Big Disappointment at Big Sur

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Posted by Max Bottomtime on June 23, 2017 at 15:34:50:

I have wanted to dive Big Sur for decades. I finally had the time to do it this week aboard the Vision during on of their June trips out of Morro Bay. I was concerned about swell models calling for seven to ten feet wells for the previous few days but was assured the boat would be going out. I really wish it hadn't.

We left Morro Bay and headed north into some big rollers. There would be no sleep the first night. We arrived to a fog-shrouded coastline with moderate swells and occasional larger ones. Each dive presented it's own problems.

Harlan Rock had surge and a snowstorm of plankton bloom. The anchor chain bounced several feet underwater as the Vision bobbed ion the swells. If you held the chain you were dragged up and down too fast. If you let got of it you would lose sight of it quickly. With the current, surge, horrible visibility and fog you would not want to come up away from the boat.

Problems with the generator prevented Kevin and I from getting our tanks filled for the second dive so we took the opportunity to try for a quick nap. No luck there. The third dive site, Epsilon had slightly better visibility but even more surge. I made a short dive and quit for the day.

The next morning we anchored at Tide Rock. I was hoping for better conditions than the previous day but they were not to be found. The reef was dark and remaining in one place was impossible.

I usually shoot thirty to eight images per dive if conditions are good. In two days of diving at Big Sur I managed to get six total.

 photo _DSC0500 Big Sur_zpsx3zfrljk.jpg
A moment of clarity. This was the clearest and calmest minute of the trip.

 photo _DSC0502 Bow Swell_zpsimfeqmgq.jpg

 photo _DSC0503 Stern swell_zpssgfv6w1s.jpg
Swells blocked out our view of the horizon

 photo _DSC0497 Kevin Crawl_zpsxk1jqjfo.jpg
Kevin Lee struggles to climb the Vision swimstep. It's difficult enough in calm seas.

 photo _DSC0505 Scooter_zpsw31x8gac.jpg
On trip two years ago a diver lost his computer and scooter. The scooter was found last week and it still ran. The owner didn't leave any contact information with Truth Aquatics.

 photo _DSC0493 Epsilon 6-21-2017_zpstjjnhva1.jpg
One of the dive sites

 photo _ART8014 Big Sur_zpsyynkdyi0.jpg
Urticina piscivora

 photo _ART8019 Big Sur_zpshpmoyzzf.jpg
Balanophyllia elegans, Orange cup coral

 photo _ART8021 Big Sur_zpsoojjn85j.jpg
Calliostoma annulatum

 photo _ART8023 Big Sur_zpsknkwccvy.jpg
Rostanga pulchra

 photo _ART8016 Big Sur_zpsvvba1w3a.jpg
Okenia rosacea

 photo _ART8009 Big Sur_zps6tf4aetq.jpg
Dendronotus albus

The trip back to Morro Bay was a bit smoother as we rode the swells south. A pod of Humpback whales put on a show for us along the way.

 photo _DSC0522 Humpback_zpsiebtviud.jpg

 photo _DSC0515 Humpback_zpsfczeygz7.jpg

 photo _DSC0516 Humpback_zps2jqd7q7o.jpg

 photo _DSC0519 Humpback_zpsssyixaw3.jpg

 photo _DSC0543 North T-Pier_zpsovz88sy3.jpg

 photo _DSC0544 Fuel dock_zpscyfjrbf1.jpg
Fuel is more then two dollars cheaper than it is in Redondo Beach.

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