BAUE Trip Reports


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7/4/2006 Carmel River Beach aboard Escapade by Alberto Nava -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Clinton Bauder, Susan Bird
Visibility: 10' - 60' Time:10:05 AM
Temp: 52F - 49F Surge: 3'
Max Depth: 90FSW Avg Depth:  
Bottom Time: 0:40 Total Time: 0:50
Bottom Gases: 30/30Deco Gases:
Backgas Config: Double Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
Clinton, Sue and myself (plus another 8 BAUE members) went out on the July 4th Celebration on the Escapade. JimC did an amazing job at providing great diving in Carmel and Monterey. Vis was btw 60-40ft on both divesites. :-). What a difference a couple of weeks can make.

While enjoying the new sites, we had a photo session with NCUPS award winning photographer Clinton Bauder trying to get some nice photos for the upcoming issue of the Quest. The magazine will be featuring a couple of articles on BAUE's project development efforts.

Here are some of the images.

After diving, JimC and Beverly offered us an amazing display of food, drinks and music :-) We feasted on barbequed salmon, tri-tip, Jim's secret corn & potato recipe, fresh fruit, cheescake, and more.

We ended the day watching the 20min fireworks at Monterey Bay from our front row seats in the bay :-)

We had an amazing day under, and over the water. Thanks to JimC and his wife for their extraordinary generosity and all the fun ...

Can we do it again? ;-).

6/7/2006 Mt Chamberlin - South Wall aboard Phil Sammet's RIB by Alberto Nava -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Alberto Nava, Susan Bird
Visibility: 5' - 80' Time:10:00 AM
Temp: 46F - 50F Surge: 3'
Max Depth: 200FSW Avg Depth:  
Bottom Time: 0:25 Total Time: 1:30
Bottom Gases: 18/45Deco Gases:50/25,O2
Backgas Config: Double Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
Susan and I had plans for diving with Phil today. Visibility has been pretty low recently so we were not expecting too much out of the dive, and there was a “small craft advisory” all the way to Wed night. However, as many people have been saying on ba_diving, some of the best diving days happen when the weather is not the best, so we decided to give it a try.

We met Phil at the parking lot and he recommended getting away from the greener waters of Carmel and heading towards the Yankee Point area. He dove there during the weekend and found clear water all the way to about 20ft. It did not take more than a couple of seconds for us to say ‘yes’ to Yankee Point diving. We have been diving in that area for at least 6 years and every dive there has been a stunning experience. No matter what the site-- Flintstones, PTP, the Arch, or Chamberlin’s Mount, it’s always a great dive.

As we motored out the weather did not look too bad. It looked like we were going to be lucky. Once we got to Chamberlin’s Wall we had to fiddle with the GPS for a while to find and set anchor at the right location (still beats triangulating with the trees ;-)) and after a few minutes we were settled at the wall.

This is an extraordinary dive site. It needs to be experienced first hand to understand its dimensions. It’s a triangular shaped structure with each side about 1000ft long. There are a couple of shallow areas at K1 and K3, and The South Wall runs east-west for 1000ft. The shallow areas on the wall are at 130ft and the bottom is about 160ft on the east side and 300ft on the west side.. The wall is almost vertical.

Phil dropped us at the East end, and the plan was to scooter west all the way to the end of the wall, and then come back to the middle and go through a small canyon heading north into the Mountain.

The water at the surface didn’t look very clear and once we hit the water it was obvious there was a strong surface current. We were glad to have our scooters to get closer to the boat and the anchor line for our descent.

Since the water was a muddy brown color and the current was pretty strong, we immediately hit the trigger and headed down the line. At about 30ft we stopped to do our checks and continued down. We were pleasantly surprised to see clear water at 50ft, and as we approached the wall at about 140ft the water was as clear as it gets. Of course, it was a little dark as not much light could penetrate down from the surface. After a minute of checking all our gear and after a slightly complicated descent we headed out west along the wall.

The wall is covered with dense Corynactous and many gorgonians. There are also Elephant Ear sponges of all shapes and quite a lot of rockfish. Some of the Vermilions were very aggressive and would swim towards us at full speed from maybe 50 ft away to a few inches of the nose of our scooters. I love those red fish!!

