Anacapa Photos/Report (LAUPS Charter)

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Posted by scottfiji on September 12, 2005 at 16:24:39:

Dive Report Anacapa, Sunday 9/11/2005

Nick Fash, Randy Smith and I woke up very early Sunday to board the Spectre, chatered by the LAUPS, for a photo-shootout.

It was great being on the Spectre with only 25 people, that boat must be crowded when it is full! even better was not seeing any spear guns, at least the fish would be safe from us today. We left on time at 7AM.

Other people on the boat whose names I knew from online include Roger & Judy, Jim Lyle and Walter. Nice meeting all 4 of you finally! Randy Harwood was also on the boat and helped make the trip fun. I met Dwight and Janet Crumb (www.dveinc.net), they own a video company, shot video and were very pleasant to speak with.

The 3 of did 4 dives together, my dive time was about 60 minutes on every dive. For once nick and I were not the last back on every dive! Its nice being on a boat full of photographers who like to stay down more than 30 minutes.

The dives were all shallow, our max depth rarely exceeded 40ft. Even though fills were short, usually 2700 psi topside, I always had enough of air. visibility was good enough but not great, varying between 20 and 40 ft. temp was always 63-64 degrees.

3 of the dives were around the game reserve near cathedral cove, and one was on the other side of the island. (Don't know the spot, but there was very little there, I hope I never go there again! All I remember is that there was lots of eelgrass in the shallow areas).

The crew was always quick with fills ($3), and helpful getting on and off the boat. I purchased an egg sandwich for breakfast ($3.50), and chile for lunch ($3), both were delicious.

I saw lots of huge cameras with big bulky strobes. Hard to beach dive with those! they may take better photos than me, but I love having my little $100 camera that I can drop, stick into crevices, and crash on the rocks.

One only saw a couple blue-banded gobies, and 1 zebra goby. Black-eyes were everywhere, and island kelpfish were ubiquitious.

Blue-banded Goby

A got my first fish bite on this trip. A large male sheephead (no, I wasn't feeding) bit my finger, hard! He held on to it for a few seconds. I was so mad, I wanted to spear him! Ouch. Luckily no bleeding.

Male Sheephead

Schools of opaleye, topsmelt, kelp perch, halfmoon and blacksmith were plentiful. The opaleye were large and beautiful!


Lots of interesting invertebrate sightings, including a few large serpulid and sabellid worms, Hemphill's kelp crab, a coonstripe shrimp, white sea cucumbers, sulfur sponges, and lot of interesting anemones (like a beautiful Coenocyathus bowersi).
FeatherDuster Worm (Bispira species?)

Spanish Shawl were plentiful, and I found a chromodoris, Laila cockerelli and many Tylodina fungina. Nick also saw a Dendronotus, a Janolus barbarensis and a polyclad worm.

Porter's Chromodorid (Mexichromis porterae)

A saw several juvenile kelpfish during my safety stops, they were so cute. They dart around really quickly, its funny. I also came up close to a spotted (or crevice?) kelpfish. I was disapointed that I didn't see many rockfish, perhaps I was too shallow. I saw a couple olive, black-n-yellow, and a couple treefish.

Juvenile kelpfish

The highlight was playing with sea lions on the 4th dive, near cathedral cove. About 6 sea lions were playing in the sand, flipping around, biting each other, buzzing us. This continued for 15 minutes or so, they were not going anywhere! We watched from close and afar, and the 3 of us took a lot of sea lion video! Unfortunately the vis was bad due to us and the sea lions mucking up the sand.

We had a peaceful return, and reached the dock around 6:00PM.

Enjoy and thanks for reading the report! Scott

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