BAUE Trip Reports


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11/7/2014 Crinoid Canyon by John Heimann -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Kevin Dow, John Heimann
Visibility: 5' - 40' Time:9:00 AM
Temp: 50F - 60F Surge:  
Scooter: Halcyon T16 Burn Time: 1:30
Max Depth: 260FSW Avg Depth: 200FSW
Bottom Time: 1:03 Total Time: 2:04
Bottom Gases: 21/35,15/55Deco Gases:EAN50,O2,21/35
Backgas Config: Double HP120Deco Tanks:AL40,AL80
Deco Profile:
deep stops
6,6,6,6,6,30,6 up
I wanted to check out the reef indicated on underwater maps in the Pit area north of Twin Peaks. I had looked for it years ago with Devin MacKenzie but we found nothing down to 190'. This time Kevin and I went back with 15/55 (he used JJ CCR; I had a 21/35 stage for travel and deco) and found the reef (a field of large boulders) starting around 220' and dropping steeply to at least 260', where we spotted a crinoid. There was not a lot of encrusting life but there were a fair number of juvenile rockfish, ling, etc. We found the reef by heading North from the end of Twin Peaks, and following the 230' contour east.
10/18/2014 Flintstones aboard Escapade by Dionna House -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Andrew Hill, Paul Festa, Christophe Beraud
Visibility: 30' - 40' Time:10:00 AM
Temp: 58F - 60F Surge: 6'
Max Depth: 120FSW Avg Depth: 60FSW
Bottom Time:   Total Time:  
Bottom Gases: 21/35Deco Gases:EAN32
Backgas Config: Double HP120Deco Tanks:AL80
Deco Profile:

I decided to spend my Birthday out with the BAUE gang doing some R3 diving. We motored out to look for an appropriate site for both Recreation and R3 diving profiles. First site was Sobrantes. This got vetoed due to swells and crashing waves along the shoreline. We motored to Flinstones and dropped the anchor. The recreation divers got in first because of the need to stage the R3 dives for added safety. I buddied up with Andrew Hill as my primary buddy. Paul Festa and Christophe Beraud as another R3 team. We did our checks and away we go. We saw the usual suspects, lingcod, cabezon and the additional surge made it a E ticket ride. A seal lion buzzed us on deco. The second dive was at Local's Ledge. We saw a wolfe eel, octopus and several nudibraches. Thanks to Escapade gang, although I'm not a meat eater, the reeses peanut butter cups and cookies were superb.

Dive 3: Peter B's for Lunch, Fun and Laughter about old stories. Thanks for a nice Birthday Celebration.

P.S Thanks to Josh Maxwell. I didn't have any rashes on my neck!!! It must have been your magical touch. LOL
7/12/2014 Harry's Fairyland Arch by Gary Banta -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Gary Banta, Harry Wong, Doug Simmons
Visibility: 10' - 30' Time:12:00 AM
Temp:   Surge:  
Scooter: Gavin Short Burn Time: 1:45
Max Depth: 90FSW Avg Depth: 56FSW
Bottom Time:   Total Time: 2:10
Bottom Gases: EAN32Deco Gases:O2
Backgas Config: Double HP100Deco Tanks:AL40
Deco Profile:
10 at 20, 6up
On Saturday Harry Wong, Doug Simmons and I went seeking and found the mythical arch north of Granite Point Wall. Harry found the arch years ago and revisited it a number of times since but never could reliably locate it on a map.

The backstory is that prior to 8-10 years ago, the area north of Granite Point Wall hadn’t been systematically explored on scooters. Harry and a few others (including me) started exploration one year when the kelp cover in the area was EXTREMELY thick. So much so that it was “cave-dark” once you turned into the pinnacle area. Harry found a path that wound through the area that was bounded by walls about 15 feet apart that came to be named the “Magical Mystery Tour”. On one of these tours Harry either went exploring or got lost (my bet) and accidently found the arch. Since that first visit, only Harry has been able to re-find it but couldn’t do so reliably.

