|Anacapa and Santa Cruz Islands aboard the Peace|
Posted by Chris on July 15, 2006 at 16:43:17:|
Our first dive was at the East End Reserve on the North size of the Anacapa Island. Since I was there a year ago the area appears to have become overgrown with Bryozoan (Thalamoporella californica). At first look it appeared to be a large mass of dead plants, but upon closer inspection it was a bryozoan. At places it was 600 cm think.
Our second dive was at Coral Reef, which is near the West End on the South side of Anacapa Island. When we were there a year ago the Spiny Brittle Stars (Ophiothrix spiculata) were starting to invade the area, but had not yet covered the reef. This time all but the highest spots on the reef were covered with a thicket of the Ophiothrix spiculata. Agin visibility at this site was only about 15 feet and green, and seemed to get worse at greater depth.
Looking for better visibility Captain Kevin moved to Yellow Ribbon Drop-Off at Santa Cruz Island for the third dive. The water was less green here and the visibility was about 40 feet. Kathryn and I spent most of our dive in the sand instead of on the wall. While there I found an unusual spotted Tube-Dwelling Anemone (Pachycerianthus fimbriatus). This was the first time I had seen one with spots, every other one I can remember was a solid color.
Our last dive was South-East Kelp Bed at Santa Cruz Island. Here I encountered a blue or cobalt finger sponge. I had never seen one like it before. Interestingly Ross Overstreet found a similar specimen at Palos Verdes on the same day.
Anacapa and Santa Cruz Islands
with Malibu Divers
July 2, 2006
click on the images to enlarge
©2006 Chris Grossman, diver.net
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