Dive report 4/28, Palos Verdes, with Ross, Elaine, Claudette

Great Dive Trips at Bargain Prices with the Sea Divers

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Posted by Roger on April 30, 2007 at 23:55:49:

Know ye, o readers, that as Ross, Claudette, and Elaine saw this post, their hearts sank.

Roger never posts. Couldn't be.

Perhaps there is another Roger here, they hope.

Perhaps he was narked and doesn't remember anything, they hope.

Perhaps I won't be invited back...

....but I must report the truth.

Last Saturday I was lucky enough to get an invite from Ross to go out on the mighty Orion III, and the stars (and United airlines) aligned, and I said yes. Claudette and Elaine were unlucky enough to be on the boat, too.

Weather was cloudy, a threat of fog, but the sun did eventually burn through.

Marineland, under construction.

We started the day at Hawthorne Reef, on a part of the reef I've never dove before. Elaine took one look at the water, and declared that she would not dive so close to a continent. Claudette and Ross decided they needed nitrox and drysuits to handle the conditions, and I rolled in with my wetsuit, air, and my 4 year old camera.

The main difference, I find, between my drysuit and my wetsuit, is that I often forget to zip my wetsuit, and I never forget to zip my drysuit. The water here was pretty warm though, and I did not find myself immediately checking my wetsuit zipper in disbelief at the rush of cold water. It was 50 or 52 depending on which of my computers I looked at ( I've been testing my new Uwatec against my old Aeris [or rather, my wife's aeris, mine died because aeris wouldn't put an oring in it] and also against my hydrophobic Suunto). Bit of green on the top, but wonderfully clear at the bottom. This is a good dive site, lots of growth, anemones, nudibranchs, and other life. Great summertime conditions, great vis, 20 or 30 feet, with a bit of current on top. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Even the sea cucumbers had goosebumps.

After only 40 minutes, I was back on the boat, having seen everything. Claudette and Ross had to stay much longer since they swam so much more slowly in their drysuits and ankle weights. When they finally came up, Claudette said she was cold, Ross said that the dive had lasted too long, and Elaine said that she couldn't hear the foghorn well enough, could we move closer to it? Geez. It was like being out on a class boat at eagle reef. Any minute somebody would probably get seasick.

So the second dive, we moved over to the big boulders off Point Vicente (YNFTDSMV)* and hopped in. Elaine, charmed by the siren call of the foghorn, sat out again. This dive site is pretty cool, great structure, but the life, to me, is patchy. The big boulders are mostly algae covered, but Claudette said it was good for certain nudibranch species. Cool site for wide angle, though, big boulders, small pinnacles and walls. Somewhere there, on a clear day, there is a great photo, and I always like checking this site out. The wide angle photographer must be patient, like a ninja.

When we were all back on the boat, we shared our finds: "I saw a whelk laying eggs." and Claudette said, "I saw a Cuthona divae nudibranch." and Elaine said, "last week I saw a humpback." Claudette and Ross then began to one-up each other on who was colder and who had lost feeling in what. I went up to the bow to pull the anchor and get away from all the whining.

For the third dive, we moved over to a wreck off San Pedro. I can't recall the name, having gone numb from the neck up as well as the neck down, so I'll just say it was one of Ross's secret secret sites.

On the way over, we began to eye Elaine's unused tanks. Three tanks. Three of us. "That's a fourth dive." Quiet nods, quiet agreement. "It'll be late, though. We'll be hungry." All eyes turned to Elaine's sleeping form. Again, quiet nods, quiet agreement. She'd been to Clipperton. She'd had a good run.

Anyway, back to the diving. This last site was the most beautiful of all. People fly across half the world, traveling for days by plane and by bus and by boat and finally by foot, carrying their gear up and down treacherous mountain passes, just to dive with the ethereal Mastigias jellyfish in a landlocked lake in Palau's rocky islands. Not us! here we were, just a few miles from San Pedro, diving in a thick cloud of juvenile Mastigias! What a vision! We quickly returned to the surface to tell Elaine, surely she'd love to see these rare and beautiful jellies, juveniles no less, but alas, she was not interested.

We moved on to try one last dive. Our 3rd tanks still had enough air that we didn't have to resort to Elaine's tanks or cannibalism. The water here was pretty brown. Guys, I said, I'm perfectly happy to go in, but I know you all didn't really enjoy those first three, you're probably not going to like this. I'm willing to call it a day. You're right, they said. So we went back to the harbor and called it a day.

entire album:
2007-04-28 San Pedro diving

*Your Name For This Dive Site May Vary

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