Recently Harry found it again and point on the model to where he thought it was. I knew that area well and knew there wasn’t an arch where he said it was but I did believe it must be nearby. So a few weeks ago, Jon McNeill, Suzanne Baird and I went to search the area. Harry insisted that the arch was up a dead-end channel and then down to the left. So we explored this path but abandoned it as wrong when it topped out at ~20’ with surge blowing us around. We continued to explore the nearby nooks and crannies without luck.

So Saturday, with low surge conditions Harry took us up the same path and then dropped down a channel to the left – no arch. Then went back up and took the second left – voila! There was the arch.

The area under the arch is about the size of the Whaler’s restroom and is beautifully decorated. The opening is oriented north-south and the floor is at about 40fsw. To the south, the passage dead-ends so continuing south requires ascending to the surgey path that Harry used. The best approach is from the north. But the entrance is not easy to spot as its hidden behind palm kelp and just looks like a dark wall because very little light passes through from the south side. Jon, Suz and I had been with 5 – 10 feet of it and didn’t see it.

Doug Simmons has posted some nice video on Facebook and has applied the name Fairyland Arch. My counterproposal is Harry’s Fairyland Arch.

After exploring the arch we headed north into the area east of Thumbs Up that has been minimally explored. The new frontier. We will be back!

I have added a map and GPS coordinates to the BAUE website’s dive sites.
7/6/2014 Pt Lobos by Jon McNeill -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Jon McNeill, Gary Banta
Visibility: 10' - 30' Time:9:42 AM
Temp: 50F Surge:  
Max Depth: 87FSW Avg Depth: 50FSW
Bottom Time:   Total Time: 1:45
Bottom Gases: EAN32Deco Gases:O2
Backgas Config: Double HP100Deco Tanks:AL80
Deco Profile:
1s, 2, and 7
Gary and I dropped at the Worm Patch, clipped off our scooters, and did valve drills and an S-drill just to wake up the muscle memory. I led the dive, and we headed out past Hole in the Wall and Lone Metridium to Rock Garden, where we floated up one of the steep vertical cracks and admired the beautiful decoration. We kept scootering west, around the point south of Shortcut Reef and approached the south side of Taco from the east. From that point, we spent quite awhile in the canyon between Taco and Marco’s Pinnacle, exploring the walls. Gary found a baby Pycnopodia (sunflower sea star), I used to take them for granted, but it’s pretty rare to see one these days after the sea star die off. Some beautiful nudibranchs, including a super-size Phidiana hiltoni. The decoration high up on the east wall of Marco’s Pinnacle is gorgeous, with tons of brightly colored Corynactis. Finally, we turned the dive, shot through as many swim-through cracks as I could find, and stopped off on the back side of Lone Metridium to say hi to the resident GPO (she was at home). O2 deco was uneventful, and we headed in.

I had expected bad vis today after Beto did Twin Peaks in 5 feet of murk yesterday, but it turned out to be much improved and a great dive overall! Visibility at Marco’s was 20-30 feet.
5/31/2014 Flintstones aboard Escapade by John Heimann -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Clinton Bauder, John Heimann
Visibility: 60' - 80' Time:10:00 AM
Temp: 48F Surge:  
Max Depth: 105FSW Avg Depth: 90FSW
Bottom Time: 0:40 Total Time: 0:47
Bottom Gases: EAN32Deco Gases:
Backgas Config: Single LP95Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
I'd been out of the water for a couple of weeks so was really looking forward to a dive Satuday - any dive. The weather was looking a little iffy with the hotel indicator flag in Seaside flying in the breeze, so when I joked to Clinton on the drive down that we might dive Flintstones today, he said "Not going to happen." To our surprise, the ocean was pretty calm heading out around the point, and Beto called out "Flintstones!" when we started talking dive sites. A blue whale swam close by the boat on the way down, which in itself was a treat. When we got to Yankee Point, the water was clean and clear, and there was no significant current - perfect rec and rec3 diving conditions! While our second dive site, Soberanes Wall, was not quite as clear, we had solid 50'+ viz there. While these dive sites are perfect for 21/35 - Andrew Hill got a treat for his sign-off dives - they are also very beautiful shallow, and it was a pleasure just swimming around with only a single tank and no deco bottles to deal with. Overall it was a terrific day out.
5/31/2014 Flintstones aboard Escapade by Alberto Nava -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Andrew Hill
Visibility: 80' Time:10:00 AM
Temp:   Surge:  
Max Depth: 120FSW Avg Depth:  
Bottom Time: 0:30 Total Time: 0:45
Bottom Gases: 21/35Deco Gases:
Backgas Config: Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
Out on the Escapade for the Rec charter today. We were doing experience dives for a R3 class. We got very lucky with conditions. 70ft vis, very little current and relative calm seas. We dove the two best R3 dives in the Yankee Point area, Flintstone and Soberanes. Both of these sites have access to deeper water in the 120-130ft range but at the same time a nice shallow pinnacle to hang around during the decompression ( fun deco :-) )

