The Dive Log Back to current log
A running list of dives, beginning in late May, 2007 (now at the bottom.) At the time, dive total was somewhere around 700 dives.
Changed on 10-1-07 to put new dives at the top (i.e. inverted the log file.)
I anticipate starting a new log as the year rolls over.
[Missed a few dive trips, primarily due to laziness. Latter of the year was somewhat sparse as storms rolled through the area, making diving impossible.]
Sunday, 9-30: 2 dives, with Kirk on my boat, and Jeff on his.
Leaving the harbor, came across a diver on the surface in the worst possible place he could be in (a spot where any boat entering or leaving the harbor would run over him.) Picked him up (after a little coaxing) so he wouldn't become soup, and gave him a ride back to the ramp.
Jeff was trying out his new Pinnacle Drysuit and didn't want witnesses, so we ended up diving roughly the same area but with substantial separation. Too bad - I was hoping to see him stuck upside-down with fully inflated feet.
Dive 1: The same area inshore of Aumentos as on Sept 9.
Nice dive, with great topography, in about 20, maybe 25 foot vis. A little surgy for shooting pics (using the backup camera in the repaired housing.) Distinct lack of fish and slugs. Kirk had a mask that had incorrectly reassembled after some lens work, so spent the entire dive with a flooded mask. 54 feet, 44 minutes, 57 degrees.
Watched a sea lion play frisbee with a mola after the dive. Still not sure why they seem to play with them, though we did see one large bull eating flesh torn from the mola.
Dive 2: Steam Engine:
Dropped down to find the anchor dragging due to the flukes packing up with kelp. Cleared, reset, and continued. Not many slugs on the ledge (unusual) but quite a few on the rocks out in the sand. Not a lot of fish. No octopus. 83 feet, 37 minutes, 54 degrees, with a little bit of a deco obligation.
Saturday, 9-29: 2 dives with Trevor at Anchor 5, and some spot on Tankers Reef. No camera.
Dive 1: Anchor 5: Dropped in to surprisingly good vis (considering the reports) - 20 to 25 feet or so. Nothing real special, other than some really huge Archidoris montereyensis slugs. 65 feet, 46 minutes, 55 degrees.
On the Surface Interval, saw Carol's boat anchored in the Original Anchor Farm area. Since Larry has a gimpy arm (torn rotator cuff; surgery impending), decided to hang out and have Trevor help get gear on-board and pull their hook. A small inflatable motored up and apparently dropped their hook on a site occupied by another boat anchored nearby, missing a diver by about 10 feet. Carol and Larry surfaced a bit after that, and I transferred Trevor to their boat.
Dive 2: Random spot on Tankers Reef: Trevor wanted shallow, so we did. Mistake. 5 to 7 foot vis, milky, cloudy, and dark. Surface conditions were windy and choppy. May have been a bit of surface current, masked by the wind. Plus, the hook ended up in the middle of a large sand patch, making for an initially boring dive. Took a while to find some actual rock. Once we did, it ended up being a nice, if very limited vis, dive. Despite the 5 foot vis, you could see moon jellies from further than that, giving the place a science fiction feel. During a blue-water safety stop, I came up to get a bearing to the boat, and upon descending to get Trevor, landed on a harbor seal who was getting ready to chew on Trevor's gear. I think I spoiled his fun. 45 feet, 41 minutes, 55 degrees.
While packing up, MFD and CG scrambled boats, and several other emergency vehicles responded to the Cannery Row area. Apparently, a couple had hopped in near Lovers Point for a dive, without anchoring their boat. Upon surfacing, their boat was gone (surprise, surprise.) They tried to swim to shore, but tired crossing the kelp, and eventually were noticed by someone on shore, who initiated the emergency response. Couple was picked up by the MFD boat near the Aquarium, and the CG put a couple of crew members onto the wayward RIB near the Breakwater wall. They were able to start the boat and return it to the ramp. Odd situation. Odd day, all in all.
Sept 14-21: Hawaii trip (Kona.) 8 dives with Sandwich Isle Divers, 2 dives with Tim Ewing off his personal boat. No pics. Sorry.
Saturday and Sunday, 9-8, 9: 4 dives over 2 days
Delayed writing this up from depression over flooding the camera. Have backups for everything that was damaged (camera and electronics board in the housing), but now have to obtain a new spare camera (which might be tough.)
