Trip Report: Catalina on the Magician with Ocean Safari

Great Dive Trips at Bargain Prices with the Sea Divers

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Posted by Chris on June 17, 2005 at 03:37:58:

Last weekend I went out on the Magician to take some pictures for the web page.
I went down Saturday evening to take some pictures of the boat when it was unoccupied. I also took a few pictures of the birds hanging out at 22nd Street Landing.

After taking the pictures I went upstairs to the bar for a beer and some calamari. While there I met Doug, a commercial urchin/cucumber diver.

Doug the urchin diver

Doug had some very interesting stories. He recently was bent for the first time in many years of diving. After a dive he felt numbness below the waist. He and his partner had come into port after a day of diving. He called 911 and they sent an ambulance to pick him up. He said he was in the ambulance for three hours before they could figure out where to take him. He eventually was taken to Long Beach Memorial, where they took him in and treated him. He had a series of eight treatments over several weeks. He also told me that he was glad he did not deny he was bent like he has seen others do, because the doctor told him if he had waited he might no longer be walking.

We also talked about various places we have both dove and why he dives. Part of why he works as a diver is he enjoys the beauty of the environment he works in. When I mentioned I had dove at the Farallones he told me he spent two years diving urchins there. He said he had seen several very large Great Whites. They came up and inspected him while he was on the bottom, but always left him alone. He said the spookiest thing was diving in low visibility and suddenly having the sea lions disappear. He said that was much more frightening than actually seeing the sharks.

On Sunday morning Ocean Safari had a trip scheduled to the oil rigs. Captain Jerry headed to the rigs, but when we got there the short swell period made the are under them look like a washing machine on the heavy cycle. Besides that the water was pea green, thus far from ideal conditions. So Conan the chartermaster from Ocean Safari talked with Captain Jerry and elected to head for Italian Gardens.

At Italian Gardens I was the first one in the water, and I immediately saw a Black Sea Bass. Unfortunately my camera was not ready and he took off before I could get the strobes deployed. I took some other pictures, but the best way to describe the water was green and chunky.

After the dive we moved West to a spot just East of Goat Harbor. Since the visibility on the top 25 feet was ok here Conan elected to stay for two dives.

On the second dive I encountered a Fried Egg Jellyfish (Phacellophora camtschatica) and drifted with it for about twenty minutes.

It was a great trip and I truly enjoyed it. If you have not been on the Magician since Jerry bought the boat a year ago, you should go. He has completely redone the galley, added tank benches, and installed a new swim step. His work in the especially galley is amazingly beautiful. Jerry runs great trips, has a good crew, and is an extremely competent and experienced captain. You should consider the Magician when you plan your next dive trip.

Click here to see all the pictures from the trip

© Chris Grossman,

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