BAUE Trip Reports


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2/4/2009 Granite Pt Wall by Alberto Nava -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Susan Bird, Alan Studley, Alberto Nava
Visibility: 20' - 40' Time:8:30 AM
Temp:   Surge: 4'
Max Depth: 75FSW Avg Depth:  
Bottom Time: 1:40 Total Time: 1:40
Bottom Gases: EAN32Deco Gases:
Backgas Config: Double Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
Looking at the forecast it appeared like the swells were increasing and rain was predicted for next couple of days, so Sue and I joined our friend Alan Studley for an early shallow dive at Lobos. Tomorrow is Alan birthday and he requested a photo-shoot day as part of his birthday gift. He also had several N19 scooters with him so we decided to try the little scooters at the same time that he took some pictures.

We headed towards Granite Point Pinnacle looking for the nice hydro-corals in that area. Although the visibility (20-30ft) was not has good as a couple of weeks ago, we found some very colourful pinnacles and some nice kelp areas to work on images. A red Cabezon worked very well with Susan at the shallowest top of Granite Point Wall.

On the way back we found a friendly pipe-fish which let of take turns while making portraits of itself :-)

I'll try adding some photos to the BAUE gallery in a couple of days.

2/1/2009 Gran Sabana aboard Escapade by Alberto Nava -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Susan Bird, Alberto Nava, Joseph (Karl) Haywood
Visibility: 30' - 60' Time:10:00 AM
Temp: 51F - 51F Surge: 4'
Max Depth: 202FSW Avg Depth: 180FSW
Bottom Time: 0:33 Total Time: 1:30
Bottom Gases: 18/45Deco Gases:EAN50,O2
Backgas Config: Double Deco Tanks:AL40,AL80
Deco Profile:
As the weekend approached I was wondering what our diving plans would be. Sue and I had booked Phil's RIB for Friday but we didn't have anything else planned. I looked at the BAUE calender and we had nothing on the schedule. No tech or rec charters :-(. So I decided to change the scene. I called Jim Capwell and after doing a few creative scheduling maneuvers we were able to free Sunday morning for an impromptu tech dive. Now it was looking like a good weekend :-).

I love that we have so many more tech divers in BAUE these days... after a short email promoting the trip we immediately had 7-8 people willing to go diving. The final roster was: the Kitty-duo (Rob and Allison), Clinton and Matt, and Sue, Karl and Beto.

So the next question was where to go. We have being diving Mt Chamberlin very often so a desire for something different was in the air. Rob and I exchanged some waypoints and he finally decided we would do a new site south of Flintstone. It was good that it was Rob's decision so in case it was a not so good dive site I would not be the one to blame ;-)

So we loaded the boat at 7:30am and headed down to Yankee Point. The wind was a little strong and there were some white caps on the ocean but the swells were not very big. We arrived at the site and were able locate a 124ft peak on a 200ft diameter pinnacle. There was quite a lot of relief in the 150-160ft range and then it dropped to about 210ft at the sand.

We saw many rock fish at the base: big vermillions and canneries and we found a small juvenile yellow eye rockfish. There were very large elephant ear sponges, and tons of decorator crabs on the walls. The pinnacle is quite large and we were able to circumnavigate it near the base for about 20min and then do another loop mid-way for about 10-15min.

Visibility was a little less than what we have had recently but still good 60ft at the bottom and 40ft at shallower parts.

We were back at the dock by about noon with plenty of time to get food and go watch the game.

Another amazing winter diving day :-)

1/30/2009 Ed's Wall aboard Phil Sammet's RIB by Alberto Nava -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Susan Bird, Alberto Nava
Visibility: 50' - 100' Time:10:00 AM
Temp: 48F - 53F Surge: 4'
Max Depth: 225FSW Avg Depth: 180FSW
Bottom Time: 0:40 Total Time: 2:00
Bottom Gases: 15/55Deco Gases:EAN50,O2
Backgas Config: Double HP120Deco Tanks:AL80
Deco Profile:
Susan and I finally got a Friday diving day on Phil's Rib today. Friday with Phil has become a very popular activity to the point that people Google calenders are frequently check for hole on the roster. So today was our chance :-)

The weather was perfect for diving at Lobos. Sunny sky, high tide and very small swells. These conditions always call for a dive on the West side of the Park.

