BAUE Trip Reports


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1/2/2009 Mount Chamberlin aboard Phil Sammet's RIB by Robert Lee -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Robert Lee, Allison Lee, John Heimann
Visibility:   Time:8:00 AM
Temp:   Surge:  
Max Depth: 160FSW Avg Depth: 150FSW
Bottom Time:   Total Time:  
Bottom Gases: 21/35Deco Gases:EAN50
Backgas Config: Double HP100Deco Tanks:AL80
Deco Profile:
5,3,2,2,3,10,5 up
Starting the year off on the right foot, John set up a date with Phil for a short dive on the first work day of 2009. The conditions were pristine when we met at Lobos, and Phil soon overruled John's pleas for E3 and headed around the corner.

After much juggling of numbers and scrutiny of the depth sounder readings, we finally settled on an anchorage in 80' that promised quick access to 170'. As we dropped the anchor, it seemed like we could see the downline almost all the way down (w00t).

We dropped into no surface current and amazing viz (50-60'+ ?), but as soon as we hit the reef, we were in a fairly brisk bottom current. We worked the reef which turned out to be the backside (W/SW) of the K2 pinnacle until our fleeting bottom time expired.

Deco was mostly uneventful, save for a close Mola encounter at the 10' stop; we had a ~6' beast swim within 10' of us headed for the depths. As much as we wanted to chase it, it wasn't meant to be :-(

In any case, a great way to start off the new diving year. A few pictures here:

12/20/2008 Ballbuster aboard Unknown Boat by Mark Lloyd -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Mark Lloyd, Harry Babicka
Visibility: 20' - 60' Time:10:30 AM
Temp: 51F - 51F Surge:  
Max Depth: 95FSW Avg Depth: 67FSW
Bottom Time:   Total Time: 0:50
Bottom Gases: EAN32Deco Gases:O2
Backgas Config: Double Deco Tanks:AL40
Deco Profile:
Harry and I, with Dionna out with a cold, decided to take Harry's boat out to Ballbuster considering the great conditions. The sun was shining, the water was flat, and the parking lot was half empty. What more could you ask for? Harry's boat fired up with a hitch and we motor'd out to Ballbuster with the wind in our hair/toques. I took my video out as it hadn't been in the water for a while and was glad to see the vis was cooperating. We did a couple of loops of the pinnacle with Harry posing for some shots as I tried to keep a steady hand. Video is posted here:
Or just go to and click on the video on the left hand side. After the dive we chowed down on sandwiches at the deli and prepared for our second dive at Trevors/Aumentos. Vis was comparible to the last dive and gave us a bit of time to brush up on our tech 2 bottle juggling while coming back up the anchor. Great diving... I love the California winter !
12/20/2008 Mt Chamberlin - South Wall aboard Escapade by John Heimann -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: John Heimann, Matt Vieta
Visibility: 60' - 80' Time:10:00 AM
Temp: 50F - 52F Surge:  
Max Depth: 153FSW Avg Depth: 138FSW
Bottom Time: 0:25 Total Time: 0:55
Bottom Gases: 21/35Deco Gases:EAN50
Backgas Config: Double LP80Deco Tanks:AL40
Deco Profile:
Yesterday Rob, Allison, Kevin, Karl, Matt and I went out on the Escapade for what turned out to be characteristically good winter visibility, but uncommonly good sea conditions. Swell offshore was just a few feet, so we headed south to Yankee Pt. My original suggestion of Flintstones was shouted down in favor of Mt. Chamberlain, South Wall, and I'll admit that yesterday the shouters were right. Even though Matt and I had left our scooters at home, and so didn't get to tour the overall structure of Chamberlain, the spot where we landed had enough valleys, pinnacles, and overhanging slabs to make the dive really scenic and fun, especially in the sparkling clear vis. that we enjoyed.
12/7/2008 Pt Lobos by Mark Lloyd -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Mark Lloyd, Martijn Zandstra
Visibility: 5' - 25' Time:10:00 AM
Temp: 55F - 55F Surge: 3'
Max Depth: 97FSW Avg Depth: 54FSW
Bottom Time:   Total Time: 0:51
Bottom Gases: EAN32Deco Gases:
Backgas Config: Double Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
One of my friends from Holland is visiting and is an active diver. The last time he was here we were only able to do a dive off of the breakwater so I made sure we had reservations at Lobos for the next time he dropped in.
On Sunday, Martijn, Marlies, and I all drove down to Lobos. With Marlies supervising Martijn and I geared up and made sure he was weighted correctly at the boat ramp. We swam out to the edge of the cove with excitement because the clarity of the water was exceptional. Unfortunately, the clarity only extended to about 10' and decreased as we dropped. Following the sand channel our objective was to reach Beto's reef. I like following the East side then drop over West side to see the wall drop off. After kicking for a while I decided it was about right to turn left. What was around me did not seem familiar however so I forged ahead a bit more then run into a big open space of sand. Hmmmm... nothing ahead.. that means we past the end of Betos. We turned around and in 5 secs run into the end and followed it back past Sea Mount and finally back into the cove where the vis was not improving. We saw a couple of large Sheephead, various Rockfish, Nudi's, but nothing unusual.