Sat dives solo at the Steam Engine and Shale Island; 83 feet for 32 minutes in 57 degrees, and 65 feet for 31 minutes in 55 degrees, respectively. No idea what I saw, other than a torpedo ray at the Steam Engine.
Sun dives with Winnie, Rachel, and Steve on my boat, and Jeff with Kirk on his. Dive 1: 39 feet, 36 minutes 57 degrees. Dive 2:53 feet, 37 minutes, 55 degrees. Don't remember where we did the first dive (Shale Island?), but I do remember finding the camera flooded after hopping in. Jeff found a weight pouch. Dive 2 was at a random site inshore from Aumentos. Kathy couldn't get off the surface; turns out she had dropped a weight pouch. Three of us spent most of the dive searching for it, as it turns out, it was the pouch Jeff had found on dive 1.
Pics from Saturday ended up being salvageable, if somewhat less than stellar.
Sunday, 8-26: 2 dives and a whale watching trip, all solo
Dive 1: Headed out to the Mating Amtracks, since I was diving alone and I
rarely get to dive the tracks by myself. Unfortunately, after I anchored, there
was a bit more surface current than I like while solo diving, and there were no
other dive boats in sight (just in case), so I pulled the hook and retreated
back towards Breakwater. Decided on the Steam Engine, for no particular reason.
Top layer was stringy snotty stuff, clearing at the bottom to about 30 foot vis.
Flatworm city, with Euryleptas all over the place. Several mating Doriopsilla
groups (randy little buggers), the normal spanish shawls, tritonias, clowns,
Peltodoris, etc. One small lingcod, and just a few rockfish. Swam out to the
propeller, and swam back. Stopped to say Hi to the Fringehead-in-the-pipe, then
headed back up. 82 feet, 31 minutes, 50 degrees.
After sitting on the hook for a bit, decided to head out to Moss Landing to see if there was any whale action going on. Nice smooth run out, with a few dolphins as I neared Moss (though they wouldn't stay on one course, and seemed to be spread out all over the place making random turns, so I never got very close.) Passed the harbor mouth to the north side, and had a humpback surface about 50 yds in front of the boat. It blew a couple of times, rounded out, and disappeared. The whale resurfaced a few hundred yards away after about 5 minutes, and I figured out that the whalewatching radio chatter going on was a group of kayakers who were whale watching as well. Watched the whale ("watched for it" would probably be more accurate) for about a half hour, with maybe a half dozen sightings (including one couple-minute period where he stayed surfaced, back exposed, taking about 6 or 8 breaths, before sounding again), then headed back to Breakwater. Wind had picked up a bit, with slight whitecapping, but it was still a smooth and pleasant run.
Dive 2: Shale Island/Anchor 5
Stopped short of Breakwater to do one more dive before heading home. Dove around Anchor 5 in the same pesky current conditions as yesterday's second dive. Except that I spent most of the dive slightly down- or cross-current, so no drift this time. Nothing really unusual (not from a lack of looking, either. My camera batteries died after a couple of shots, freeing me up to poke around a bit more than usual.)
57 feet, 34 minutes, 50 degrees, snotty 20 foot vis.
At the ramp, found that the third boat from yesterday's second dive had had a bit of an incident: apparently one of the divers had a rapid ascent from about 50 feet, and dragged another diver with them. I donated my O2 for the second (the first was on the way to the hospital complaining of lightheadedness and other symptoms), who said her arm was feeling numb. For some reason, she refused to stay on the O2, repeatedly having to be told to get back on it. They also seemed to take their time departing to take her to to the hospital. I don't think either diver will turn out to have much of an issue (certainly hope not), but I think overreacting in these circumstances is much better than underreacting. Maybe it's just me.
Saturday, 8-25: 2 dives, with Larry and Carol (and almost a boatload of others)
Arrived at Breakwater at around 10, to a nearly full lot (actually, there
were about ten open double spaces, but mal-parked trailers and motor homes made
most of the spots inaccessible.
