BAUE Trip Reports


Older than
Newer than

Newest First
Oldest First


11/21/2005 19SUR aboard Sanctuary by Alberto Nava -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Susan Bird, Alberto Nava
Visibility: 20' - 70' Time:12:00 AM
Temp:   Surge:  
Scooter: Gavin Short Burn Time:  
Max Depth: 180FSW Avg Depth: 160FSW
Bottom Time:   Total Time:  
Bottom Gases: 18/45Deco Gases:50/25,O2
Backgas Config: Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
Yesterday was one of those days when things came together for a very good day of diving. It's rare to have such a good weather towards the end of Nov., but even more unlikely that it coincided with an invitation to dive as remote a location as Big Sur Banks.

Marcos had booked the Sanctuary to go to the banks if the weather was good, or otherwise dive somewhere in Carmel, and he invited Susan and me to join the trip. It was a small group of divers, including Marcos, Denzel and Ken, who have been diving together often practicing for their deep water adventures, and Sue and I with our scooters.

We arrived at the banks about 9am. It was such amazingly good weather that it was difficult to believe. The boat would barely move with some of the small/long period swells. We were blessed by great conditions that got even better as the day progressed. After chatting for a while we headed to our first dive destination, 20SUR. Marcos built a very nice down-line with an integrated current meter so we could get an estimate not only of the current at the surface but also at depth. We deployed the device and it indicated a relatively small current.

Sue and I descended first using the scooters to help out on the way down. Once we got to the base at about 180ft we realized we were a bit off the main pinnacle. Just after descending we saw a lot of vermilions and some big lingcods swimming around. Most of them were not afraid of the divers. While waiting for the swimming team to make it down we started making small trips out to try to find the pinnacle. Once the swimming divers reached the bottom and we verified that everybody was OK, Sue and I headed on out and located the pinnacle. Marcos and his team followed but due to the medium current they were swimming against, by the time they made it to the base of the pinnacle they had to turn back to the up-line.

Sue and I went half way around the pinnacle in one direction and then back to the other side. The pinnacle went all the way up to 120ft but we didn't venture towards the top because it was going to be difficult to meet the swimming team if we ventured too far out. At the base of the pinnacle the hydrocoral colonies started to take on the dimensions common to the area but the really big ones were at the top. The southeast side was by far the most decorated wall of the pinnacle, and seemed positioned to catch the bulk of the current.

We headed back to meet with Marcos and his team and we all had a nice deco using the up-line for most of the dive. We drifted after we had some problems with the current meter device-- it had not been able to hold all the divers in the current. The boat followed us for the rest of the ascent.

Visibility on the first dive was at least 70ft and the temp was a warm 52 degrees.

During the 3hr surface interval we enjoyed the monumental view that the Big Sur Coast offered from 4 miles out. Phenomenal view on a clear, warm, sunny day. We also saw a few sail boats who were using their engines as the wind was so slow it would not push their wings ;-)

For the second dive we went back to the famous 19SUR, which in my opinion is the best diving in the banks. The top of the pinnacle is at 119ft and the base is at about 170-180, but most of the good diving is around the top 140ft and up.

The descent was spectacular. Marcos' team went first and Sue and I followed. There was a huge school of black rockfish and they were attacking the bubbles like it was a big column of food. It was really amazing to see the feeding frenzy. We descended in a spiral pattern while admiring the fish behavior.

Once we reached the bottom we were greeted by all kinds of red rock fish: Vermillion, rosy and the best of all, Two big yellow eye rock fish. I think those are the same ones we saw last year during the BAUE trip, and probably same ones Clinton has on video. We looked at the yellow eyes for a while as well as a big tree fish, and prepared for a spin around the pinnacle. I have wanted to go around this pinnacle since a long time ago and this was the day :-). We started counter-clockwise and soon reached the huge hydrocoral patch area. What a stunningly beautiful sight! These are 2x3 feet hydrocorals, both pink and purple, with all kinds of invertebrates living on them. We continued our loop around the pinnacle and soon came back to Marcos' team. I was astounded at how fast we went around. We repeated our loop at least 3 times at different depths: 160, 140, 120. We were having quite a lot of problems holding the regulators in our mouths as we were smiling so widely …. It was really an incredible panorama with all kinds of colors, fish, & invertebrates. During one of these loops Susan spotted a juvenile yellow eye rockfish. Most of the time they are very difficult to see and when you point your light at them they usually go and hide in a crack. This one let us get close and we hung out with it for a few minutes, then another smaller juvenile elbowed its way in for some attention. Priceless time....

