Dive Report: Begg Rock, Nic, and SBI

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Posted by Chris on August 21, 2002 at 10:33:48:

Begg Rock

Last weekend (August 17-18, 2002) I went to San Nicolas Island, Begg Rock, and Santa Barbara Island with Ocean Safai on the Great Escape.
Captain Tim diverted from Begg Rock on Saturday morning because of high wind and current, and we ended up at the boilers.
The water temperature at the boilers was 59°F, downright toasty for Nic.
The visibility was about 40 feet.
As usual the area was lush with life.
I saw two large bugs, the first about 3½ lbs., and the second looked to be close to 9 lbs.
I saw many rockfish, a few calicos, cabazon, and many lingcod.
The largest ling was 4½ ft. long and probably near 16 lbs.
This was a very nice dive.
For our next dive Captain Tim stopped in a large area of kelp.
Although the kelp here was plentiful, the bottom was mostly small pebbles and little round rocks.
There was surprisingly little life here.
I did find one rock pile with hole that contained two swell sharks.
When that dive was over, the wind had laid down, so Captain Tim headed for Begg Rock.
He anchored between the rock and one of the boilers on a high spot that came up to 30 ft.
The visibility at Begg varied from about 60 ft. at the surface to well over 100 ft. at 90 ft.
We stayed here for the rest of the day and did two dives.
I saw many large cabazon, and a huge field of small metridium anemones.
Both my girl friend Kathryn and I got out days limit of very nice scallops.
Both Joe Belanger and I observed small translucent fish which were two to three inches long.
When I first saw it my first thought was that it was another salp, but it was a true fish.
I observed one a few inches from me swimming against the mild current while Kathryn and I were doing our safety stop on the anchor line.
It still amazes me that after over 1600 California dives I still see new life.
After the dives at Begg we headed for Santa Barbara Island and anchored there for the night.
While we were anchored that night at Santa Barbara Island many large dragonflies were attracted to the lights on the boat.
There was a pre dawn dive and one the next morning I missed at Shag Rock
I did the following dive up against the island near three sisters.
I saw many lobsters in 30 ft. and shallower here.
I also saw a large bat ray in the sand at about 60 ft.
The Peace was also at the island that day and while I was diving Captain Eric came over on the zodiac to visit with Captain Tim.
However when Eric tried to return he seemed to flood the outboard's engine and needed to be towed back by Brett
Our last dive was on the reef on the outside of Suttil Island.
This is a incredible reef with a series of kelp covered pinnacles and deep ravines.
On this dive I saw a very large moray, a calico that was at least twelve pounds, many lobster, scallops, sculpin, cabazon, and a large green abalone I stopped and fed a fresh kelp leaf.
It was another great trip!

Click here for pictures and movies of the trip

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