Back on dry land we had lunch and back in again for a shorter dive on Middle Reef. Seemed the vis was getting worse and the swell was picking up. Still it was nice next to the wall but I have forgotten where those two wolf eels are and couldnt point them out to our visiting diver, oh well.
11/22/2008 Wall Street by Gary Banta -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Gary Banta, Nick Radov
Visibility: 5' - 70' Time:11:30 AM
Temp: 52F - 52F Surge: 6'
Max Depth: 108FSW Avg Depth: 90FSW
Bottom Time: 1:15 Total Time: 1:35
Bottom Gases: 30/30Deco Gases:
Backgas Config: Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
1,15,6 UP
Nick and I went scootering at Lobos on Saturday. Since neither of us participated in the Thumbs Up project we aimed to make our first-ever Thumbs Up visit, extending some scooter exploration that Matt and I did recently. We navigated easily to Thumbs Up and made a full circuit much quicker than our plan. So we decided to explore the western reaches of the structure that forms the larger "peninsula" where Thumbs Up is located. What we discovered was a stunning site worthy of return trips by scooter or boat.

The NW running wall that bounds the peninsula near Thumbs Up is a gentle rocky slope with very little of interest. But as you move NW the gentle slope falls away and becomes vertical and in many places deeply undercut. The tops are at about 80 feet and the bottom of the walls are about 130 - 150. Each face has sheer sides like a building and are well decorated. On our visit, the viz was spectacular so we could see each "building" positioned like on a street. Of course we wer hanging midway up the side of the buildings. We continued NW until we reached the tip of the peninsula before turning the dive. I've added the site to the BAUE list as "Wall Street" and created a 3D view:

For an overhead map find Thumbs Up on the Pt Lobos Underwater Maps. The site is just outside of the park on the wall facing Montana. Keep in mind, the website map needs to be rotated 15 degrees CCW to reflect magnetic orientation.

Now that we've made it to the "corner" I am curious to see what is around the corner!