Visibility on the site was poor for the first 80ft but it cleared to 50-70ft at depth. It was considerably darker that the previous dive.

Towards the end of the dive we got close together with Marcos for some photos. He had a brand new system that he was practicing with, and I'm sure he'll post some of the photos.

We concluded the day motoring home while drinking in the myriad colors of a spectacular sunset. Flat seas, contented divers, and time for a nap before we reached the dock... a perfect day on and under the ocean. Big Sur Banks is without doubt the best diving in Northern California and with conditions like yesterday it made for the best diving on the planet :-)

I’m thinking about taking Wed off before the weather turns south…. Go diving!!!!
11/16/2005 Naia Wall aboard Phil Sammet's RIB by Alberto Nava -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Alberto Nava, Susan Bird
Visibility: 30' - 70' Time:10:00 AM
Temp: 50F - 50F Surge: 3'
Scooter: Gavin Short Burn Time:  
Max Depth: 195FSW Avg Depth:  
Bottom Time:   Total Time:  
Bottom Gases: 18/45Deco Gases:50/25,O2
Backgas Config: Double HP120Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
After two weeks of diving FL springs and caves, and some pretty bad weather this past weekend I was able to get some good local diving done today :-)

Susan and I had booked Phil Sammet's boat for a little Lobos escape. We got to Lobos to find a NE wind which produced 1 to 2 feet wind waves and a few feet swell. Also visibility looked quite good at the boat ramp. We could almost see the sand.

We headed out and dove Naia's wall. This site is located west of Sea Lions Rock and should be dive only with very calm seas as the breakers are very close to the site.

We descended to find an amazing 60-70ft visibility at the top of the pinnacle/wall. From there we made a loop on the south side of the pinnacle while looking for the west wall to start out dive. The base of the wall is about 160ft and runs all the way to 240ft on the northest most part of it.

We scootered for a couple of minutes towards an area we have been calling "fish soup". This is a very interested area as the abundant of fish is amazing. Just before we got there Susan spotted a pretty big rat fish. While we looked at the fish for a few minutes the usual "fish soup" situation developed. It's like all the fish on the wall go check out the visitor divers and there bubbles. Within minutes I could count at least 10 vermillion rock fish in front of me. I took a look around and Sue and I were in the middle of a huge school of fish: rock-fish, lingcods, and many others.

After enjoying all the fish we came back to the wall and scootered it back and forth from depth until we got to the top at 60ft. While at the top of the pinnacle we could see a very strong current on top of us (50-40ft). There were all kind of stuff been push by the current: grass, kelp, jellies, etc. I've never seen a visible current like that before...

We joined the travelling train and completed our deco while drifting for at least 1 mile towards the sea.

With dives like this I'm always happy to come back to our cold water diving :-) No video, but here is a little 3d map of the wall Good diving this weekend!!!
10/30/2005 East Pinnacle aboard Escapade by Mark Lloyd -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Mark Lloyd, Suzanne L (Suz) Baird, Dionna House
Visibility:   Time:12:00 AM
Temp:   Surge:  
Max Depth: 83FSW Avg Depth:  
Bottom Time:   Total Time:  
Bottom Gases: EAN32Deco Gases:
Backgas Config: Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
Back on the boat and the sun was shining, gear off, and we were all hungry. Especially Susan who had a crazed look and was mumbling about sandwiches the whole way to the next dive site. As the boat was bouncing over the waves I heard a sound like a bottle hitting another one. As I looked back I could see someone’s argon bottle balanced precariously on the step, ready to drop into the depths below. Mark Weitz jumped into action and grabbed it before it left the boat. Nick thanked him for his quick reaction and apparently some whispering about giving up his first born was heard. Once we arrived at East Pinnacles, the wonderful sandwiches were released and the hordes decended on them. Halloween cupcakes made an entrance, scary ! And that completed our lunch.

