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3/29/2003 Que Paso Pinnacle aboard Unknown Boat by Nick Radov -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Peter Gelbman, Nick Radov
Visibility: 6' - 40' Time:11:00 AM
Temp: 49F Surge: 4'
Max Depth: 128FSW Avg Depth: 110FSW
Bottom Time: 0:30 Total Time: 0:54
Bottom Gases: 30/30Deco Gases:EAN50
Backgas Config: Double LP80,LP104Deco Tanks:AL40,AL80
Deco Profile:
There was a strong surface current running so we had to pull down the anchor line during the first part. In the shallow area on top of the pinnacle visibility was poor and surge was strong but conditions deep were far better. We swam along the wall on the south side of the pinnacle and saw a cowrie shell, some metridiums, and a patch of hydrocoral. Passed Sami, Clinton, and John on the way out as they were coming back and then turned around and trailed them a few minutes later. At about 125ft on the wall we ran across a giant pacific octopus. Woo hoo! That was my first time seeing one underwater and it was a really impressive sight. At first I didn't realize what it was since the coloring blended in with the rocks so well; I just saw its left water intake flashing open and closed. But when we got up close there was no mistaking it. The size wasn't as large as they get in Pudget Sound but still pretty good for this area; its head looked bigger than my head. Unfortunately we couldn't hang around and watch it very long as we were running out of bottom time and were near the depth limit for our mix (back gas was actually only 27% oxygen after topping off but 30/30 was the closest option on this form). This time we did make it back to the anchor line and I spotted a kelp greenling just before we started ascending. The current wasn't too bad so we were able to hold in place by just finning slowly. My right drysuit boot was leaking badly but luckily I just bought a new Thinsulate undergarment and that kept me warm enough throughout the deco. Back on the boat Capt. Phil said that octopus has been hanging around the pinnacle for at least a couple of months so if you dive there keep a close eye out.