|Trip Report and Photos - Diving with Ross O in December 2005|
Posted by Elaine on December 29, 2005 at 12:47:55:|
Trip Report and Photos
Diving with Ross O.
December 17 - 18, 2005
Trip report and Photos @ Elaine Jobin with contributing photos from Ross Overstreet and Phil Garner, may not be reproduced in part or in whole without advanced written permission.
It was time to do some more exploring of our coastal waters. Not far offshore there are so many interesting and exciting things to see. Our commercial dive boats generally overlook our local dive site gems and stick to the beaten path for trips to Catalina Island. Shore diving offers a limited range that excludes some of the best attractions of our backyard. The best way to become acquainted with these sites is often by private boat. That is why I eagerly greet a "Diving this Weekend" e mail from Ross O. It usually means an opportunity for me to see new things not so far from home.
On Saturday the cast of divers were Brian,
Our first stop was to be the Jenny Lynne. A fishing boat that sank a few years back not far from Old Marineland.
Because this wreck sits in about 140ft of water, is usually a poor visibility dive, and has lots of potential diver hazards, my job was to sit it out with my aluminum 80 and be surface support. I was briefed on a precise dive plan and I knew exactly when to expect everybody back on the boat. Prior to the dive we reviewed emergency procedures so that I wouldn't be one of those left on a boat without a clue if things went awry - important things like our coordinates, how to contact the Coast Guard, how to operate the swim step, how to start the boat, how to cut the anchor, etc., etc., etc. They didn't leave until they knew that I could handle a very basic emergency. Then they were off and I spent the next 45 minutes keeping track of time and watching bubbles.
When "the guys" returned
they brought back tales of good visibility, metridiums, a terrific wreck vista, and a wonderful dive.
These are some wide angle photos from Ross of the Jenny Lynne. That is Phil near the mast with the flashlight.
These are some close-up shots from Phil. I'm not sure why Metridiums are commonly referred to as White-Plumed anemones in books - clearly, the plume is not always white.
Our next stop was Buchanan's Reef not far from Old Marineland. This time I got to get into the water and Brian, still recovering from the flu, did topside boat duty.
Buchanan's Reef is noted for its usual wide assortment of nudibranchs. Today the visibility was at least 40 feet. In addition to nudibranchs we were able to see the reef landscape, cabezon, lingcod, perch, octopi, swell shark eggs, and schools of fish.. One terrific surprise for me actually happened after the dive. I've never seen a pipefish and one came right up to the swim step for easy viewing from the surface
These are some photos from Ross.
These are some photos from Phil.
These are some of my photos.
When Phil returned to the boat he needed to squeeze some water out of his dry suit, somewhere he had sprung a leak. Ross thought the problem was coming from Phil's P valve. He tried to get Phil to blow on it to "clear it out", but, Phil didn't feel comfortable doing that, at least not in public. What a photo that would have made!
Next, Captain Ross charted a coarse for the F.S. Loop. I drove from Buchanan's to the Loop. This was the first time I've ever actually driven a boat. It was a little scary, it isn't at all like driving a car - well, maybe a huge very slow to respond wobbly car. I managed to follow the arrow on the navigation screen and actually made it to anchor on the Loop (yea Elaine). I learned it isn't all a pleasure cruise - I had to keep an eye on the oil gauge, the temperature gauge, the "trim", other boats, lobster trap floats, the "RPM's", the swell and the chop, and a bunch of other things that I don't even remember now- whew - I can't believe people think boating is fun. None the less, I did get us where we wanted to go and no one pulled out a lifejacket in anticipation of my maiden voyage.
At the Loop it was Ross's turn to "miss a dive". When he put his arm into his drysuit a wrist seal popped off in his hand.
So, Brian and Ross sat this dive out and it was myself and Phil in the water. We had amazing visibility, at times up to 40+ feet. The F.S. Loop is a beautiful gorgonian covered debris field of medium size, mostly unidentifiable chunks. Schools of fish and nudibranchs were plentiful. We saw one nudibranch that was new to both of us - a Doriopsilla spaldingi.
These are some of Phil's photos.
These are some of my photos.
Our third dive completed we returned to San Pedro in the late afternoon sun.
On the way up the dock ramp my tank took a tumble out of the cart and I went sliding back down the ramp on my knee. I seem to escape unscathed from my dives - it's the schlepping that does me in every time.
Ross cleaned and wrapped my knee and we made plans to do some more dives in the morning. Visibility was just too good to not go back out.
On Sunday, Ross and Beth Overstreet and myself returned to the boat and took off for the Ace One. This isn't one of the most beautiful wrecks in the world - it is a little flat, upside down, and less lush than others. It did have some great metridiums and fish life. Visibility wasn't as good as we had expected. Great on the way down the anchor line to about 40 feet, then decreasing to perhaps 20 feet on the 120 foot bottom. The swell pattern had changed and evidently was affecting offshore water clarity.
We headed inshore to try some shallow wreck sites hoping that good visibility could still be found. Ross and I ended up doing two quick trips down the anchor line, looking at each other and returning to the boat. Visibility was maybe 2-3 feet. Our last stop was at the Olympic and I ran into that head on because I couldn't see it. We tossed in the towel early and called it a weekend.
Until next time.........
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