Big Sur 3 day- June 20/22,2014-Vision
I tried to do this trip along time ago when Truth Aquatics would leave from Santa Barbara and the day before they called and left a message with my wife that a big swell had come in so we were now going to San Clemnete and Santa Barbara Islands-what a bummer. Don’t get me wrong, diving SCI & SBI are usually excellent but I would have rather left from the Long Beach area at a lesser price.
Nowadays Truth Aquatics moves the Vision up to Morro Bay and leaves it there where it runs about 4-5 different trips over a 2 week time span. I think this actually makes excellent sense because getting past Pt. Conception is half the battle and leaving the boat up in Morro Bay for 2 weeks maximizes the time and fuel cost to help keep the price down.
So this trip to Big Sur aboard the Vision was June 20-22 (Fri/Sun) and I had been looking forward to it quite a bit. I love diving the coast between Pismo and Montery and have planned many group camping/diving trips to Morro Bay, Jade Cove/Plaskett Creek and the Big Sur area so getting a chance to dive all the places that aren’t accessible from a boat would be awesome and was HIGH on my list of places to go.
On this trip I had 10 other CIDA divers and my wife Tessie who as a non-diver and who has been to all the Channel Islands and then some. Thinking about it Tessie has probably been to more places than most divers have or ever will be. Some thought she was crazy for being on the trip as a non-diver but then how many non-divers do you know that even like to be on a boat? She is a trooper and CIDA wouldn’t exist if not for her wanting to join in on all the trips so it looks like I am the very lucky one to have her!
From what I was told our trip this year was more the norm with some large rolling swells and long period between each. Weather was nice topside and conditions underwater were about 20’25’ vis and high 50’s water temp. With the Vision being so large you didn’t notice the swells much until they had to set or pull the anchor and they turned against the swell otherwise it was nice and of course each night they anchored in a protected area.
I am for sure going back next year but I would have to say this type of trip is not for the faint of heart or anything less than a good advanced diver who feels comfortable with large swells, current, surge and it helps to not be prone to getting seasick. Just getting back on the swim step could be a fun adventure and the crew was always there to help and be ready to pull anyone in that might need help.
Even on the 1st dive of the first day I needed help to get back to the boat. I came up from the dive just far away from the rock that I could see it and the stern line but far enough away that I didn’t get pushed into the rock when all of a sudden a swell came in and when I looked the next minute there wasn’t anything around me. I surfaced and seen I was being pulled into another wash rock and no matter how hard I tried I kept getting sucked back towards the mean and nasty looking rock so that is when I signaled I needed help. One of the crew got out to me very quickly and I got a free ride back to the boat.
The dive sites we visited where Tide Rock which is close to Cape San Martin, Receding Reef just North of Jade Cove, Slate Rock and Betrayal Point south of Pfeiffer Falls, Pfeiffer Pinnacle, Purposal Point, Thomas Cove and Big Creek south of Partington Cove, Day Rock, lonely Pinnacle north of Sand Dollar beach and outer Jade Cove where I did find some small pieces of Jade.
Some of the spots were excellent for hunting for big red rock fish and lingcod and other spots were best suited for photography. Depending on the site and vis macro or close focus wide angle could get you some excellent photos not to mention all the cool topside pictures you could get. The coast by boat was awesome!
All that aside I guess this trip would be more like San Miguel on steroids to most people and VERY much WORTH it! A number of people had issues with gear like computer batteries, broken fin clips, buckles and straps and that is why thoroughly checking your gear before a trip is very useful. You just never know what Mother Nature will give you on the north coast but then I would go back in a heartbeat! What an excellent adventure it was!!!
Want to join CIDA in 2015 for another Big Sur adventure? The dates for the 3 day trip will be June 19-21 Fri./Sun.
Check here for pictures from the trip.
Check here for video from the trip
By Ken Kollwitz