|Trip Report and Photos: Magician to Catalina July 24, 2005|
Posted by Elaine on August 09, 2005 at 13:29:00:|
Catalina on the Magician
July 24, 3005
Story and Photos © Elaine Jobin, may not be reproduced in part or whole without advanced written permission.
On Saturday, July 24, 2005 I went on the Magician "Open Boat" out of San Pedro to Catalina Island. I knew Capt. Jerry from the "old days" on the Sea Bass, but this was my first time on the Magician. When I signed up, Capt. Jerry told me in a matter of fact way "there are classes on board". Some people don't like going on boats with classes because that means that the dive sites are selected according to class needs. I always appreciate the information, but, there is marine life and things to photograph no matter where a boat drops anchor so it doesn't bother me.
When I arrived at the boat I met the crew. They helped me move my dive stuff up the stairs. I picked a tank spot and had a "wow" factor experience when I saw the galley - I had never seen the way it was before, but it is really nice now. These are photos of Capt. Jerry, the crew, the galley, and the dive deck.
For me, a "classes on board" alert usually means that I won't know anybody. It is a whole new crop of people to meet. I never cease to be amazed at how accepting people are of a stranger with a camera.
Well.....most people.....but, after a while, even the most skeptical gave in.
Breakfast was served on the way to Catalina. Our first dive site was Starlight Cove. The classes went east, and the "card holders" went west toward the point. It was a beautiful dive. The reef toward the point meets the sand at about 60 feet and is covered with Gorgonians. Visibility was about 30 feet. The first thing I saw was a large bat ray flying by. It would have been a great dive for wide angle, but I was shooting macro. All was going well until I went through some kelp and noticed I was having an unexpected entanglement. It seemed like a particularly strong piece of kelp. Actually it was a red rope wrapped around a kelp stalk that went from the bottom of the stalk almost to the surface. I unwound the snag and saw that a round net was attached and laying on the rocky reef below. It pissed me off. I didn't know if it was a legal trap, an illegal trap, a wayward trap, or just a public nuisance but I decided it was a threat to human life so I was going to remove it. I picked it up, pulled the attached rope out of the kelp, and carried the flipping thing with me and my camera for the rest of the dive. I saw lots of gorgonians, garibaldi, an eel, and the ugliest sheephead ever.
This is the "diver trap" I took back to the boat.
Our next stop was near Parsons. Visibility here was good, but not as good as at Starlight cove. Capt. Jerry once again parked in a convenient spot where the classes could find terrain that they needed and everyone else had a great dive site in the opposite direction. These are a couple of photos from this dive. My dive light has a bunch of little bulbs that make up the beam and it leaves strange reflection in the eyes of fish. I'm making a diffuser for it.
After this dive it was time for more snacks and lunch.
I'm not sure exactly where our last dive was. Capt. Jerry called it something that started with an S, but I can't remember the name. It isn't listed on the maps as anything even similar. So, I guess it is Capt. Jerry's secret spot. On this dive I found a couple of flat worms and other interesting macro life.
Our dives were now complete and we had some newly certified amongst our ranks. Congrats to everybody and I wish you all great futures in your new recreational sport. Don't forget that you don't need warm water to dive. We have some of the best things to see in the world right here in our own backyard.
Oh, by the way, the weather was so beautiful tanning was the next biggest past time.
It was terrific to meet everybody on this wonderful day on the Magician.
Until next time.........
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