Back to Nicolas

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Posted by Brad on January 13, 2003 at 19:31:07:

Took the good skiff back to Nicolas last friday, leaving the house at the leasurly hour of 9am. (HPOM!) I went straight to that incredible outcroping that i found a couple months ago. The kelp has grown out since then and i had to anchor about 100 yards away and swim around until if found it. I saw the same huge sheephead that has been there since my first visit. I didn't see the grass rockfish that followed me around last trip, but i'm sure he is still around....

This is the time of the year when the elephants are hauling themselves up on the beach. Every once in a while you would see one off the beach looking for the place to get out and rest. I am always hoping to see one swim to the beach. I wonder how they would feel about a little pic? Hopefully i will find out one of these trips.

Saturday morning i made my way west in the drizzle and wind. After a few miles up the island it became apparent that the conditions were deterorating the further you went so i came into a small cove. I have been diving in every kelp bed that looked good there for years. I finally dove on a non-discript kelp bed about an acre in size. It turned out to be the most fantastic place i have found there yet! Deep gtottos, i mean deep enough to go down in them 10 feet. There were at least 6 places with walls to 15 ft.There were boulders and hang overs everywhere! The bottom was about 35ft and all the rocks were above that so it is a very easy place to freedive. This place had all the usual celiberties and a few i have seen only for the first time.

I love the dark places, the caves, grottos, and overhangs that hold the fish. You never know what you will see just around every rock! I love Treefish and i actually have 2 in the same frame! I have one pic of a Treefish, B&Y, Cabazon in the same frame! That place is a wonderland! I took this picture of a Swell Shark that i encountered at the bottom of a grotto. He was stuck between tow rocks and was struggling to get free. When he did, he just stayed there for a while.

I anchored right there for Saturday night. Cooked a nice meal, then mixed a fine rum and coke on ice and listened to A Prairie Home Companion with elephane seal bellows in the background...

Sunday morning was very nice, wind on the outside, but not in the cove. I put on the wet wetsuit as the sun was coming out and slipped into the water. The vis had gone down to about 20 ft over night. Tough to find the dark areas when you can't see the bottom, but it was thoroughly enjoyable at that incredible place nonetheless.

On the way home i ran into some whales. i played some special music loud on my CD and they actually circled the boat for about 15 minutes. They stayed about 30 yards off, but they were actually languishing in the music...A few years ago on the way home from SCI, i played music for a Blue whale. I stood on my deck waiting to tape his next breath when i looked down and noticed that the whale was just sitting still directly below the skiff! I made a mental note to not ever do that again, but what the heck. We were watching the video while looking through 2 whale books and could not determine what kind they were. They were beautiful!

I swung into SBI on the way home and the island is plush green!

Two wonderful nights, great run back down that mountain to safe harbor yet one more time...


(loves the sea)

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