on the north side of the main ridge and started moving west. Straight away I found a small basket star growing on a gorgonian which is rather unusual this far south.


The life was a bit scarce on this side of the reef so Sami suggested cutting through a crack to the south. We did so and were richly rewarded. The southwest side was more vertical and also more densely populated with marine life. We had a particularly good nudibranch dive sighting Mexichromis porterae, Doriopsilla spaldingi, Flabellina trilineata, Tritonia festiva, Geitodoris heathi and many more. Very cool stuff.


Knowing there were likely to be vase sponges here I kept my eye out and eventually found several of them below us. We briefly descended to 180 or so to get a look and some quick shots. Naturally I had forgotton the cords for my video lights so the shots had to be done with natural light but, hey, at least we can prove we saw them! I put up a slideshow featuring still frames of the rather lame images I did manage to capture.


Vis was at least 80 feet on the bottom and surge was light. Overall a great dive.
3/8/2003 Fire Rock aboard Escapade by Nick Radov -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Gary Banta, Nick Radov
Visibility: 30' - 35' Time:11:20 AM
Temp:   Surge: 2'
Max Depth: 87FSW Avg Depth:  
Bottom Time: 0:31 Total Time: 0:37
Bottom Gases: 30/30Deco Gases:
Backgas Config: Double LP80,LP104Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
minimum
 
We dropped down directly off the stern, then followed a rock wall roughly south. Saw a variety of different nudibranchs, including Dialula sandiegensis. When we turned the dive we headed back up north toward the shallower rocks and were lucky enough to stumble upon the anchor line. Spent some more time exploring that area and had a medium size ling cod bump into me from behind; its right eye was missing, probably from some sort of parasite. Spotted a pair of mating fish in a small rock hollow; I'm not sure of the exact species but they were some sort of greenlings. During the ascent a sea lion flashed by.
3/8/2003 Outer Pinnacles aboard Escapade by Nick Radov -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Gary Banta, Nick Radov
Visibility: 30' - 70' Time:9:15 AM
Temp:   Surge: 4'
Max Depth: 93FSW Avg Depth: 80FSW
Bottom Time: 0:46 Total Time: 0:59
Bottom Gases: 30/30Deco Gases:
Backgas Config: Double LP80,LP104Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
minimum plus a little
 
Descended along the anchor line, then dropped down the side of a pinnacle into a sand channel and headed generally east. Spotted a tiny Tritonia festiva on the wall, some well camouflaged decorator crabs, and miscellaneous vermillion and copper rock fish. After using up most of our bottom time we headed back up to the shallower rocks, and even though the surge was worse and the visibility was lower there we enjoyed seeing the spectacular display of all the different hydrocoral colors. Didn't manage to find the anchor line so we just started ascending next to a kelp stalk and sent up a marker buoy. During the ascent we went right through a school of juvenile blue rock fish, and then a mola mola (with fins intact) passed by at our 20ft stop. We were the last team to surface so the boat crew pulled up the anchor and picked us up.
3/2/2003 Pt Lobos by Clinton Bauder -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: John Heimann, Clinton Bauder
Visibility: 10' - 35' Time:2:00 PM
Temp: 50F Surge:  
Max Depth: 100FSW Avg Depth: 70FSW
Bottom Time: 0:40 Total Time: 1:00
Bottom Gases: 30/30Deco Gases:
Backgas Config: Double LP104Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
8,5 or so following
a leisurely
swim back up along
the contour.
 
For this dive we left the scooters in our car as I wanted to shoot some video. I don't have a way to attach the camera to the rental scooter and didn't want to scooter while holding the camera. The plan was to look around the walls on the left side of Whalers and maybe even swim out into Bluefish Cove. Susan and Beto were to follow us on scooters later and if the vis was OK I'd film them a bit if they found us.


Unfortunately the tide was now going out on a big negative tide and the visibility had deteriorated significantly. Inside the cove it was very murky and even out at 100 feet along the rocky walls it was still no better than 30-35. Susan and Beto did find us but I signaled them to keep going as there wasn't enough vis to shoot them properly. They later said they got all the way out to the Great Pinnacle. John and I got close swimming. We saw a very large sheephead, several calico bass and had fun just checking out the nice walls in Bluefish Cove. Naturally there were no harbor seals this time as I had a camera...
3/2/2003 Pt Lobos by Clinton Bauder -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Clinton Bauder, John Heimann
Visibility: 25' - 50' Time:10:30 AM
Temp: 50F Surge:  
Scooter: Gavin Short Burn Time: 0:40
Max Depth: 120FSW Avg Depth: 80FSW
Bottom Time: 0:35 Total Time: 0:57
Bottom Gases: 30/30Deco Gases:EAN50
Backgas Config: Double LP104Deco Tanks:AL40
Deco Profile:
Way more than necessary.
 
John and I scootered out to Granite Point wall and from there north to some of the shallower pinnacles. Vis was great once we got into 70 feet of water or so. The rocks out a 110 feet or so featured some large gorgonians and we were visited several times by sea lions. On the way back we switched to 50% at 70 feet, stayed there for 5 minutes and then scootered in along the contour. Once we got to 20 feet we hung out for another 10-15 minutes while several small harbor seals chewed on our fins and checked out our gear. I must say it is a bit unnerving when they start chewing on the nose cone latches of the scooter!
2/23/2003 Dali's Wall aboard Cypress Sea by Sami Laine -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Clinton Bauder, Sami Laine
Visibility: 20' - 30' Time:12:46 PM
Temp: 52F Surge: 1'
Max Depth: 73FSW Avg Depth: 50FSW
Bottom Time: 0:45 Total Time: 0:57
Bottom Gases: EAN32Deco Gases:EAN50
Backgas Config: Double LP104Deco Tanks:AL40
Deco Profile:
min deco
+ practice
 
Our third dive of the day, this time mostly practice again. It was my turn to run the reel, and we headed off the main wall structure due south and laid the whole 400'. Doing ties proved again tricky; this reef looks like it's one big field of great tieoffs, but on closer inspection everything is very round and very smooth. Quite frustrating at times!

