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10/25/2008 Thumbs Up aboard Escapade by Alberto Nava -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Susan Bird, Alberto Nava, Joseph (Karl) Haywood
Visibility: 30' Time:10:00 AM
Temp: 50F Surge: 6'
Max Depth: 151FSW Avg Depth:  
Bottom Time: 0:30 Total Time: 1:10
Bottom Gases: 21/35Deco Gases:EAN50
Backgas Config: Double Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
On Friday we went for a pre-project dive at Thumbs Up. Sue, Karl and myself had a dual objective of doing a little fun dive and then setting the survey lines for the teams, while the Kitty were there doing photo documentation, helping gather GPS locations and determining the areas for the nudibranch survey.

From the top of the pinnacle we headed North looking for deeper water and we found some big boulders and quite a lot of fish, including some nice size canaries and some big lingcods. There was a lot of krill at the bottom making the terrain pretty interesting. We were hoping for a large krill eating whale ;-)

The plan was to start setting the lines during our deco but we were not 100% sure of the starting location, so we decided to finish the deco and then confirm the starting location.

On the second dive we laid the 80s and 60s feet survey line while using to scooters to regain the lost time on the first dive.

Laying the line with surge, kelp and scooters turned it to be an interesting challenge for the team.

The Kitties took GPS locations at the start and end of the lines and went out for a documentation dive with their cameras.

10/19/2008 Ballbuster aboard Unknown Boat by Mark Lloyd -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Harry Babicka, Dionna House, Mark Lloyd
Visibility: 20' - 30' Time:12:00 AM
Temp: 51F Surge:  
Scooter: X-scooter Burn Time:  
Max Depth: 103FSW Avg Depth: 69FSW
Bottom Time: 11:30 Total Time: 0:44
Bottom Gases: EAN32Deco Gases:
Backgas Config: Double Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
Harry, Dionna, and I arrived at the Breakwater all ready to do a bit of scootering at Ballbuster. We hadn't had Harry's boat in the water for about 7 or 8 weeks so when it didn't start right away we were not surprised. 45 minutes later however, we were getting a bit worried by the lack of a running motor and the amount of blue fumes permeating the launch ramp. Since it was Dionna's birthday the day before, I brought down a few cream cakes to eat at lunch. Since the boat was not cooperating I broke out the goodies and in a few minutes, icing sugar and cream were over everyone's face and drysuit... yummy! John Y. came over to see if he could help with the motor. With a deft flick of the wrist he got the thing started and we did a few donuts in the bay before coming back in, turning it off, then restarting and headed out to ballbuster.
We dropped the scooters in, donned the gear, and dropped into greenish haze at the top. I was leading the dive and indicated that we would make a full circle of the pinnacle to see how long that took then decide what to do from there. It took about 4 minutes to go around so I did another loop then scootering out at 90 degree angles and back in again. The vis was really good at about 20-25' in most areas. It was a lot of fun getting to see the whole pinnacle and the surrounding structures in our 45 minute dive.

After the dive we headed back in to the deli for the famous bbq pork sandwich. The motor started immediately after lunch and we parked next to the Escapade at Trevors (Outer Aumentos). John Y. was going to dive Shale Island but I guess it was too brown so he joined us at the site. Again, in with the scooters and gear and we could see immediately that the vis was even better here. No green haze at the top and it must have been 30-35' at the bottom. I was leading again and followed a number of structures out then in again, round and round, through clouds of krill, past schools of rockfish and at one point stopping to observe a nice bat ray. It was really a great dive and one that I could of spent hours zooming around and getting to know.
10/17/2008 Naia Nose aboard Phil Sammet's RIB by Alberto Nava -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Suzanne L (Suz) Baird, Alberto Nava, Joseph (Karl) Haywood
Visibility: 40' - 60' Time:10:00 AM
Temp:   Surge: 2'
Max Depth: 204FSW Avg Depth:  
Bottom Time: 0:20 Total Time:  
Bottom Gases: 18/45Deco Gases:50/25,O2
Backgas Config: Double Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
Susan, Karl and I tried to exploit the super diving conditions yesterday. We got lucky and were able to get on Phil's boat.

We anchored at Ed Copper wall and started to gear up while chatting about what a wonderful day we had a the surface and how good the dive was going to be. Of course, will all this chatting and happiness nobody double checked to see if the anchor line had move.

We started our dive on a down-line that was almost vertical and didn't see any bottom until about 200ft :-( Definitely not the right site. We tried to do some searching for the wall but flying out with the bottom at 240 was a little too much.

We dove the little pinnacle (Naia's nose) for about 20min and we called the dive w/o anything too excited to report about :-(.

