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Paddled out into a pretty strong headwind at first light in a brand new shiny, sexy Cruise12 that Jackson Kayak Team Member Sean Morley loaned me. Stoked that I got the pleasure and honor of demoing the beautiful boat and getting her salty and bloody for the first time. Yak handled the mixed swell and wind chop great, and even though it is a shorter yak than I have been paddling recently it tracked really well. Tied off to the kelp in a new area and jumped in to start exploring. Great structure, good viz and abundant blues and a few schooling olives got my day off to a good start. Wasn’t finding any Cabs or Lings though and wanted more than just regular old rockies, so decided to work my way back to the yak covering some deeper territory along the way. Dropped down to 45 feet and see the grey mottled back of a nice Verm sitting out amongst the boulders at the base of a big pinnacle. Take my time gliding up on the nice fish and it starts to head off around a corner but I pop it right in the shoulder and the shaft goes right through the head, and the fish sinks to the bottom quivering.

Only 16 inches, but my first verm of 2014, fourth one ever, and first one I have ever hunted down in Carmel. Stoked!! Paddle to another spot I know and pick up a nice 19 inch cab, a yummy kelpy and a 27 inch Ling along with a surprise treat of an octopus that I hand grabbed while it was crawling along the bottom. Smallest GPO I have ever seen but it was super yummy and tender! Move one more time and pick up a 28 inch Ling, another blue and an 18 inch cab to finish off both my RCG and Ling limits. Enjoyed the paddle back in with a nice tail wind and then chilled at the beach for a few pics and a post dive beer. Great day in the water and really enjoyed diving off the Cruise12. Thought it paddled really well, and had plenty of storage for my dive gear, and was easy to jump on and off. Super nice dive platform!

Anyway, here are some pics and a little vid.