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Trip Report - 03-19-06 - Near Paradise Cove


Outer Bamnks diving on the Great Escape Southern California Live-Aboard Dive Boat


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Posted by Andy S on March 20, 2006 at 20:59:51:

Trip Report - Near Paraise Cove

March 19, 2006

AKA "Good bye to Bug Season"

Much like last Sunday, modest bump and slight off shore breeze greeted us as we cleared the MDR Breakwall. As bugs had been scattered last week, we went further north toward Paradise Cove. On going down, there was a broad layer of very dirty water from 0-30 feet and while vis opened up under it to 12-15'; it was so dark at 80' it was like night diving. Those with thermometers recorded temp at 51F on the bottom. All I know is it was cold. Second and third dives in same area saw the vis drop to 5' for no apparent reason. Similar to last week, scattered boy bugs at the rock-sand interface and a fair number of bugs (male and female) up higher in the rocks. Clouds of blacksmith were hanging above the rocks. Always a bit of a surprise in 5' vis to have a large dark shape just come blow right by you. There is that lovely few milliseconds of "Oh S#%*!!" before the brain tells you that it is/was a sea lion. Managed to grab a limit by the end of second dive along with a nice (not too big) calico so spent the last dive taking scallops and checking out a new area. While looking around, I came across a huge toad of a bug happily tucked in the top of the rocks with a bunch of smaller bugs for company. By far the biggest one I've seen this year. I waved and wished him "Happy Birthday Gran'pa" and swam on. Nice way to end the season. We all agreed it was a fun and productive season and at the same time, we are glad it is over. We have lots of other things to do - getting aquarium critters, hunting for shells and looking around in S.P. Bay for "treasure" for Swami Pat Smith. Of course what he calls "treasure", we call trash and if it was in a junk yard on land, they'd have to pay us to haul it away. So we trailed the boat home, washed it down, rinsed out and put away the bug bags, and took out the collecting bottles in anticipation of the trip next weekends to???

And since the people on this BB like pictures and I don't take them underwater, here is a picture of some of the Cypraea spadicea living in my aquarium that shows off some color variations.

California Cowrie, Cypraea spadicea,  Color variation, Photo by Andy Saxon

All these are alive; I just took them out of the aquarium for the "photo op". The one with a barnacle growing on it is only one of two where I have seen this. The one other "common" variation I don't have here is that where the lateral white areas are very dark - charcoal colored. The light colored one in the lower right actually has green coloration at both ends that doesn't show well in the picture. The one on the lower left is a Cypraea spedicea but you'd not believe it from the picture. I found it in the "horseshoe kelp" area.

Andy S.




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