Another quick briefing by Jim and we were down again. The visibility seemed even better at this site. Again nice formations of large rocks and kelp floating up. Seems many of us were diving around the same areas and as we past Susan she pointed out a Wolf Eel peeking out from the rocks. After a few more rounds we headed back in the direction of the boat and past a huge rock that was covered in multi colored coral, fantastic! I wish I had my camera down for that one but I’m sure Clinton has some nice footage.

It seemed so short but up the anchor rope we went doing our minimum deco with very little current to bother us. Back on the boat with a dive time of 52 mins at 83 feet. Nice dive!
10/30/2005 Flintstones aboard Escapade by Mark Lloyd -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Mark Lloyd, Suzanne L (Suz) Baird, Dionna House
Visibility:   Time:12:00 AM
Temp:   Surge:  
Max Depth: 116FSW Avg Depth:  
Bottom Time:   Total Time:  
Bottom Gases: 30/30Deco Gases:
Backgas Config: Double Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
Going through my emails on October 21st I saw a post from Clinton about diving from the Escapade on Sunday, October 30th. I thought this would be a great time to do my first boat dive in Monterey and to see what the Escapade was like for future trips. My wife and I made our way down on the Saturday, visited the Aquarium, and generally chilled out, staying at one of the local hotels for the night.

The next morning I arrived around 7:30 at the K dock. I introduced myself to Clinton and a few others who were already there. Shortly after arriving the Escapade came round the corner and docked by the ramp. About 4 or 5 trips down to the boat with all my gear and we were set to leave. Since a few people were sick and had to cancel we had lots of room to move around and sort out our gear. Plus, Jim had a few trays of pastries to snack on as we made our way out.

The weather looked great, not much wind, and the water looked fairly calm. I had no idea where we going but didn’t really care either. The boat left the dock and headed south, as we passed Carmel, about 50 or so dolphins were spotted off the right side. They were jumping out of the water, whizzing around each other, and generally looking like they were having a great time. Slowing down for a few minutes, I took a few pictures then we carried on.

About 15 or so minutes later we stopped in the middle of nowhere and anchored. Captain Jim gave a short description of the dive site, Flintstones, then we started to gear up. Dionna, Suzanne, and I were diving together as a team, all using 30/30 in our doubles. The plan was to drop down on the anchor line, max out at 115 feet with a bottom time of about 20 minutes then do our minimum deco stops back up. As we are about to jump in Dionna’s mask strap had a blow out so she switched to the back up. I clearly remember her asking one of the crew to spit in the mask to make sure it didn’t fog up.

There was some caution as we entered the water as we were told to watch out for the current. As we dropped in we found little if any current then made our way to the anchor line and dropped down. The visibility was quite good, about 30 or so feet, and it didn’t take long to spot the large rock formations ahead. On some of the boulders were large kelp with those small yellow snails. Fish were in abundance but couldn’t make out anything special among the crowd. About 15 or so minutes into the dive Dionna flashed me making windshield wiper motions with her fingers. I could see that her mask was fogged up like the inside of the shower stall. Obviously this was causing her to have some issues with visibility so she called the dive and we slowly made our way back to the anchor line. With the visibility so good we could see all the way up to the top of the boat and with hardly any current, doing our minimum deco was a snap. (continued on next dive)
10/29/2005 Outer Outer Pinnacles aboard Escapade by Dionna House -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Harry Babicka, Paul Lee, Dionna House
Support Team:Mark Weitz
Visibility: 40' - 50' Time:10:30 AM
Temp: 52F - 54F Surge: 2'
Max Depth: 153FSW Avg Depth: 143FSW
Bottom Time:   Total Time:  
Bottom Gases: 18/45Deco Gases:EAN50
Backgas Config: Double HP100Deco Tanks:AL80
Deco Profile:
Great weekend diving with BAUE folks!!! Thanks to the people who organized this whole weekend. Saturday was the tech charter and swells didn’t discourage us from finding some good diving. Sunday was the more extend range of 80ft-120ft.

