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10/20/2012 Shale Beds by Dionna House -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Carol Cohn, Dionna House, Larry Cohn
Visibility: 5' - 50' Time:10:30 AM
Temp: 51F - 52F Surge: 1'
Max Depth: 70FSW Avg Depth: 60FSW
Bottom Time:   Total Time: 0:45
Bottom Gases: EAN32Deco Gases:
Backgas Config: Double LP80Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
I was originally signed up on the BAUE tech boat, but, due to conditions it was cancelled. Fortunately I was able to hook up with Carol and she had room on XT SEA. We gathered at the Breakwater dock and chatted with old friends and then off we went. Our first dive was at Outer Lovers. After Carol practiced some skills for her check out dive, we meandered around until it was time to ascent. After a nice lunch we decided to go to the Steam Engine on the second dive. A few weeks ago we were there. I videoed the steam engine. I was also able to video a sweet family of Juvenile Canary Rockfish. I was told there was a propeller near by, so todays goal was to dive the Steam Engine and locate the Propeller. We dropped down past the initial mucky waters and the vis opened up to about 40-50ft. Carol ran line from her anchor to the Steam Engine and Propeller and to the deep shale beds. Along the way were about 4 Lingcods, many Blue Rockfish, Juvenile Canaries, Black Rockfish, Olive Rockfish, Vermillions,Kelpfish, Copper Rockfish, Black Perch and many more. You can say it was Rich in Diversity..

Here is some video. The GoPro is fun. Some camera shake, but, still fun to show what is on the dives.

Juvenile Canary Family

Steam Engine/Propeller/Many Fish

Thanks to Carol, Larry and Dan for a fun day.

7/14/2007 Shale Beds aboard Escapade by Dionna House -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Kresimir Mihic, Marciano Moreno, Dionna House
Visibility: 20' - 25' Time:9:30 PM
Temp: 50F - 53F Surge: 1'
Max Depth: 58FSW Avg Depth: 47FSW
Bottom Time:   Total Time:  
Bottom Gases: EAN32Deco Gases:
Backgas Config: Double HP100Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:

Night Diving at it best!!!!... So I heard there was room on the Escapade for a dusk and night dive. I signed up!! I arrived a little early to get my things settled and to pick up my wonderful picture that Jim Capwell shot. Louie, an Aquarium sea otter, was taking his late afternoon nap right at the K dock. He didn’t seem to mind people watching him snooze. He eventually awoke when he bumped into the dock. Louie entertained us by scratching his face. Some of the tourist told their children it was a seal. A few of us rolled our eyes and commented that it was a Manatee… just kidding.

We motored off towards Ballbusters for the first dive. No luck due to swells and wind. We were sharing the boat with divers from Wallins Dive Shop. The BAUE folks on board were Susan Bird, Kevin Dow, Marciano Moreno, Kreshi and Dionna. We anchored at Eric Pinnacle were the surface conditions looked more tamed. I jumped in the water with Marciano and Kreshmir. We descended into sea nettles and swam around the pinnacle and even had time to venture to a near by small reef. Being that I was on one of my back-up light, Marciano and Kreshi sandwiched me in the middle as I lead the dive. I wanted to save my primary light for the dark night dive. All was good… We saw a rather large lingcod. Marciano’s light failed, but we were at the end of the dive. We juggled the team around and made our ascent. Vis was about 20-25 feet. Kind of spotting vis. Max depth 59feet for 43 minutes.

The real dark night dive was at Shale Island….. WoW!!! What a place to be for night time entertainment. The anchor was placed so perfectly next to the shale bed, I navigated along the shale island. I used my primary light, and this time we sandwiched Marciano in the middle. We were able to see a baby octopus. It hung out with us and let us look at it for awhile. I tried to get it to climb up my glove, but, it just sat there next to my hand. The octopus changed colors a little bit, but, nothing to inconspicuous. I saw a few juvenile copper rockfish and lots of clams out feeding. Lots of large size shrimps. The smaller shrimps were the most entertaining by watching them do backwards flips…. Why do they do this???? Bioluminescence was spectacular as well as the free swimming little worms as we made our ascent. Vis was about 25-30feet. Max depth 58feet. Runtime 50 minutes.
7/14/2007 Shale Beds aboard Escapade by Susan Bird -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Kevin Dow, Susan Bird
Visibility:   Time:12:00 AM
Temp: 53F Surge:  
Max Depth: 62FSW Avg Depth: 48FSW
Bottom Time:   Total Time:  
Bottom Gases: EAN32Deco Gases:
Backgas Config: Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
Kevin & I joined the Escapade for Sat pm trip over the weekend.

Twilight dive at Eric's was fun, however the night dive on Shale Island was by far the more spectacular of the two adventures.

Kevin & I descended the downline to Jim's anchorage, which was placed just to the west of the gigantic Navy anchor which resides on the island:

We headed west, towards the mushroom rock, slowly inspecting the area under the ledge of the island, while occasionally shining our lights over the plateau, in search of octopi. The most abundant nocturnal creatures were the clams who were extending their tubular bodies as far out as possible to filter the water. They retracted back into the relief of the ledge under the glare of our lights.

We soon found a six spotted gunnel, and a shy octopus tucked into a hole. The shrimps were having a party, doing summersaults in the 'spotlights'.

Kevin found a lovely octopus, hunting out away from the ledge. This creature gave us quite a show, moving over the rocky substrate, extending its arms into nooks and crannies for snacks. It changed it's shape & texture to try to outsmart us, a very impressive performance.

