|Trip Report and Photos: Sea Divers to Clemente Backside 02-04-06|
Posted by Elaine on February 20, 2006 at 19:19:31:|
Trip Report and Photos
Sea Divers to San Clemente Island Backside, on the Great Escape
February 4, 2006
Story and Photos @ Elaine Jobin, may not be reproduced in part or whole without advanced written permission.
The harbor at Queens Wharf was calm with barely a surface ripple. Why did we care? Because.......so far, the winter weather had not been kind to reaching the outer islands.
We met, signed in, and jumped into our bunks, fingers crossed, that in the morning we would be at Clemente.
There was lots of room in the bunk room as this was a very uncrowded trip. The extra space was a good thing because we rocked and rolled through the night - you could roll around and not bump into anybody. In the morning - sure enough we were at the backside of Clemente. Yippee!!!!
The first dive was at Seal Cove. Work has been wearing me to the bone lately so I was slow getting to my dive gear and sat this one out. (When I sleep instead of dive - work has really been crummy to me). Those who made the early dive returned with stories of "short" lobsters and of an extremely playful and distracting group of sea lions.
Our second dive site was not too far from our first and I was encircled by sea lions almost the entire time that I was in the water. Their numbers and their antics rivaled "The Rookery" area of Santa Barbara Island. I had no idea that there were so many Sea lions at San Clemente. San Clemente is perhaps a better place to photograph sea lions because the visibility tends to be better. I also had several strong tugs on my strobes that made me wonder if someone in the Navy is training them to steal camera gear.
This pair definitely gets my vote for "Valentines Couple"
We had a good surface interval before our last live at 5 fathoms reef.
I think that 5 fathoms is a site more geared to hunting than to photography. Maybe on a perfect day this could be wide angle heaven, but today there was surge and only about 50 feet of visibility (wow, did you hear me say that? "Only 50 feet") There were a few nice gorgonians, but nothing that I found particularly inspiring. The hunters did return with some game.
A passing whale made an appearance on the way home. It wasn't one of those little black and white ones - it was a big gray one - a real one.
Our trip home was fairly smooth. I caught up on some sleep.
A Sea Diver thanks to Captain Tim and the crew for another terrific trip.
PS: Can you call my boss and tell them I've been working too hard? It isn't like me to sleep through a dive:(
Until next time...........
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