BAUE Trip Reports


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9/14/2008 Pt Lobos by Matt Vieta -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Matt Vieta, Leah Wadler
Visibility: 40' Time:2:00 PM
Temp: 55F Surge: 1'
Max Depth: 61FSW Avg Depth: 40FSW
Bottom Time: 1:02 Total Time: 1:02
Bottom Gases: EAN32Deco Gases:
Backgas Config: Single HP100Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
min deco
Leah and I spent the afternoon diving at Point Lobos. We wandered around the north end of middle reef and saw some neat shrimps and crabs. We saw a Tritonia festiva on transect 2. We headed around the corner to the east side admiring the anemones. At some point we cut back west over the ridge in time to pay the war bonnet a visit. We headed past the bouldery area and eventually back to play around in the sand channel. Relaxing and fun!
9/13/2008 Local's Ledge aboard Escapade by Dionna House -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Clinton Bauder, Dionna House
Support Team:Melissa Litwicki
Visibility: 30' - 50' Time:12:00 AM
Temp: 52F - 55F Surge:  
Max Depth: 70FSW Avg Depth: 50FSW
Bottom Time:   Total Time:  
Bottom Gases: EAN32Deco Gases:
Backgas Config: Double LP80Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:

It was definitely a weekend for diving... The BAUE scheduled recreational boat traveled to Locals Ledge for the first dive. Before arriving at the site we got a little side tracted watching breaching whales out in the outer bay. We arrived at the site and geared up. I had a little ear trouble going down, but, it eventually cleared up. Melissa had some issues with her depth gauge. Reading error... I guess it pays to wear a back up. Clinton and I kepted her in good depths. We meandered around as Clinton took pictures of the critters. Apparently spotted that wolf eel. Darn!! I didn't know that was what he was taking pictures of... I was just very happy to be underwater.

Our second dive was at one of the Outer Pinnacles. There was a little surface current while kicking to the anchor. We started our descent and was followed by Chad that asked to join us... Sure come along.. It was Clinton, Melissa, myself and Chad. Vis was not as good on this dive, there was some surge to play with too. Once again we meandered around looking at cool hydrocoral and critters. Ben Villao signed to me to do the chicken dance... Okay... I turned into the dead bug and did the dance... Are you happy Ben?? ;-). Staying at a depth of 60-70ft. Temperatures were around 52-55. Nice and warm... But, not for poor Chad... I was very lucky to be his buddy on his last wetsuit dive in cold water.
We got to the anchor line... there was some current.. so this kept Chad busy kicking and warm on our ascent.

After eating sandwiches and watermelon, we were entertained by Whales, sealion, and sea birds.

Good day of Flukes!!
and feasting on Oysters!!

9/6/2008 19SUR aboard Unknown Boat by Alberto Nava -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Susan Bird, Alberto Nava
Visibility: 10' - 100' Time:10:00 AM
Temp: 10F - 60F Surge: 2'
Max Depth: 150FSW Avg Depth:  
Bottom Time: 0:30 Total Time: 1:10
Bottom Gases: 21/45Deco Gases:50/25,O2
Backgas Config: Double Deco Tanks:AL40
Deco Profile:
Saturday was BAUE's second Big Sur Banks trip of the year.

The weather forecast looked great. Alll divers were ready with tons of
gear including doubles, stages, and scooters :-) . We left the dock at 6:05am and headed towards the banks.
The swells were so small that it looked like Monterey Lake and not Monterey Bay. So far so good.

The moment we got to Carmel Bay we encountered a little issue. FOG.... it was not unexpected as the weather forecast was
"Patchy Dense Fog" and not the normal Patchy Fog we have seen over the last couple of months. We entered into the fog zone and continued motoring south for another hour. The fog got denser and denser as we ventured south. We arrived at the banks and had some interesting discussions about the decision to dive or not dive, and we soon headed east towards the coast looking for a miracle.

We hoped that the fog would vanish closer to the coast. (Based on Friday's Lobos surface conditions & limited visibility due to fog, this was not very promising.) However, as we reached the coast we saw a small clear patch near Bixby Bridge. A circular area on top of Las Piedras Wall dive site was completely clear of fog. We decided to do a couple of dives there and see if the fog to the south would burn off after a few hours.

