What It's All About
BAUE conducts an annual project with a focused objective that utilizes and challenges members' skill and training in an effort to “give back” to the local dive community. These projects create a shared learning experience and build teamwork among members. Additionally, the projects provide valuable information about the local underwater ecosystem to the dive community.
This years project tried to answer the question that most new divers to Point Lobos ask, "Where should I dive?".
Identify various popular sites in the Point Lobos reserve that new divers could access by swimming to them. Create an above and below water map and instructions that would allow the divers to find the sites without a guide.
SMB buoys to locate sites
Underwater sonar images printed on plastic cards
The following well known locations were chosen with the Point Lobos State Natural Reserve:
On April 7th there was a meeting held at Anywater to discuss
the overall objectives for the yearly BAUE project. A
number of people attended this meeting with discussions held on
the whether or not having a trail mapping project would be the
right approach. Those in attendance agreed that there was a need
for a way for all divers to identify major landmarks at Point
Lobos. The date of June 4th and 5th was chosen and a number of
Lobos reservations were selected.
Day one was very challenging for all the participants as the weather worked against us with high winds and driving rain. In addition the visibility was very poor but we had 12 divers and one project coordinator onsite. Each team of two picked one of the well known locations to identify and placed surface markers at the spots. Pictures were then taken of the surface markers for the above water identification. The teams then traveled to and from the various well known sites documenting the path from one to the other.
Project Day 2
Day two involved 6 divers, some of which were not present on day one. The surface markers were left up overnight and again we documented the path from one well known location to another. The second day having those divers who were present on the first day, document different paths. Pictures were also taken on the surface, trying to document direction and visually where the line up points were.
The Lobos Trail Map data is located here:
Trail Map Data Web Page.
Some initial confusion was generated on the specific project roles. Due to that some time was lost at the beginning in organizing the event and communicating the information out to the members. It was intended that there was to be two roles. The first role is that of the Project Manager who is the owner of the project, manages and coordinates the tasks that need to be done. The other is the BAUE Yearly Project Coordinator who recruits the project manager for the projects. He or she provides that link between the yearly projects and can help set the high level dates and manage any upcoming needs till the project manager comes on board. Although the intent was good, splitting these two roles up did not work and we will only be asking for one person to manage the project end to end.
Although the project itself was fairly simple in its purpose, the feedback received from the participants was very positive. Many of the divers did not specifically know where the "well known" landmarks where located. After this project most divers came back feeling that they had gained quite a bit of knowledge of the underwater environment. The lesson here is that even though the end result may be helpful to other divers that did not participate, there was a great deal to be learned by just doing the mapping.
The amount of work that it takes to construct a website that would be useful to both BAUE and the community should not be taken lightly. There are a number of things that need to be taken into consideration when creating this content.
- the data itself needs to be put into a format that is readable and accurate
- the overall look and feel of the website needs to be created
- the photos and videos that are taken need to be edited and sized appropriately
- all this needs to be created into the various webpages
In future, the recommendation is that 2 to 3 people need to be involved in these tasks up front.
Overall the mapping project was successful in it gathered data on how to get from one location to another based on a number of divers input. Additionally surface pictures identified those well known areas and surface swim instructions were created. Some pictures and videos were created but the visibility was so poor that most of these were not usable. It is our intention to keep the Lobos Mapping project open and to add additional pictures and video as they are created. Feel free to email us if you have any well done pictures that could contribute to this.
Project Day Participants