The pinnacle was covered with Bryozoan and there was a big deep in the middle of the rock. The pinnacle was an extension of Naia's wall.

Ohh well.

10/5/2008 Aumentos aboard Escapade by Mark Lloyd -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Mark Lloyd, Dionna House
Visibility: 10' Time:9:00 AM
Temp: 55F Surge:  
Max Depth: 77FSW Avg Depth: 60FSW
Bottom Time: 0:50 Total Time: 1:01
Bottom Gases: EAN32Deco Gases:
Backgas Config: Double Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
Dionna and I decided to join Jim and a number of Advanced Open Water Students on the Escapade, Sunday morning. Arriving at the parking lot it was nice and sunny and I was hoping for flat, calm, conditions. As we motored out of the harbor the students were busy with their instructors while we took the chance to chow down on a few pastries.

The bay was pretty flat and Jim chose Outer Aumentos as our first dive site. Dionna and I geared up early and were into the water before any of the students. We wanted to get a good hour in as the students were only doing about 30 mins. Although the vis didn't look too bad on the surface, the bottom was very bad with zero to about 10' at best. It was also fairly surgy which is why things were so messy at depth. I was leading so took a compass reading and kicked out about 5 minutes before finding a nice patch of sand. Dionna wanted to do some bottle practicing and I needed to play with my bottom timer and understand these 130's which I was diving for the first time.

After 20 minutes or so I took a bearing back to the anchor and amazingly enough ran right into it. We still had a bit of time left so we continued on another 10 mins or so, turning around and came back to no anchor. Either we missed it or Jim pulled it up :-)
Dionna sent the bag up and we ascended to a waiting boat. As I was pulling off my fins I felt a sharp jab of pain on my top lip. Looking around I saw a Cormorant swimming away, the little bastard pecked me hard enough to draw blood! With the crew standing there laughing with me, I boarded and got out of my gear.

We then motored over to Deep Hopkins, watching a number of Sea Lions eating bits of Mola Mola. The second dive was pretty uneventful as we wanted to make sure we were back in the boat after 30mins. This time we used the reel to make sure we got back to the anchor, ascended up the anchor line and without any killer birds waiting, boarded the boat. As we headed back Jim spotted a huge Mola Mola on the surface being eaten by Sea Lions. He has a couple of great pictures that he said he would post later.

Overall a nice day for diving but the vis really sucked.
10/5/2008 Pt Lobos by Harry Wong -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Greg Dunn
Visibility: 5' - 15' Time:12:00 AM
Temp: 52F Surge: 5'
Scooter: Gavin Long Burn Time:  
Max Depth: 131FSW Avg Depth:  
Bottom Time:   Total Time:  
Bottom Gases: 21/35Deco Gases:EAN50
Backgas Config: Double LP80Deco Tanks:AL40
Deco Profile:
Point Lobos Dive Report Sunday Oct 5th.

We were somewhat surprised to see an empty parking lot at 9 AM. Although all 15 or so reservations were full, only one other team showed up. We found Whaler's Cove calm, the tide was already getting high with high tide peaking at about 1 PM. Perfect for getting out of Whaler's Cove at the end of our dive. With doubles, bottles and scooters, this definitely makes it easier.

Climbing up the hill to take a gander at what the swells looked like, we were pleased that it wasn't too rough with perhaps 5' swells but we could see a lot of foam outside the cove. Not sure what significance the foam represents, but on days with great viz, I never see foam. Looking from the bluff for indications of good viz, trying to see if there were layers of dark and lighter green or blue waters, we saw none.

Viz in the cove was marginal, but you could still see your hand with your arm outstreatched underwater, so not too bad. ;-) Scootering out to the mouth of the cove and dropping down to about 25' feet the viz opened up to 10 feet and off north we went. We passed Hole-In-The-Wall, Sea Mount and got to Beto's reef. The viz stayed at around 10' so we decided to stay close to home so we slowly swam about enjoying the various crevices of Beto's Reef. Greg found a couple of neat nudis that he pointed out to me and I was noticing how there seemed to be more of the glass tunicates at shallower depths. Then I noticed a colony of Sea Pens around 125'. Never noticed them there before. I wondered if they were new.

87 minutes, 131 feet max depth, 52.9 degrees F, 10-15' viz

10/3/2008 Mount Chamberlin aboard Phil Sammet's RIB by Robert Lee -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Robert Lee, Allison Lee, Matt Vieta
Visibility: 80' Time:12:00 AM
Temp:   Surge:  
Max Depth: 150FSW Avg Depth: 140FSW
Bottom Time:   Total Time:  
Bottom Gases: 21/35Deco Gases:EAN50
Backgas Config: Double HP100Deco Tanks:AL80
Deco Profile:
Allison, Matt and I snuck a dive in on Phil's RIB on Friday. It had been dead flat all week, but as soon as we pulled the boat off of the trailer it was clear that there was bit of swell coming in and breaking around the mouth of the cove.

