It's about diving. And cats.

Me diving

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Guest Dive Report: CRB err, South Monastery, err Mono-Lobo

After a week-long heinously complex email thread trying to organize dive plans for today, it finally materialized. Allison fickled back and forth about diving today, and eventually lamed out; virtually guaranteeing dive-of-the-century conditions. Point in fact, it was nice, but not a dive-of-the-century.

The latest rev. of the day's plan was to dive with Kevin, Don and Elissa, and then to meet up later with Ben, Jonathan, and Mike Jimenez and their new guys. Kevin, Don, Elissa and I were supposed to dive CRB (Carmel River Beach, or Stewart's Point) at 9am, but Don and Elissa couldn't make it. Instead, Kevin and I ended up meeting up with the rest of the gang at South Monastery. We decided to make a go of it there, since the surf was not too bad (ankle slappers :) ). The local scooter pusher was there, and I definitely did not have the willpower to turn him down, so we decided to plan for one long scooter dive; SWEET :P

I've been purposefully staying a little negative about the scooter acquisition, partially because I'm not convinced of its compatibility with my camera rig. This was going to be a little experiment with scooting with the rig (hopefully). After talking it through, I decided the best option would be to fold the strobe arms in and clip off the rig to the left chest D-ring and then hug it with my left arm, so that the dome port rested againt my chest (with the port cover still on). This ended up working quite well.

We dropped in about 10FSW (sweet sweet scooter :P) and scooted out along the rock-sand interface. I was leading the dive, so Kevin could keep an eye on things from the #2 position. We quickly found an egg-yolk jelly in about 20FSW rolling around in the sand and torn up kelp. It looked pretty banged up, and as much as I wanted to poke it, the recent email thread on ba_diving re: stinging jellies held me back. I took a few shots, and then we moved out.

We were on the trigger for quite awhile (about 20-25min) when we finally ended up around some rocky reef structure in about 100FSW. We clipped off the scooters and started kicking around a little bit. I'd dived S. Monastery a few times before, but have never made it nearly this far. We explored the rocky reef which was basically chunks of rock and stepped wall structures dotted in corynactis, sponges and hydrocoral. As we kicked further, it was notable that we kept finding better stuff shallower. In fact, the area in 60-80' was the best. We found a few spots with really large bushy hydrocoral (not the thin gangly stuff you see closer in). Notably, these patches were free from diver damage; presumably because the spot was so far out. In fact, we heard the Cypress Sea circling overhead. The visibility was about 40' horizontal, and 70' vertical.

We turned the dive around the 60 minute mark and hopped on the scooters again for the ride back. The ride back was pretty uneventful, but very scenic. The areas under the kelp cover were DARK, like a night dive. There *cough* may have also been some hot-dogging on the way in. We extended the 20' and 10' stops and hung out and played on the scoots.

Pictures from the dive are here.

102ft, 88 minutes, 50F.

Back again tomorrow at Lobos for some nudi-hunting.

1 comment:

Kevin said...

Great diving with you Rob! Too bad that "someone" got a case of the sleepinitus. Missed a very nice day!