Anacapa was great!

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Posted by DougD on October 28, 2001 at 22:37:07:

Did 4 dives at Anacapa Island off the Spectre today, and the conditions could not have been better. It WAS flat out there! Did dives at Bat Rock, The Garden, The Channels, and finally at Sea Lion Beach (?..., by the lighthouse, around the corner from Arch Rock). The visibility was terrific. We could see the bottom from the boat at all the sites, and I saw all kinds of creatures today that I've never seen on a dive before.

At Bat Rock I saw a lot of big bugs, all just out of reach. Almost got my hand on one, but at the last moment he moved and antennea over and touched my hand and disappeared into his hole. I one crack I saw six of seven big bugs hanging out way back. Lobster molts were all over the bottom. Big ones. I took one urchin from there today, and tried my hand at preparing Uni tonight. Not bad. My little anlog termeter read 56 degrees all day but my buddy says it was 62 by his digital Data Pro Max.

The Garden was pretty incredible. Big Sheephead and Calico Bass everywhere. Giant rock scallops and bugs in abundance. Too bad we couldn't touch. Spanish Shawl Nudibranchs were everywhere. Sea cucumbers, and keyhole limpets (sp?).

The Channels was a little had some pretty strong surge, but we had an interesting encounter with two playful.....err...aggressive harbor seals. One got downright nasty, and opened the tank strap on my buddy's BC. I looked over and his tank was starting to float up with just the hoses through the strap to keep in from surfacing without him. I rushed over, repositioned it, and clamped it back down. My buddy never even realized how much trouble he was about to be in.

The seals kept coming back and clawing at our masks. One went for my buddies tank strap again and I shooed him/her away. It returned and started clawing at Mike's hood, and both of our masks. At that point we decided to get out of there. I don't know if it was the color of my buddy's wetsuit or what but they seemed really interested in him and didn't bother me too much. I kidded Mike later saying that he must have looked like a better mate than I did. I did rub the nicer of the two on the belly a few times as it passed, and at one point it nosed right up to the faceplate and peared in at me. Way cool.

Our last stop was at the beach full of sea lions. They were really fast and sleak compared to the harbor seals. I liked them much better. At one point I was surrounded by at least 7 or 8 of them, all doing circles around me but staying just out of reach. We followed along the rock reef and collected a few rock scallops (they were everywhere) looking for lobsters the whole time. Perhaps we should have gone shallower, but there was a pretty big surge and the further toward shore we got the worse the vis. Most of the lobster cages we saw today were empty, but here we saw one with about 5 huge bugs in it. Made my mouth water.

Great day of boat diving.

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