Opening 4 day on the Great Escape

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Posted by Chris on October 06, 2003 at 12:08:31:

I went on the opening 4 day Big Bug Quest Great Escape as the back-up divemaster.
I have not been sea sick in years, yet on the trip out it was my night to pay homage to the god of the sea, Ralph. It was not especially rough.
Our first day was at San Nicolas Island. Although I was not feeling 100%, I was much better and went diving anyway.
The visibility at Nic varied from 15 to 80 ft. with water temperature about 58 °F.
There were many bugs, but most were far too deep in their holes to get at. Bug Hunter Bill nabbed the first bug of the trip.
I saw some very large ones 10 lb.+ in about 8 ft. of water, but they were too far back to get at.
The ones I did get at Nic are when I ventured off into a bit more desolate areas and found small rock piles. We also saw the Pacific Star and the Conception at Nic that day.
On the second day of our trip we went to Santa Barbara Island. Here the visibility was 100 ft. +. Our first dive of the day I found the only bug at about 70 ft. After that I got bugs almost every dive. When I did find bugs they tended to be in shallow areas, and alone, not in groups. The bugs I got at SBI probably averaged about 2 lbs. They were nice. That day we also saw the Horizon at SBI.
The next day we went to Cortes. There were many shorts, but many legals as well. The vis was great, and early in the day we were swarmed by small yellowtail. They were there to feed on the large schools of small mackerel jack.
By late in the day I had reached my limit for the trip and I decided to take pictures while I was there. The Vision, Conception, and Horizon were also there that day.
The last day was at Catalina, and I choose to sleep in rather than dive in the somewhat disappointing visibility there.
It was a great trip. I came home with 21 nice bugs, my biggest was 4 lbs. 13 oz, and my average size was about 2 lbs. I made a few rescues during the trip, but had a great time.
The few pictures I took of the trip can be seen at:
Pictures from the Opening 4 Day on the Great Escape

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