Whales and dolphins and eels, oh my!

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Posted by Max Bottomtime on March 11, 2007 at 18:33:48:

I am beginning to get over the crud that's going around. I've been sick for nearly three weeks and could finally breathe enough to make a dive today. Marc Bacon invited Merry and me out on his boat for a couple of dives along the west side of Palos Verdes. Soon after leaving Los Angeles Harbor we were treated to the sight of a Gray whale diving just a hundred yards away from the boat. Minutes later we spotted a large disturbance in the water. Nearly a thousand common dolphins suddenly surrounded us. They played along side of the boat, bow riding and leaping out of the water.
We motored around the peninsula to the offshore reefs of Flat Rock. It was my first dive with my new strobe so I couldn't wait to find some photo ops. The murky green water and eight foot vis had other ideas. Before I could fire up the camera a sea lion buzzed us. We found a multitude of Berthella californica sea slugs along with several species of nudibranchs, lobsters, sea stars, gorgonian and sponges. I shot sixty frames on this dive. None of them came out. Back to the drawing board.
For our second dive we headed north to the crane off Haggerty's. Giant sea bass are common here, but the green slime we called water made them invisible today. I did manage to find only my second Moray eel in Palos Verdes. The images aren't clear, but I hope to get better next time.
As we approached Pt. Fermin on our way back we spotted two Blue whales about two hundred yards in front of us. It was a great day to be on the ocean, and even with the poor vis it was good to be back in scuba gear.

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