I buddied up with Harry Babicka and Paul Lee Wang for a dive to 150ft for 25 minutes. We anchored at Lunactico’s. There were 10-12ft swells with a long period and still able to dive. Topside weather was clear skies with some areas of light fog from a distance. After waiting patiently for the Tech 2 teams to make there ascent, we splashed in a kicked to the anchor line for our descent. We descended to 110ft where Harry tied off and started running line down to 150ft. We were instructed to get back to the anchor line and knowing the anchor was in 100ish feet we wanted to make sure that plan was executed. We cruised east along a wall and enjoyed the topography and small little canyons. Visibility was around 40-50feet. There were numerous elephant ear sponges and small gorgonians. Saw several different rock fish that hung around the breathtaking scenery. We went west back to where the tie off was with plenty of time to explore west of the anchor. Deco was very relaxing and enjoyable while viewing several jellies. Mark Weitz, our wonderful support diver, met us at our 70ft stop and hung out with us until we surfaced. Thanks to Harry and Paul for a fun dive.

My second dive was at Outer Pinnacle just north of Lunatico’s. Topside conditions started to become a little overcast with some light fog, swells were 10-12ft. I dove with Mark Weitz. Our plan was to drop down to 100ft and swim around to look into cracks for critters. The site was really surgey and visibility had dramatically decreased from the first dive. We swam north off the anchor line and started looking for different critters. I did see a wolf eel and Mark pointed out a cabezon and a ling cod. We signaled Susan Bird to come look at the wolf eel and I guess the wolf eel became really shy and went back into his/her crack. She had already seen two other wolf eels that dive anyway. There were small little pinnacles that were covered with different color hydrocorals. It was time to head back to the anchor and unfortunately we lost track of the anchor line. This was not the best plan!! I knew we were in the vicinity of the boat. The best plan under the circumstances was to shoot a SMB so the boat crew can track us. I signaled to Mark to shoot his large SMB. As we started our slow ascent on the line with the spool, I noticed the kelp lying flat as we drifted by, that was when I knew we were in for a little ride. Deco was very relaxing as we drifted. We surfaced about 100 yards south of the anchored boat. Shortly after we surfaced we looked around and saw the boat from a distance and thought….. we screwed up!! It wasn’t long before Jim Capwell and his crew came and picked us up. Once on board, people on the boat commented that our big 4.5 feet bag looked small from a distance and thought it would be a good idea to use the big halcyon bag instead of the smaller one. I can't say enough good things about the boat support. It was great dive from an experience stand point of really understanding the importance of getting back to the line under recreational and controlled conditions!!! I hope we don’t repeat this.

