Posted by jlyle on June 12, 2005 at 18:54:14:
Sunday, Scott, Margaret, Roger, and I made a run to Catalina Island in hopes of finding cleaner water than that in Santa Monica Bay. A bad red-tide bloom had reduced visibility locally; in some places, the water is not only the color of strong coffee, but it also reeks.
On the way across the channel, we were treated to an enormous pod of dolphin - there must have been a thousand or more, breaking the surface and doing whatever it is that dolphins do to amuse themselves.
We dropped anchor at Italian Gardens, a popular dive site, West of Avalon where there is always the possibility of seeing Black Sea Bass. Although the water was a little green, the giant kelp was floating on the surface and we could see a good way down the stipes, indicating reasonable visibility.
I did my back roll into the water and Scott handed me my camera. The surface water was very comfortable - and then I hit a hard thermocline at fifty feet where the deeper water was in the mid-fifties, brrrr!
Here are a few images from this morning's dives:
Sheephead (super male phase) ([i]Semicossyphus pulcher[/i])
Sheep crab ([i]Loxorhynchus grandis[/i])
The Fried egg jellyfish is a pelagic creature and isn't often seen near shore. This spring has been an exceptional year, with many, many sightings from San Diego north to the Channel Island. I was very excited to find some.
Fried egg jellyfish ([i]Phacellophora camtschatica[/i])
California scorpionfish ([i]Scorpaena guttata[/i])
Octopus ([i]Octopus sp.[/i])
Fried egg jellyfish
I just love Catalina Island. I did see a BSB, but no picture. During our surface interval, we saw on the the bald eagles take a fish and fly back to some rocks to eat his catch. The seagulls and ravens put on a great show trying to get in on the seafood, but the eagle wasn't having any of it.
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