|Dive Report: Big Sur Coast off the Truth Aquatics Vision 6/21-6/23, 2019|
Posted by Jeff J Reeb on June 28, 2019 at 05:22:58:|
ou'll sign up for one of the few offerings that puts the Vision Dive Boat in Big Sur each year.
Why dive Big Sur, what's the Big deal? Well, let's look at some facts. The area is so remote, that virtually no dive boats regularly come here. Remember from your California Natural History class, this area is where the sea otters survived extinction by hiding from the fur traders. It takes a large vessel to deal with the long distances and open ocean conditions found off Big Sur. Truth Aquatics is an outfitter with this capability, and they only do this run for a few weeks each year. So basically the marine life is undisturbed. You'll dive reefs that likely have not been dived since last year, and then only by this one boat. They continue to locate new sites too, (See Pantheon)
It is pinnacle diving at its finest. Some of the pinnacles break the surface, like Whale Rock, others like Julia's Peaks sit undetected below the surface. Everything is plastered with marine life; nudibranchs, giant anemones, sponges, worms, and fish. The Lingcod and Rock fish you see here are 50 yrs old, grandads.
When your not diving you get to enjoy vistas of the one of the most iconic coastlines in the world. The trip typically includes a photo stop at the beachside waterfall at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park as well.
For sure, this is A game diving, not for the faint of heart. Ten dives in 2.5 days with most spots in the 70-110+' range. The water is cold (52-55F), and dark. Big swells can make the swim step oscillate up and down 3-4 feet. (A careless diver broke his arm on the swim step on my 2016 trip.) Many of the spots are totally exposed to the open ocean swell and current, although we enjoyed mild sea states on this trip.
You just have to pay attention, this is after all why, you're here. If it were easy, it would be crowded and the reefs wouldn't be pristine. The Vision's crew have these conditions down. They pioneered these remote dive sites and work hard to keep you safe and put you on the best spots.
A few that stick out:
Receding Reef, a bolder field of house size blocks, absolutely pristine, every inch covered in Strawberry anemones, colorful sponges, with large Fish Anemones scatterd about. Big starfish, lots of Bat stars. Schools of Perch were orbiting the reef as we swam along the features.
The Pantheon. This was a new site, a long vertical wall, almost dead straight up and down from 22'-110'. I never saw the end of it, we had to turn back.
Black Square Rock. This is a very large pinnacle, similar to Ship Rock off Catalina. The stand out feature of this site is the large underwater arch near the rock with a purple hydrocoral ceiling.
Jade Cove. This was the last dive of the trip with the boat providing access to the natural Jade deposits that exist in this location. Gemstone quality Jade stones are scattered about on the sea floor with most divers finding souvenirs.
If I've perked your interest and I hope I have, follow trip offerings from CIDA or directly with Truth Aquatics. It's never a given these trips will continue, it all depends on diver interest, your interest!
Jeff "J." Reeb
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