Posted by Ken Kurtis on October 22, 2001 at 10:43:49:
Just a note to let you know that even though there are restrictions in place around Clemente (don't come closer than 300 yards), we were able to dive it yesterday (10/21) on our Reef Seekers charter aboard the Great Escape.
First spot was 9-Fathom Reef (way outside the perimeter limit), followed the three dives in West Cove, all outside the 300-yard limit. Average anchoring depth was in the 45-60' range. We saw three other boats (one private and two commercial lobster boats), didn't see any Navy boats or ships or get any contact or interference from them, but did see one truck on a shoreline road where a sailor got out and took a look at the boats through binoculars and then moved on.
The diving was VERY nice, with 50-80' visibility and a water temp of 59-64º. Highlights of the dives included a very friendly, inquisitive, and playful harbor seal on dive #2, and multiple Black Sea Bass sightings on all the dvies in West Cove.
The favorite spot of the day was the final spot in West Cove. Tim & Dave say they don't really have a name for it, but we sort of settled on "Interesting Reef" because in his briefing Tim mentioned that, "We've been watching the meter and came across an interesting reef that should be a good dive . . ."
And it was. Really great bottom formation with lots of huge rock structures that top out around 40-60' and then drop off to 100+', channels between the various rock formations, healthy kelp growth, lots of fish, some bugs, and the aforementioned Black Sea Bass (who closely approached many divers).
Thanks to Tim & Dave for giving Clemente a shot. For those who choose to venture there in the near future, remember Tim's admonition that with the 30-yard perimeter, you can only do this in relatively good weather (we had a slight swell running). If the seas pick up, you can't tuck in and anchor close enough to the island to hide and would have to pick up and head back to Catalina.
NAUI Instr. #5936
Co-owner, Reef Seekers Dive Co.
Beverly Hills, Ca.
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