Tanner, Cortes, San Clemente trip report.

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Posted by webmaster on August 30, 1999 at 21:17:22:

This last Friday/Saturday I worked as a safety diver / deck hand on the Great Escape (http://diveboat.com) trip to Tanner Bank, Cortes Bank, and San Clemente Island. The boat left the dock Thursday night at 11PM. The ride out was one of the smoothest I've had in months beyond Catalina. At daybreak, it was overcast and wind began to increase.
We dropped the hook on Tanner about 7:15 AM in about 110 feet. The swells were about 4 feet, but 15 to 17 seconds apart. However there were sets of 3 or 4 that were only a few seconds apart. The wind was blowing about 15 knots. There was no current.
Two divers aborted their dives at the anchor line and returned to the boat, because they did not feel comfortable with the conditions. Most other divers enjoyed the spot.
There was one instructor with two advanced students. He took his female student in, and a large video camera with him. On the surface his student panicked, because she said her hood was too tight. The instructor with has hands full of video gear was unable to help, so I had to dive in and reassured her she would be fine, and towed her back to the boat. That was the extent of my diving at Tanner.
After the dive at Tanner, we moved to a 60' pinnacle at Cortes Bank. Again there was no current, and the wind dropped to about 10 knots. The water was about 63F. When I descended to the pinnacle I found it covered with female lobster loaded with eggs. The were so many lobster, that even a small depression in a rock had sever trying to push their way into it. There were literally thousands of bugs in the 2 to 6 lb. range with a few larger ones here and there. There were also large schools of bait, both mackerel jack and sardines. The visibility below 50' opened up to about 80'. From the surface to 50' the visibility was only about 15'.
John, the owner of Captain Aqua's, returned to the boat with a 40 lb yellow tail, right after a free diver named Steve brought a 32 lb one back. Later, John's friend Carl brought back a 28 lb fish.
People enjoyed the dive so much the whole boat elected to stay at the same spot for another dive. On the next dive, divemaster Pierre shot a 22 lb yellowtail.
We then made a 5 hour run to Pyramid cove, and anchored there for two dives dinner, and the night.
In the morning we made the first dive at the arch in Pyramid cove, then we did two dives at the East end reef. The water was 68F on the surface, and 61 below. One pair of divers said they fed a pair of Black Sea Bass some small sheepshead they speared. The last dive was at fishhook.
Pictures I took on the trip can be found at http://diveboat.com/images/1999.08.27-28_tanner-cortez-san_clemente/

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