Escapade Boat Trip
January 4, 2003
Sami (www.kelpdiver.com) took a picture of Kevin and I at Aumentos.
Diving today on the Escapade with most of the usual suspects plus nudibranch researcher Jim Murray who was visiting family in the bay area and wanted to get some diving in.
It was nice topside with a slight south wind and mostly sunny skies. Unfortunately there was a big, long period NW swell. For the first dive we decided our best bet would be to stay in the bay and we did the outer edge of Aumentos. Vis was nice at the surface at maybe 40 feet but it was stirred up to more like 15 on the bottom with quite a bit of surge. 5 minutes into the dive Jim signaled me and showed me his new camera which clearly had quite a bit of water in it. We thumbed the dive and quickly as we could got the Camera back to Erik on the boat. He did the best he could to quickly rinse and dry the camera but by then it was too late. Knowing there was nothing else we could do we went back down and finished our dive. About the only thing that was remarkable was the distinct lack of nudibranchs! I figure the big swells we've had must have washed many of them away. My normal over-under for nudibranch species on one dive is about 8 and today I only saw a total of 3 slugs on 2 dives. :-(
For the second dive Sami piped up and said "If we're going to get abused by the surge we should at least do it at a better dive site!" so we headed to Carmel. It was the first time any of us could remember doing dives in that order; Monterey first, then Carmel. Anyway Outer Pinnacles it was and despite some skepticism on my part it turned out to be a very nice dive. The south edge of the site was protected by the swell and vis was easily 50 feet or more with very blue water. A sea lion cruised by early in the dive and we were enjoying the scenery when something caught my eye. "Why does that cabezon have an abalone shell stuck to its face?" Turns out it was eating the ab, which is something I'd never seen before. Naturally I didn't have a camera either but it was cool to see.
Overall except for Jim's camera it was a pretty nice day out on the water. We also saw several whales, though from a distance.Clinton
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