Friday July 22 aboard the Spectre out of Ventura

Great Dive Trips at Bargain Prices with the Sea Divers

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Posted by Walt on July 23, 2005 at 22:46:00:

Full boat...lots of people beating the 105+ F inland heat, ourselves included. Air temp 67 to 72 F. The Spectre never seems crowded, as it has a lot of places to hang out. Easy trip over still waters to the island. Really enjoyed Cookie's huge, delicious breakfast burrito!

Dive 1: Gardens near Cathedral Cove (36' 52 min). Vis at the island is improving - about 20 feet at this spot. Its a no take zone and the sizes of the fish are incredible. Had a good 20 to 22" calico hang near me for part of my dive as well as several monster sized male sheepshead - got some great closeup views of their teeth - really cool! Water temp an unusually warm 65 F, but kelp very healthy.

Dive 2: backside at Channels (33' 50 min). Vis was a little poorer - went down to 10 feet. This is a take zone and you can see a big difference in the ecology - lots more urchins, less kelp, and few gamefish. Had 3 harbor seals come and play with us - unusual as I've found them to usually be fairly timid. They seem to like it when you turn a corkscrew - not too fast, just easy. Found a fun swim thru that went from 25 to 16 feet depth. Temp 66 F.

Lunch was Ted's delicious BBQ chicken, Cookie's salad, and rice pilaf.

Dive 3: back to Cathedral Cove (34' 46 min). Vis dropped to 8 to 10 feet, but as this is a no take zone, the abundance of life returned. As I swam by a reef I had my first experience being attacked by a Garibaldi - bit my thigh! I swam past a reef and felt something snag my wetsuit. I turned around to see a Garibaldi guarding its nest of eggs. Ferocious little monster! Definitely did not want me near-by and was not intimidated by mu much larger size in the least. Gotta admire the spunk of our State fish. Continuing on, the highlight of this dive was to swim right up to within 3 feet of a bat ray searching for food in the sand by the side of a reef. The ray just kept digging in the sand, ignoring me. ON teh way back ot teh boat, had another huge sheepshead tag along with the 3 of us as well as the large calicos. Water temp 65 F.

Unofficial dive 4: the hot tub on the way home. Water temp 100 F, great vis.

Nothing like a day diving California's Channel Islands. We had just returned from a week diving in the 85 F waters of the Bahams, so were expecting to be chilled. Pleasant surprise was to find watter in the mid-60's...really seems warm for this time of the year. Although we had some fantastic dives in the Bahamas, as for me, I just like California's diving a little more. Its the combination of the giant kelp, the abundant fish, reefs, sea lions and seals. Hard to explain, you just feel it; like a sootheing soup that immerses your soul.

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