Santa Cruz Island photos & report


Outer Bamnks diving on the Great Escape Southern California Live-Aboard Dive Boat

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Posted by scottfiji on June 17, 2005 at 16:20:40:

Dive #1: Cat Rock, Anacapa Island, 9:30AM
Bottom Time: 68 minutes
Max Depth: 47ft
Temp: 60 degrees
Vis: 15-40ft

Dive #2: Pinnacle Cove, Santa Cruz, 1:00PM
Bottom Time: 79 minutes
Max Depth: 48ft
Temp: 59 degrees
Vis: 20-50ft

pics: http://www.scubapost.net/gallery/SantaCruz20050616
(all labeled with species)

Gannon, Gary and myself departed Oxnard at 8:10AM on Gary's new 27-ft dive boat. By 8:50, we reached the arch of Anacapa. What a fast trip!

We anchored near Cat Rock in 20ft of water. Vis was variable due to a number of large bat rays hanging around. It was fun to have them fly by us throughout the first half of the dive. I also found a large abalone in the area. The bat rays were cool, but there was not a large amount of growth on the rocks or fish in this area.

Gary had some equipment problems, and went back to the boat. Gannon and I headed out to deeper water, and at 40ft found diving nirvana - clear vis, sunny kelp, and large schools of blacksmith, senoritas, and olive rockfish. I could have stayed here forever! Found a lingcod that I chased until he finally gave up, rested and let me take his pic.

Santa Cruz island was a short distance from Anacapa. What a beautiful island! So many small caves, such beautiful rocky shoreline. After sightseeing for a little while, we parked in a small cove with 3 rocky pinnacles on our left, and a long rocky wall on the right. The plan was to dive south along the rocky wall.

As soon we submerged, I knew this would be an awesome dive! The rocks had incredible growth, so many invertebrates covering each rock. The reefs were teeming with blue rockfish, lobsters, scallops, sea cucumbers, treefish, etc. I never seen so many sea cucumber tentacles before! Also saw lots of large lobster.

I found a set of swell sharks eggs carefully planted in some rocks - it was cool seeing the yolk inside them!

Lots of spanish shawl out on this dive too. It was such a wonderful spot, I hope I get to go back soon! Swimming the wall was great, the wall we saw from land continued underwater and dropped from the surface to 50-60feet deep!

The boat ride back was quick and smooth. We saw lots of dolphins in the ocean in Malibu driving back from Oxnard to LA county.

Scott



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