Dive Report 7-24-04, Farnsworth Bank and Catalina Backside

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Posted by Elaine on July 25, 2004 at 20:00:27:

At 6:00 am Saturday morning a trip chartered by Sea d Sea Dive Shop set out on the Sundiver for Farnsworth Bank. We had great weather and ocean conditions for the three hour journey. The following photos are of the boat and itís Captain Ray Arntz.


When we arrived at Farnsworth Bank, the most popular area to anchor and dive, the 60 foot high spot, was already a parking lot. So......Captain Ray moved us to the other end of the reef with a high spot of about 80 feet. Because this was a deeper area we were all reminded to stay within recreational dive limits, and, we were warned that if we did not feel comfortable making a deep dive to please stay on the boat.

Visibility at Farnsworth was perhaps 60 feet. The water temperature varied from 68 to 54 degrees, depending on the depth and the thermoclines. At this end of Farnsworth the rocky reef was surrounded by a sandy bottom at about 115 feet. The famous purple hydrocoral was everywhere, as well as many beautiful gorgonians, nudibranchs, and fish. I didnít see any big fish, but, I did see many schools of blacksmith as well as lots and lots of .......Brad hold your breath.....tree fish. Bob and Carol were treated to a torpedo ray sighting.



The anchor line on the assent was a little crowded as it was the main point of reference, but, watching divers and their bubbles ascend in the beautiful blue was a great thing to do on the safety stop.


On the surface, the divemaster was meticulous about his job of checking everybody in. The boat did not move until a visual recount had been done on everyone. It was so thorough, by the end of the day, I was starting to wonder if they were even rating everyone on a scale of 1 to10 ... hum, maybe I should look at that board sometime. No telling what new Coast Guard requirements might be.


At Farnsworth, there was actually one new acquisition. During the dive someone located a lost anchor and its chain. They didnít have a lift bag, so, using their diver noodle they attached the found anchor to the anchor line of the Sundiver. It was a little extra work to pull the anchor, but the plan worked. Below are photos of the retrieval of the found anchor and its proud new owner!


After the Farnsworth dive we had a long surface interval. How did I spend my time, taking photos of course.




The next dive site was Cape Cortes on the backside of Catalina. Visibility here was a little less than Farnsworth, but still not shabby. This site was loaded with beautiful gorgonians in the deeper areas. I spotted several bat rays cruising the edge of the kelp. The shallow area had a beautiful kelp canopy.



Our last dive of the day was at Eagle Rock Reef. We watched the bald eagles at the top of the cliff watch us dive. I tried some macro here with a 1:2 extension tube and found a small sheep crab who didnít seem too bothered about posing for some photos. A sea lion also amused himself with some diver bombing runs. Actually, this site probably would have been better for wide angle, I just didnít know that ahead of time.


Our day ended with a comfortable three hour run back to Long Beach. It was a great way to spend a Saturday, and a terrific day of diving.. Until next time:


Story and Photos © Elaine Jobin

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