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NCRD Blog


Here we will post trip reports, interesting dive-related information, etc. 

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  • 04 Jul 2012 2:26 PM | Anonymous
    Wanted to let folks know I have reserved a campsite for (2) vehicles and (8) people.  I will be with my partner Ter and have room for another car and 6 more people at the campsite. 

    We also make room in my Honda Odyessy for (2) more divers.

    Contact the group leader for more information sharing rides and camping.
  • 13 Jun 2011 2:24 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Several reliable sources told me Friday was terrible:  the swell is bad, couldn’t even get to ballbuster, viz was 10 all the way down, heavy nettle 20-65 Stay home. And my favorite: just make pea soup and jump in.  Slap your face to simulate nettles.

    But, having already paid, we went anyway to see what we could salvage of the weekend:

    As advertized, ball buster was not going to happen Saturday.  We fell back to Hopkins deep, where the crap-o-cline finally broke about 20 feet off the bottom.  Viz was enough to see your buddy & a little more.  Not great, but not entirely cringe worthy.  Swells weΩΩre big, with short period.  Rough on the boat, not too surgy at depth.  We just had to let go of the anchor line at 15 and give the boat a wide margin on the way to the swim step.

    We saw another good sized octopus in the cracks less than 20 feet from the anchor.  They seem to be getting more abundant over the last year or so, but maybe weve just been lucky

    Dive 2 was at Erics Pinnacle, where we definitely got lucky  #1 dive buddy saw a Cabazon strike an unfortunate juvenile monkey face eel.  He had it by the tail and swam towards us, stopping every 10-15 to settle down for a few seconds.  We quickly realized that MFE was not going gently into the night!  His tiny jaws only opened about a cm, but he was curling back and biting at every soft spot he could find on Mr. C:  Tips of the fins. eyeballs. Those nameless fleshy bits that dangle on their faces  We were treated to a real knock down, rolling in the sand, Jerry Springer cat-fight!  Mr C would wince at each good bite and swim a bit farther, but we never saw him let go of the eel.  After a few minutes they disappeared into the crap-o-cline.  #1 and I were rooting for the Eel but we did nothing to help.  (apparently we are compassionate conservatives underwater) Bankers and Cabazons have to eat too I guess.  Its a jungle out there.

    Sunday at Whalers Cove/Point Lobos:  Walked up the stairs for an overview and brief the newcomers about the site.  I was expecting big waves crashing on the rocks.  We got nothing.  A few eddies right up against them but no white water anywhere.

    We had a nice relaxing 60 minute first dive, that included a school of needle fish, a swarming ball of whale-food (some kind of free floating shrimpy thing) an unusual orange colored ling cod ~ 4 long, a wall covered in dozens of nudibranchs of all shapes, sizes and colors.   On the way back, in 20 of water we stumbled upon only the second thornback ray of my life.  (the first was also in whalers cove.  I gotta dive the flats more.  Anyone up for a cold water muck dive?)

     

    I managed to find my buddy and then refind the ray.  We hung with her for a while, cruising through the spring mix tossed greens floating along the bottom. (this was between the base of the rock wall for the parking lot and the sand channel to the mouth of the cove).  After a while I signaled Larry to buddy up with the thornback.  That earned an odd look but he stayed, when I went up and circus barked random passing divers into coming over and following Larry’s bubbles down. (more odd looks, but I got thanked later).

    Viz was about 40.  Enough to make looking up or even flipping on your back from time to time worth the effort.  Summer is here.  The Kelp canopy is thick, so you want to be conservative with your gas plan and humble about your nav skills on shore dives.  

    It seems low expectations are an important part of having a good time.  Don’t stay home, there is sand out there!   :-)


    Ralph Wolf

  • 12 Jun 2011 9:04 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Great diving this weekend with Rainbow Divers. 

    Saturday, Ralph, Larry, Ed, Tim, Regina and Lauren boarded the Beachhopper at K-dock and headed out with rough seas. We stayed in the bay since going around the point was out of question. Could not even make it to Ballbuster! We had reports of bad conditions from Friday so we had low expectations. First dive was at Hopkins Deep. The dive was great with 15-20ft visibility at depth. My buddy Tim found two mating octopus and we watched them change color and texture....very nice! There were many clown nudibranchs (Triopha catalinae), some of them were huge. After dropping Lauren and Regina back at the dock because their suits flooded, we headed back out and did our second dive at Eric's Pinnacle. It was again a great dive with slight current and 15-20ft visibility. We found a juvenile prickleback eel out in the open and again in a hole at the end of the dive. 

    Sunday was Point Lobos with Larry, Ralph, Cari, Tim and two new club members, Christi and Cathy. Lobos was totally flat and Tim, Cari and I headed out toward the mouth of the cove. We went down and headed towards bird rock. While a little murky at first, it cleared up at around 30fsw and we were greeted by 45-50ft visibility.  Diving the kelp forest with this kind of visibility is fantastic and otherworldly. We could see the kelp canopy above us and the blue light coming from the sand channel provided an amazingly beautiful backdrop. There were lots of nudibranchs and very large rockfish, thanks to the fishing restrictions in the reserve. After the surface interval, we went out again as a group of five (Larry, Tim, Cari, Christi and I). How often can you dive our local waters in a group of five without losing anyone? On that dive, Larry found a huge wolf eel. It was the first time that I had seen one in the wild and I am very grateful to Larry for signaling me to come over and check it out. In the sand shallows, Larry also found a very well camouflaged torpedo ray.