11/22/2008 Montana by Mark Lloyd -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Mark Lloyd, Harry Babicka, Dionna House
Visibility: 5' - 50' Time:10:38 AM
Temp: 50F - 51F Surge: 3'
Scooter: X-scooter Burn Time: 0:45
Max Depth: 143FSW Avg Depth: 73FSW
Bottom Time:   Total Time: 0:56
Bottom Gases: 21/35Deco Gases:EAN50,O2
Backgas Config: Double HP120Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
2,2,2,2,2,6 up
With the vis cooperating the last few weeks, Dionna, Harry, and I were hoping for continued luck at Lobos as we wanted to try scootering out to Montana. In the event the vis was poor we would bail and stay either at Betos or Twin Peaks. In the cove the vis was about 5 feet at best but most of the time that is not a good indication of what is outside the cove. Once outside the cove the vis improved from about 60' on. At its best it was about 50' which meant that Montana was a go. Since this was our first time scootering to Montana we just wanted to get there, do a short run around it, then head back. Our plan was to do a maximum burn time of about 40-45 mins on the scooters, leaving us lots of safety room. We also spoke to Rob before we left and he indicated the best route to take was right off of Beto's reef heading about North or slightly North West. Once we arrived at the end of Beto's reef I tucked myself in, trying to get as good a profile as possible then kicked the X into high speed. We passed a number of good markers on the way, such as a bunch of Metridians, a group of boulders, a medium size pinnacle, then running straight into Montana. We did one pass then headed east. Our plan was to follow the Granite Pinnacles till Granite point wall then back to the cove. I put the team a bit too far east but we just continued navigating south through all the large Granite Pinnacles then headed back West to put ourselves back into the sand channel were we switched to our 50%. Once at the mouth of the cove we ascended to do our O2 stop, then scootered back on the surface and had lunch. This was a great dive, with lots to see, good vis, a bit of an adventure out to Montana, and a well planned return.
11/21/2008 Mount Chamberlin aboard Phil Sammet's RIB by Alberto Nava -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Susan Bird, Alberto Nava
Visibility: 100' - 100' Time:10:30 AM
Temp: 50F - 52F Surge: 10'
Max Depth: 215FSW Avg Depth: 180FSW
Bottom Time: 0:40 Total Time: 1:40
Bottom Gases: 15/55Deco Gases:EAN50,O2
Backgas Config: Double Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
7,5s, 24
Susan and I dove from Phil’s RIB today. After a very calm week Thursday night brought some larger swells (11ft) and strong winds 20-25knots. However, the weather was not formidable enough to get our team to abort so we went out to see what the ocean was like. We headed to D3 but the swells were too large to dive in such close proximity to very large rocks. Fortunately Phil decided it was good enough to head south and get away from the rocky areas and sandy bottom. So we headed towards Yankee Point and anchored at K3.

We jumped in to find a crystal clear blue water . We did our checks and motored to the top of the pinnacle at about 110ft. From there we headed West crossing some nice sand fields in the 130-140ft range until we got to the edge of the Wall. We stopped for a second to check on each other before descending to our target depth of 220ft.

Once settled at depth we started traveling along the wall. Sue found a couple of nice basket stars and we encountered some very large lingcods on our path. After about 10min we reached a deep crevice on the reef. This was probably an old water path formed when this part of the reef was above sea level. The big crevice was filled with a huge school of rock-fish, and you could see it dropping to about 250ft. We headed up through the crevice and saw several big overhangs inhabited by many fish.

After what seemed like a very short 20min we moved to 150ft and found some very large patches covered with red gorgonians and huge school of fish. There were hundreds of gorgonian bushes. We spent several minutes taking in this breath-taking view, and then headed south towards K2 pinnacle. We followed a massive wall with a big overhang. We saw several rosy rockfish and some very large vermillion. After 10min in the area we motored shallower to the edge of the south wall at 120ft. Here we saw several big sheep-heads and at one point we watched a vermilion rockfish and female sheep-head dancing together along the wall. A little harbor seal came and played hide & seek with us for a while and eventually we slowly moved up towards the top of the pinnacle that was at about 70ft. At this point the large swells were moving us 10ft back and forth which was pretty exciting to experience. We did our gas switch and headed for the sparse kelp that was at the top of the reef. I was surprised the kelp made it all the way to about 30ft.

This was a good reminder that big swell and wind sometimes brings some of the best diving :-)
11/14/2008 Outer Outer Pinnacles aboard Phil Sammet's RIB by Robert Lee -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Robert Lee, Allison Lee, Kevin Dow
Visibility:   Time:12:00 AM
Temp: 50F Surge:  
Scooter: X-scooter Burn Time:  
Max Depth:   Avg Depth: 150FSW
Bottom Time: 0:30 Total Time:  
Bottom Gases: 21/35Deco Gases:EAN50
Backgas Config: Double HP100Deco Tanks:AL80
Deco Profile:
5,3,2,2,3,10,5 up
It had been awhile, but Team Kitty regrouped and headed out oh Phil's RIB for a dive. A warm east wind was blowing and combined with a large long-period swell made the surface conditions a tad sportier than we had expected.