During the ride I kept looking south towards the parallel wall that run about 100ft away. I was amused that I could see the other wall in the distance. What visibility!!! It must have been at least 80ft. After thinking about the great visibility, the next thought was ‘I’ll bet it’s pretty cold!’ I had a look at my Uwatec gauge and it read 46F. The funny thing is we were having such a good time the water didn’t really feel that cold after all.

After about 12 min of scootering along the wall we reached the end. The terrain shifted from a vertical wall to more of a plateau from about 190-200ft until we reached the end of the West side. We found this little pinnacle, maybe 10x10 and we both moved to hover over its top and look down over the drop-off. We were sitting in about 200ft of water and we could easily see a 60ft drop. Of course there is probably nothing good to see down there ;-)

After a few minutes of playing around we headed back to the wall and towards a small canyon that goes north inside the mountain. We had been there before, and I remembered a very nice arch. Traveling another 100ft inside the canyon, we noticed both of our light beams pointed in the same direction at the black hole under the nice arch. We had ascended a little on the way back, maybe to about 170ft, but we could not resist the desire to head down and go under the arch (after all what’s the function of an underwater arch?...) There was so much life in the area we wished we had more bottom time to play around in there. As we moved away we found a relatively large juvenile Yellow Eye rock fish. It was approx 4 inches long, and still very brightly striped. We watched it for a while and then continued the trip through the canyon and towards shallower water.

Our ascent was complicated by the strong surface current that wanted to pull our bag away from us. (The sensation was akin to landing a marlin.) Oh well, otherwise it would have been a perfect dive. During the deco at 20ft, I looked to my right and saw this nice fish for a couple of seconds. It was a salmon. I have never seen one in the ocean before. Visibility was pretty bad in the shallow water and I guess the fish didn’t see us until it was very close.

Every 10min Phil would move the boat closer to our bag and give us a signal with the engine that he was on top of us. It was a nice feeling as we knew we were flying ‘blind’ with the current somewhere towards the south.

Once we surfaced we were surprise to see Lobos Rocks on the near horizon!!! We had drifted at least couple of miles south during our deco :-0.

All in all we had a great dive with so-so conditions. Go figure …..
5/27/2006 Ballbuster aboard Escapade by Alberto Nava -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Susan Bird, Alberto Nava
Visibility: 3' - 30' Time:10:00 AM
Temp: 50F - 48F Surge: 8'
Max Depth: 147FSW Avg Depth:  
Bottom Time: 0:30 Total Time:  
Bottom Gases: 18/45Deco Gases:50/25,O2
Backgas Config: Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
Susan, Clinton, John, Dionna and myself went for a dive at Deep Ballbuster. This is a site that has been in the radar for a couple of years but there was always somewhere else to go. The wind was pretty strong today so diving in the bay was all we were going to get. The site is north of Ballbusters. The top of the pinnacles is about 100ft and the bottom about 140ft. There are two small pinnacles connected with a small channel.

There were a lot of nice metridiums, a couple of walls carpeted with red gorgonias, several little sandy patches with sea pens, and many species of rockfish. In particular we saw a brown rock-fish which is not that common around here, and one nice orange sea pen.

The highlight of the dive was a couple of big wolf-eels we found on the north side wall. They were pretty large, one on top of each other inside a large crack. We spend a good time looking at them and a couple of times they came out out of the crack half body lenght… where are those sea urchins when you need them ;-)

Some little maps: 2d , 3d
5/16/2006 Montana by Alberto Nava -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Susan Bird, Alberto Nava
Visibility: 40' - 20' Time:12:30 PM
Temp: 50F - 52F Surge:  
Max Depth: 150FSW Avg Depth: 100FSW
Bottom Time: 0:40 Total Time: 2:00
Bottom Gases: 18/45Deco Gases:50/25,O2
Backgas Config: Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
Well, we took our chances diving Lobos today, after having such clear water on our dive last Thurs, and after hearing the wonderful trip reports from the weekend. We thought we’d covered our tracks w/our work obligations… however on the drive down, we received an anonymous call from a driver who had spotted our fully loaded truck heading south on 85, who called to ask if we were going diving today. So much for our attempt at the discreet weekday get-away…

Whaler’s Cove recorded one of its lowest tides of the year this morning, and when we arrived, the water was as calm as a lake. The wind was fairly strong from the west, but the cove itself was protected.

