North Monastery and Butterfly House
July 27, 2002Nick sent the following report to the BAUE mailing list:
Will G., Alex Berthet (graduate of Dave's latest Fundamentals class) and I met at North Monastery about 9:15AM. Surface conditions were fairly calm. We swam out to the wash rock and I noticed my left dry glove was flooding, probably due to something stuck in the o-ring. After we got that squared away we dropped down and tried to do a quick gas sharing drill but I had another equipment problem: my wing inflator stuck open so I had to disconnect it and just orally inflate. Anyway, we headed down the edge of the rocks until we got close to 100fsw. Visibility was at least 35ft. Saw some schools of small blue rock fish and a couple crabs but not a whole lot else. After a few minutes in the deep area we moved up to the shallow kelp forest at about 55fsw and ran into several harbor seals. They were really curious today, kept following us around and biting our fins (I think Will still has tooth marks). We turned the dive on gas pressure and swam back out of the forest. Maximum depth was 100fsw and run time was 52 minutes.
After lunch and replacing my wing inflator we headed back out to Butterfly House. A strong wind had picked up and we could see lots of whitecaps off shore but on the inshore side of the kelp forest it still looked fairly calm. We swam straight out from the beach to the end of the rock promontory and then headed out at 220 degrees to the kelp forest area. Visibility in the shallow area was rather murky but it opened up to at least 30ft at depth. We kept going until we got about 90fsw deep, then made a right and headed north for a few minutes before hitting turn pressure. That area has a lot of vertical relief and some nice walls but we didn't have enough gas to stay long. One cool sight was a large pair of mating Archidoris odhneri. On the way back we found some more harbor seals and a sea lion to play tag with. Maximum depth was 97fsw and run time was 49 minutes. When we got back to shore Alex's whole left arm was soaked; we couldn't figure out if it was due to a leaking exhaust valve or a bad wrist seal.
Despite the various equipment problems it was a great day for diving, much better than we usually get in the summer. If you can get out on Sunday it should be worth the trip.
While waiting for my tanks to be filled at Manta Ray I walked over to the boat yard and took a look at Jim Capwell's new one, the Escapade. It's in the final stages of fitting out and one of the workmen told me it's scheduled for Coast Guard certification on Thursday. Hopefully they'll be ready to start running dive charters within a few weeks. The boat looks pretty well set up except that she has standard ladders instead of a swim step or fin ladders.-Nick
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