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5/16/2006 Montana by Alberto Nava -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Susan Bird, Alberto Nava
Visibility: 40' - 20' Time:12:30 PM
Temp: 50F - 52F Surge:  
Max Depth: 150FSW Avg Depth: 100FSW
Bottom Time: 0:40 Total Time: 2:00
Bottom Gases: 18/45Deco Gases:50/25,O2
Backgas Config: Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
 
Well, we took our chances diving Lobos today, after having such clear water on our dive last Thurs, and after hearing the wonderful trip reports from the weekend. We thought we’d covered our tracks w/our work obligations… however on the drive down, we received an anonymous call from a driver who had spotted our fully loaded truck heading south on 85, who called to ask if we were going diving today. So much for our attempt at the discreet weekday get-away…

Whaler’s Cove recorded one of its lowest tides of the year this morning, and when we arrived, the water was as calm as a lake. The wind was fairly strong from the west, but the cove itself was protected.

Our plan was to scooter out to Montana to capture the 80’ viz on our video camera. Once again, we were reminded of how rapidly conditions can change in NorCal! While the conditions weren’t bad, they certainly weren’t like we’d seen last week. The ride out along the Middle Reef delivered a clear view of the underwater surroundings, probably 30 – 40 ft viz, however as we left the cove and headed out to Granite Point and beyond, the viz dropped considerably to a cloudy 20 ft.

Water temp was a full 2 – 4 degrees warmer than the weekend (50 degrees at depth), which may have been the cause of the reduced clarity. Nevertheless we saw many, many rockfish hanging out in dispersed schools among the pinnacles leading to Montana. We ran a reel the last 100’ leading to the base of the underwater mountain, where Beto was rewarded for carrying the camera—we tied off very close to a tochuina tetraquatra which was devouring a gorgonian with no pause for good manners.

We circled the pinnacle in a clockwise direction, turning in at the crack that cuts the pinnacle in half via a sandy patch containing sea pens and tube anemones. This is a lovely area whose walls are covered with sponges and gorgonians, which is the occasional home to a GPO, though not today. A feisty rock crab posed for the camera, and schools of multicolored rockfish hovered above us. We completed the circle back to our tie off, visited the TT nudibranch, and headed back to the cove.

We encountered clouds of krill in pockets along the bottom and over rocks, and enjoyed a lazy deco in the shallows near the harbor seal beach. Juvenile tubesnouts and rainbow perch entertained us under the kelp canopy for the last 15 minutes, intermingling with trolling senorita fish weaving their way thru the sun-beams.

Altogether a lovely dive, and definitely better than working today—“ah-choo”, hope this cold clears up by tomorrow…

Here are some video frames.