Managed to squeeze into one, prepped the boat, launched, and headed out for a dive somewhere. Conditions within the bay were flat enough that I could firewall the throttle and sit back and cruise, so I did. I considered stopping up near Pt Pinos, but it looked so smooth going south that I just kept going. Started seeing moon jellies around Pt Joe, but decided to see what lay further down, so I kept going. Eventually found Larry and Tom on the Pinnacles, and chatted with them for a while. Carol arrived a bit later, having been down unsnagging the anchor (not that it worked.)
Since I hadn't yet gotten a decent image of a moon jelly, I wanted to head back north and see what I could shoot, and Larry and Carol were nice enough to keep me company (once they got their anchor back on board...)
So, dropped the hook at some random jelly-infested location near Pt Joe, and Larry and I hopped in to shoot some pics. The jellies sort of disappeared after a bit, so I dropped to the bottom to see what we had anchored in; the topography sort of reminded me of Hopkins Deep. Boulders separated by sand channels. Not many fish, a few slugs, a lot of kelp. Oddly, olive rockfish outnumbered the blues by a large margin here. Never seen that before, that I can recall. Still not sure if I got my moon jelly image. 72 feet, 20 minutes, 54 degrees. Vis at the bottom was in the 30 foot range.
Back to the ramp for a SI, where we heard about a diver who had been "run" by a white shark. They were kind of miffed that nobody took them seriously at first, and when they did, nobody really cared. C'est la vie.
Dive 2: Anchor 1 area:
Carol navigated us to a spot where she said she had found nice relief on the shale; turns out the site she had marked was about, oh, 20 or 30 feet away from what I have marked as Anchor 1. Her anchor ended up just about on the long chain that points the way from my waypoint to the actual anchor. A third boat appeared to ready to anchor near us, before moving shoreward about 150 or 200 yds. We descended before they had dropped the hook, I think. Snotty green at the top, clearing a bit as we descended. Checked my anchor, which was out on the flats, but set up OK. Swam past Larry and Carol's hook, which was right on the ledge. There was a surprisingly tenacious current blowing along the ledge; just enough that, while you could swim against it, it was impossible to position your body the way you wanted to shoot a picture. PITA. It did, however, make for a nice little drift back to my anchor. I didn't see an octopus that Carol says she saw, but she swears it was there. Sure, Carol... Lots of slugs, though, and all the usual shale critters. No shark. I did find a large mermaid's purse which had either fallen prey to something or hatched out. I think these things are taking the place of the octopus which 'til recently I'd been seeing on every dive. 78 feet, 32 minutes, 50 degrees in about 30 foot vis with chunky stuff blowing past. The third boat ended up behind us, apparently a result of not hooking up on the bottom, followed by hooking up too well. The skipper dove to clear it, and lost it, and the boat would have gotten away from him (not too bad, as there were people on-board) had it not hit Carol's boat and stopped (I think the boat went to one side and the buoyed anchor to the other, and they sort of hung up on her anchor rode.)
Sunday, 8-19: One dive, solo, at some structure just outside of Lighthouse Cut off Pt. Pinos.
Dive 1: Calm conditions made the point diveable (or rather comfortably diveable); the run out to the point was one of the firewall the throttle and cruise deals. Unfortunately, the calm topside hid the crappy subsurface conditions. 20 foot vis and surgy underwater. Tried to find some Rostangas, was unsuccessful. In truth, I didn't see much other than a kelp greenling, but the site has promise as it's really pretty, and has a fairly interesting topography. Big boulder-like pinnaclish things from about 60 to the 35-40 foot range. 53 feet, 33 minutes, 52 degrees (felt colder, as I opened up another seam on the drysuit.) Did manage to get a couple of keeper kelp shots; nothing really special though.
Pulled the boat to get to a barbecue that was planned for that afternoon; found out it was cancelled just after tying the boat to the trailer. Figures.
Saturday, 8-18: 2 dives, solo; one at Shale Island, one at the Barge
Headed down after hearing reports of halibut limits being taken the week before; after arriving heard from several people who had been out and seen nothing, so shot pictures instead.
Dive 1: Shale Island, east end. Halfhearted search for the strobe. Nothing really of note except for a Doriopsilla albopunctata just after laying eggs on a swell shark egg case. A few umbrella crabs, other slugs; that was about it. Vis was a hazy 30, with occasional clouds of krill dropping it to less than 10. 62 feet, 36 minutes, 55 degrees.
