It's about diving. And cats.

Me diving

Friday, October 2, 2009


For the second Phil trip in a row, we found ourselves greeted with winter diving conditions. We were shooting for a dive site just outside of the Lobos boundary near the southwest corner of the boundary. The site is labeled "T5" on the BAUE maps site for Point Lobos, but we don't know if anyone has actually dived it (or just marked it and gave it a temporary name on the bathymetry maps). On the bathymetry, the site does not look like it has a ton of relief, with a bunch of ridges from about 180 feet to 220 feet. There are some shallower structures to the north, coming up to maybe 160 feet. Definitely not the most multi-level'able dive, at least compared to some of the other sites we frequent. As a backup, we planned to go to the E3 area. As we got to the west side of Point Lobos, we were greeted by some pretty sporty surface conditions. As we were getting our asses kicked on the drive down, I said there was no way I was getting into the water in these conditions and suggested turning back to the E3 area. Phil said that he thought there would be some protection once we got around to the south of Lobos, so we decided to continue on and check it out. Once we got south of the point, it was quite a bit calmer. It actually wasn't at all barf-inducing to get geared up and into the water.

We dropped into crystal clear water with a lot of really big sea nettles. They were not so dense as to induce fear, just to provide some scenery. We headed down to the site and from about 160 feet I could see the entire site below me. The viz was really amazingly good. As I mentioned, I was not expecting a lot of relief at the site, but we dropped on a 40 to 50 foot tall wall, which was enough relief for me. The site, which looked on the bathymetry like it might be a lot of rubble on the outskirts, was actually a lot of small pinnacles on the outskirts. The sand between the structures was very coarse, almost more like chipped rock. The structure of the site was more impressive to me than the life. However, some areas of the ridges were well-covered with Corynactis. However, it didn't have as many big sponges (such as elephant ears) as we often see at these depths. We did find a small pinnacle off to the side with three big vase sponges... they were lined up in a row. After posing for a few pictures, we headed off to the northeast to look for shallower structure. We never found much that was shallower than the main area. We eventually found some reef coming up to about 170', and spent the rest of the dive there. This area had more elephant ears. Rob got some pictures, while I just enjoyed the scenery. Did I mention how great the viz was?

When it was time to go, I just happened to look up and saw that, from 170', I could see the ripples on the surface. Very nice. There was quite a bit of current, which was a little annoying at first since I was on bag duty, and I had to figure out where the current wanted me to be without having my arm ripped out of my shoulder socket (that big bag really has a mind of its own). The deco went by surprisingly quickly, I think because we had some jellyfish to entertain us. There were some sea nettles, but not too many, and also the occasional egg yolk jelly. When we got back to the surface, we found that we had drifted back into the rougher seas. Oops. It was pretty unpleasant on the surface, but we got all our gear and then ourselves back into the boat pretty quickly. Afterwards we scurried over to Siamese Bay since we hadn't managed to make it there after a morning dive in some time. After lunch we headed over to Cynthia's, and in the afternoon (after Rob and Kevin had a nap) we went out for wine, then dinner, and then had cake to celebrate Cynthia's birthday (on Saturday). She turned 24, again ;) Then we stayed at her place for more diving on Saturday.

All of the day's pictures are here.

1 comment:

Kristin Rasmussen said...

Hi Allison,

I have read your blog for quite a while and now I am finally getting the chance to go diving in the Carmel and Monterey area. I am super excited but in need of a little advice. I am still a newbie diver, I have logged 13 dives, I am looking for something not too deep. I understand that the drop off is pretty steep in the area. I am also looking for shore dives. If you have any advice I would love to hear it.

Thanks, Kristin Rasmussen