Las Piedras is a very impressive 400ft long ridge with a sheer, dramatic, & colorful wall on the South end. However, all teams decided to head North and check the area there. The North end is equally as colorful and beautiful, but different, with jutting fingers and many crevices. There were a lot of rock-fish, a couple of nice wolf eels, and a lovely big sheep-head on the top of the wall. Nice dive ... but not Big Sur banks.

After conducting two dives near the coast the miracle happened and the fog lifted enough that Capt Phil decided to run us back down to the Banks, to our original dive destination :-) . We arrived at Sur19 and there was no fog in the vicinity! Hooray! The captain anchored the boat and after delaying to make sure the down-line was at the right location the scooter teams went for their dive. The water past 40ft was amazingly blue and clear. There were hundreds of rock-fish congregating at the pinnacle, and huge hydrocoral bushes everywhere. This is Northern California diving at its best :-) There appeared to be line dancing and much celebration going on during deco, a sure sign of a great dive.

After about 90min the swimming teams were dropped for a drift into the down-line. Crew and divers waited with anticipation to see if the swimming teams would make it... and fortunately all divers were able to reach the downline and make their way down to the site. They reported gentler current than the last outing, and a fantastic dive!

While they were diving it was incredible to enjoy the nice warm/sunny weather on the surface at the banks while the boat drifted along, following the divers. It was a 180 degree change from the morning weather ....

On the ride back home we came across a large school of humpback whales which were working a school of bait-fish together with some sea lions and birds. At times we would count 7 spouts at a time in one condensed area... while more whales surfacing & spouting in the distance. After a magnificent breech and multiple tail flops, we finally headed home.

What an amazing day!

We will do more of these trips next year :-)

Here are some photos.

8/16/2008 19SUR aboard Unknown Boat by Alberto Nava -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Susan Bird, Alberto Nava, Devin MacKenzie
Visibility: 10' - 60' Time:12:00 AM
Temp: 48F - 57F Surge: 2'
Scooter: Gavin Short Burn Time:  
Max Depth: 160FSW Avg Depth:  
Bottom Time: 0:25 Total Time: 1:10
Bottom Gases: 21/45Deco Gases:50/25,O2
Backgas Config: Double HP120Deco Tanks:AL40
Deco Profile:
Yesterday was a very successfully diving day. BAUE booked the Cypress Sea for some tech diving at Big Sur Banks. It has being quite a long time since we have had an all BAUE charter at the banks and we were all looking forward to it. We had 11 divers on the boat split into 4 teams and the objective was to do 4 dives (2 per team) at the famous 20SUR and 19SUR pinnacles on the south end of the banks.

At 8:05 we arrived at the banks (5min late ;-) ) and we started to deploy our down-line which consisted of a hook, some line and
a couple of red marine buoys at the end. We watched one of the buoys disappear underwater which was a sign of strong current. We added one more line and a third buoy so the divers had space at the surface to hold while waiting for their team mates. The fog bank was large but it was high in the sky so we decided to try a live-drop of the first team and see how they would handle the current.

Allison, Kevin and Robert were in one team and Dionna, Mark and Harry were in the other team. They drifted nicely towards the line and started their descent. We watched for about 10min in case any of them could not make it. However, it looked like they were all diving :-). After 60min they all surfaced, and they reported the hook had moved to deeper water and they had missed the target of 20SUR pinnacle :-(.

After getting all the divers back on the boat we relocated the hook while using a bigger/heavier object as a hook, because it looked like the tension of the pulling divers was too much for the little hook to handle. Clinton, Nick, Susan, Devin and myself were in the second group. It looked like the current was even stronger as the tide changed so the surface current was pretty fast.

It took about 6min to descend to 150ft while using our scooters but we finally made it to 20SUR. We landed on the north side in front of the pinnacle and headed for a loop. We rapidly found the canyon that runs through the middle of the pinnacle and let ourselves drift with the current from one end to the next. There were tons of purple hydrocoral and several school of small fish. I was a little surprised that we could not see that many big fish. We could not see vermilion nor yellow eye rock fish.

We motored to the south and found a nice congregation of blue rockfish. After about 10min we returned to the north to check if we could see the team of Clinton and Nick at the site. We could not see them so we decided to go and check the top of the pinnacle. The moment I looked towards the top I saw the reason why we didn't see many fish at the pinnacle. There was a large (10-12ft) thresher shark hovering over the shallow peak at 20SUR! There was strong enough current that it did not need to swim in order to get water thought its gills so it just sat there. It was difficult to see if it was hunting or just being cleaned by the school of little fish at the top.