Our plan was to scooter out to Montana to capture the 80’ viz on our video camera. Once again, we were reminded of how rapidly conditions can change in NorCal! While the conditions weren’t bad, they certainly weren’t like we’d seen last week. The ride out along the Middle Reef delivered a clear view of the underwater surroundings, probably 30 – 40 ft viz, however as we left the cove and headed out to Granite Point and beyond, the viz dropped considerably to a cloudy 20 ft.

Water temp was a full 2 – 4 degrees warmer than the weekend (50 degrees at depth), which may have been the cause of the reduced clarity. Nevertheless we saw many, many rockfish hanging out in dispersed schools among the pinnacles leading to Montana. We ran a reel the last 100’ leading to the base of the underwater mountain, where Beto was rewarded for carrying the camera—we tied off very close to a tochuina tetraquatra which was devouring a gorgonian with no pause for good manners.

We circled the pinnacle in a clockwise direction, turning in at the crack that cuts the pinnacle in half via a sandy patch containing sea pens and tube anemones. This is a lovely area whose walls are covered with sponges and gorgonians, which is the occasional home to a GPO, though not today. A feisty rock crab posed for the camera, and schools of multicolored rockfish hovered above us. We completed the circle back to our tie off, visited the TT nudibranch, and headed back to the cove.

We encountered clouds of krill in pockets along the bottom and over rocks, and enjoyed a lazy deco in the shallows near the harbor seal beach. Juvenile tubesnouts and rainbow perch entertained us under the kelp canopy for the last 15 minutes, intermingling with trolling senorita fish weaving their way thru the sun-beams.

Altogether a lovely dive, and definitely better than working today—“ah-choo”, hope this cold clears up by tomorrow…

Here are some video frames.
5/14/2006 Pt Lobos by John Heimann -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: John Heimann, Anibal Mata-Sol
Visibility: 30' - 80' Time:11:00 AM
Temp: 46F - 52F Surge:  
Scooter: Gavin Long Burn Time: 1:00
Max Depth: 163FSW Avg Depth: 150FSW
Bottom Time: 0:35 Total Time: 1:33
Bottom Gases: 18/45Deco Gases:EAN50,O2
Backgas Config: Double LP104,HP100Deco Tanks:AL40,AL80
Deco Profile:
Beautiful day at Pt. Lobos. Anibal and I scootered to Twin Peaks. Vis was already 30' or so in Whaler's and opened up to more than 80' as we started to reach deep water. Although I knew this dive well from swimming it and scootering a number of times, I hadn't been in several months so was planning to go slowly and turn around if the route seemed unclear. In fact, navigation was made very easy since we could so clearly see the route and the pinnacles ahead of us at each stage of the dive. My thought on reaching the peaks was that my trip to the Big Island next month is going to seem boring by comparison. On the ride back we encountered Joe T., Delia, and Gideon Liew, a GUE instructor from Singapore, who gave us a fly by wave. Gideon's comment after the dive was that he was amazed that NoCal diving was so much better than SoCal!
5/11/2006 Naia Wall aboard Phil Sammet's RIB by Alberto Nava -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Susan Bird, Alberto Nava
Visibility: 50' - 80' Time:10:23 AM
Temp: 46F - 48F Surge:  
Scooter: Gavin Short Burn Time:  
Max Depth: 170FSW Avg Depth:  
Bottom Time:   Total Time:  
Bottom Gases: 18/45Deco Gases:50/25,O2
Backgas Config: Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
Susan and I went out for a dive at Lobos today. We had made arrangements to dive from Phil’s boat. We woke up not feeling very well and we thought about canceling our trip but we decided to drive down and see how we felt after a couple of hrs. Once we got to Point Lobos and greeted Phil and Ranger Chuck and looked at the nice view we felt much better.

While at the parking lot I almost walked over a blue elephant :-0 (do I need to go back to bed came th my mind). Yes there was a baby elephant seal near the picnic tables. It was released by the MMC a few days ago. The top of its head was painted blue probably to be able to recognize it later on.

