Dive Report: Cortes Bank and SBI

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Posted by Chris on October 28, 2002 at 01:13:29:

Last Friday & Saturday, October25-26, 2002, I went with the Sea Divers to Cortes Bank & Santa Barbara Island on the Great Escape.
When we first left the harbor at 10:30 PM on Thursday the ride was a bit bumpy, but seemed to smooth out the farther we got. When I awoke just before sunrise the sea was amazingly calm.

Our first spot was the 9-fathom spot where the bugs were plentiful but deep.
The water was 63°F with well over 100 ft. visibility.
Several large yellowtails were sighted as well as a mola mola that decided to come up and check out the boat.
On the second dive there I found a ridge that was thick with bugs, but I only had time to pull three nice ones before I ran short on bottom time.
Kathy Dacey grabbed a 6½ lb. bug right under the boat.

We then moved to the main area at Cortes.
Here the water was still a comfy 64°F, but the visibility dropped to about 40 ft.
Captain Tim put is in shallower areas, but most of the bugs seemed to be below 80 ft.
There were some in the shallow areas, including a few pulled from inside the wreck.
Gary Murdock managed to land a 10½ lb. bull, which he released after taking a few photos with it.

In the afternoon it drizzled a bit but the sea became flat calm.
My girlfriend Kathryn landed her first bug of the season the afternoon as well.

Before dinner, Tim Pastushin pulled out his fishing gear and landed this huge fish.

After dinner there was a night dive, where a few divers who actually had some bottom time remaining, and did not partake in the wine, managed to get one more bug.

That night the ride to Santa Barbara Island was so smooth that you would have thought we were inside the harbor.
In the morning we did our first dive outside of Suttil Island and I managed to find many bugs in about 60 ft. of water including one that was just under 6 lbs.
The water here was a nice 62°F with about 50 ft. visibility.
On the next dive near Webster point my girlfriend Kathryn landed a 3 lb. bug, but other than that the pickings here were slim.
The next dive near, north of three sisters, I came up empty, but some people who went very shallow did well, and a bug was also pulled from about 100 ft.
Our last dive was near white rock. I went into the cave there, which is usually packed with bugs, but none were to be found, just many playful sea lions.
I was a great dive trip.
Kathy Dacey had her best bug hunting outing ever.

We had an encounter with some bottle nose dolphins riding the bow wave as we left the island.

And the three lb. bug Kathryn pulled was the biggest she had ever landed.

Pictures from the October 25-26, 2002 Sea Divers Trip

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