Re: Here's a really cool video of the Farallones

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Posted by Chuck Tribolet on February 10, 2007 at 19:15:49:

In Reply to: Re: Re: Here's a really cool video of the Farallones posted by Jesse on February 10, 2007 at 09:22:02:

We've never seen the landlord, and that's by design. Fall is the
sharky season, so we go between Jan 1 and the end of the July 4
weekend. We put a LOT of planning into these trips.

Here's our procedures:

Farallones Diving Procedures

Chuck Tribolet, with input from Kawika Chetron, Dave
Chamberlin, and Clinton Bauder

Diving the Farallones is not to be done lightly. Perhaps
more important than the possibility of large sharks is that
help is a couple of hours away, so we dive conservatively
to avoid problems, and are prepared to handle problems
ourselves. No diving after the Fourth of July weekend
until after New Years in order to avoid Landlord encounters
(the PacStar's one Landlord encounter was in very late

The go/nogo decision is based on the Pt. Arena to Pigeon
Pt. out 20 nm forecast, with a minority opinion from the
out 60 nm forecast. Decision to meet based on the 3 p.m.
forecast the day before. We don't meet or go unless all of
the following are true: Winds 15 knots max, wind waves 3'
max, swell 5' max (MAYBE 6' if it's long), no rain, no fog.

Two boats are required for back up purposes. Two divers per
boat. Launch at Pillar Point Harbor in in Half Moon Bay.
Meet at 6:30 a.m. To get to the ramp, take Hwy 92 west to
Half Moon Bay, drive north on Hwy 1 to Capistrano Rd. Make
a left on Capistrano and then an immediate left to get to
the ramp and parking area.

Anchor one boat, the second boat plays chase boat and
maintains contact with the divers' bubbles. Two divers
dive, then switch. Two dives each. Obviously there must be
at least one qualified captain in each dive team. One
member of each dive team should be on each boat to allow
space to get both divers geared up and then enter the water

Plenty of O2 (three hours) on at least one of the boats is

Extra fuel on both boats in case a long search for a
missing diver is required.

Each boat will have a 30' drop line so the divers can
maintain a position under the boat without continually
looking up.

All divers must carry a substantial sausage, whistle,
pyrotechnic flares, and a light. A planned run time and a
"call the Coasties" time will be set for each dive, and
written down on the chase boat.

Strict buddy teams. Buddy teams should hit the water at the
same time and descend promptly. Generally, the two buddy
team members will be on different boats so as to avoid
tripping over each other while gearing up.h

Descend and ascend in the shadow of the boat, modulo
keeping track of the anchor line. Stay off the surface.

Adhere to recreational limits, 130' max, no deco.

Boat to diver signals are done by reving the engine in

- Single engine revs (VROOOM, pause, VROOOM pause, repeat)
mean make a safe ascent on the anchor line.

- Double engine revs (VROOOM VROOOM, pause, VROOOM VROOOM
pause, repeat) mean make a safe ascent where you are.

- Triple engine revs (VROOOM VROOOM VROOOM, pause, VROOOM
VROOOM VROOOM pause, repeat) mean "Landlord Alert!, Use
your judgment.". This may be followed by single or double
engine revs if Whitey seems to have disappeared.

Procedures will be reviewed at the launch ramp, and a paper
copy on each boat.

No hunting.

When in doubt, don't dive.


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