The moment we jumped into the water we realized how big of mistake it would have been to stay home, sleep some more and go to work. The water was crystal clear with at least 70ft of visibility. It looked like we were in Hawaii, except for the 48F degrees water we jumped into. We descended using our scooters to the top of the pinnacle in about 40ft of water and followed a very nice wall going west for about 5min until we got to some deeper water. It was amazing to scooter down and be able to see all these pinnacles 50 to 70ft away from us.

We leveled off at about 160ft and followed the wall for about 10min. We found a really nice valley full of gorgonians and invertebrates. While looking around in this 200x200 garden, Susan and I suddenly started signaling each other at the same time. We had simultaneously spotted a Giant Pacific Octopus. It was completely out in the open, at the edge of a ledge, trying desperately to look like a spiked rock formation. Its body must have been 2x3 ft in size (not counting the arms…) and it was all cuddled into itself, with part of its arms tucked & curled under the ledge. It had created a very strange texture on its skin for camouflage, and we stayed with it for about 4min, just watching its behavior. Towards the end of our time together, we watched the octopus swim away from us. Amazing encounter!!!

After playing with the octopus we headed back towards the wall and towards the top of the pinnacles where we found the anchor line. Vis was so good you could see it 100ft away. Temp at depth was 46 degrees.

When we were at the surface Phil spotted some sea gull activity and we went to check it out. The birds were attacking a fish on the surface. The fish was a long nosed lancet, which is very rare to see in these waters. There must have been some kind of upswelling, bringing the cold clear water up from the depths as well as this weird fish.

While driving home Susan asked me why I didn’t touch the octopus…… I said because we didn’t have a video camera :-(. Just kidding… the real reason is that we were respectful of the creature, and also scared of what it might do to us!

Go diving while the clear water lasts.

Best Beto
4/30/2006 Pt Lobos by Alberto Nava -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Devin MacKenzie, Alberto Nava
Visibility: 5' - 70' Time:12:00 AM
Temp:   Surge:  
Max Depth: 177FSW Avg Depth:  
Bottom Time:   Total Time:  
Bottom Gases: 18/45Deco Gases:50/25,O2
Backgas Config: Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
Devin and I had reservation for Lobos today. Based on yesterday conditions Lobos was very promising diving. The high tide was a late 2pm so we decided to take it easy and meet the 10:30am caravan going south on Hwy 1. It actually left at about 12:00pm so we had plenty of time to set gear and chat. We got reports of big swells and bad vis at Point Lobos from some of the other divers waiting in the line.

We got to Lobos to find a half empty parking lot and conditions were not that bad. It was murky and muddy on the cove but the outside pinnacles were promising as always. With 4ft swells rolling through the cove. There were tons of seals at the little beach and two or three waiting for divers to jump in.

We headed towards Twin Peaks while enjoy a very nice descent through the kelp forest. Once we got to about 100ft we were reassured that the wait in the line had been worth it. We had at least 50ft of vis and it got better as we headed north-west. We did a couple of loop around Twin Peaks and found several nice simians on the gorgonians. Several rock crabs walking on the side of the clips and several tritona festiva. There were several big schools of blue rockfish at the top of the pinnacle and we found a pretty cool school of Olives on the west side. Visibility was at least 70ft :-)

After 30min of fun we headed back for the Cove and enjoyed the kelp while decompressing.

Here is a little image of the dive.
4/29/2006 Alan's Arch aboard Escapade by Dionna House -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Mark Lloyd, Dionna House
Visibility: 35' - 40' Time:10:00 AM
Temp: 50F - 52F Surge:  
Max Depth: 105FSW Avg Depth: 80FSW
Bottom Time:   Total Time:  
Bottom Gases: 30/30Deco Gases:
Backgas Config: Double HP100Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:

Despite the big swells and threatening conditions, we managed to get around the point and motored South. Topside conditions were cloudy with some drizzle. Seas seemed somewhat tame.

The anchor was dropped at Arch de Trumph. This was a totally new site for me and my dive buddy Mark Lloyd. Funny, how I only heard the name of the site, depth and which direction is the best diving. It just didn’t occur to me there would actually be an arch to dive through. DOH!!! I guess I was just looking for welcome signs on the Arch!!!! Good excuse for a return back to this site!!!