10/1/2005 El Paso aboard Escapade by Dionna House -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Harry Babicka, Dionna House, Ian Puleston
Support Team:Clinton Bauder, Mark Weitz
Visibility: 20' - 25' Time:12:00 PM
Temp: 52F - 55F Surge: 1'
Max Depth: 136FSW Avg Depth: 100FSW
Bottom Time:   Total Time:  
Bottom Gases: 21/35Deco Gases:EAN50
Backgas Config: Double LP80Deco Tanks:AL80
Deco Profile:
After struggling all week with a minor cold and staying home from work to recover just to dive, I boarded the Escapade Saturday morning with a fun group of divers. Our favorite Captain Jim told us news that the fog is too thick and we had several options. Option 1: Cancel and save the gas for another day. Option 2: Do 2 recreational dives. Option 3: Go south, evaluate, watch pods of dolphins and possibly dive. All divers were planning on either a Tech 2 or Tech 1 first dive and had brought the gas for this purpose. OPTION 3 was our lucky choice and really made a difference. We motored south and found the dense fog for a good portion of the ride. The fog had opened up on a site slightly north of Mount Chamberlin. Sue, Beto, Martin and Steve(Parker) suited up and went down. Just as they descended, the condition changed to fogged in. The support divers Clinton and Mark got their orders from Captain Jim that this was not going to be a drift dive. The Support divers suited up and went down to meet the T2 teams at the 70ft stop. We Tech 1 divers, Harry Babicka, Ian Puleston and I waited, as the fog got denser and the swells got bigger, I knew we were not going to stay at this site. For the T1 dive team, we motored over to El Paso. A site not dived much. As we descended fighting some current, I notice a slight cold sensation down the front of me. Hmmm. I thought…..just got my drysuit inflator hose O ring changed….. could this be a mix of Argonium in my Argon bottle ;-)…….We got to the top of the reef at 135ft and more cold ocean water was trinkling down the front inside part of my drysuit. I notified one of my buddies Ian to check my inflator hose and all was okay. At the same time, this was happening, Harry was looking for a good rock to tie the line on. Eventually we found some tie off spots and off we went. I thought, I’m getting a little cold and wet and by the time we completed this dive and started up on our deco obligation, I was going to get colder. At that time I signaled Ian for turning the dive and thumbing it. All agreed. During all this, I did happen to see a big school of blue rock fish on the way down. We all saw the big male sheephead. The top of the reef was covered with green colored byrozoan, sponges, and the other usual suspect. The topography was worth seeing and going back to explore more under better thermal circumstances. We got back to the anchor line and made our ascent at about 15 minutes into the dive. All I can think about now is….. We told our support divers that we will see them at 70ft at about 30minutes into the dive….. Now that we were at 30feet and modifying the deco profile, 2 lights appear at a distance. I was hoping they would bring down new thermal undergarments for me or even a heater. We all gave the okay and I signaled to Clinton the universal sign for drysuit failure. We all surfaced and boarded boat. I guess I made a good call. My buddies had there share of leaks as well ;-). I didn’t feel so bad!! Chalk one up for knowing when to thumb a dive!!

Special thanks to our Support divers: Clinton Bauder, Mark Weitz and Kreshmir. They worked exceptionally hard had providing support throughout the tech dive experience.

10/1/2005 Mt Chamberlin - South Wall aboard Escapade by Alberto Nava -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Susan Bird, Alberto Nava
Support Team:Clinton Bauder, Mark Weitz
Visibility: 30' - 60' Time:10:30 AM
Temp: 52F - 49F Surge:  
Max Depth: 196FSW Avg Depth:  
Bottom Time:   Total Time:  
Bottom Gases: 18/45Deco Gases:50/25,O2
Backgas Config: LP80Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
BAUE chartered the Escapade for a tech trip down to Yankee Point Area to to dive the South Wall on Mt. Chamberlin. On our drive to Monterey there was really thick fog and one big accident on 101 heading north. The weather forecast was not the best either with strong wings and medium size swells. So the morning was not looking too promising.

We got to the boat ramp at 8:00am and I was surprised not to see the Escapede at the dock. We chatted for a while and started transporting our gear down to the dock. A few minutes later JimC showed up with his boat and before we started loading gear he said he wanted to talk to us. It was beginning to sound like a no-go. He drove south early in the morning and the fog was really thick all the way to Lobos and Yankee Pt. We discussed the options for the day and after a democratic election and some recalls we decided to go out for a recreational dive and see if the fog would lift. If it did we would go out and do the tech dive as the second dive. Reverse profile ;-)

We were enveloped in a thick fog bank on the ride down to Carmel, but as we neared the Outer Pinnacle we finally started to see the coast-line :-). By the time we got to Lobos the fog was high in the sky and the swells were minimal so we headed for Yankee Point. We started seeing pods of Risso dolphins as we rode further south. Once we got to Mt Chamberlin there were two fishing boats, one big and one small, working the exact location of the wall where we'd hoped to dive. I guess it's not that big a secret after all ;-). The big fishing boat was not anchored and it had a lot of fishing lines hanging off of it. We decided it was not a good idea to put divers in the water with fog and a live fishing boat so we called the dive and headed towards the back side of Lobos to dive El Paso. As we moved on to Lobos we looked back at the area we wanted to dive, and to our surprise we saw the big boat moving away :-). We watched for a few minutes and headed back to the vacant dive site :-). (Vacant except for the small pod of Rissos hanging out there.)

