Posted by Brad on August 23, 2004 at 21:13:14:
Everything went slack last Wed, so i had to take the good skiff on another run! I saw a Minke whale on the way out. I got to Nic about 1PM and the vis was really bad from the sand spit all the way up the backside of the island just like Capt Tim mentioned. So i spent a very nice warm and dry night below a mostly vacant beach...
Thursday morning i zipped out to the Cortes bank. About 20 nm from the bank i encountered a beautiful Green Turtle that swam right up to the skiff. I got some very nice video of that lonesome visitor.
The bank was 64 degrees, but there was a huge amount of debris in the water column. I swam on the wreck, but the vis was so bad i didn't see much. I spent that afternoon and night just hanging out enjoying the sights and sounds...
Friday morning, the bank got a little busy with a couple other boats so i went a few miles outside to look around and see who was there. The water was still 64 so there wasn't much life. I had a nice Mola hang around the skiff for a few hours and there was a school of flying fish under some kelp.
Both thursday and friday nights were calm and warm on the bank. The sky was overcast so there was no dew! Saturday morning i moved back down to the wreck and the vis had improved dramatically. I didn't see any of the WSB that were all over the bank last month, but i did meet a very personable seal. She had been following me around for a bit so i did a summersault and then she did a summersault...
that was it, we were friends!
She came up to me and i reached out my hand and she gently put her fins around my arm and just sort of held on checking me out. Over the course of the next half hour, she grabbed me a few times and followed me around very intently. I have never had a seal actually clutch me before. They have exquisite claws and digits on their fins. This animal was yearning for something...It was a very interesting encounter, i wish i understood what she wanted...
I left the bank right after that dive, at about 8am and the run home was as sweet as it gets, 50 mile vis, flat and no wind at all. (you could see SCI from the bank!) It is so interesting to be able to get a perspective on the islands from out there.
The navy kept all boats 10nm from the south and west of SCI, so i had to divert from my usual route home (west end SCI to east end Catalina) This time i decided to go around the west end of Catalina. About 15 miles from the island i see a marlin sitting on the water... i sneak up on it and cut my engine... it sinks out (darn! i wanted to swim with it!) I break out my video camera and wait, hoping to see it again. A few seconds later i hear a big splash about 30 yeard behind me. I turn in time to catch the marlin coming out of the water 7 times! Great fun to watch a big fish put on such an exuberant display.
Three nights, 245nm and a lot of wonderful memories on that beautiful open Pacific.
(loves the sea)
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