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Old 03-26-2012, 07:49 PM   #1
ljsargent
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Haystack Rock, Pacific City

Conditions looked good so I headed out to Pacific City and met up with Laurance and Dan. I thought we'd be alone but I was wrong, the place was crowded! Surfers on the beach, us 3 in yaks, and least 4 other hook and liners in yaks. And a zodiac with what turned out to be two of the only freedivers in Oregon not at the BBQ the day before, Steve and Clayton.
Good vis, probably 10-12 ft, tons of fish, and great structure. Haystack is amazing both above and below the water. Everyone got lings but me, limits of fish, and Clayton got some of the biggest scallops I've ever seen. It's good to have fish in the freezer again.
I don't have pics, Dan was the only one who took any so maybe he'll post some.
Great meeting you Steve and Clayton, as with all the others at the BBQ. I'm sure we'll be seeing more of each other.
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Old 03-26-2012, 10:37 PM   #2
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Re: Haystack Rock, Pacific City

Great report, and glad you found a new spot that produces! How deep was the area you were diving?
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Old 03-26-2012, 10:43 PM   #3
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Re: Haystack Rock, Pacific City

Wow! Sounds like you guys had a great day! We'll have to head up there for the next meet!
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Old 03-26-2012, 11:53 PM   #4
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Re: Haystack Rock, Pacific City

Great report, Lewis! It was good meeting you this past weekend. Hopefully we'll be able to dive one day soon.
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Old 03-27-2012, 12:49 AM   #5
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Re: Haystack Rock, Pacific City

Great report Lewis, can't wait to see the pics! Calvin, good to see you on"board."
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Old 03-27-2012, 03:38 PM   #6
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Re: Haystack Rock, Pacific City

Thanks, Josh. Its good to be back! We need to get you into some better water and find some Lingcod/Cabezon/something-other-than dinosaurs for you to shoot!
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Old 03-27-2012, 04:34 PM   #7
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Re: Haystack Rock, Pacific City

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Great report, and glad you found a new spot that produces! How deep was the area you were diving?
I don't have a computer, but I'd say the deepest I went was around 45' in some of the holes between the boulders. That's where I was finding the lings. To be honest, you didn't need to go deeper than 15-20' to find big schools of 17+" blacks and smaller lings.

It was an amazingly productive day that I'm sure was bolstered by the good karma Stephan and I got by pulling a capsized kayaker out of the drink.

I think that Stephan got a picture of the carnage (ie pile of fish) that was the collective spearboarder taking. I'll try to get him to post it (although I don't know if that's allowed since it's more than one persons catch?).

Stephan and I we both limited on rock fish. High marks go to his 22" fat black and I managed a 30" (ok, it was 29 7/8!) ling. I also took an 8" scallop which was a PB.

Great to meet you too Lewis, Laurance and Dan! Lets do it again, but this time with a little planning.

P.S.- DAN I have your ab iron. It looks EXACTLY the same as mine including the rust. We'll have to go diving so I can get it back to you.
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Old 03-28-2012, 12:00 AM   #8
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Re: Haystack Rock, Pacific City

Thanks Clayton! I can't wait to dive the area. Lewis has told me about it, and it sounds fantastic. Nice 30 inch ling - you know they shrink a little after you shoot them due to trauma, blood loss, handling, exposure to sun, gravitational anomalies, wave pressure while on the stringer, and proximity to smelly dive gear - so I am sure it was 30 inches - probably more like 32-33 inches if all the facts were known.

That 8" scallop could be used for a dinner plate. Great find!
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Old 03-28-2012, 12:31 PM   #9
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Re: Haystack Rock, Pacific City

when you dive haystack, do you dive right up next to it? or are there reefs in the outlying area? ive always wanted to but never got around to it...
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Old 03-28-2012, 12:59 PM   #10
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Re: Haystack Rock, Pacific City

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when you dive haystack, do you dive right up next to it? or are there reefs in the outlying area? ive always wanted to but never got around to it...
Both options are viable. I found the large scallop on the haystack itself back in a large cave undercutting a shear face. Diving right against it can be tricky though even on nice days. Stephan says he got pretty banged this last time.

