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Two quick mid-week dive reports


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


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Posted by msblucow on August 04, 2007 at 08:28:27:

This last week was a real treat - I got to go out on the water TWICE this week. First on the Sundiver II to the East of Catalina on Wednesday, then on the Magician to Farnsworth yesterday. Since I still shoot film, I won't have pix to share for a while, but I in the mean time I wanted to share that the conditions and water temperature are really improving all over the island.

As Scott G. already posted, we did two dives on the SDII on the East End - Little Farnsworth, Al's Funky Kelp - and one dive on the front side, Arrow Point. Vis varied from 60' to 30' depending on the site. Water temperature above the thermocline was 70 degrees, below it only 56. I saw tons of lobster, a 4' hornshark, octopis, mating nudies, and as a special added bonus, a HUGE black sea bass on my safety stop at Al's funky kelp.

We had a great time on the SDII - Ray made us yummy chicken kabobs on the grill and there were plenty of light snacks and drinks. It's a great, fast boat for a small group (there were 4 of us, the boat will take 5 divers). We made it from Long Beach to Catalina in an hour.

Yesterday on the Magician, we did two dives on Farnsworth and one on Whale Rock, also on the Catalina's back side. Conditions at Farnsworth were outstanding with 50' visability and very little current except right at the top of the pinnacle. Water temp on the pinnacle was 58 degrees. I saw lots of life - many scorpion fish, painted greenlings, spanish shawls, octopi, and moray eels. Hanging on anchor line above the thermocline for my safetly stop was like sitting in a warm bath (or maybe near it. I was wearing a dry suit).

Whale rock was a cool dive too. It was fairly surgy, and the visability was less than Farnsworth, but the rock formations were really interesting and worth the extra effort. There were lots of cracks and channels. I saw a lot of territorial fish behavior. Two garabaldis fighting - not just posturing and chasing - but really going at it. I also saw terrritorial behavior in some small wrasses, something which I had never observed before.

We also had a special treat to and from the island - WHALES! We saw one Finback in the morning about half way to Catalina. On the way back, we spotted two Blue whales just outside of San Pedro. Wow. There's nothing quite like watching a couple of the biggest mammals on the planet. The whales were only on the surface for a few minutes before they sounded.

I'm hoping to get in some more midweek diving before I have to go back to work full time in September. If you have the time, I highly recommend doing the same. Usually midweek trips tend to be less crowded, the trips less formal, more relaxed. Both boats are running regular midweek charters or can arrange to take groups.




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