Dive Report - 06/24/07 - La Janelle Artificial Reef

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Posted by Patrick on June 29, 2007 at 18:51:10:

Sunday, 24 June found Captains Andy & Patrick headed up coast for Channel Islands Harbor. Conditions seemed as though they’d be good enough to allow some poking around on the coastal side of the channel and the though was to take a look at the so-called La Janelle Artificial Reef. Made up of hull and superstructure that was cut away from the stranded liner and dropped offshore, it has been a place that I’ve wanted to jump for many years. Plus, if conditions warranted, finish off the day with a dive along the breakwater that the La Janelle eventually became.

Even at the 08:00 departure from Channel Islands, we could see that a dive at the old liner/breakwater would be a serious challenge if not an outright threat to continued good health. We ran for the “reef” and found it with no trouble. Extensive metering of the area looking for the largest accumulation of wreckage determined that the site was way smaller than I imagined – perhaps only some 60-80 yards in extent and not very wide. After dropping a marker, I got to be the go-fer and be the first diver in the water. Vis. in the top 50 feet was excellent – 40-plus feet, but diminished at depth to a dark 25-foot visibility.

On the bottom I found some huge structures. One large, rectangular. piece, clean of any projections or fittings, was some 15-feet proud of the bottom. Other sections contained bollards and chocks; obviously pieces from the upper deck of the Janelle. Some areas were covered in large bundles of monofilament gillnet; the net still an effective capture and killing medium. I spent probably half my first dive cutting a large mass from the structure and releasing several Sheep Crabs from the death web. God, I hate that stuff! The remainder of the time was spent cruising the site and trying to become mediocre with camera & strobe. Some results are below.

Two dives were completed and because of the rising wind, we called it a day. An interesting spot for two dives, but with Anacapa just a short run beyond, probably not worth return visit.

A stop for fresh fruit in Camarillo (Strawberries & Raspberries – Ummmmm!) and we joined the Sunday throng headed south on PCH.

Another great day of California diving.





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