“Ice diving” in Southern California; Trip report for 3.12.06, North SM Bay

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Posted by Andy S on March 14, 2006 at 07:12:24:

When I went outside at 6 AM on Sunday to load the boat, several thin sheets of ice that had formed on the deck from the rain greeted me. I’d say, “cool” if it was not such a weak pun.


Only Pat and I went, the rest of the crew wanted to stay warm. As we were launching out of MDR, we watched a 20’ aluminum fishing boat come in to dock and report it was “too rough” for them – never a good sign. Of course we had to put our nose of the harbor and although there was a reasonable lump with swell running up to 5 feet, it was not bad at all. What little wind there was vectored out of the NE and the sun was trying to come through the clouds. We motored north toward Paradise Cove. The first 15 feet still had quite poor vis but down on the bottom it was 12 to 15 foot vis with moderate surge. The temp was 49oF at 80 feet according to Pat but felt more like 50oF to me. Bugs appear to have really spread out in the last two weeks (probably mainly finished with breeding) and almost all the ones hanging out were males. The usual swarms of sand bass were around as well as some calico. Interestingly, large numbers of Cypraea spedicea were out and about. Most unusual sighting of the day was a lobster with a barnacle growing over its eye – photo below. That is something neither of us had seen before. Probably why he was easy to catch. We were happy to turn our bow toward home after Dive #3 and get warmed up after which, in the words of the Omnipresent Swami Pat Smith, “We felt more like we do now than we did before”.


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