Posted by Dick Analog on March 07, 2005 at 13:01:30:
After lots of fun dives over the last few weeks, we decided it was time to brush up on some basic diving skills. We chose the Avalon Dive Park as a comfortable, familiar place to yank off our masks, lose a regulator or two, and practice emergency ascents using an alternate air source.
On the way across the channel we were treated to the sight of a pod of orcas - looked like maybe 6 to 8 individuals, passing about 100yds off the port side of the Cat Express boat. Sunday's conditions at Avalon were good: visibility about 30ft, lots of sunshine streaming down through the kelp, and water temp about 59 degrees F. The tide at mid-day was as low as we'd ever seen - on each of three dives we scrambled over the boulders (without fins) on entries and exits. The diver crowd was moderately-sized.
We noticed a fresh wreck adjacent to the Sue-Jac: a fiberglass sailboat complete with mast & sails, and still some decent hardware mounted to the gunwales. It's certain that the remaining goodies won't last long.
In between skills practice we cruised around and snapped a few photos.
This is a (juvenile?) kelp fish that had a beautiful translucent appearance.
Some of the color found on the artificial reef formed by the swim platform in the NW corner of the park.
A blue banded goby. I've burned up more liters of air trying to snap photos of these skittish creatures...and still looking for the perfect shot.
We spotted something on the bottom that looked like a bowl of noodles thrown into the water by a careless passerby. On closer inspection we found a large (10in. dia) ball of intertwined, transparent tubes, filled with what appear to be eggs of some sort. Anyone out there know what it/they might be? If they are eggs, it's surprising that they weren't gobbled up by the reef fishes; maybe they taste bad or are toxic to other marine life?
Even bottom feeders seem to go along with the buddy system.
The usual camera hog...kept getting in my face while trying to photograph the turbots.
Best regards to all.
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