Dive 2: The Barge. Forgot to take my watch (which I use for dive stats when writing this stuff up on the PC), so no definitive dive info (though I do have it on my primary dive computer.) Green and hazy 20 to 25 foot vis, and dark enough to need a dive light for anything more than about 10 feet away. Two decent size Lingcod, a Rainbow nudi, a couple of big-ass sheep crabs, and an army of Black Eyed Hermit crabs. The kelp rockfish at the south end seem to be getting larger and braver, which probably bodes ill for them. Kept looking for Armina nudibranchs, since my pictures of them are pretty crappy, but didn't find any. Somewhere around 65 feet for somewhere around 45 or 50 minutes. No clue on temp.
Sunday, 7-29: 2 dives: Shale Island with Kirk, and Carol solo on her boat; and the Steam Engine with Jeff, Kirk, and Carol (3 boats.)
Dive 1: Continuing search for the strobe. Unsuccessful again. Managed to get way lost when my compass started acting a little wacko (at least, I think it did.) 61 feet, 29 minutes, 50 degrees.
Dive 2: Steam Engine. Lots of slugs, and an octopus trying to be part of a fishing net. Flatworm city. 82 feet, 29 minutes, 48 degrees. 20 to 25 feet of really dark vis under a thick (20 foot) greenish-brown layer that cut vis to less than 5 feet. Nice dive, considering it was the first chance to actually take pictures. Didn't get much, though.
Saturday, 7-28: 2 dives, Anchors 2&3, Eric's Pinnacle (almost) with Chris and Holly.
Late start, and rather than dive solo, opted to offer a ride to Chris and Holly, a couple of ex-students of Jeff C.
Dive 1: Dropped the hook nearly directly on Anchors 2&3. Top 7 feet or so was clear, the next 10 was limited to about 3 foot vis. Cleared to 25-30 at depth. One small Hermissenda on the fluted bryozoan, all the usual slugs about. Two vermilion rockfish (residents of the chain pile, I think), a few skittish greenlings, and that was about it. 84 feet, 24 minutes, 48 degrees.
Dive 2: Eric's Pinnacle, except that we never found the main pinnacle. Dont know why; we dropped the hook upwind and right next to the pinnacle according to the sonar. All the normal encrusting stuff, and quite a few rockfish. A couple of the gophers were especially curious. Called the dive when the couple motored off to an adjacent rock; figured they wouldn't find their way back. I was wrong. 57 feet, 25 minutes, 52 degrees.
Dive 3: Night dive on Shale Island with Carol on my boat, and Jeff and Kirk on Jeff's.
Spent most of the dive searching for a strobe that I dropped; never found it. As a result, I didn't see all that much, except for a couple of small octopi, and the largest San Diego dorid I've ever seen. Did a short bounce dive to continue the search, but that was pretty useless as well. 63 feet, 23 minutes, 54 degrees; and 63 feet, 9 minutes, 57 degrees (suspect the watch never equalized.) Impressive bioluminescence on the safety stop, a bit less than impressive at depth.
Sunday, 7-15: 2 dives: Solo at Anchor 5, and Anchor 5 again with Mike and Sirena.
Dive 1: Shale Island, solo. Nice dive in about 30 foot vis (a green hazy 30
feet.) Lots of mating slugs. Saw what I thought was a new-to-me slug, but
decided it was a Cadlina luteomarginata that was on the move (all the others
I've seen pretty much just sit there.) Upon reviewing the pics, though, it
appears it was an Acanthodoris hudsoni, which I don't think I had seen before
(If I have, I don't remember it.) Found a smallish red octopus that didn't seem
to mind having his pic taken, but would not pose for anything even remotely
attractive. 61 feet, 47 minutes, 52 degrees. Surfaced to find myself looking at
about 40 or 50 sails. Sneaky little buggers, those blowboaters. Nice day for it,
though, I guess. And the sail colors were quite pretty.
Dive 2: An instructor friend had a drysuit student, so I offered them a ride. Ended up back at the Anchor 5. Just to make it so they never believe me again, the vis had closed down from my reported 30 feet to about 20 or so. Found a couple of swell shark egg cases near Anchor 5, but could only make out a yolk inside. Found what I thought was some kind of arrow crab lookalike, but on reviewing the pics (roughly) it looks like it was probably some kind of decorating kelp crab with some coralline algae as an arrow crab costume. Little early for Halloween, but then again, crabs probably can't read calendars. 57 feet, 36 minutes, 52 degrees. The drysuit student did quite well, and enjoyed the location.
