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Posted by Eric S on April 25, 2004 at 22:24:00:

Today (Sunday) Steve and I planned a boat dive trip out of Ocean Cove. When we got there the tide was so rediculously low there was no way to launch without doing damage to the equipment with the rocky boat ramp.
We decided to drive back down to Bodega Bay and see what diving is like around there.

As I have always understood, the diving around Bodega Bay is terrible. Low vis, murky, dirty water, some rocks with lots of sand.

We decided what the hell and went south towards Tomales Bay.
I decided to aim for the furthest visible headland off in the distance and when I was most the way there I saw the lighthouse blinking and realized that I had way overshot the entrance to Tomales and was some 12 miles south beyond that point.
I always wanted to see what the Point Reyes lighthouse looked like and it looked very majestic way up on that cliff.

We pulled around the corner and into the first cove right underneath the lighthouse. The water had gotten somewhat disturbed around the point and there was 2 gnarly currents colliding off the point leaving a thick flotsam line going out from shore. Steve commented that this section of coastline looked very similar to some areas of the channel islands. I thought it looked a lot like PV from what I've seen in photos. The cliffs just plunge straight into the ocean going straight down, very dramatic.

The water looked so so and I wasn't extremely thrilled about this spot as it is probably the sharkest waters in California next to the Farallones.
We got in and went straight down. the vis wasnt actually that bad at about 8-10 feet. We were in only about 40 feet of water and we came right down on sand. I thought woopy!
Well, about 10 feet away from the sand is where the rocks started and
as we explored the rocky bottom became more and more rugged.
We saw some HUGE abalone there in 35 to 40 feet. As we moved closer to the rocks on chore the surge was ripping us back and forth. We stayed low and in the rocks. A seal buzzed me once and appeared very nervous. We didn,t see any more the whole dive. We got into some big overhangs and I saw the biggest black and yellow I've ever seen diving. A little further we saw a lingcod that was easy 35-40 pounds. It was enormous with a head about 6 inches across. The rocks had a profusion of life on them with massive amounts of growth of all kinds. Lots of decorator crabs and big stars.

I was blown away by this dive as it unfolded. I had absolutely no idea that this area could be this good. And that damn safety stop was the longest 3 minutes ever. We actually found the anchor line again so we came up right at the boat.
When we got back in the boat I had to piss somethig horrible so I unzipped the pee zipper on my drysuit and let 'er rip. I turned around and looked up and there was about 10 people staring at me from the lighthouse! ha ha ha.

After we got going we went a quarter of a mile south or so and saw all the elephant seals. We agreed that it was probably fairly foolish to dive anywhere around there but oh well.

On the way back we found another spot just south of the entrance to Tomales. It was a lot calmer and not a bad dive. I think we only found about 40 feet but it was some rocky outcroppings shooting up from a sand bottom. Vis was better here in some spots it reached 15 feet which for this area I would think is pretty damn good. I found a huge scallop, a 7 incher, and Steve spotted the biggest Cabizon either of us has ever seen. He blended in real well so he thought he was invisible which gave us a good chance to view him.
Once we got back to Bodega Bay we got into a major boat traffic jamb for the dock.
It is salmon season and there was probably 150 boats out there.
The weathere was great with no wind all day and 70's on the water.


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