We had two stages each on this dive, and practiced stage handling: unclipping them, handling them in midwater, reclipping them. We also both got in some mask deployment practice.

Nice, mellow, fun practice dive.
2/23/2003 Pt Lobos by Susan Bird -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Alberto Nava, Susan Bird
Visibility: 50' - 70' Time:11:45 AM
Temp: 52F - 52F Surge: 4'
Scooter: Gavin Short Burn Time: 0:35
Max Depth: 161FSW Avg Depth: 130FSW
Bottom Time: 0:30 Total Time: 1:24
Bottom Gases: 18/45Deco Gases:EAN50
Backgas Config: Double LP80Deco Tanks:AL40
Deco Profile:
90  1
80  1
70  5
60  2
50  2
40  2
30  2+2
20  10
15  5
 
Beto & I scootered out along a familiar route to Twin Peaks. Very nice viz thru the channel, minimal uw surge on our way out (but more pronounced on the way home). Viz out at the Peaks was fantastic. Most impressive sights included several humongous sheepheads, and (back inside Whalers) a Very Large, wise, grand-daddy sea otter hunting in the rocks-- who was completely indifferent about our (extremely) close proximity. The sea otter had a distinctive white face and an experienced, knowing, "I've seen it all" demeanor (think: the Pat Lovejoy of the sea otter world).
We did a second shallow dive inside the cove and were entertained by frolicking juvenile harbor seals, one of which gave Beto a kiss on the nose.
2/23/2003 Butterfly Outer aboard Cypress Sea by Sami Laine -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Clinton Bauder, Sami Laine
Visibility: 20' - 35' Time:10:53 AM
Temp: 52F Surge: 5'
Max Depth: 95FSW Avg Depth: 70FSW
Bottom Time: 0:30 Total Time: 0:39
Bottom Gases: 30/30Deco Gases:EAN50
Backgas Config: Double LP104Deco Tanks:AL40
Deco Profile:
min deco
 
A second dive of the day for Clinton and me; this time we concentrated more on practice and less on sightseeing. I told Clinton that we have to see the end of his reel, and he obliged :-)

Practicing tieoffs, Clinton took us along the outer pinnacle structures of Butterfly house heading straight west. We really didn't see much worth reporting, and probably not because it wasn't there: we just missed it!

On our return to the boat I also practiced deploying the backup mask while doing a stop. Listening to your ears for depth guidance while doing this is tricky, but it could have been worse; Clinton needed to give me some control inputs but we got the job done.
2/23/2003 Outer Pinnacles aboard Cypress Sea by Sami Laine -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Sami Laine, Clinton Bauder
Visibility: 70' - 50' Time:8:35 AM
Temp: 52F Surge: 4'
Max Depth: 110FSW Avg Depth: 90FSW
Bottom Time: 0:50 Total Time: 1:12
Bottom Gases: 21/35Deco Gases:EAN50
Backgas Config: Double LP104Deco Tanks:AL40
Deco Profile:
70 4
60 2
50 2
40 2
30 2
20 7
10 3
 
Clinton and I had a combination of a fun dive with some practice thrown in. Despite the excellent visibility, for practice, I tied off a line next to the anchor at 70' and reeled south from the south corner of Outer Pinnacles. Water was very blue and we swam along canyons and rolling rocky reef, with lots of small and large lingcods, cabezons, and rockfish along our way.

We headed about 350' south, and got to a wall we have been to before that runs east-west and goes from 130' to 80' with small cracks and ledges. I tied the reel down, and Clinton shot some video of the reef scenery, including elephant ear sponges.

After about 35minutes at the bottom around 100', we started back towards the anchor; it's amazing how much faster it is to reel back. We spent a few more minutes next to the anchor area, where Clinton shot footage of some nice, tight, narrow and tall lense-shaped schools of Blue Rockfish.

An excellent start for a day of diving, and a good first dive for me (the counter just rolled over at 1000 dives)! ;-)
2/22/2003 Monastery North by Kevin Metcalfe -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Will Gore, Kevin Metcalfe
Visibility: 40' Time:10:30 AM
Temp: 45F Surge: 5'
Max Depth: 110FSW Avg Depth: 70FSW
Bottom Time:   Total Time: 1:04
Bottom Gases: EAN32Deco Gases:
Backgas Config: Double LP104,AL80Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
 
There was a little bit of wave action when we checked it out. We watched a group of divers flouder around in the surf zone before we suited up. They tried to exit near the middle of the beach, tried to stand up when clearly they shouldn't have, and then stood around in the middle of the surf getting knocked around.


We were considering looking for some place that would have better conditions until we heard "40ft vis and no surge below 40 ft".


With that settled we suited up and dropped down near the wash rock and headed down. Vis and surge were as reported.


We headed down into the canyon a bit and then around to the right into the Carmel Meadows side. I like the Carmel Meadows side a lot. The terrain is interesting with rock walls and such. Also, when you are at the the 50-70 foot level it's kind of like being on a ski hill. You can see the sandy "ski runs" heading down and then dropping off between the rocks.


On the way back we stayed at the 50' contour around the reef and worked our way into shallower water where we did S-drills and valve drills and shot bags. On the way out it was borderline for walking out with doubles so we decided to take no chances and crawled out with no problems.


Afterwards as we were getting ready to leave some pretty big sets came though so I don't know how good it was in the afternoon.


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