Kayak-dive report 9/1/03 @ Leo

Outer Bamnks diving on the Great Escape Southern California Live-Aboard Dive Boat

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Posted by Andrew Spring on September 02, 2003 at 00:00:31:

Recently got certified and was itching to dive off the XT. Paddled out into 2-4ft shore break with Pat D. for our first kayak-dive. Launching was not bad with the extra weight from the tank, gear and weight system-same as fishing-wait for the window. Paddled out in front of the first tower only to find brown cloudy water. What a disappointment! Turned around towards Harrison's reef and found cleaner water in 35ft. Anchored to the kelp, threw out our gear on the tethers, climbed into the BC's and slipped on our fins. Before we knew it the current pushed the cloudy brown water on our spot-dammit. I was planning on bringing my spear-gun down, but Pat could of easily been mistaken for a target with the low vis. :) We dropped down past 15ft and it cleared up considerably, and at the bottom vis was 10-20ft. We made our way over sandy flats and small reefs until we hit a large reef rising 20ft off the bottom. We spent most of the dive at this reef. There was sea cucumbers along the reef wall and numerous holes providing shelter for little critters. Now the good part. Saw tons of big perch, bass, and a big sheepshead. Pat knifed a sea urchin and started a feeding frenzy among the various fish. When I saw that big sheepshead move in I kicked myself for leaving the spear-gun above. We hung there for a minute, then made our way back to the kayaks. When we surfaced, Pat had a great idea. Go get the spear-gun, and go after the sheepshead. We had some air left so why not? Next, we're descending again through the brown haze onto the clearer bottom. I began to load the bands on the spear-gun when a rockfish starts to peck at the spear tip, I couldn't believe it! I wanted more of a challenge for my first time. We made our way to a fishy reef, but no big sheepshead. I grow inpatient and start looking over a sandy flat for maybe a butt. Pat all of a sudden taps me on the shoulder and motions me back to the reef. There is now a nice sized sheepshead hanging on the reef. I couldn't take a shot because of the reef behind it, didn't want to damage the spear if I missed. I Tracked it for a few seconds until it swam above the reef. I raised the gun and was taking aim when it got spooked. I started to swim after it when it turned around and gave me its profile at about 10ft distance- raised the gun, took aim, and released the trigger. The spear found its way right behind the head for my very first shot. I was stoked and so was Pat who got to watch the whole thing. That topped off a very fun day on, and in the water. Paddled back in with no incident. Water was in the high 50s with overcast all day, No wind.

: see ya on the water,
: Andrew

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