We did some parking-lot juggling of GPS numbers and set out to peek at Yankee Pt. We motored out there fairly smoothly and deployed at Mt. Chamberlin into a very light current in short order.

It was clear as soon as we dropped that it was going to be really nice; the water was totally clear and blue. At around 60', the reef at 130' came into sight (oh yeah!) beneath a huge school of several hundred blues. We hit the bottom on the south-side of the pinnacle and did a slow counter-clockwise circle working our way north and upcurrent.

There was a noticeable current at depth, but it was really clear and the huge school of blues followed us around pretty much the whole dive. At the 35min. mark, we begrudgingly began our ascent and worked our way up the North side of K2 until we left the structure around 80-90' Deco was uneventful, though we surfaced into a thick fog which had settled in during our dive. Definitely reassuring to hear Phil motoring around our bag on our hang :-)

We motored back in the fog to find a small pod of dolphins playing around inside Whaler's Cove.

Some pics here (and a few from the next day at Lobos):

9/20/2008 Pinnacle Point Wall aboard Escapade by Alberto Nava -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Alberto Nava, Susan Bird
Visibility: 40' - 80' Time:2:00 PM
Temp:   Surge: 5'
Max Depth: 150FSW Avg Depth:  
Bottom Time:   Total Time:  
Bottom Gases: 21/35Deco Gases:50/25,O2
Backgas Config: Deco Tanks:AL40
Deco Profile:
Robert Lee organized a Deep Shale diving day yesterday but as things turned out we dove in Carmel and at beautiful site, Pinnacle Point Wall.

I took my video camera for the dive and struggle for about 35 min trying to remember how to do non-teaching video, while making my wife exercise extraordinary patience :-0

Here is it.

And here are some macro photos from the Robert and Clinton.

Visibility was in the 60-80ft with a gently swell at the bottom.

9/20/2008 Kinder-Garden (D3) aboard Escapade by Dionna House -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Harry Babicka, Dionna House, Mark Lloyd
Support Team:GUE Training Director Gideon Liew
Visibility: 15' - 25' Time:12:00 AM
Temp: 52F - 54F Surge:  
Max Depth: 220FSW Avg Depth: 200FSW
Bottom Time:   Total Time: 1:22
Bottom Gases: 15/55Deco Gases:50/25,O2
Backgas Config: Double HP120Deco Tanks:AL40
Deco Profile:

After long discussions of dive planning and decompression with Gideon Liew over a wonderful dinner at Siamese Bay, we continued to discuss our plan for our T2 experience dive on Saturday at the hotel. I practiced the dive over and over in my head while trying to sleep. I know my buddies were doing the same thing. This is what we have be practicing for!! Mark was navigator, Harry runs deco and I will shoot the SMB, Gideon will oversee. We board the Escapade at 8am Saturday morning, it didn't take long to board, because we loaded the gear the day before. We motored south to look for depths of 220fsw. On our way south Jim received a call from Brian on the Beach Hopper saying they spotted a Basking Shark north of Pt Lobos. I wasn't really paying attention to the exact location. At the time we were confirming our dive plan for our experience dive. Ed came down the ladder and said, “Basking Shark ahead”. We dropped all our GUE EDGE... and went to the side of the boat to look. WOW!!! This was definitely more important than our T2 dive. The shark had to be at least 20-25ft long with it's mouth wide open. Jim mentioned to me to jump in with it... I thought... Is he crazy?? Later, I learned that Basking Sharks are very tamed and gentle. Harry and dive crew member Ed quickly suited up and jumped in to try to swim with it.... but, couldn't keep up.... Jim repositioned the boat and Harry got in again, and this time got to slip and slide with a dorsal fin.... Wow!!! We watched as the basking shark submerged and went on its merry way. Next time I will not be so timid, but, my leg would have fit into his mouth!! Picture to come soon. On a side note, it pays to bring Gideon Liew here... Last time he visited from Singapore, he saw orcas feeding on whale blubber.

Back to diving.... I couldn't help but thinking... what if this basking shark comes along on our deco?? I don't think my sac will be as good.

