I don't post often, but I lurk here every day; thought I'd share some info about a recent trip from last month as it's right in the wheelhouse for good looking, adventurous cold water divers like us.
If you've done a Channel Islands trip, it was probably through Truth Aquatics. You may not know this, but for a few weeks every June, they send a boat to Morro Bay for 3 and 4 day excursions out to Big Sur. The logistics are much like their Channel Islands trips; you board the day before, and the boat leaves over night. Nothing like waking up to the feeling of plowing through a rough ocean. Those of us that have spent money with them know that the sleeping accommodations are not so much "live aboard" as "survive aboard"- you're lucky if you have a big enough berth to sit upright. But enough whining. The food is wonderful, and there's plenty of it. With any luck, either spearos or the crew will donate some fish to the cause and you'll experience an amazing seafood dinner.
When it's good, the diving is every bit of epic as you can imagine- we had up to 70' or better on a couple of dives, and life was plentiful. Based on a couple dives in Monterey over the years, I was expecting a combination between Channel Islands and Offshore Oregon. I was actually surprised that is was much more like Oregon, just with a different rockfish complex and a few other differences. The fishing was great, both with a spear and hook and line (I was there for photography, but I was happy to jig in between dives, and we stocked up on mackerel for bait).
There's two downsides to these trips. The first is that it's not unlimited diving like the Channel Islands- 4 dives a day (2 on the last day), and no night dives. The bigger downside is the risk of poor conditions- we were pretty lucky as far as sea state and current, but the first couple of days the viz was marginal, say 10-15' at best. Things opened up, and I can still close my eyes and see what it was like- it was that memorable. Your results may vary, but if you've ever wanted to experience what it's like offshore in the PNW, this is a great way to get a bunch of dives in. We also got one in at Jade Cove, if you're into that sort of thing. All this, and topside scenery, too.
Here's a link to an album I shared on a photography page:
https://www.mu-43.com/threads/californi ... ce.104635/