First dive we crossed the main south-west canyon at Flintstone and hanged around gorgonias and rockfish near the amphitheater for 20min, followed by metridium and corynactus on the way up. We deployed the SMB at 40ft and hanged around hundreds of small white jellies. It felt like hanging under the mother tree in the movie Avatar.

We had a quick 1hr surface interval and dropped at Soberanes wall. We had to kick a bit to get to the wall on the west side but after getting there we enjoyed another 10min at 120ft looking at the view. You could see the sister pinnacle about 80ft away and larges boulders at the bottom covered with metridiums. We then headed up to 80-70ft and swam around the back canyon that is totally covered with metridiums. We met with Clinton and John for some quick pictures.

We had a great time! As good as it gets for Rec diving in our area.
5/17/2014 Twin Peaks by Nick Radov -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Gary Banta, Jon McNeill, Nick Radov
Visibility: 5' - 30' Time:9:52 AM
Temp: 49F - 55F Surge:  
Max Depth: 163FSW Avg Depth: 76FSW
Bottom Time: 0:40 Total Time: 1:36
Bottom Gases: 18/45Deco Gases:EAN50
Backgas Config: Double Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
After the BAUE tech charter was cancelled due to a high wind forecast I was able to score a Point Lobos reservation and joined up with Gary and Jon. Visibility was decent inside Whaler's Cove but out deeper the water was full of large particles; scootering was like driving through a blizzard and we nearly ran into the rocks a few times. After a bit of searching Gary was able to find the road and took us out to Twin Peaks. There were still a lot of Triopha catalinae around, and we also spotted quite a few Dirona albolineata. My primary light failed right when we reached the main Twin Peaks structure; it seems like the battery pack has a bad cell or broken connection.

Here is a gallery album with a few pictures.
2/9/2014 Pt Lobos by Clinton Bauder -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Clinton Bauder, Robert Lee
Visibility: 25' - 40' Time:10:30 AM
Temp: 52F Surge: 2'
Scooter: X-scooter Burn Time:  
Max Depth: 110FSW Avg Depth: 75FSW
Bottom Time: 1:20 Total Time: 1:30
Bottom Gases: EAN32Deco Gases:O2
Backgas Config: Deco Tanks:AL40
Deco Profile:
10, slow up
After the boat for Saturday got cancelled due to high winds Rob and I scored a Lobos reservation for Sunday from Doug Simmons. Thanks Doug! As there have been numerous reports of Giant Octopus sightings we decided to go looking for them. We knew there was one at Beto's Reef and Jon, Gary and Beto told us about another one at Granite Point. There had also been a sighting at Bluefish Cove. We decided to start at Beto's and then head over to Granite Point.

As I got geared up I somehow caught my right wrist on one of the bolt snaps on my harness and tore a hole in the wrist seal. Ugh. I was pretty sure I was done for the day but Rob looked at it and said he thought he could fix it with a bicycle tire patch kit. The tear was in a fortunate location where it didn't need to stretch much and the repair looked like it would hold. After a quick test at the ramp we got in and headed out. Good thing too, I would have hated to have missed this dive.