Saturday, 7-14: Shop trip to Pt Lobos. Launched out of Breakwater at about 9:15
(so much for an early start), arrived at Lobos about 10am. Nice high speed run
in fog pretty much all the way down.
Dive 1: Great Pinnacle. Other diver: Holly, James, Sandra, Gene, and some guy I don't remember (Ivan?) Other boats: Chuck with 3 other divers on Black Dog, and Carol and Larry with 3 others on XT Sea (finally named the boat.)
Sent my other 5 divers over to descend Chuck's line, as he was anchored in a
known location. I dropped down to check my hook, and stayed pretty much nearby,
wherever that was (I was anchored off the pinnacle proper to avoid fouling
Chuck's anchor. I ended up on some sub-pinnacle. I did see a couple of other
divers wander over to where I was; not sure why, or even how.) Aside from a
relatively large vermilion rockfish, I didn't see anything all that unusual. I
did however, nearly run myself into deco, as I was much deeper than I thought I
was while looking for photo subjects ("How can I only have nine minutes left? I
just got here. Oh. 100 feet and change. Yeah, that would explain it.") Nice vis;
I'd put it at "over 40"; Chuck reported over 50, I think. Dive turned out to be
106 feet for 27 minutes, 52 degrees.
Dive 2: Chuck dropped his hook, himself, and his divers on the whalebones; Carol and I headed for Thumbs Up. Had a hell of a time finding the top of the pinnacle to judge where drop the anchor (actually, I don't think I ever did. I just dropped the hook near it.) Again, I don't think I saw anything all that unusual; one Dendronotus albus, and all the common stuff. I did have a gopher rockfish that really wanted his close-up; the guy wouldn't let me get far enough away to take a portrait. 91 feet for 35 minutes, 55 degrees. Vis was again, at or above 40.
Rough ride coming back north to Breakwater; breaking waves (not white caps, actual breaking swell) near Yankee Point.
Friday, 7-13: Night dive on the Barge with Steve
Spent most of the day working on the yard and various things on the boat (a couple of them even successfully)
Dove the Barge after hearing reports of 15 to 25 off the beach at Breakwater; fog prevented us from doing most other sites (Shale Island would have been doable, but I think the deep shale would have been pushing it.)
Bottom line: about 10 foot vis, a toasty 55 degrees. The most unusual sight was a fairly large (maybe 4" or so?) sea mouse, which makes it the second I've seen, and about 10 times bigger than the last one. A couple of rainbow nudis, don't really remember anything else that sticks out in my memory. 69 feet for 33 minutes.
Sunday, 7-1: 2 dives: first at Hopkins Deep with Miguel, Dave, and Mike, second at the Steam Engine with Dave, John, and Kirk.
Dive 1: Dave suggested Hopkins Deep. Dropped the hook at a spot I had marked before, and anticipated poor vis. I was wrong, as we had 25 to 30 feet if you got away from the silt cloud that everyone else put up. Don't remember much about this dive, except having to dodge sea nettles on the safety stop in about a foot and a half of visibility. 84 feet, 34 minutes, 46 degrees.
Dive 2: Out to the Steam Engine. Top layer still thick and brown; cleared to about 20 to 30 at the bottom. The one-spot fringehead appears to be doing well. Dave found and pointed out an octopus, which turned out to be 2 of them (one left as I was getting the camera set up.) Mating? Dunno. Found one Tochni (Tochuina tetraquetra) out in the rubble. Just before I hit my NDL, I found a new-to-me slug, which upon inspection of the pictures turns out to be Conualevia alba. Chuck, upon seeing my post, pointed out that its presence in Monterey is a slight range extension. Clinton suggested a message to Dave Behrens and Alicia Hermosillo to see if that's true. 82 feet, 34 minutes, 48 degrees.