I moved my light to try to signal my buddies and as I did that the animal sensed the beam of my HID light and it moved its tail very quickly and looked at me. We both looked at each other for about 3 seconds and it then swam away from the pinnacle. I signaled my buddies about the shark and we all waited to see if it would come back. I know that threshers are not aggressive towards humans but there is something about having 20 min of deco to do and seeing a big shark underwater, especially for certain members of our team who have mild phobias about sharks. We waited a few minutes and after that we moved to the top of the pinnacle to enjoy the purple/pink hydrocorals at the pinnacle.

We did find a juvenile yellow eye rockfish at the top, near its favorite crack. After 25min we called the dive and had a "nervous" drift thinking about our friend.... fish are our friends ;-)

After our dive we knew the hook was in the right place so the first set of divers and Clinton/Nick decided to go for a second dive using this confirmed down-line. Using the same procedure that the first dive the teams were able to drift into the ball and pull themselves down the pinnacle. It was pretty interesting to see 8 divers drift towards the float and swam in an angle in order to hit the target. They had about 90 seconds to make it to the float or get push past it. This worked much better than the anchoring of the boat we did on the second dive.

For the 4th dive of the day we went to 19SUR. Susan, Devin and myself went for another drop. The moment we saw the pinnacle we realized where all the fish had gone. I think the shark scared the fish from 20SUR and they all congregated at 19SUR (300ft away) There were school of vermilions, yellow eye, china rockfish of all sizes and colors. We saw a very large, old, yellow eye at about 170ft and we could also recognize the area where we once saw the nice posing GPO on the DSV DVD. Susan found a couple of nice mola mola and Devin found a free swimming wolf eel at the top of the reef. It was a super dive in an amazing place.

Everybody did a great job on their planning and execution. I'm looking forward to the next trip in September :-)

Here are some photos from the team.
8/2/2008 Montana aboard Escapade by Alberto Nava -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Susan Bird, Alberto Nava
Visibility: 60' Time:10:00 AM
Temp: 50F Surge:  
Max Depth: 172FSW Avg Depth:  
Bottom Time: 0:40 Total Time: 1:20
Bottom Gases: 18/45Deco Gases:50/25,O2
Backgas Config: Double Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
This Sat we went out for the monthly BAUE tech-charter. We had a good turn-out which consisted of 9 of our members: Allison, Robert, Kevin, Dionna, Clinton, Harry, Susan, Karl and myself.

We had a grandious plan of going to a remote location but the weather gods provided us with a different plan. Defiant of the gods, we still headed out of the bay and ventured towards the Yankee Point area but half-way there we realized it was not going to happen. We checked the NW side of Point Lobos looking for some protection from the swells, and after a while we decided to dive Montana pinnacle outsite of Whaler's Cove. Here the weather finally looked like we would be able to get wet.

Montana is a popular site for scooter divers departing from Whalers Cove. However, diving it from a boat allows for more time at the site than travelling on the scooters. Also, the shallower areas on the site are most spectacular, so given the opportunity, it is a better dive from a boat.

Visibility was very good, at least 50ft, which allowed us to get a good view of the pinnacle from multiple perspectives. Sue, Karl and I descended and headed to the NW side of the pinnacle. We visited the sand interphase where we found large colonies of sea pens and some big lingcods lying in grooves in the sand. Susan also found a couple of basket stars attached to some gorgonias.

We scootered from the North side to the South while travelling on the E wall at two different depth levels. We stopped to check the cracks where we once saw a large GPO but we didn't have much luck finding its descendant.

We saw several large lingcods hanging out on the East wall, as well as many vivacious decorate crabs.

After about 20min on the deeper part of the pinnacle we headed up shallower and torwards the north peak. In that area we found a pair of large dirona albolineata and Clinton pointed out a Bocaccio to us.

After about 40min on the site we deployed our SMB and drifted our deco while looking at jellies and their barnacles & parasites.

Another grand day out :-)

Here are some photos.

7/27/2008 Pt Lobos by Dionna House -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Harry Babicka, Dionna House
Visibility: 30' - 50' Time:12:00 AM
Temp: 49F - 50F Surge:  
Max Depth: 95FSW Avg Depth: 80FSW
Bottom Time:   Total Time: 1:13
Bottom Gases: EAN32Deco Gases:EAN50
Backgas Config: Double LP80Deco Tanks:AL40
Deco Profile:

Harry Babicka and I went for a scooter run out to Granite Point Pinnacles. I have been interested in getting to know the east side of Whalers Cove better. We cruised out and followed the rocky ridge keeping the sand on our left, with a zig zags here and there to look at different pinnacles. We then meandered in and out of the many pinnacles admiring the different sizes and shapes. Also becoming more familiar with the area. All the usual suspects were out. Visibility was about 40-50ft depending on where we were. Very Very cool area.. Will return soon.

