I awaken to the sound of two synchronous v-12 engines firing-up. In a daze of semi-sleep I realize I’m in a bunk on the Vision live-aboard yacht, the finest vessel in the fleet of boats owned by Truth Aquatics out of Santa Barbara. I feel a bit displaced. We are not at the usual mooring in the harbor of Santa Barbara but are debarking from the northern reaches of Morro Bay. We are going to Big Sur, Morro Bay being the closest harbor to these uncharted waters.
The night before the crew and passengers were electric with anticipation. Driving to this isolated harbor in middle California produced a certain excitement. Seeing the gleaming Vision perched amongst the fishing fleet like a phoenix added to the anticipation. The bustle on deck of passengers stowing their dive gear and getting their arrays of camera equipment in sync to document this one of a kind scuba adventure pushed my energy into warp drive. We were going to the mythical Big Sur, to a part of the earth that has never been viewed by human eyes, on a vessel that has the comfort, diving capabilities and electronics to explore such a space.
Truth Aquatics and Adventure Sports Unlimited (ASU) are a good match for this Big Sur campaign. Truth Aquatics, led by Glen Fritzler, has always had their reputation steeped in exploration. In the early ‘80s they moved from San Pedro harbor to Santa Babara, not for the money but the chance to uncover new underwater topography in the Northern Channel Islands.
Their lust for uncharted waters made them popular by a sect of sport enthusiasts called divers that allowed them to build three vessels, the Truth, Conception, and Vision. ASU, an aquatics shop in Santa Cruz, built their name in exploration. They have traveled all over the world in search of new aquatic space. The jewel of this lust has always been in their back yard—Big Sur. They jumped off 30-foot cliffs, launched inflatables through 10-foot surf, and brought dive kayaks to touch what little space access would allow. Diving treasure in the form topography and tapestries of colors were barely uncovered.
Being Truth Aquatics oldest customer and knowing their bent for new adventure, it only seemed fitting to approach Glen with a campaign to bring the Vision yacht north. He jumped at the chance to renew the flow of exploratory juices. The partnership was cemented-The True/Adventure Campaign to the unexplored waters of Big Sur.
Using ASU’s extensive knowledge of Big Sur, a weather window of June was chosen to begin the exploration. Their job was to collect the charts and side-scan sonar data available to focus our quest on the best topography. Truth Aquatics job was to make the boat ready, acquiesce electronics to view this new space, and provide photographic processing. For it was not for game or semi-precious jewels that we came to Big Sur but the chance to document this most beautiful aquatic world.
The engines begin to quicken their pace; I can hear or imagine the bow lines released from the docks and thrown to the docks from the dark comfort of my bunk. I can drift back to sleep knowing that my camera equipment and diving gear is ready for that first plunge into the crystal clear space of the unknown waters of Big Sur. I can hardly wait!