Saturday, 6-30. One dive at Aumentos with Winnie and Rachel, and one at the Barge with Pat
Dive 1: Reports of near zero vis at Breakwater, and a report of 5 to 10 on the shale, and Kyle's report of 10 at Eric's Pinnacle (thanks, Kyle), so Winnie, Rachel and I headed for Aumentos Reef. A little rough on the surface (though better than the day before, I'd say), and brown-looking water didn't bode too well for the U/W conditions. But, since we were there... Left the camera on the boat since I had one new diver and one not-too-experienced and unknown diver. Pleasantly surprised upon descending: vis a solid 25, ranging to probably over 30 in places. Unfortunately, it turned out to be a scenic dive rather than a critter dive. A few rockfish out and about, and the usual inverts (but very few slugs), other than that it was pretty much a swim-around-and-look-at-the-rocks dive. The less-than-experienced dive buddies did a pretty commendable job of diving (especially when you consider that, for one of them, this was the first dive after OW, I think, and it was several months after OW.) Surfaced to raves about the site. 61 feet, 26 minutes, 50 degrees.
Dive 2 was supposed to be with Torie at Ballbuster, but she got violently seasick after we dropped the hook (not supposed to tell you that, apparently), so we called the dive before getting in the water.
Dive 2: Pat and I did a quick dive on the Barge. Left the camera on-board due to rotten visibility reports, which was a mistake since vis was OK, but was OK since we didn't see anything special. A couple of rainbow nudibranchs, a bunch of kelp rockfish, and all the usual encrusting stuff. Vis was a solid 20 to 25 feet (if somewhat dark.) Pat called the dive after about a half hour due to being cold, which was fine since I was freezing. 66 feet, 32 minute, 48 degrees.
Friday, 6-29: Solo dive, Anchor 4.
Had to kill some time in the early afternoon to let the fog burn off (was a solid wall stretching between about Hopkins and the Sand Plant.) Rocking and rolling in short interval 2 to 3 foot swell. Moderate capping on the steep waves. Checked the distance from the anchor to where I was hanging on the hook to make sure the boat was hooked up, the got geared up. In the water about 4pm. Dropped into soup. Descended through soup. At the bottom, found the anchor securely wedged under a large shelf of shale, which would not have released. Freed it, and reset it for easy retrieval. Vis was about 8 to 10, and really dark. Hazy water, and a bit on the chunky side. Was looking for new and/or unusual slugs, but didn't really see much along those lines. Working along the chain up on top of the shelf, I found a small juvenile wolf eel doing something of a garden eel impression. Cute little guy, but seemed a bit shy. Continued along the chain, saw nothing interesting, so returned to the shelf. A softball sized octopus decided to check me out (first view was the thing flaring as it dropped into view about a foot in front of me.) He posed a couple of times, I took a few shots, then it was time to head up. Looked at where the anchor was (I thought), and it was gone. Wasn't too worried, as I had a bunch of scope out, and the anchor would have dragging into the shale ledges. I swam a little ways in the direction the anchor had been hanging, but didn't see it. Blue water ascent to locate the boat, and came up within about 30 feet of it. A recheck of the boats' position showed that it hadn't moved; I just didn't see the anchor at the bottom. 86 feet, 24 minutes. 48 degrees.
No dive 2 due to lack of visibility and a general slothlike attitude.
Monday 6-25: One dive in what appeared to be Buckhorn Cove (from the marine charts) a couple of miles north of Albion with Steve. Vis a good fifteen to twenty feet, surgy, and shallow. We were diving the area where we had collected abs the prior two days. Surprisingly, there were many large abalone well within reach of my meager free-diving skills; I guess all you had to do was find them. Spotted another small (2-3 inch) longfin sculpin (Jordania zonope) on a rock; that's the second one I've seen (the first was at Butterfly House in Carmel.) 32 feet, 30 minutes, 46 degrees (and felt like it.)
Sunday 6-24: Ab diving north of Albion CA.
Saturday 6-23: Ab diving north of Albion CA.
Sunday, 6-17: One dive, sort of with Jeff and 2 AOW students, somewhere out
on the shale near the jetski buoy off the Beach Hotel.
Decided that it was going to be too surgy for pics, so I left the camera on board. Dropped into soup that never cleared. Vis at the bottom 10 max, less near the students or whenever green stuff moved in. Was right about the surge, so the no camera call was correct. Still, I saw about 8 or 10 different species of slugs, two vermilion rockfish, a treefish, a good sized ling, 2 smaller lings, and chased a striped perch around a bit (seemed to like it, as it kept coming back.) No jellies at all. 69 feet, 24 minutes, 52 degrees. Hoping that water temps will hit like 80's by the time I'm back in Monterey in a couple of weeks (yeah, right.)
