Unified Team Diving

DIR Outer Channel Islands, two day trip on Dec 19th/20th out of Santa Barbara

On Vision.

Two day dive trip, leaves 4am on sat, comes back on sunday 5pm, boards after 6pm on friday. This is open boat, all you need to do is sign up. Destination is San Miguel/Santa Rosa (weather permitting) which are relatively rarely dived channel islands with abundance of life/structure unseen elsewhere. You can easily count on 5 dives on day 1(including night dive) and 3 dives on day 2. Price is $367. I'm signed up, the more the merrier. Scooters are welcomed.

Maciek

Tags: DIR, trip

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Soooo tempting. How well would a neophyte fit in?
Very well :) We just would make you carry all our gear :)
Is this on the Vision?
Vision, yes
Anyone planning on driving down Friday from the Sacrament or Bay Area that wants to car pool?
Michael Miller said:
Anyone planning on driving down Friday from the Sacrament or Bay Area that wants to car pool?

Car pooling definitely sounds good!
I just called Truth and booked a spot on the charter. I can't wait.
cool.

We have 4 people confirmed so far from what i hear
Well against my better judgment I went ahead and booked it :D
that makes it 5..
Booked. Will probably bring single tank ring, monkey rig, scooter and a few tanks of 32%.
OK . So since photogs and videos are busy editing I will do some writing to offload them later. The gang consisted of:
Nick (LA)
Jamie (LA)
myself (LA)
Ken (LA)
Claudette (LA)
Roger (SD)
Mike (Sac)
Michael (Sac)

Boat we finally ended up was Conception and that was my second trip on it since it was rebuilt after hijack and beaching. Since we had total of 14 paying passengers on board and a crew of 8 we were being spoiled beyond imagination with food, helping hands and attention. Since deck space was also practically infinite we loaded up lots of goodies. In particular:
2 cudas
5 sierras
gazillion of nitrox tanks/stages

Boat started the journey at 4am saturday and we quickly landed on a backside of San Miguel around 8am. Given 5-6 foot swell reported on friday I was really surprised to see ocean flat like a pancake and devoid of wind.

Dive 1&2: Wycloff Ledge

We anchored near pinnacle which has top as shallow as 20 feet and slopes down to well past 100 feet. Additionally it's broken up into canyons and tight passages which we vigorously explored with scooters. Nothing beats full speed drive through the crack you are barely fitting in. Current was making things interesting, but slowly died out later in a day. Ton of kelp, ton of life on a rocks, schools of blue rockfish, beautiful terrain to explore. Vis was exceeding 60+ feet at depth closing up to 30+ at shallows.

Dive 3&4&night: Somewhat west of Wycloff Ledge
For dives 3&4 we moved about half a mile to the west. Sand is there at 60 and you can cruise for hours west or east by miniwalls which raise from the sand with tops at 30 feet. They are broken down by canyons, overhangs and everything is covered with kelp. Again - dreamy spot on a scooters. We spotted ton of big abalone and some areas were exploding with krill giving rocks and almost eerie cushion.
After dusk, crew deployed the light over the side of the boat and we had a chance to observe multitude of worms gather under the light and a school of squid slowly snatching them away. In 30 minutes a big horde of juvenile sealions moved in and started snatching squid... They stayed with us. playing in water till midnight.
We kicked the night dive and whole place of course opened up with different kind of life. We still had clouds of krill, abalone (now standing up), but we also had crabs, and really really pesky and fearless sealions crowding our space.

Day 2
Dives 1&2
After requesting it a day before we were delivered to Wilson Rock. I was rubbing my eyes in disbelief - ocean flat, no wind - someone is playing jokes right? That just doesn't happen on front side San Miguel.
After pinching ourselves to make sure we are awake we took scooters and jumped in.
We got situated at the anchor and then dropped towards west into a canyon leading towards the Wilson Rock itself. Oh boy. Vis opened up to 80+. Blue rocksfish in schools, bottom at 140, we at 100, wall raising vertically up to the surface? Doesn't get better than that. We slammed the triggers and proceeded to go around. After about 10 minutes of nooks and crannies and just EPIC wall diving we came to wedged boulder passage which allows to cross from NEN side of the rock to the S side. Passage has a bottom at about 80 feet and is 100 feet long. We took some time to explore the small cave at the entrance then got on a trigger. Surge is just screaming through it. When scootering against it - you are moving backwards. When scootering with it - you better watch were you are going. Exit from the passage offers a nice swimthrough with huge, car size boulder wedged between both walls. We got to the south side and continued to scooter towards the boat. Terrain was not as entertaining as the north side, but it still got some decent walls. We found anchor line around 28 minutes and spent some time exploring nearby canyons and buzzing through clouds of krill.
Dive 2 we devoted to exploration of the west side of the channel. With vis still being spectacular we circled piece of reef which has top roughly around 80 feet and drops down dramatically well beyond 160 feet. If we only had 21/35 and some deco gas... Lots of terrain to explore in that range.

For last dive of the trip we moved to Lovers Rock in a small cove past Harris Point. Vis was about 20 feet and with depths ranging from 60 to 20 we did a long and relaxing scooter dive buzzing through canyons and kelp. Lot's of mini walls. Perfect playground with intermittent sand and rock. I had a chance to actually drive a Cuda (not being towed on it) on this one and I must say that handling is only marginally harder than handling sierra while the power is immense. Very nice scooter.

As usual we spent time between dives talking shit about those who were not present , swapping stories and eating marvelous food provided in ridiculous amounts by galley. Very good company and very good trip. With three video cameras on board and Ken's photo monsters we got a ton of footage/pictures and I'm sure once editing is done it will surface here.

Unfortunately I think both Mike and Jamie were infected with scooterosis and will require radical treatment.

Roger's topside pictures:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/2517213...305549/detail/

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