|Trip Report and Photos: Sea Divers to Catalina on the Magician 2-11-07|
Posted by Elaine on February 16, 2007 at 16:40:47:|
Trip Report and Photos
Catalina Island on the Magician
with the Sea Divers
February 11, 2007
Story and Photos © Elaine Jobin, may not be reproduced in part or whole without advanced written permission.
Ugg, a dive trip on a rainy day. It had been a while since I'd done one of these. Thank goodness for warm and cozy boat galleys.
The rain continued, on and off, as we made our way across the channel. During one of the dry segments a pod of dolphins came for a ride in the bow wake.
When we arrived at Catalina, it was still cloudy, but the rain had stopped. Blue sky over the clouds hinted that it might turn out to be a sunny day after all.
Our first dive site was Little Farnsworth on the east end of the island. The visibility was an amazingly excellent 80 feet or so. The water was a beautiful blue. This was the first time that I've ever been able to see enough of the area to feel that I actually know what the topography of Little Farnsworth is like. It is one tall pinnacle, surrounded by a lower donut shaped reef. There are several swim throughs that will bring you into the center of the donut. The photos below were taken with a 20mm lens. This would be a terrific reef for a 15mm lens on a good visibility day. This was a spectacular dive.
Afterwards, we headed west past Avalon and the Casino Point Dive Park.
With the sun coming out, we didn't need the warm and cozy galley as much.
Our next stop was at Torqua Springs. Visibility here was again 60 - 80 clear blue water feet. I headed down the wall to the kelp covered sandy areas. I noticed a disturbance of some kind under one of the kelp leaves. I picked up the leaf for a look and found a sheep crab. Make that a pair of sheep crabs mating. I started taking pictures and it must have irritated the larger crab. He picked up the smaller one and walked off. As you can see, I took pictures of that too.
On my way back up the reef I saw several larger sized horn sharks and a Debbie Karimoto face making fish.
It was hard to end the dive and get out of the water. I just wanted to stay where I was and enjoy the scenery and the beautiful blue color. It was tropical looking.
Back on board, it was lunch and a surface interval ride to Hen Rock. When they aren't eating, Sea Divers look so scholastic on their surface intervals.
Hen rock was OK. This was mostly a stop for the lobster hunters. I don't think that it is a very pretty dive site. However, we still had 40+ foot vis.. There were several eel sightings here and Chris reported seeing the largest mantis shrimp that he had ever seen.
Our last dive was at the Rock Quarry. Many of us spotted the Scythe Butterfly fish, but I don't think anyone was able to capture their sighting on film. They either swam away quickly or hid in the rocks when approached by divers. They were much more shy than I remember them. Oh well, we had pleanty of blacksmith to look at instead.
Thanks to the Crew of the Magician, a little rain didn't keep us away from what was one of the most beautiful dive condition days that I've seen in a long time.
Even the sunset was really pretty.
Until nest time............
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