Martin and Parker, and Sue and myself were in the first group. We had selected the descent location at the north end of a small canyon that starts at the base of the wall and runs north from there. As we reached the anchor line at about 170ft we saw the canyon, and visibility was about 50ft with quite a lot of light getting down there :-). Jack pot!!!! Sometimes it pays not to give up .....

Susan's team headed south toward the wall and half way there we found a very nice swim through, maybe 40ft long. The swim through had all kinds of invertebrates on it, including some really nice deep water polyqueta worms. As we reached the end of the swim thru it went up and out over a nice window shaped structure.

We swam to the start of the wall and looked down from about 200ft. It went down another 40-50ft. There were all kind of rockfish on the wall including some really big vermillion and some black colored lincods. The only other ones I've seen that color were at the Farallons. We also saw some shoe-size white nudribranches.

After a way too short time we headed back and met Martin and Parker at the anchor-line and called the dive.

At 70ft stop we meet Clinton and MarkW who were doing support for us and enjoyed all the jellies and blue rockfish in the water for the rest of our deco.

No cameras on this dive :-(, but you can have a look at the little 3d view of the wall.

The second dive was at Butterfly House where visibility was variable btwn 0-20ft. It's amazing how different the water conditions were from Yankee Pont to Carmel. Susan found a nice big wolf eel :-), and there were some really nice hydrocorals. We spent quite a lot of time looking at stiletto shrimps inside them and some baby sculpins.

As one of the founders use to say used ..... 'Grand day out'!
9/30/2005 McAbee by David Macheel -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: chris goff
Visibility: 5' - 20' Time:11:40 AM
Temp: 52F Surge:  
Max Depth: 45FSW Avg Depth: 40FSW
Bottom Time:   Total Time:  
Bottom Gases: EAN32Deco Gases:
Backgas Config: Single LP95Deco Tanks:
Deco Profile:
After a long layoff due to a root canal(what fun..)my usual buddy and myself hit McAbee for a easy dive. viz very soupy in the shallows, but at the outer edge of the rock fields around 45 ft things opened up nicely.Lots of nice big anemones on the rocks here, big sheep crabs, and we were followed by a harbor seal for about 20 minutes..good stuff.Nothing deep or fancy, but a great day in Monterey!
9/18/2005 The Pit by Devin MacKenzie -- [View this report only]
Bottom Team: Devin MacKenzie, John Heimann
Visibility: 10' - 50' Time:10:00 AM
Temp:   Surge: 6'
Scooter: Gavin Long Burn Time:  
Max Depth: 190FSW Avg Depth: 140FSW
Bottom Time:   Total Time:  
Bottom Gases: 18/45Deco Gases:EAN50,O2
Backgas Config: Double LP104Deco Tanks:AL40,AL80
Deco Profile:
It took us ~12-15 minutes from pulling the trigger outside the cove to reach the edge of the pit heading ~320 across the sand. We were in around 190' and the pit was sloping off at a high angle. Vis was good deep and I could see off to say around ~230 depths. The bottom was still smooth but there were long trails of dark organic material along the bottom that looked like were going in to our out of the pit. I could not see any other features, but we were just at the start. We returned picking up some of the reef from the Montana run to our left.

Previous   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   14   15   16   17   18   19   20   21   22   23   24   25   26   27   28   29   30   31   32   33   34   35   36   37   38   39   40   41   42   43   44   45   46   47   48   49   50   51   52   53   54   Next