We dropped in the water to find a strong current so we pointed out scooter noses down and hit the trigger against the current.

We reached the top of the wall at about 130ft, and after a equipment issue was fixed we headed down to the bottom at about 220ft. We motored north for a little bit to see the terrain in that area and we found a ear-shape looking sponge. We looked inside for little creatures but not luck this time.

From there we headed south following the wall for long time. There were tons of rock fish on the wall: blues, vermilions, starry, china, tree fish, lingcods, sheephead, etc. At some point it was difficult to see your buddy with so many fish around :-)

On the way we checked out the East side of Naia wall and then followed the wall south for the rest of the dive

A large part of the dive was spent upside down looking at up. You could see the surface from the bottom.

Vis was btw 50-100ft and water 51 degrees most of the time.

We're loving this winter's diving. One of the best so far....

1/28/2009 Breakwater by Robert Lee -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Robert Lee, Clinton Bauder, Scott L.
Visibility: 20' Time:12:00 AM
Temp:   Surge:  
Max Depth: 40FSW Avg Depth:  
Bottom Time:   Total Time: 1:30
Bottom Gases: EAN32Deco Gases:
Backgas Config: Single HP100Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
Inspired by recent conditions and Beto/Sue's night dive last week, Clinton and I headed down for a weeknight insanity dive. We had an out-of-towner (Scott) from Seattle with us who was also shooting macro.

Sue and Beto had reported seeing a sailfin sculpin last week which I've never seen before and badly wanted to see, so we decided to head out along the wall and poke around in the rocks before heading back over the sand.

The visibility was noticeably lower than the last time we did this, but it was still acceptable. Almost immediately after dropping I noticed a lone squid swimming around, and pretty soon the poor thing was surrounded on all sides by flashing strobes. I'm sure he'll have interesting stories to tell his squid friends about weird aliens with bright lights :-)

Not long after that, Clinton found the sailfin sculpin on the bottom near the base of the wall. We took turns with him before moving on. Other notable finds were a large lobster (first one I've seen up here) way up in a crack in the rocks (possibly the same guy Sue & Beto saw last week?), as well as several pricklebacks that Clinton found, but were too skittish to get on film (or flash-RAM as it were).

All in all, it was a fun dive, the only bummer being it was well after 1am when I got home and got the camera rinsed :-(

Pics here.
1/23/2009 Pinnacle Point Wall aboard Phil Sammet's RIB by Robert Lee -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Robert Lee, Kevin Dow, Allison Lee
Visibility: 70' Time:12:00 AM
Temp:   Surge:  
Scooter: X-scooter Burn Time:  
Max Depth:   Avg Depth: 160FSW
Bottom Time:   Total Time: 1:10
Bottom Gases: 18/45Deco Gases:EAN50
Backgas Config: Double HP100Deco Tanks:AL80
Deco Profile:
Allison, Kevin and I had this Phil date booked for some time, and seeing as Allison missed out on our Monday dive, we decided to repeat her plan for a slightly deeper dive. We loaded up with 18/45 and a bunch of GPS #s and hit the water.

The water was super calm again, and after some discussion, we settled on diving PPW. The plan was to drop and spend sometime in the 170ish range and then work our way south-east and shallower to the 150ish range and then ending up on the 100'ish spot.

We dropped into almost zero current and in short order found ourselves on the reef in about 130' amidst a HUGE school of several hundered blue rockfish. We spent some time with the rockfish taking pictures and video, and generally taking in the experience before deciding to explore a little bit. We hopped a small sand channel to visit a deeper rock in the 160-170' range to the SW, but pretty soon decided to head back to the first rock because it was prettier, and well, had hundreds of rockfish around it. We basically spent the rest of our dive circling the rock not moving a whole lot.

While we were planning on travelling a bit on the scooters, there turned out to be almost ZERO current or water movement, and the spot we dropped in was jsut gorgeous, so we pretty much stayed put. We put up the bag leaving the reef at about 130' and according to Phil, he could almost immediately look down and see our tanks. We were with the anchor line on deco well into the 50' stop until phil pulled the hook. At one point from 70', we looked up and could see the boat with phil leaning over looking at us. Totally cool.