Vis looked good as we scootered out on the surface to the sand channel. We dropped just North of the Worm Patch and headed out to Beto's. Rob quickly found the octo in its den with a pile or Rock Crab bits on the bottom below. The octo didn't seem to want to come out but we weren't quite ready to leave. Rob wandered off a bit looking for other octo signs and I spent some time looking over the crab burial ground.

After a few minutes I looked up and realized a rock between me and Rob wasn't actually a rock. I started signaling Rob while trying to simultaneously get my camera ready. As Rob headed back towards me the octo decided my frantic signals and flailing deserved a closer look and the next thing you know my camera is completely engulfed.

After a few pictures the octo then decided to give Rob the treatment; eventually completely engulfing his head. Fortunately Rob was able to retain possession of his regulator. Eventually the octo got bored and wandered up the wall, said hello to the other octo and finally retreated into it's own den.

After we recovered from the experience we headed over to Granite Point where we found 2 more octos in dens near where Jon and crew had seen them the previous day. Amazing; four in one day! We finished up the dive decompressing with a nice school of rockfish on Middle Reef.

I love diving here.

Pictures here:
1/26/2014 Pt Lobos by Jon McNeill -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Jon McNeill, Gary Banta
Visibility: 30' - 50' Time:10:28 AM
Temp: 54F - 55F Surge: 3'
Max Depth: 104FSW Avg Depth: 61FSW
Bottom Time:   Total Time: 1:36
Bottom Gases: EAN32Deco Gases:O2
Backgas Config: Double HP100Deco Tanks:AL40
Deco Profile:
3@30, 7@20, 6-up
Not many people at Lobos today, maybe because Mavericks was on Friday everyone thought it would suck. Conditions were beautiful, clear blue water everywhere. Gary and I scootered out and dropped at the worm patch, which was visible from the surface. Drove out past HITW and Seamount to Beto's and headed straight for the crack where Rob's giant pacific octopus lives. She was still there, but all we could really see were her arm and suckers. Spent about 15 minutes admiring the big lings and what looked like a wild dorid sex party, then followed the 100 ft contour east to find Q-tip. We initially missed Q-tip, and searched around for a bit, finally found it several feet shallower than normal because of the super-low tide.

We cruised around the area for a bit, waved to Rob Lee, Teresa Luther, and Adam Rachman who were headed in the other direction, and wound up at the end of Granite Point wall. I saw a cool dark crack, and something told me to stop and look inside…wasn't expecting to find a second GPO. He was in a right-leaning diagonal crack on the west side of the wall, maybe 15-20 yards or so from the north end. Was right at 60 feet today, but probably a little deeper normally because of today's low tide. Crack opens up at the bottom so we could see his entire body, eye, and siphon. After congratulating ourselves several times underwater for our awesome GPO-attracting skills, we headed back. Gary pointed out some significant masses of Onchidoris bilamellata (barnacle-eating nudies) at the north end of Middle Reef. Headed back in along Middle Reef and up the sand channel, did our deco, and finished up an awesome day at Lobos.
12/21/2013 Pt Lobos by Paul Festa -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Suzanne L (Suz) Baird, Greg Saiz, David Jolles (member to be)
Visibility: 50' Time:9:00 AM
Temp: 51F - 53F Surge:  
Max Depth: 95FSW Avg Depth:  
Bottom Time: 1:38 Total Time:  
Bottom Gases: EAN32Deco Gases:
Backgas Config: HP100Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
My first dive after a 110 day hiatus. Lobos delivered. A mildly agitated wintry surface spewed foam inside the cove. This but an easily overlooked distraction, what with the lot overflowing with familiar faces (great to see everyone!), sparkling sunshine above, and not at all unspectacularly clear water below. Greg at the compass, the team meandered slowly out to Beto’s. Lings, blues, sea lions, seals. Beto the Wolf Eel. Usual stuff, I suppose, albeit sliced up pretty special with penetrating rays of sunshine. Nothing usual about it for me, though, as it had been way too long since I’d seen it all. Was Caribbean-like inside the Cove. Spent 25 minutes exploring the typically blacked out reef parallel to the lot. Largest Cab I’ve ever seen might have been as surprised to be able to see us as we were to see him. Perfect day at Lobos.

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