After snacking and socializing on the surface with other BAUE members, Harry and I did the usual practice dive in 20ft blue water for our upcoming dives. Scooters come in handy when the "after lunch naptime" sets in. ;-)

Good day of diving!!!

7/19/2008 Pt Lobos by Dionna House -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Dionna House, Ian Puleston
Visibility: 3' - 50' Time:10:30 AM
Temp: 48F - 50F Surge: 2'
Max Depth: 102FSW Avg Depth: 90FSW
Bottom Time:   Total Time: 1:17
Bottom Gases: EAN32Deco Gases:EAN50
Backgas Config: LP80Deco Tanks:AL40
Deco Profile:

I met up with Ian Puleston for a dive at Pt Lobos. Thanks to Suzanne for giving us her reservation. Due to her car break down, she was not able to attend. Ian I planned to go out to Beto's Reef and visit all the Sisters. We surfaced kicked past Hole in the Wall. I was leading and thought I would try to hit Sea Mount by going slightly NW. I ended up at the Lone Metridium... All good.. the visibility was good enough to take a North Heading and go out to Beto's Reef. We swam and found the Beto's Reef. I have been wanting to swim around that area to get to know it better. Lots and Lots of little strands of kelp to avoid getting tangled in. I probably gave some kelp stalks a haircut. ;-). After a short visit to Beto's Reef, we went West to the Sisters. We visited all of them. At the deeper Sisters we were mostly on top of the pinnacles. Ian spotted an unusual jelly. Comb shaped with 4 orange colored tentacles. Back to the Lone Metridium for a gas switch and a nice gentle swim into the cove. I was able to watch a rockfish attack little juvenile rockfish (tough world they live in), also saw an anemome eating a moon jelly, lots of little krill in the shallows. The vis took a big decline to about 3ft and we surfaced right near the parking lot.

We decided to sit out the second dive... too much kicking!!!
7/13/2008 Pt Lobos by Dionna House -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Greg Dunn, Dionna House
Visibility: 20' - 25' Time:10:00 AM
Temp: 52F - 55F Surge:  
Scooter: Gavin Short Burn Time:  
Max Depth: 128FSW Avg Depth: 100FSW
Bottom Time:   Total Time:  
Bottom Gases: 21/35Deco Gases:EAN50
Backgas Config: Double HP100Deco Tanks:AL40
Deco Profile:

Greg Dunn and I met up at Pt Lobos for a leisurely tech 1 dive. The Cove was really flat and the tides were perfect for lugging gear in and out of the water.. Thanks to Doc Wong we were able to get in on his reservation.

The orginal plan was to go out to The Road and Shortcut Reef, but, I heard that the vis was questionable and it was really dark. Greg and I both decided to stay a little closer and explore the area around the deeper part of Beto's Reef and some parts out near the deeper Sister. It was really nice to find several large colorful Hermissendas and a Triopha Catalinae. We also saw a Tritonia Festiva eating off the trunk of a Gorgonian. We headed back in for a relaxing deco on the shallow reefs and in the kelp.

After a 2 hour Surface Interval we toured an out of town guest from Hollywood Divers. He had a rather large video that didn't seem to work as well as he wanted... Nevertheless, He got to see the area near the Lone Metridium.. It was like a night dive at times. Vis was around 20-25. Water temps are warm.

7/2/2008 Naia Wall aboard Phil Sammet's RIB by Alberto Nava -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Susan Bird, Alberto Nava
Visibility: 100' - 120' Time:10:10 AM
Temp: 46F - 50F Surge: 2'
Scooter: Gavin Short Burn Time: 0:40
Max Depth: 214FSW Avg Depth: 190FSW
Bottom Time: 0:35 Total Time: 1:30
Bottom Gases: 15/55Deco Gases:50/25,O2
Backgas Config: Double HP120Deco Tanks:AL80
Deco Profile:
Yesterday we took the day off to celebrate Susan's birthday with a little dive. As it was her day we decided to dive Naia's wall which is located just outside the west boundary of the Point Lobos Park.

