Posted by Max Bottomtime on June 30, 2007 at 20:46:39:|
Merry and I went with Ross Overstreet for a couple of dives off Pt. Fermin this morning. The surface water was the clearest blue I have ever seen. Motoring over the Pt. Fermin reef was like being at Catalina. Garibaldis swam through the kelp forty feet below and we could see the rocky bottom from the boat.
Our first dive was at the pipes, a series of eight concrete pipes, 12 feet in diameter and 20 feet in length laid end to end. As we descended into the blue we could clearly see the outdrive on Ross' boat from fifty feet away. The vis dropped somewhat around 27 feet, then turned pretty bad as we reached the sand in about 140 feet. Our goal was to count the sections and get pictures of the multitude of Tritonia festiva nudis there. With the poor vis, we ended up swimming through only one section and getting no photos.
After a short deco we made our way over to the reefs. Our attention was captured by terns and pelicans feasting on a baitball. As we approached we found hundreds of topsmelt driving the baitball to the surface. It was amazing watching them shoot through the quivering mass of anchovy like torpedos. Each time the swimstep dipped into the water it would bring back a dozen anchovies with it.
Our second dive was one of the surgiest dives I've ever made. We had to descend hand over hand down the anchor line. Once on the bottom I realized that trying to take pictures in heavy surge around thousands of urchins was not a good idea. After hiding behind rocks for a few minutes, Merry and I aborted the dive. Ross stayed down for about an hour, getting pictures of his encounter with a Harbor seal.
On our way back we checked out the vis along the Los Angeles Federal breakwall. The water outside the kelp was still blue, while the water between the kelp and wall was like a swimming pool. If you can get out tomorrow you may be treated to some amazing conditions.