Saturday 6-16: 2 dives with Larry and Carol on their boat, night dive with
Marcos and Ken.
Dive 1: Steam Engine. Same murk on top as Friday, only this time it didn't clear til just about the bottom (and then, only slightly. Jellies still out in force. Vis had closed down to, what, 15 to 20 feet (mostly 15.) Can't remember if I saw anything or not. I'm thinking not. 83 feet, 31 minutes, 48 degrees (maybe my Mosquito's thermometer is stuck.)
Dive 2: Eric's Pinnacle. Barely noticeable surface current getting in. Didn't really see anything special except a good sized cabezon (semi-cooperative in the posing department.) Vis maybe 30, and reasonably surgy. 53 feet, 33 minutes, and really cold despite reading (you guessed it) 48. Current picked up from barely noticeable to non-ignorable while we were down. Carol's anchor hung up (wait; it's Carol's boat, so it was probably Larry's anchor that got stuck); while they worked on freeing it, another small inflatable came up. They anchored off the pinnacle (no GPS, I think), and swam in the wrong direction for Eric's. They surfaced well out towards shore, so I escorted them back in case any boat traffic showed up (it didn't.) While that was going on, noticed another pair of divers well off the Escapade (I think it was.) Motored over to make sure they were OK, got an OK back, so left them to swim it.
Long SI waiting for dark, since Marcos, Ken and I had semi-arranged a night dive on the shale.
Dive 3: Steam Engine, night. Marcos and Ken were scootering, I was shooting pics. Vis sucked, probably worse than it had in the morning. And this time, you couldn't see the jellies coming. Got hit pretty good on the safety stop (forehead and upper lip; amazed I made it that long without getting stung.) Looking up and seeing the jellies all over the place at night was really awesome (picture the hunter-killer thingies in the Matrix, circling around...) Safety stop must have been in really crappy vis; could barely read my gauges. Phosphorescence was really intense though; enough to be disorienting if you moved your head. Despite the really crappy conditions, I had a good time; Marcos and Ken are really fun to dive with, even if they did motor off somewhere. 84 feet, 32 minutes, 50 degrees (huh?)
Friday 6-15: 2 dives, one on and one at the Steam Engine; both solo
Dive 1: Windy was the order of the day. Dropped into soup (Vis less than 5 ft), and was met by a barrage of sea nettles. Soup cleared (sort of; maybe 20 ft) at about 30 feet, so I tried to get a couple of shots of the nettles. Dragging the anchor line around didn't work too well, so I dropped it and tried to get some blue-water (or green water, as the case may be) shots. Semi-successful, I think. I did manage to lose the anchor line, though, but once at the bottom, was able to just make out the metridium on the prop hub, and just make out the anchor line as it crossed the last shelf. I figure vis at the bottom at about 50 feet. Started searching for different slugs, while shooting inverts for a project, but didn't find anything but the usual characters. 82 feet, 27 minutes, 48 degrees.
Dive 2: Decided to try and get some better shots of the sea nettles and egg yolk jellies, but the sea nettles decided to stay primarily within the murky layer, and the egg-yolks decided to be uncooperative and assumed nothing but really unattractive poses. Might have gotten a couple of okay shots (depending on my backscatter control, which is virtually non-existent); we'll see when I get them on the computer. Highlight of the dive was the appearance, at the edge of visibility, of about 50 to a hundred tiny fish-like shapes. They slowly worked in closer, and turned out to be market squid (I assume.) They never got close enough for a pic, but once or twice one strayed close enough to see flashes of color, mostly greens and blues. 72 feet, 34 avg depth, 29 minutes, 48 degrees. Wind was howling when I came back up.