    All in all, this was a great weekend of diving. Join us for our next local dives in July. We will do 3 dives on the Silver Prince on Saturday and Point Lobos on Sunday. Should be fun!

    Christophe
    A very happy diver.




  • 04 Apr 2011 7:41 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Rob and I just returned from an AMAZING trip to the Revillagigedo archipelago (aka Socorro islands) on the Rocio del Mar. The Revillagigedo archipelago is composed of 4 islands: San Benedicto, Socorro, Roca Partida (a rock really) and Clarion. We boarded the Rocio del Mar in San Jose del Cabo and after a 28-hour crossing, reached our first destination. The seas were rough and sea sickness medicine is highly recommended. Over 6 days of diving we visited San Benedicto, Socorro and Roca Partida. Due to the significant distance, travel between the islands occurs at night. This is deep wall diving, almost all dives were over 100 fsw with the bottom well over the limits of recreational diving. You must be comfortable doing ascents in blue water without visual reference. Currents can be strong and visibility varied between 30 to 60 feet during our trip. Water temperatures were in the high 60s to low 70s. Rob and I dived with 7mm full suits and were comfortable. These islands are famous for pelagic action with giant pacific manta rays, various shark species (hammerhead, galapagos, white tips, silver tips, silkies), dolphins and humpback whales. They all showed up on our trip!. The boat is simple but very stable and functional, the crew is great, the food is delicious, and diving is only limited in terms of duration and no deco diving is allowed. You can choose to do your own diving or follow the DMs. Nitrox is available on board (which is really necessary due to the depth of the dives), and night diving is not allowed by park regulations. We did 3 to 4 dives a day with long surface interval (at least 2 hours) either from the boat or from the zodiacs. These islands are very isolated so it is important to dive conservatively; the closest chamber is in Cabo San Lucas. Diving there is definitely for experienced divers.

    I posted a selection of photos on my profile for your enjoyment.

    Happy diving!

    Christophe
  • 16 Oct 2010 4:20 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Dimitri, Olivia, Erica, Deenie, John and I went on the Beachhopper II today for what we were hoping would be great diving in Carmel. Brian was the Captain and Bob was the divemaster and deckhand. Skies were gray, a few rain drops on the way to Carmel. Swells were 4-5ft but the ride was overall pretty good. Brian decided to take us to what he calls Half Dome, a.k.a the Needle (see map below). This is a very nice pinnacle with a sheer wall on the south side. I dove with Deenie and John. 

    We went down the anchor line at 10:00 and stayed mostly on the south face of the pinnacle to protect us from the surge. The visibility was around 60 feet and the water blue. Today was the day for wide angle. Nice school of blue rockfish was hanging around. The wall was covered in corynactis anemones, sponges, bryozoans, and some hydrocoral. There were a lot of very very large Peltodoris nobilis, Doris Montereyensis, and a few Caldina luteomarginata and Diadula sandiegensis. A large sheephead paid us a visit, and there were the usual copper and gopher rockfish. Found a very nice red kelpfish (at least I think it is a kelpfish, will look it up), a few sculpins, and an adult treefish. There was some surge at the bottom but it got worse towards the top of the pinnacle. There was also a light current so we stayed close to the anchor line going up. 

    Total time: 36 minutes
    Max depth: 104 feet
    Min temperature 50 F



    After an 1 hour surface interval, we dove on what Brian calls the back wall of pescadero rock (in stillwater cove, see map below). I dove with Dimitri. Again a very nice steep wall going down to around 80-90 feet. The visibility was not as good as the previous dive but still around 35 feet. The surge was minimal. This was again a very nice wall. Like the previous dive, there were very large Peltodoris nobilis but this site had tons of Caldina luteomargionata, and a few Diadula sandiegensis. There were very nicely camouflaged crabs (they had to be gay!) and a large kelp crab (I love those).  I also saw a hermit crab kicking a shrimp out of a hole in the rock and taking his place. The shrimp did not put much resistance... I also found a Tritonia festiva at the end of the dive, right next to the anchor line. Again a very nice dive.

    Total time: 46 minutes
    Max depth: 85 feet
    Min temperature: 51 F



    The ride back was a little rough at first and got better once we passed Cypress point. It was a little sunny in Monterey. Olivia, Erica, Deenie and John went back home. Dimitri and I will dive again tomorrow at Point Lobos with Ed and Hollee.

    My left hand dry glove is not very dry anymore. Not sure was the problem is so I soaked it in water to clean any dirt that may cause the leak and I am drying it with a hair dryer...they come in handy for everything except my hair! 

    Hope to see you soon on a NCRD trip to Monterey!

    Christophe



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