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Eureka on the Second Stage, 08-26-05, Trip Report and Photos


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Posted by Elaine on August 31, 2005 at 15:11:18:

Trip Report and Photos

Oil Rig Eureka on the Second Stage

August 26, 2005

Story and Photos © Elaine Jobin, may not be reproduced in part or whole without advanced written permission.

I received an e-mail late last week. "Do you want to go to the Oil Rigs tomorrow?" Of course I want to go to the Oil Rigs tomorrow. I want to go to the Oil Rigs any day that I can. So, in that instant my plans for Friday changed. To make it even more irresistible, Dave Nesheim had sent the e-mail. I love diving with Dave because I always learn something from him. He can be very quiet, but once you get him talking he is a treasure trove of information on sea critters and underwater photography. In addition, Dave owns the camera that I always wanted - A Nikon RS. He doesn't know it but I suffer from extreme camera envy every time I'm near him on a dive trip.

Traffic on Friday morning was heavy but I made it to the boat with a few minutes to spare. Only 5 divers were signed up, so, there was lots of comfortable leg room on the Second Stage. I would include some topside photos in this trip report, but, as we were leaving the dock, I realized that the memory card for my digital camera was at home. Uh oh, no topside photos.

After a short 45 minute run, we were at the Eureka Oil Rig. We would only be diving at the Eureka because of the maintenance and sand blasting going on at the Elly/Ellen Oil Rig complex.

The sun was shining, the ocean was fairly calm, and there was minimal current. Visibility was a little shabby, only about 40 feet until you went deeper than about 90 feet. I went for photos of the small stuff on the first dive.

Eureka Oil Rig, Photo by Elaine Jobin Juvenile Treefish, Sebastes serriceps, Eureka Oil Rig, Photo by Elaine Jobin Juvenile Garibaldi, Hypsypops rubicundus, Eureka Oil Rig, Photo by Elaine Jobin Spiny Brittle Star, Ophiothrix spiculata, Photo by Elaine Jobin Strawberry Amenones, Corynactis californica, Eureka Oil Rig, Photo by Elaine Jobin

I tried to increase my collection of blenny photos, but today they stayed shyly in their shells.

Blenny, Eureka Oil Rig, Photo by Elaine Jobin

On the second dive I took a brief deep dip to the metridiums and then spent most of my time at the 50 foot cross beams and above. A purple jellyfish cam cruising through the structure and for me it was a highlight of this dive. Photography was very difficult because the low visibility really cut down on available light - it was dark.

Medtidium Giganteum, White-Plumed Anemone, Eureka Oil Rig, bhPhoto by Elaine Jobin California Sheephead, Semicossyphus pulcher, Eureka Oil Rig, Photo by Elaine Jobin Cabezon, Scorpaenichthys marmoratus, Eureka OIl Rig, Photo by Elaine Jobin Purple Jellyfish, Pelagia panopyra, Eureka Oil Rig, Photo by Elaine Jobin Purple Jellyfish, Pelagia panopyra, Eureka Oil Rig, Photo by Elaine Jobin

At the end of the dive I spent some time just enjoying the schools of fish and watching the other divers.

Giant School of Fish, Eureka Oil Rig, Photo by Elaine Jobin Diver and a Purple Jellyfish, Eureka Oil Rig, Photo by Elaine Jobin

We took our third underwater excursion after a barbecue sandwich and potato salad lunch. To my delight, more purple jellyfish came cruising through the rigs.

Adult Male California Sheephead, Semicossyphus pulcher, Eureka Oil Rig, Photo by Elaine Jobin Dave Nesheim, Eureka Oil Rig, Photo by Elaine Jobin Purple Jellyfish, Pelagia panopyra, Eureka Oil Rig, Photo by Elaine Jobin Purple Jellyfish, Pelagia panopyra, Eureka Oil Rig, Photo by Elaine Jobin Purple Jellyfish, Pelagia panopyra, Eureka Oil Rig, Photo by Elaine Jobin

Andy Sallmon was also on this trip. As he states in his web site bio, he is "one of a fortunate few that earn a living as an underwater photographer". On the third dive I watched Andy captivate the attention of a sea lion. They played for a very long time. I didn't want to get too close and disturb the photo shoot. All I can figure is that it must have been his rebreather that the sea lion found so fascinating - he was probably waiting for Andy to exhale :).

Andrew Sallmon and a Sea Lion, Eureka Oil Rig, Photo by Elaine Jobin

After three great dives, we returned to Ports O' Call in San Pedro. It had been a quiet, relaxing, uneventful day. It took two hours and fifteen minutes to get home Friday because the freeways weren't so uneventful.. Would I sit in some traffic again to dive the rigs on a Friday? Absolutely. Would I run back down to San Pedro in the morning to go back to the rigs on a Sea Divers trip? You bettcha. What is better than a day at the Oil Rigs? Two consecutive days!

Until next time.........





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