Yellowtail Point, Catalina

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Posted by Chris on February 08, 2001 at 01:20:43:

Yellowtail Point, Catalina

On January 21, 2001 I made a dive at Yellowtail point in Catalina. I went deep, looking for rock piles with bugs. The sand was covered with squid eggs. I found a rock pile, surrounded by bull kelp at 130 ft where the bugs were out, I managed to grab two before I ran out of bottom time and had two head toward the surface and back to the boat. When I reached 40 ft, I was in an area of kelp. I grabbed onto a stalk to do my safety stop. There was squid hiding under the kelp fronds and a large school of 20-pound yellowtail chasing the ones in the open. The visibility was only about 20 ft. that day.

On January 28, 2001 I returned to the same spot. The visibility had improved to about 60 ft. I swam out at about 50 ft. above the bottom looking for the same rock pile I had found the week before. This time there was even more squid eggs, and many fish out among them feeding on the dead squid. When I got to the rock pile, I saw a sight I had never observed before. This rock pile was surrounded buy about 30 torpedo (electric) rays laying on the bottom, and two hovering next to the rock pile. I decided I did not want to go down there that badly and turned around and headed inshore. I saw no bugs until I got to about 40 ft. where they were under almost every rock. I managed to grab two, before my air ran low and I headed up for my safety stop.

I have never seen torpedo rays assembled like that before. Often when swimming across the sand hunting for halibut I have observed large (100+) groups of bat rays, but I had never observed anything but solitary torpedo rays in the past. It was a very cool sight.

I have over 1600 dives, yet I still find new things almost every dive trip. This is one of things I love about diving.

Chris Grossman
Scuba Divers Network

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