We arrived at Kindergarten D3, Jim dropped the anchor and we geared up, did our equipment checks and clipped bottles on and jumped in. The surface current was manageable. We descended at the bouy as a team in to the deep dark unknown. Fortunately my ears were cooperating. We arrived at 200fsw to beautiful elephant ears sponges, rosy rockfish, gorgonians and lots of colors to look at. We only stay there for a brief moment. Mark had to reach his destination of 220ft. We venture off to the sand to look for 220fsw. We saw wonderful sand particles, an orange sea pen, a flat fish. Look pretty dismal....Oh.... Mark and his depth of venture!!! Finally he came to his sense and turn around to go back.... We arrived at the pinnacle again for a brief moment to look at a rosy rockfish and more colors, than it was time to get up to our deep stops. Harry took over as deco captain. We ascended up to the top of the pinnacle where I shot the bag. Off we went for a comfortable deco into the greenish waters. All went as planned. All that practicing paid off. On our long long 20ft stop, I signaled to Mark and did the chicken dance, Mark copied it back. This got Gideon's attention as he circled us from above and beside. He came down to check... I pointed to him and signaled shark... I took my reg out of my mouth and smiled. He gave me the monster mash sign.... I think he caught on to our humor and jokes. Gideon came to each of us on our 20ft stop and shook our hands to congratulate us. We made our slow ascent to the surface and gave Jim the OK... and cheered.... Jim and his crew cheered us on too. We motored back for lunch and final discussions about the dive and of course what we need to still work on, because what is a GUE class for? Especially with one of the GUE Training Directors. Thanks to my buddies, Mark and Harry, for being patient and committed to training while we had fun. Thanks to the folks that let us borrow their gear to make this class happen.

Later that day we met up with the BAUE members that were on the afternoon charter for fun, laughs, celebration and dinner at Siamese Bay.


9/19/2008 E3 aboard Escapade by Dionna House -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Harry Babicka, Mark Lloyd, Dionna House
Visibility: 50' - 70' Time:12:00 AM
Temp: 52F - 54F Surge:  
Max Depth: 165FSW Avg Depth: 155FSW
Bottom Time: 0:25 Total Time: 1:00
Bottom Gases: 18/45Deco Gases:50/25,O2
Backgas Config: Double LP80Deco Tanks:AL40
Deco Profile:

As some of you know Mark Lloyd, Harry Babicka and I have been working towards getting our GUE Tech 2 rating. GUE Tech 2 instructor, Gideon Liew came out from Singapore, on his way to Mexico to check us off. Our first site was E3. Jim Capwell motored us out and dropped the anchor. We geared up and did our GUE EDGE as Gideon Liew observed, then jumped in. There was a little bit of a current running while going down. I had some ear issues that delayed our descent a bit. Once we got down, I navigated North East to get to 160fsw. We stayed there for about 25minutes, enjoying some of the big Elephant Ear sponges, We also followed a big male sheephead. Saw some lingcods and many gorgonians. We could have stayed down longer, but, I got confused with all the different discussed plans.. I thought after were done with the bottom stage we come up. Oh Well...I was getting ready for tomorrows deeper dive. There is always another time. Unfortunately I think Gideon wanted to enjoy the bottom a little longer. Thats what you get when you put a student in charge!! Mark Lloyd took over as deco captain and Harry Babicka shot the bag.
Deco went well. We discussed our dive and what we needed to get better over lunch. Gideon saw what he needed to see for our next day experience dive into deeper depths.
9/18/2008 Grand Cenote by Kevin Dow -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Kevin Dow, Don Chennavasin, Elissa Lee
Visibility: 100' Time:11:02 AM
Temp: 79F Surge:  
Max Depth: 42FSW Avg Depth: 31FSW
Bottom Time: 2:34 Total Time: 2:34
Bottom Gases: EAN32Deco Gases:
Backgas Config: Single,Double AL80Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
Don, Ellisa and I decided to do a stage dive up to Box Chen via Paso De Lagarto - Much's Maze lines. I ran the reel from the cavern line to the mainline. We traveled up the main line until we hit the Paso De Lagarto jump and then we took the jump. From there we continued on up until we were about a minute from the jump to Muches maze. I signaled the drop of the stages here in a tighter passage and while it wasn't my best stage drop we got it done and continued on to the jump where we jumped right. Much's Maze is a very very cool passage that has quite a bit of decorations, though it starts sorta like a phreatic tube. After coming to the EOL we jumped back onto the main line and turned right again. Maybe a minute later we were at the box chen jump where we jumped to the right onto Box Chen. We continued on that line where it got incredibly decorated. The line also was very very steep in some parts dipping down 10 feet before going 10 feet above your head in a very tight passage.

All to soon we turned the dive and headed back. The trip back seemed to fly by with the added benefit of a small amount of flow pushing us along. Back at the cavern line we decided to ditch the stages and do a bit more exploration on back gas, but soon after decided to end the dive due to ear clearing issues.

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