Posted by Elaine on January 28, 2005 at 19:58:37:
Story and Photos © Elaine Jobin
On January 15th and 16th , 2005, I went with the Sea Sons Dive Club to Santa Rosa Island and Talcott Shoals on the dive boat Peace.
The Sea Sons are based in San Bernardo County. The roots of this dive club can be traced back to 1955 and it is one of the oldest dive clubs in Southern California. The original members were "search and rescue" divers who also shared an interest in underwater hunting. Club members now share a broader range of diving interests but when they charter a boat they can still impart an interesting hunting lodge ambiance to a dive trip.
This trip started with a smooth overnight crossing to Santa Rosa Island. Our eyes snapped open to clear sunny skies and calm diving conditions.
On our first dive at Talcott, we entered murky green water with 10 feet of visibility. I had agreed to accept the newest diver on board (only 30 dives) as a buddy on this dive.
Because I am usually so focused on photography I rarely agree to accept the responsibility of diving with a "buddy". In the poor visibility I opted on the side of caution and did an "anchor line dive" - down the chain to the hook and back again. I found some nudibranchs and other small critters along this route and actually did remember to keep an eye on my less experienced companion. My buddy did great. He stayed close by and signaled appropriately when he wanted to return to the boat. Right when I was ready to start teaching him to become a camera sherpa he paired up with another diver. Oh well.... I do want to take this opportunity to thank him for being a very responsible new diver. If you have been reading the recent posts you know how pairing up with a new diver can become a nightmare. To him I would like to say "welcome to the sport and I hope that you stick with it"!
After the first dive the group opted for areas at Talcott that had a little more current but also more visibility. The first 20 or so feet of the descent were always cloudy but visibility would then open up to 30, 40, or even 50 feet. ? the deeper you went, the better it got.
I am told that Talcott can be a great place to hunt lobster. Many of the dive sites were sandy bottoms crisscrossed by rocky ledges. For the most part it is not a beautiful backdrop for wide angle photography. It does have some beautiful invertebrate life perfect for close-up and macro photography however.
For most of the day, I think that I was having better luck finding photo subjects than the hunters had finding lobsters. Many of the lobster bags returned empty.
Meanwhile, a compressor decided to quit working. Our surface intervals were a little longer than usual as only one compressor was cooperating with replenishing our air and nitorx supplies. A frustrated, but determined crew read the compressor manual from back to front.
(They didn't think I'd post those photos)
The extra time on the slightly longer than normal surface intervals was occupied in various ways.
The evening and night dives proved more productive for the lobster hunters. I especially liked the evening dive. One of the ledges on this dive was filled with small holes. Many of the holes contained small fish. I could have done two or three dives with these fun little critters.
After the night dive there were definitely some happier lobster hunters
The following morning started with a beautiful sunrise and two working compressors. Some of the crew stayed up most of the night making the needed repairs.
The lobster hunters had much better luck on the second day bringing up more and bigger bugs. I spent this day using the Close-up kit trying to do some fish portraits.
The last dive of the trip was done at Santa Cruz Island near Frazier Point. This was definitely the most beautiful dive of the trip. There was great visibility, scenic landscape, a nudibranchs every three feet. I shot 35mm1:2 with some Kodachrome 25. Digitalization really doesn?t do that film justice. When I returned to the boat I learned that the site had not been very productive for the hunters and heard a semi sarcastic ?we did that dive for you? Thanks guys it was super!
On the trip home we enjoyed some Moose Jerkey. (I told you some of these guys are serious hunters).
We were also treated to multiple whale sightings and to a visit from a huge pod of dolphins.
So ended another terrific dive trip
Thanks once again to the phenomenal crew of the Peace. Our wonderful cook never stopped working except for a few hours each night (how did you escape my camera anyway?). The stubborn compressor was brought back to life due to sacrificed sleep by other dedicated crew. We were left wanting for nothing. Great job!
Until next time:
Post a Followup