Some pics here:

1/21/2009 Breakwater by Alberto Nava -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Susan Bird, Alberto Nava
Visibility:   Time:7:30 PM
Temp:   Surge:  
Max Depth: 46FSW Avg Depth: 23FSW
Bottom Time: 1:10 Total Time: 1:10
Bottom Gases: EAN32Deco Gases:
Backgas Config: Double Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
Susan and I went for a night dive today. We were the only car at the breakwater just as the rain was starting. We headed out to the wall and had fun looking at creatures. The highlights of the dives were: sail-fin sculpin, lobster, red brotula and many little octopies all over the place.

Vis was at least 50ft and there was not swell to speak of.

Susan called the dive on hunger ;-)
1/19/2009 Naia Wall aboard Phil Sammet's RIB by Robert Lee -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Robert Lee, Kevin Dow
Visibility: 40' - 60' Time:12:00 AM
Temp:   Surge:  
Scooter: X-scooter Burn Time: 0:15
Max Depth: 175FSW Avg Depth: 160FSW
Bottom Time: 0:30 Total Time: 1:05
Bottom Gases: 18/45Deco Gases:EAN50
Backgas Config: Double HP100Deco Tanks:AL80
Deco Profile:
5,3,2,2,3,10,5 up
Kevin and I had a date with Phil today and took advantage of the calm sea conditions to get in at a spot we've been trying to hit for a couple trips now, Naia's Wall.

The wall is a sheer vertical drop from 60' at the top to about 190' at the sand and gets deeper toward the NW. We dropped down and cruised the wall for a bit heading NW, stopping a few times to take pictures. The base of the wall is undercut in many places and the inverted sections of the wall are fairly well populated with invert. life.

Turning around, we cruised up a little shallower and followed the wall back SE for awhile around 150' just taking in the huge scale of the vertical face. Around the 25 minute mark, we cruised further up the channel until the sand got as shallow as 130' and turned around working our way through deep stops back along the reef. We were able to stay on the wall through our 60' deco stop (sweet :-)) before we put up a bag and drifted off.

Deco was mostly uneventful except for several times I heard the whales singing. I looked around, but couldn't locate the source of the whalesong (duh). It was warm and calm enough that we elected to push the 10' stop a few minutes and just hang out as we were in no hurry at all to get out.

Lunch with Beto and Sue at a great new taco stand in Seaside.

Some pics here.
1/10/2009 Mount Chamberlin aboard Escapade by Mark Lloyd -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Mark Lloyd, Dionna House
Visibility: 80' Time:9:48 AM
Temp: 49F - 51F Surge:  
Max Depth: 208FSW Avg Depth: 78FSW
Bottom Time:   Total Time: 1:42
Bottom Gases: 18/45Deco Gases:EAN50,O2
Backgas Config: Double Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
6 people out on the Escapade today. Nick, Clinton, Sue, Beto, Dionna, and Mark. It was a bit nippy starting out but once out on the water the sun warmed us up. A bit of a chop as we motored out to the site but once we arrived it had settled down considerably. Sue and Beto were in first with their scooters, Dionna and I next, with Clinton and Nick jumping in after us. There was a bit of a surface current but it was possible to kick against it without drifting past the downline. As we descended we could not really make out anything till about 120' or so. Light was filtering down pretty good so once we arrived at the pinnacle we could see what was around us. Where we were at it looked to be about 170' and dropped off to the West. We kicked out West passing a few fish like the China, Gopher, and Copper Rockfish. I did not see any schools of adult fish at all. I did see a couple of small schools of juveniles and solitary juveniles here and there but overall not a lot of fish. Large Gorgonians were plentiful and 4 or 5 Simnia snails (Delonovolva aequalis) were on a couple of the bushes. Other than that I did not see any unusual small creatures. We dropped over a lip and stopped at about 200' before leveling off and making our way around the bottom part of the pinnacle. After we were part way around the current started pushing against us so we turned around till we encountered the current on the other side. At this point Dionna called the dive at about 26 minutes. We ascended to 120', shot the bag and did an uneventful deco. After we returned to K Dock the afternoon crew were waiting to board so we quickly retrieved our gear, or at least most of it, thanks Rob, and had lunch. A nice sunny day of great diving, looking forward to the next tech boat.
1/10/2009 Mt Chamberlin - South Wall aboard Escapade by Robert Lee -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Robert Lee, Allison Lee, Kevin Dow
Visibility: 30' - 60' Time:2:00 AM
Temp:   Surge:  
Scooter: X-scooter Burn Time:  
Max Depth: 160FSW Avg Depth: 140FSW
Bottom Time: 0:35 Total Time: 1:10
Bottom Gases: 21/35Deco Gases:EAN50
Backgas Config: Double LP104Deco Tanks:AL80
Deco Profile:
5,3,2,2,3,10,5 up
The afternoon crew was lucky enough to have super-calm conditions allowing us to make it back down to Yankee Pt. for our dive. After a little discussion, we settled on the South Wall of Mt. Chamberlin for a site. Allison, Kevin and I splashed first and headed off on the scooters toward the big drop-off.