We checked out the shale ledges extening west from the mushroom rock, which are a usual hangout for vermilions and other large rockfish... we only saw one vermilion, a cream colored rockfish, and a lovely treefish. I suppose the vermilions were out hunting at night.

As we continued around the island, we came across a sturdy looking rock crab, and a lithoid crab neighbor. Earlier, we spotted a lithoid heart crab-- with it's distinctive hairy legs.

We found another octopus on the plateau, but this one didn't budge... it was intent on camoflaging itself by keeping completely still.

As we rounded the east end, we saw a large shape moving fast-- kind of an adrenaline rush for a moment... until we recognized it as a harbor seal out hunting for fish. We were buzzed a few times, as the seal used our light to help with the hunt.

A few moments later we were buzzed by another large hunter, this time a sea lion looking for dinner.

We had enjoyed ourselves so much that we lost track of our time & distance around the island... so the last 10 minutes of the dive moved us a bit faster-- swimming to find the Navy anchor, then the upline shortly thereafter.

We played with luminescence on the ascent, and thoroughly enjoyed the dive.

I highly recommend that we charter the Escapade for a BAUE night dive on Shale Island soon!!!

8/26/2006 Shale Beds aboard Escapade by Dionna House -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Dionna House, Sandra Tullis, Jason Warshawsky
Visibility: 2' - 40' Time:10:30 AM
Temp: 52F - 56F Surge: 1'
Max Depth: 55FSW Avg Depth: 40FSW
Bottom Time:   Total Time:  
Bottom Gases: 30/30Deco Gases:
Backgas Config: Double LP95Deco Tanks:AL40
Deco Profile:


All the Shale Island Explorers had a wonderful time out on Lake Monterey Bay. Morning forecast was grey foggy skies. Although there were a few blimps in the flow of the morning operation, everything else went rather smooth. The first dive seemed to be more of a limited visibility dive with the first 30feet of warm tea colored water and foggy skies that seemed to have darkened the water on the bottom. After a short scavenger hunt for the transect line that was set for quadrant placement, documentation and surveys were done and we were all out of the water in a timely manner. I did loose my cookies, but fortunately they were recovered. Thanks to the Escapade Crew for a plentiful lunchtime feast with two kinds of soups, and that corn and potatoes dish must be served again. It was great to see Jason Warshawsky eating on the boat for the fist time. After a debriefing and digesting during the sunny surface interval, we all took another plunge into the seas. The tea water seemed to have moved to the first 10feet and it opened up quite nicely to about 30-40feet of visibility. Correct me if I’m wrong on the vis!! We were able to locate the line and laid down the quadrants and make some species counts. Species identification is an ongoing learning process for me. I did hold on to my cookies this time!!! I was able to get some practice in setting up cookie markers. This was pretty straight forward after the Cave Bandolero’s explanation. The highlight of the second dive was Sandra spotting a wolf eel out in the open curled up on a piece of kelp and also had another piece of kelp covering him/her like a blanket. I guess it was naptime!. We also observed the scooter explorers reel in line. I enjoyed the scenic deco on the anchor line with the dramatic change of water colors. Since our dive time was a little shortened, I signaled to Sandra to stay at one of our stops for a little longer so the scooter divers can make there ascent. Surface highlight was watching Beto’s intimate encounter with a rather forward sea lion. I guess it was okay with Susan. We finished up at Siamese Bay with a wonderful meal and socializing with friends. Some of us stayed longer and was awed by viewing the colorful seafloor as our local Lobos expert explained some navigational tips. All good and FUN!!! Shale Island pictures and more reports will be up on the website by the middle-end of September. Thanks to all who organized this day.
7/8/2006 Shale Beds aboard Escapade by John Heimann -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: John Heimann, Suzanne L (Suz) Baird, Sandra Tullis
Visibility: 25' - 50' Time:4:00 PM
Temp: 48F - 48F Surge:  
Max Depth: 65FSW Avg Depth: 60FSW
Bottom Time: 0:35 Total Time: 0:42
Bottom Gases: EAN32Deco Gases:
Backgas Config: Double LP80,HP100Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
minimum deco
Suzanne, Sandra and I were diving together Saturday to practice teamwork and skills for an upcoming tech1 class. This was our second dive of the day in Monterey Bay; we spent the first at the Playground doing valve and S drills, and honing our team navigation and deco skills. What was particularly remarkable about these dives was how good the vis was in the Bay. Whereas vis at the Shale Beds is typically 20' or less, making it a good site for macrophotography and small critter hunting, our vis on this dive was the best I've ever seen - on the order of 50'. In addition to the usual pleasures of hunting shrimps and nudibranchs, we spotted a rare and elusive marine mammal, the Iacomus Capwellensis, emerging from around the corner of the reef. Although frequently spotted above water this species is all too rarely seen in the aquatic phase of its life cycle.
12/31/1969 Shale Beds aboard Escapade by Susan Bird -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Kevin Dow, Susan Bird
Visibility:   Time:3:59 PM
Temp: 53F Surge:  
Max Depth: 62FSW Avg Depth: 48FSW
Bottom Time:   Total Time: 1:09
Bottom Gases: EAN32Deco Gases:
Backgas Config: Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
Kevin & I dove together on the Escapade twilight & night dives. The more spectacular of the 2 dives was the night dive on Shale Island.

We descended to Jim's anchor placement, just to the west of the giant Navy anchor which resides on the island. We began our circumnavigation swimming towards the west:

The water was clean, and there was very little surge, so we were able to focus on the noctural behaviors of the island's residents.

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