Got flagged down by 2 couples on kayaks (well, technically, one couple on a kayak, the other couple in the water.) Turned out to be the daughter and son-in-law still boating, Mom and Dad swimming (holding on to the yaks, though.) Mom's PFD kept slipping up over her head, which would have been pretty funny if it hadn't been damned dangerous. Got Mom and Dad on board (worth the price of having the dive ladder installed right there; probably never would have gotten them up over the tubes), then went to deal with the other couple who seemed to be flagging trying to tow the second yak back. Got them on board, pulled the kayaks up crosswise on the tubes, and ran them all back in to Del Monte Beach. The Lifeguard there watched the drop from the comfort of his truck.
On return to Breakwater, was surprised to see the nettles all over the harbor. Didn't notice them on the way out (which says something for my powers of observation, I guess.)
June 3, 2007: 2 dives, 5 divers on 2 boats for Dive 1 (sort of); solo for Dive 2.
Dive 1: Ballbuster. 1/2 knot surface current pre-dive, rising to about a knot or more post dive. One diver had a mask fall apart and aborted after entering the water. Another had a computer problem at depth and that buddy pair aborted shortly after descending. Group of three Flabellina trilineata crawling over some Chestnut Cowries. A couple of egg-yolk jellies drifted past too fast to shoot. 99 feet, 27 minutes, 50 degrees that felt more like 45. Vis about 40 feet.
Dive 2: Solo dive near and on the Barge. Went out on the sand to see what I could find, using the Barge as a reference. Nothing special in the sand; I think I have to dive out in the flats away from any structure to get the environment I wanted on this one. Retreated back near the Barge, found some Dendronotus iris (three of the red variation, one of the grey/orange) cruising around doing slug stuff, including one climbing a tube anemone (no feeding action; the anemone had sucked in already.) A Hermissenda crassicornis doing a Dendronotus impression on a tube worm; a couple of Kellet's Whelks laying eggs. Missed a good shot of a calmer-than-usual kelp greenling sitting on the wreck (noticed it late.) An elbow crab or two, and that was about it. 66 feet, 41 minutes, 48 degrees.
June 2, 2007: 2 dives, 5 divers on 2 boats (Larry and Carol on theirs; David and Joel on mine)
Dive 1: Ballbuster. 30 to 35 foot vis, slight current, slight surge. Current rose throughout the dive. Nothing unusual. 105 feet, 29 minutes, 48 degrees.
Dive 2: Original Anchor Farm. The area is just as good a dive as it used to be when the anchors were there. Lots of slugs (from memory: Flabellina iodinea, Anisodoris nobilis, Cadlina flavomaculata, Dialula sandiegensis, Hermissenda crassicornis, Doriopsilla albopuctata, Triopha catalinae, Tritonia festiva, Cadlina luteomarginata, and a Tochuina tetraquetra. Not too bad for a single dive.) Not too many fish out. 82 feet, 34 minutes, 50 degrees.
May 28, 2007: 2 dives: 5 divers on 2 boats (Larry and Carol on their boat, and Gene and Sandra on mine)
Dive 1: Ballbuster. 35 to 40 foot vis. Nothing unusual seen, except for a small Flabellina trilineata. Carol said she saw a torpedo ray on the way down, and Larry reported a couple of egg yolk jellies on the way up, but I missed all of those.
Dive 2: Anchors 2&3. Worked on getting shots of stuff on fluted bryozoans (by far my favorite substrate for pics.) Sort of worked OK, except the surge made it tough to stay in position long enough to get the shots I wanted. Found a Dendronotus albus on the shelf. Nice Peltodoris nobilis sitting next to its egg whorl. 15 foot vis, 83 feet, 33 minutes, 48 degrees.
May 27, 2007: 1 dive: 6 divers, 3 boats. Larry, Carol, and Pam; Me and Dave; and Jeff.
Dive 1: Off Pescadero Point, outside of the washrock. Beautiful area, though devoid of fish. Limacia cockerelli (seen in a picture I shot; didn't see it in the water), mating aggregations of San Diego Dorids. 40 to 50 foot vis, 86 feet, 26 minutes, 48 degrees.
May 25, 2007:
2 solo dives.
Dive 1: Steam Engine: 35 to 40 foot vis, but dark; 48 degrees; 80 feet, 31 minutes. An octopus tried to eat Linda's One-spot Fringehead. I relocated the octopus to other hunting grounds.
Dive 2: Shale Island (almost; I think I missed it.) Didn't see anything really special; a bit of surge, a hazy 20 foot vis, 48 degrees. 60 feet, 35 minutes.