Monterey, CA weekend

Tell us your tale of coming nose-to-nose with a 6 gill [--this big--], or about your vacation to turquoise warm waters. Share your adventures here!
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orcasc205
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Monterey, CA weekend

Post by orcasc205 » Wed Sep 11, 2019 8:12 am

My wife and I found ourselves with the opportunity to spend a long weekend in Monterey last weekend and decided to spend some of the time diving. We looked at the different options for shore diving and boat charters and ended up boat diving both Friday and Saturday with Sanctuary Charters. We had an amazing time.

Given our unfamiliarity with the area, we hired guides both days. Friday we had Taylor as a guide and there was only one other person on the boat, so it was really relaxed. Our first dive was on the Pinnacles in Carmel Bay, which were spectacular. There was life absolutely everywhere. There was a bit of surge pushing us around on the pinnacles, so it was good practice keeping our buoyancy under control. Our second dive was back in Monterey Bay at the inner Hopkins Reef. It was our first experience with a kelp forest and my wife and I were just blown away with how beautiful it was.

Saturday we had a full boat and Nicholas as our guide. The seas were calmer than Friday despite having a small craft advisory for later in the day. As we were motoring towards Carmel Bay, Captain Mitch suddenly stopped just out outside the kept off of Point Joe. He had seen some interesting terrain on the depth sounder and decided, since the seas were seldom calm enough to dive there, to give it a try (I named the site in my dive log "Mitch's Hunch" in his honor.) It turned out the site he found was a pinnacle-like reef that bottomed out at about 75 feet and rose up to about 35 feet and was teaming with life in every imaginable color. There was almost no surge and the dive was even better than the Pinnacles the day before. Even with six divers on the boat (plus two crew that were diving,) it was very relaxed and comfortable on the boat. Our second dive on Saturday was back at the inner Hopkins Reef. We enjoyed it so much on Friday that we had no complaints going back on Saturday. We really took it slow and looked for all the tiny critters amongst the kelp which suited everyone's wishes, including our guide's.

Overall it was a phenomenal weekend of diving. We decided we will have to bring our daughter down to Monterey for more diving in the late fall or early winter -- she'll die when she sees the sea otters hanging out amongst the kelp.

Here are a few photos from the trip...
DandL_Sept6-29.jpg
GOPR0510.jpg
GOPR0513.jpg
GOPR0531.jpg
DandL_Sept6-35.jpg

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Tom Nic
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Re: Monterey, CA weekend

Post by Tom Nic » Wed Sep 11, 2019 12:16 pm

Lovely!

Great report... some amazing diving in Monterey!
More Pics Than You Have Time To Look AT
"Anyone who thinks this place is over moderated is bat-crazy anarchist." -Ben, Airsix
"Warning: No dive masters are going to be there, Just a bunch of old fat guys taking pictures of fish." -Bassman

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carlk3
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Re: Monterey, CA weekend

Post by carlk3 » Wed Sep 11, 2019 1:16 pm

What did you wear for exposure protection (e.g. your drysuit from here, rental wetsuit, etc)?

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orcasc205
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Re: Monterey, CA weekend

Post by orcasc205 » Wed Sep 11, 2019 1:58 pm

We hauled our drysuits down there. The water was actually a few degrees cooler than the current Puget Sound temps. All of the other customers were also in drysuits -- our guides, however, were both in wetsuits.

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YellowEye
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Re: Monterey, CA weekend

Post by YellowEye » Wed Sep 11, 2019 3:28 pm

Sweet! Sounds like a fun adventure!

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Vjw
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Re: Monterey, CA weekend

Post by Vjw » Wed Sep 11, 2019 4:04 pm

The pinnacles is a beautiful site!! So glad you had such a wonderful time!! :joshsmith:

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Tom Nic
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Re: Monterey, CA weekend

Post by Tom Nic » Wed Sep 11, 2019 4:47 pm

Do I understand your post correctly that you went out on a charter, AND you specifically hired a guide to come along on the dive?

Sometimes both are provided, just wanted to check.
More Pics Than You Have Time To Look AT
"Anyone who thinks this place is over moderated is bat-crazy anarchist." -Ben, Airsix
"Warning: No dive masters are going to be there, Just a bunch of old fat guys taking pictures of fish." -Bassman

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orcasc205
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Re: Monterey, CA weekend

Post by orcasc205 » Wed Sep 11, 2019 8:07 pm

Tom, the boat charter was unguided (with a DM staying on the boat) unless you hired a guide. Given we had not dived any of the sites before, we decided to spend the money to hire a guide so we could hopefully go straight to the good stuff. I think it was worth the money in the end.

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Gdog
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Re: Monterey, CA weekend

Post by Gdog » Wed Sep 11, 2019 9:31 pm

Great report, thank you for sharing!

Tangfish
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Re: Monterey, CA weekend

Post by Tangfish » Thu Sep 12, 2019 11:22 am

Awesome dude! But I thought Mrs. Gdog only dives warm water, I guess not! and it was even colder than the PNW! Now she's gotta come to some ThThThs fo shoooooo

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orcasc205
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Re: Monterey, CA weekend

Post by orcasc205 » Thu Sep 12, 2019 12:17 pm

I don't know about Ms. GDog, but Ms. Orcas (who was with me in Monterey -- it would be weird if I was there with GDog's wife) loves cold water diving. Unfortunately she works until 7:30pm on Thursdays.

-Doug

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