We slowly worked our way W along the wall eventually choosing a canyon to head N along. John, Matt and Joakim caught up to us after awhile, and we slowly worked the reef until until the remainder of our BT expired. Visibility was decent, but not exceptional; somewhere in the 40-60' range, but it was a very pleasant dive nonetheless. Deco was boring and uneventful.

For dive 2, we headed back toward the bay, and after some discussion decided on Strawberry Peak. I don't think anybody on-board had ever dived here before. The site was interesting and had a fair amount of structure. Visibility was great; perhaps even better than we had on Mt. Chamberlin... but the surge in the top 20' along the peak was absolutely incredible. At one point, it picked up our entire team and moved us about 15' in either direction in a matter of seconds. Unable to escape from the washing machine, I got caught in the backwash and was somersaulted and slammed into the reef and managed to put a decent-sized gouge into my dome-port shade :-( (while the camera was clipped off to me like a stage and with my arms around it trying to protect it)

Thankfully, other than a few bruises and some cosmetic scratches to the shade, no lasting damage.

Some pictures here:
1/4/2009 Pt Lobos by Mark Lloyd -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Mark Lloyd, Dionna House
Visibility:   Time:10:42 AM
Temp: 50F - 50F Surge:  
Max Depth: 73FSW Avg Depth: 51FSW
Bottom Time:   Total Time: 1:14
Bottom Gases: EAN32Deco Gases:
Backgas Config: Double Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
Dionna and I were successful getting into Lobos today without a reservation. The parking lot was a ghost town at 9am with only 1 team in the park, and they were just sitting in their car. The tide was coming in, the swell looked minimal, and there was no wind to speak of. We geared up with me taking my video camera and my double 85s. Kicked out to the rim of the cove and dropped down as usual. The vis was not too bad at the surface but the bottom 10-15' was milky. As we made our way to hole in the wall, I spotted a large Leopard Shark sitting in the sand. I signaled Dionna and got my video ready. As I was futzing with the camera I spotted another large Leopard shark just ahead of it. Both of them obviously saw me readying my video and decided to screw with me and took off. I cursed under my breath, slowly getting my video lights into position. By this time I was pointing South toward the cove and happened to look up and see a large whale tail make three swoops and disappear into the cove. What the hell ... it took a few seconds for that one to register. Did I just see a freekin' whale ... Holy smokes... Anyone know the sign for a whale underwater? I sure didn't as I tried to convey to Dionna something big this way passed. Unbelievable things were happening, its like I just saw the Loch Ness Monster and the battery on my camera died. Anyway, the rest of the dive was fun, with us swimming past the Lone Metridium and a couple of pinnacles West of there before turning around and coming back in. Unfortunately no sharks or whales to be found on our return.

On our second dive, Beto joined us and we essentially did the same route with me shooting some video again, and of course nothing spectacular happened. What a day! Those two Leopard Sharks are definitely around and should not be too hard to find again. Not so sure about the whale.

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