There is a large reef extenting away to the north and east of the haystack that runs from 10-30ish' deep. On either side it drops deeper into a boulder field. The topography in the area is pretty amazing and I certainly haven't explored even close to all of it.
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Old 03-28-2012, 08:15 PM   #11
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Re: Haystack Rock, Pacific City

so this could possibly be a shore dive? (for those of us who are poor college kids)
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Old 03-29-2012, 12:34 PM   #12
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Re: Haystack Rock, Pacific City

I was wondering if diving near the cape would be possible. On the southern side, it should be a lot calmer current wise. I can imagine that out on that reef the current can be ripping.
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Old 03-29-2012, 02:52 PM   #13
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Re: Haystack Rock, Pacific City

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so this could possibly be a shore dive? (for those of us who are poor college kids)
I did a number of stupid things in college. This could have been one of them. But I'd probably only do it once. It's a good, long swim. Surfboard would be better. Kayak is great.
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Old 03-29-2012, 06:05 PM   #14
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Re: Haystack Rock, Pacific City

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I was wondering if diving near the cape would be possible. On the southern side, it should be a lot calmer current wise. I can imagine that out on that reef the current can be ripping.
LittleGoat, I've dove Cape Kiwanda for years from shore, the viz there used to to be the best consistently good spot on the central Oregon coast but lately (we're talking the the last 5 years or so) it hasn't been that consistent. But loads of fish there, best after Memorial Day and certain times of the year the place is wiggy with crabs. The place is a desert on an outgoing tide always do an incoming tide. You'll love the u/w scenery there, it's like diving in a park, just slip from boulder to boulder.
Out towards the end there's a cove...check it out. It's shallow but you'll never know what you might find in there. Someday I'll tell you about " The whale, the sturgeon and the dog from hell" and it all happened around that cove in an hours time.
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Old 03-29-2012, 06:53 PM   #15
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Re: Haystack Rock, Pacific City

They said it was supposed to be 2' swell but it seemed like the surfers were having a fun time. Everything looked bigger than I expected. Lewis went first through the surf and he almost bit it hard with a wave breaking on him but he made it through. Daniel (a young gun who has been going with me the last couple years) tried to go next but he kept flipping over. While Lewis was patiently waiting outside the surf we put Dan's gear in my yak and his weight belt in the hold of his yak for ballast and he made it through fine.
Honestly I think the surf is about as extreme as I'd ever want to try. Now for the mile paddle out to the rock. Lewis used a kelp to anchor in 40' of water and we tethered to his yak.
Lewis and I wanted to dive closer to the rock while Dan decided to hunt by the yaks diving the 40' down to the bottom. Viz was great appx 15-20', it's a wonder of a place with HUGE boulders, crevices, lots of structure. Fish everywhere, gorgeous u/w scenery like being in yiur own aquarium.
We all tried to keep an eye on our yaks but at one point they were gone!! Dan was the HERO and was able to hunt them down and paddle them back to us.
As I was descending down into a crevice I saw a pectoral fin sticking out past a shadow as my eyes adjusted to the dark a ling materialized and he was on my stringer a minute later.
The swell was picking up and a storm was brewing time to head in.
Met Steve and Clayton at the cleaning station, great guys.
Lewis had one of the nicest stringers of black rocks I 've seen in a while. He had one I'm sure was pushing 7#.
On the way home I bought Dan a Longhorn burger, if not for his herculean effort retrieving the yaks we'd still be on the rock.
Lessons learned:
Time the surf-going out can be tough, coming incan be worse.
Always-Always-Always keep stuff strapped in (casualties- ad iron, knife, almost mask and snorkel)
Three yaks on a kelp clip might be too much
thether the yaks together differently than how we did it
Don't use the yak next to as a balance pointwhen you slip off your yak especially when someone is in the other yak...huh Dan
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