Dive Report: Catalina Dive Park, 6/29/07

Outer Bamnks diving on the Great Escape Southern California Live-Aboard Dive Boat

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Posted by ICE on July 01, 2007 at 19:33:28:

Visibility: 5-50 ft plus in shallows
Wave height/tide info: Less than 1 ft waves
Temp at surface/depth: 80/52-60
Buddy: Missy, Mickey

Dive 1
A few of us met at the Casino Point for 3 dives on Friday. First dive we set out to the Sue Jac, the wind was very strong causing an intense surface current. Two of us were diving in dry suits, because we weren’t making any progress we decided to drop and start diving. On the surface we were past the second buoy, when we dropped we were 20 ft away from the Kismet….that’s how strong the current was pushing. During our descent the water was so bluuuuu like a swimming pool. Viz was an easy 50 ft plus by the boundary line. When we got to 40 ft…viz dropped to 10-15 ft and water temps dropped at least 8 degrees. We hung out at the wreck, took pictures and continued towards better viz. At 35 ft we headed to the pipe piles and engines, came across several schools of mackerel and at one moment we were surrounded by hundreds of fish (check my video). After a nice long 61 min dive we headed back to the stairs.

Dive 2
Second dive plan was to dive the Sue Jac…at least attempt. By this time the winds had shifted so getting out there was a breeze. He stuck close to the shore just in case. That area is now covered in kelp, amazing how fast it grew back. We stopped before the buoy and dropped in 60ft water. The Sue Jack was 10ft away; with viz at 5ft I’m surprised we found it (Trust the compass). I was looking for Morays, only found some rockfish, a few Nudibrachs and anemones. With water temperatures in the low 50’s we didn’t hang out too long. We headed towards land and made a right at 30ft depth…ahhhh warm water and 30ft viz. We explored the rocks looking for morays, lobsters and octopus. Part of the plan was to visit the Cousteau Plaque; along our search for the Cousteau Plaque we ended up at the old pipes again…I’m going to blame the kelp. It wasn’t bad being there again; we saw a huge school of mackerel again. This time it seemed to have grown by 300%. After the 1hr bottom time we headed back to the stairs.

While exiting my camera housing broke of my handle…I didn’t bang my camera on the rocks. Seemed to be an engineering issue with the housing; I recovered the housing and fixed my jammed camera when I got home.

Dive 3
Didn’t happen because CDS closes at 4 pm; aren’t they supposed to be on a summer schedule? That was disappointing.

Great time after the dives:
Dr. Bill came by and hung out with us; since our boat wasn’t till later we went up to his condo; got the tour and relaxed. You could see the fire damage from the balcony, it came too close to the homes. All 4 of us headed into town to eat; since my boat was leaving earlier I didn’t have time to sit and eat. Next time for sure!! Dr. Bill, thank for the hospitality; I look forward to diving with you sometime this summer. Thanks Missy and Mickey for diving with me, GREAT buddies! We have to do this again this summer.

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