Mark and I dropped down the anchor, then, once we saw the reef at about 80ish feet, we departed the anchor and swam North bound for a bit and then South West. We went over a reef and descended into some canyons at around 100ft. I was just following the paparazzi and keeping tract of how to get back to the anchor line, depth and time. The cameraman was following the stars which were a few interesting crabs posing on some sponges and of course the Nudribranchs. We were visited by big schools of blue rock fish that were checking us out. This is when a wide angle lens would have been great. Once we were close to our planned bottom time, we ascended up as we made our way back to the anchor line. Once we were back on the 80ft reef, we saw John and Clinton and sure enough the anchor line. We made our ascent up the anchor line. There seemed to have been some current. I looked to my buddy and saw he was okay and looked back to the anchor line and could not see it. I was able to see Clinton and John swimming in the direction of the anchor line though and I looked up and saw the shadow of the boat. Ahhh… there it is!!!

Second dive on “The Needle”. While suiting up we were entertained with old songs and tales by John Heimann and his quartet. His current CD is ready to hit the high sales mark soon. Mark and I descended down the anchor line to find a nice wall. After hearing about the anchor moving, no wonder why I couldn’t find that special crack. We followed the wall at 100ft for some time and went back the other direction. We did see a few large lingcods. The visibility on this dive was very enjoyable. We both enjoyed the topography of the site and some wild surge on our ascent.

A lot of fun on the seas. Special thanks to Jim Capwell and crew for the hearty food and their sole purposes. You can talk to Abigail about this one. hehehehe
4/29/2006 Alan's Arch aboard Escapade by Alberto Nava -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Susan Bird, Alberto Nava
Visibility: 15' - 40' Time:9:30 AM
Temp:   Surge:  
Max Depth: 110FSW Avg Depth:  
Bottom Time:   Total Time:  
Bottom Gases: 30/30Deco Gases:
Backgas Config: Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
Well weather had been pretty bad for boat diving in the last couple of months. We have the Escapade for a long range diving south of Point Lobos today and it looked like the weather was going to be a repeat of the rest of the year. There were prediction for 10ft swells, gale force winds and more.

We showed up in the morning to find a calm ocean and a small wind from the south. So we loaded all the gear and headed south. As we approached Yankee point area Jim Capwell was showing everybody his new laminate maps of the area. He stopped for a moment on the map of a dive site called the Arch of Triump. It has been at least 5 years since anybody had dove it on the boat, so we decided to dive it for the first dive of the day. It was not as far south as we wanted to go, but the question was how far south do we want to be when the weather turns to the prediction for the day.

Jim's GPS was perfect for The Arch. The anchor line was on the semi-circular depression just 40 ft from the arch. I've forgotten how cool this arch was. It's probably 50ft across and 40 ft tall. Sue and I took a moment to appreciate it with not divers around. We swam through and Susan went into a small restriction leading to a little chamber. I thought well I have to follow her :-)

On the other side of The Arch we followed a nice wall for 10min. We reached a nice area with tons of gorgonias and quite lot of current. We turned around and headed back. We met with the rest of the divers and hang around the top of the structure for another 10 minutes before heading up the anchor line.

Visibility at the surface was about 10-15ft, and at depth is was better.

We headed back to Stillwater Cove and were giving a very nice soup and sandwiches for lunch.

For the second dive we dove The Needle. A nice pinnacle that goes from 40 ft at the top to about 120 at the base. The moment we reached the pinnacle Susan pointed to me the anchor about to leave the pinnacle. We tried to hook it back but it was not a good idea. Soon after we found Clinton and John, and agreed to forget about the anchor and go diving. Visibility was a phenomenal 70ft and we have to go dive.

Susan and I took our scooters on this dive and enjoyed 30min dives circling the pinnacle. We were able to find the hole on the Needle which is a 6x2 crack in the pinnacle covered with Califonia Sea cucumber. Pretty cool! We looked for the usual GPO in the area and but no luck. There were several big lingcod in the area and very nice hydrocoral also.

After 30min dive we reunited with the other team and head towards the top and for a short deco.

All in all a great day out on the ocean. As they said if you don't go you won't know.

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