It's about diving. And cats.

Me diving

Monday, September 5, 2011

Mount Chamberlain South Annex

Jim wanted to go diving on Labor Day so of course we joined him. It was supposed to be a pretty full boat, but in the end it was just Jim, Kevin, Rob and me. Having successfully made it down to Point Sur on Saturday, we decided to try again (but hopefully dive Big Sur Banks). We made it all the way to Sur 19 in what I would consider significant wind. There were whitecaps not too far south of Lobos. I was pretty surprised that we bothered to keep going, but we did. Not too surprisingly, once we were there, we decided it was not diveable. Well, Rob pulled his usual "we can dive this" nonsense, but Jim and I were pretty convinced otherwise. Actually, I'm sure we could dive it, it was just the getting back on the boat part that I was not so sure about :)

So we headed north for a calmer spot. The ride back up was unpleasant and a bit scary at times. We got back to Yankee Point and it was pretty calm there. In fact it was calmer than I remembered from the way down, though that was perhaps in comparison from the ride to Big Sur. We decided to anchor on the south wall of Mount Chamberlain, and "if the viz is good" go to the south annex... The wall that runs parallel to the south wall a couple hundred feet south across the sand. I think that Jim had not been to that spot before, but I love the spot. Maybe that's because we only go there in good viz :). We dropped down to find really bad viz on the wall. It was green and dark and chunky, and keeping the team of four together was annoying.

After a few minutes on the wall, heading west, we found a basket star on one of the boulders at the bottom of the wall. After checking him out, Rob suggested we head to the annex. The viz was crap but I figured why not... you can't really get lost between here and there. So we headed over the sand and in a little over a minute we saw the reef, phew. We landed on a familiar spot and were looking around at the fish when we got a light signal from Kevin. It was a rather excited light signal, so I was thinking "that had better be a GPO!" And it was! At the very bottom of the wall there was a little overhanging ledge, with a GPO under it. He had one arm completely outstretched, hanging out from the overhang. I think he was waving to us. Even though he was under a ledge, we had a pretty good view of him, and he was pretty active. We took terms swimming over to the opening to get a good look at him. By the time we were done with him, it was nearly time to head shallower, so we headed back north to the south wall. We came up the wall and headed north toward K2. We never actually found the shallow K2 peak, but we found a spot that came up to 110 or 120. I thought we should just hang out there instead if spending the rest of our bottom time futilely looking for a shallower peak to come up. So we hung around there for a few minutes before Rob got restless and suggested we search around a bit more. So we did, and it was futile :). One thing I did notice as we scootered around is that as soon as we got to 120 or 130, I started to see those evil white barnacles. Grumble. They are everywhere!

Deco was uneventful. There was the usual assortment of unnamable deco critters. At 20 feet Rob and Kevin decided that my gauge is broken. Apparently it is off by a couple feet compared to theirs so I kept finding myself a couple feet deeper than them. I think their gauges are the broken ones!

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