Another great North Coast day

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Posted by Eric S on September 21, 2003 at 09:18:21:

Yesterday, three of my best dive buddies and I went out of Ocean Cove with my boat. The morning was bright clear and just a slight breeze.
The forcast was for winds to increase to 20 - 25 knots in the pm and the swell to remain about 4-6 ft.
When we got to Ocean cove the campground was darn near full, which is unusual for this time of year. There was a good line for the boat ramp. Now this ramp is not your typical ramp. It is a steep rocky gnarly dirt road cut out of the side of the cliff that goes down to a unimproved beach/rock launch that can get very nasty. I've wanted to launch out of here for some time just because the challenge of it, and also because the diving is damn good and remote/pristine along this section of coastline and it's close.
Ahead of us was a guy putting in a BIG aluminum inboard boat, 20 something feet, so that eased my mind that my boat would be a piece of cake. Normally small inflatables are all that can launch here.
The guy with the big boat had to back his truck way into the water where the water came all the way up to his door.
I had a little forethought and built an extention that is 14 feet long that I attach when I get down there, and that keeps my truck high and dry. There was a dead seal down on the beach by the ramp that had it's rear end chomped off and a big half moon taken out of the side of it's body and no head. Wonder what could have done that?
After a flawless and easy launch we headed north. The water seemed very dirty and at first we thought there was a bloom going but then when we got out a ways we could see the kelp stalks going way down so we knew it was going to be good diving.
Our first spot was an offshore area just south of Gerstle cove where there are a bunch of huge boulders probably 10 to 40 feet big and the deepest areas probably 80 -90 feet. As soon as we descended I new this was a great spot. The vis was a solid 30 feet, the water was 49-50 degrees and the life was thick. 3 minutes into the dive I saw a nice red so I poked him. As I was getting him off the spear a ling cruized up and layed on a rock about 3 feet away and watched the whole thing go on. This ling was 32 inches, at least that what he measured out back at the cleaning station.
Cruizing around some more I found another nice ling and he wound up on my game hook as well. We where going through caves and tubes buzzing all over. We found a huge anchor from the 1800's logging days with a massive chain. There was no current so we didn't bother with reels.
Coming up we followed a pinnacle to the top that was just loaded with strawberries and stars of all different types. I saw some barnacles that where huge and I found a big scallop that went into the goody bag. There where hundreds of blues suspended in the water column which made for some spectacular views.
After everyone was back in the boat we went into the protected cove of Gerstle to do a surface interval sitting around in the boat. We ate some food, drank some water, and layed around for an hour or so.
The wind now had subsided now to a wisper and the ocean was calming down as the day went on.
For our second dive we went to a site called Capt. Bob's Pinnacle and the terrain was very similar to the first dive. This site had some sheer walls, tubes to swim through, and tons of life. I had gotten all the fish I wanted on the first dive so left the spear gun behind.
Loading the boat on the trailer was just as easy as getting it off. Now I remember why I got 4 wheel drive. There would have been no way to haul that boat up that wet slippery ramp with anything less.


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