This is an amazing wall. It starts at about 50ft (deep) and it runs NW to a depth of about 220ft. There are a series of canyons that cut diagonally through the wall which make the whole structure even more dramatic.

Capt. Phil anchored the boat at the top of the pinnacle, we did our gear checks, dropped in the water and headed down. The water was tropical blue (at least 100ft vis) and the only thing reminding us about the real location of the dive was the 48F degrees temp. Susan noticed a 'distinct lack of current' which was a nice b-day gift from the ocean gods.

As we reached the top of the pinnacle there was a single strand of bull-kelp with the main ball sitting at 40ft. I was amused by the fact that there was so much life shallower as often times the area is pounded with very strong swells. We followed the wall as we freely flowed down to 100ft, then to 150ft until we started to see the ocean floor.

The visibility was astounding... we could see straight down the sheer cliffs all the way to the bottom. We could hear each other giggling through our regulators as we descended.

From there we followed one of the canyons that was perpendicular to the wall. Vis was over 100ft and you could see all the various structures that make up this reef. We didn't see as many red fish as expected, but the topography was spectacular. We saw several Vermillions and some Canneries. We found some vase sponges of various shapes and sizes at about 210', and eventually headed back after running along the larger canyon for about 10min.

There were several large decorator crabs doing yoga stretches on various parts of the structure... often reaching between the walls to show off their 'claw spans'.

Once back at the wall we followed the Naia Wall proper. We followed the edge of the wall out which was very interesing. It was vertical on one side going to 220ft with a wide flat area running along the top at about 180ft. We reached a shallower peak on the wall which looked like it was as shallow as 140ft. We thought about using this area for our ascent but very quickly decided to get back to the 50ft spot to reduce the amount of deco time spent diving in middle water.

On the way back we ventured inside the structure and found a nice flat sandy area in the middle of the wall, about half the size of a baseball diamond. This looked like a nice place to explore but we were already on the shallow phase on the dive so we looked at it from the top.

A little bit latter we found some massively large white dorids. Some of them were at least 12 inches long and we found a couple of them mating. There was also a nice slope from 150 to 100ft covered with yellow finger sponges which made for an incredible view. At about 100ft we found a nice overhang that has some metridiums on it, and the roof was covered with unusually long bodied zoanthias. Pretty cool!

We headed back to the shallow peak and looped it several times. The southeast wall was a sheer drop off and extremely colorful. A medium sized school of blue rockfish liked to hang out there because they were protected from the current.

We left the pinnacle at about 40ft and finished the rest of the deco while drifting North.

The fabulous visibility and the most excellent dive site made for the best b-day dive imaginable!

Good way to celebrate Naia's birthday ;-)

6/29/2008 Pt Lobos by Harry Wong -- [View this report only]
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Bottom Team: Susan Bird, Harry Wong
Visibility: 20' - 30' Time:12:00 AM
Temp: 52F Surge:  
Max Depth: 49FSW Avg Depth:  
Bottom Time:   Total Time: 75:00
Bottom Gases: EAN32Deco Gases:
Backgas Config: LP80Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
slow up
This was one of those dives that I can only describe as "Pure Joy."

It wasn't deep, it wasn't even rough and the viz clear. Effortlessly gliding thru water, at one with our marine environment.

I hope this video exemplifies the experience. This is why I dive.

This was during the BAUE Pt Lobos dive day! Great to see so many new BAUE members and fun diving with new people too.

Susan Bird and I descended to about 30 feet and swam east with Suzanne and her buddy following. We made quick work of crossing Middle Reef and over some sand to the other side of Whaler's Cove and before long we were at Coal Chute Caverns via a nice swim-thru. Susan waited at the entrance for me and motioned me to go in first. "after you doc" What manners! Cool, so I did some video in the cavern.

Suzzane and her buddy came in next. Not long after that, Suzanne, motioned to Susan that they were leaving as they had reached their turnaound pressure. Susan and I contuned and followed Middle Reef, staying on the reef while heading back to the ramp. Midway there, my video lights ran out, so I was shooting without lights. I was under Susan shooting her silhouette, when she signaled me with her light and there I saw what she wanted me to see, she was in the middle of a huge school of krill that had deceded to circle her. Cool. I gradually ascended to her depth moving as little as possible, and I too found myself encircled in the school.

Site: Whaler's Cove, Middle Reef, Coal Chute Caverns

Dive Safe, Dive Well,

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