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Me diving

Monday, October 3, 2022

Cordell 2022

We haven't been to Cordell Bank since 2016, and it wasn't for lack of trying.  Every year except 2020, we had a weather window set up for the project, but we never managed to have a long enough period of good weather to get the boat up to Bodega Bay, dive, and get the boat back to Monterey.  So this year, we did things a bit differently.  Instead of looking for a period of 4-ish days of consecutive good weather, we had a weather window on the longer side (4 weeks), and we moved the boat on the first day that the weather was good enough to move it -- making the assumption that within the rest of the 4 weeks, in the worst case, we'd have at least one day to get the boat back, and in all likelihood several good weather days to allow for diving and getting the boat back.  This approach was very successful.  We ended up moving the boat in the first week of the weather window, keeping the boat in Bodega Bay for two and a half weeks, and getting in 5 days of diving!  

So I'd call the new approach a success.  The downside was that there was a lot of driving up and back from Bodega Bay -- I had a total of 4 trips, including the trip to pick up Rob and Jim after they delivered the boat.  Also, since we were staying a couple days at a time, we didn't stay in the Bodega Bay Marine Lab Housing, and instead got AirBnb's just-in-time.  This resulted in some variation in the quality of the accommodations -- the first weekend we stayed in an awesome house, the second weekend we stayed in a much less nice place, and the third weekend (which didn't end up generating any diving, due to fog), we stayed at a pretty nice place.  But I think we will definitely go the AirBnb route in the future, though next time I will remember to bring my own sheep.

This year, we were toting some extra gear on the dive.  The Office of Marine Sanctuaries has been doing this project where they create 360 degree VR videos of marine sanctuaries, so they wanted us to gather footage using their camera ("the Boxfish").  The camera is a beast, and is somewhat complex to use.  Nick, the NOAA keeper of the camera, came out to Monterey for a few days in August to show us how to use it.

Anyhoo, here are the reports day by day:

Day 1: Northern West Ridge

Day 2: Quillback Ridge

Day 3: Craine's Point

Day 4: Back to Northern West Ridge

Day 5: Northern East Ridge

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