|Dive report for 2.24.06, South Santa Monica Bay|
Posted by Andy S on February 27, 2006 at 13:09:38:|
Sponge divers in California:
It is not widely known but there are “sponge divers” here in California. They were in evidence last Sat when a rare event took place, the full set of my boat partner’s, who hail from Bikini Bottom, were all on the same trip. Water looked good as we pulled out of MDR and the ocean was so flat in the morning that it was notable. Since it is nearing the end of lobster season, we figured we’d try to grab a few more. Went down South toward PV to have a look around - last time down there the vis was quite poor. This time at 80’ vis was fine at about 20’ although the water had a unusual greenish cast to it. Water temperature was between 51 and 55 F depending on whose thermometer you want to believe. There were clumps of squid eggs on the bottom and a few barely living squid being pecked to pieces by swarms of blacksmith. The usual sand bass and lesser number of calicos were hanging around. Happily, as has been the case since the big swells of January moved through, bugs were plentiful in the deeper water. By the time the first group of divers had finished their third drift dive, we had to count to be sure we were not over limit. Stopped for a quick dive on the way home to pick up some uni for Japanese friends and home to the dock. Then after the requisite stop at George’s http://maps.citysearch.com/location/163703 for “grease and salt” (great carne asada tacos), it was home to wash the boat. We all agreed that Pat excels at boat washing.
Now lets see if I can get a picture up without Elaine's help.
Sponge divers (photo by Pat Smith)
Only unusual event of day was my getting stung on the right cheek (face cheek, not the other one) by “something”. I never saw a jellyfish nor did anyone else see one during the day but after I came up from my second dive, I developed burning/tingling across my exposed right cheek. In spite of putting steroid ointment and vinegar and then more steroid ointment on, it burned quite noticeably for 12 hours and was still is somewhat painful to the touch more than 24 hours afterward. Some red linear marks developed overnight so I’m pretty sure it was an unseen jellyfish tentacle that got me. Nothing compared to a good sculpin stick…. Just enough to let you know you are “alive”.
And since lots of the people who read this BB like pictures and unusual marine animals, what species of abalone is this with the hitch hiking baby Megathura crenulata?
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