Phil suggested that instead of the usual Yankee Pt. fare, or the "D and E series" of Lobos pinnacles, that we head up to Outer Outer Pinnacles (or Lunaticos as some call it). We dropped into a fairly brisk current but were easily able to use the scooters to get up to the anchor line to regroup. It was immediately apparent that the conditions were going to be excellent, as we dropped into extremely clean, blue water. We hit the reef at about 130' and started to wander around. At one point, Kevin and I shot through an archway/swimthrough at 160' on the scooters. I have to say, one shouldn't be allowed to have that much fun :-)

Not far from our drop point, we found a ridge with 8 or 9 large vase sponges in about 160-170'. After some discussion about whether to push the planned BT (and thinking better of it), we headed north, put up a bag and started our deco. We deco'd out in cold cold water, but were followed by a school of about 100 blues from stop to stop up to about 30' or 40'.

Some pictures from Lunaticos as well as Lobos the next day here:

11/9/2008 Pt Lobos by Alberto Nava -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Harry Wong, Alberto Nava
Visibility: 2' - 70' Time:10:30 AM
Temp: 53F Surge: 6'
Max Depth: 150FSW Avg Depth: 130FSW
Bottom Time: 0:30 Total Time: 1:20
Bottom Gases: 21/35Deco Gases:EAN50
Backgas Config: Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
With all those report of amazing vis and those great images from Robert I had to go diving. DocWong happened to have a Lobos reservation yesterday and he was looking for a navegator so he could concentrate on his camera work. Me... pick me.... pick me ... I said.

We went to Lobos to find out that the swells were relative large at the cove and vis didn't look good at all. However, the cove is never a good indicator of how things are farther out.

We headed torwards the road reef and followed it to the end. At that point we had 60 ft vis with a little bit of sand in suspension due to the swell.

Harry did quite a lot of video and we enjoyed just hanging at the last little pinnacle on the reef.

We had a couple of seal lions playing with us at depth and a very nice harbour seal stayed with us during the deco :-)

11/8/2008 Butterfly Outer aboard Escapade by Mark Lloyd -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Harry Babicka, Dionna House, Mark Lloyd
Visibility: 30' - 100' Time:10:21 AM
Temp: 54F - 57F Surge:  
Scooter: X-scooter Burn Time:  
Max Depth: 102FSW Avg Depth: 67FSW
Bottom Time:   Total Time: 0:45
Bottom Gases: EAN32Deco Gases:
Backgas Config: Double Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
Saturday started out great with a nice complement of divers aboard the Escapade. The sun was out and we were even contemplating going past Lobos. Unfortunately the seas got a bit rough and we turned into the bay and settled on Outer Butterfly House. Harry, Dionna, and I decided to bring the scooters on this dive which was a great decision. Once we anchored the boat we could all see how great the vis was. Anxious to get in we did our pre-dive checks and with me leading we scootered off to the West. The vis was truly spectacular with at least 100' in some areas. Looking up from 70' I could clearly see the ripples on the surface. We scootered from one end of the reef on the west side which dipped below about 130' to the far east side which was around 70'. The shear walls of red coryinactus and hydro coral was fantastic. Along the way we saw a large school of blue rock fish, two medium sized Sheephead, and the usual nudi's.

On the second dive we changed sites to the East Pinnacles. After changing my battery and a nice hour and a half surface interval we dropped in again. Vis was not as great as the last site but it was still at least 50'. Again with me leading we zipped by four or five pinnacles of all shapes and sizes. We saw another pair of Sheephead but no large schools of fish. After about 35 mins of bottom time we called it a day and did a bit of deco on the way up. Back on the boat there were smiles all round. Hoping this is the start to some lucky Winter diving. See ya next trip.

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