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Santa Cruz, Yellowbanks 3/13/11

I was really looking forward to this trip because it had been a while since I was last at Yellowbanks and there where some new spots I was hoping we could try out. What I like about Yellowbanks is that it is a very large area with an extensive reef system and the underwater topography can be quite dramatic and different depending on where you are at. It goes from low laying parallel reefs with sand channels between them to large rocky areas.

There was some concern on how the Japan Tsunami that happened 2 days earlier would effect the diving, but then the conditions in 2010 were so out of the norm who could say we would even notice a difference. Compared to other times I have dived Yellowbanks it didn’t seem to be much different except the visibility was lower due to the dirtier water, probably coming from the Tsunami.

Because of the time change the night before, the trip was scheduled to leave an hour later at 9:00am instead of 8:00am. It was nice to be able to sleep in just a bit longer. Everyone seemed to arrive early and get checked in except for 3 people for which we did wait until 9:00 before leaving for Yellowbanks. The ride over was a little bumpy but once we arrived to Santa Cruz it started to smooth out and was flat and calm for the day. There was a time about 2:0pm when the wind came up, but then a quickly diminished.

Our 1st dive site we wanted to go to the Peace had beat us to it so we decided to continue further west picking another spot about 65’-75’ ft deep. This spot had a series of rock piles with sand between them and like always, we found the best area at the end of the dive.

The 2nd dive site we tried was a new one that I had coordinates for. This site had large eroded undercut sandstone layers. This was a very cool dive with lots of kelp, some fish, and mostly smaller bugs along with lots of smaller lingcod. We had a water temp of 52° which was the coldest of all 3 spots and we named this dive site “tall stack”.

The 3rd dive was in shallower and was more the normal Yellowbanks spot with the parallel reefs and sand channels. This spot was about 25’ deep and had some good structure with ledges. I found one area that happened to be more of an arch packed full of bugs and of course I left my bag back at the boat. I am sure had I had it I probably wouldn’t have found this spot (a good excuse). After I boarded the crew pulled the anchor and we were off. The trip back was very nice arriving to the dock about 5:15pm. This trip turned out to be another fun adventure aboard the Raptor. It couldn’t have been better with the good weather, nice group of people and 3 good dives along with no rushing. Come join CIDA on your next dive adventure!

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