|Wreck of the Olympic, Eureka oil rig|
Posted by Anastasia L on July 02, 2007 at 09:19:59:|
We had an amazing day of diving yesterday. Scott chartered the Sea Bass, and we all got to vote on where to go - wound up at the wreck of the Olympic first, then oil rig Eureka. Sadly, Scott himself was unable to make the trip that he'd organized - thus guaranteeting AMAZING conditions for the rest of us. Thanks Scott!
This was my first time on the Olympic, and it was pretty darn cool. Captain Richard parked the boat right over the wreck, and we had no trouble finding it in the zero-current, awesome-vis conditions. I was surprised by how much structure remains from this 200' boat that sank in the 40s (I think). There were spools of cable, old beams, huge sections of hull and bow, and a bit of the side sticking up in the middle that made kind of a cool, hall-of-arches effect. Saw several enormous lingcod, and some really big rubberlip surfperch hanging out in the 'arches.' I was trying to get good wide-angle shots, so I suspect I didn't notice a lot of really cool macro critters. Would love to dive this site again!
Structure on the Olympic:
Next we headed over for two dives on Eureka. After the decent vis at the Olympic, I was hopeful we'd see the same at Eureka - and we did! Crystal clear above 50 or 60'; deeper than that was a weird, mucky, green layer. Cold, too. We ditched our original plan to go deep and photograph metridiums, and instead headed shallower and just hung out. Most aggressive sheephead I've ever seen - several checked out my mask, and one actually BIT it. Audible chomping. I had to shoo him away with bubbles and my hand. Lots of juvenile garibaldi, huge schools of blacksmith all around. No sea lions today.
During our lunch break, a big pod of dolphins cruised the boat. Good sign. Vis wasn't quite as excellent as the first dive, but still pretty darn good. Lots more juvenile garibaldi, and nesting/fighting grownup garibaldi, plus more aggressive sheephead. Those things have teeth! I saw a few sea lions cruise by on this dive, but they didn't stick around. On the way home we spotted a gray whale spouting and sounding. What a day!
Looking up oil rig Eureka:
I think fish were just out to get me today:
More pics here: Jeff's Gallery
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