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Dive Report - 09/23/07 - LA Harbor - Wrecks & Nudies


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Posted by Patrick on September 24, 2007 at 16:47:30:

The good vessel Moby Kate with two Smiths and a Saxon made the trip south down the mighty 405 for a pre-7 AM launch at Cabrillo Beach. The day was sunny and blue with the only reminder of the previous day’s rain and storm being some immense cumulus clouds at the far horizon. Apparently the majority of boaters felt the conditions would not be good for a day on the water and we found the parking lot at the ramp virtually empty. It was a quick, easy launch and we were underway.

Turning the corner at Angels Gate the sea conditions were spectacular – flat, flat, flat, and glassy calm with not a breath of wind to ripple the surface. The bad news was the surface color of the water was something you’d expect to see in a Starbuck’s cup.

The first dive of the day was the OLYMPIC. Surface conditions did not bode well for a pleasant dive; water color was still mud-lite, and our down-line marker indicated a fairly stout current running. But since you never know until you go, we dressed into our gear and rolled over the side to find… A surface layer of muddy water only 4-5 feet thick, and below that warm, blue water in the 60-degree range.

WooHoo!

Though we had the current all the way to the bottom, it was a great dive! Brian and I roamed from mid-ships to the bow and back, just enjoying the dive. The local residents seem to have been on vacation, since we saw very few fish on the OLYMPIC except for a substantial school of Rubber lip Perch and a few logy Lingcod lying on the bottom. Visibility on the bottom was 15 to 20-feet, obscured by clouds of tiny krill-like creatures.

Second dive, on a rocky area we often enjoy, was similar to the Olympic with the same dearth of (mature) fish life. However, there were juveniles everywhere: Rockfish of all types, Treefish, Sheephead and Sculpin everywhere, but none longer than about 4-inches. And also the same krill-induced haze in the water on the bottom. Temp on the bottom in 80-feet – a toasty 60 degrees. What the heck is going on in the local waters?

Last dive of the day was on the F.S. Loop. We decided to take a chance on getting better visibility that usual given that conditions at the other sites had been so good. It was a good bet. Vis on the Loop was a generous +/- 15-feet, and again toasty warm at 62-degrees on the bottom in 74-feet of water. Here too, the fish life was noticeably scarce, but the invert life – particularly the Nudibranchs were rampant! Tritonia festiva, were EVERYWHERE. As were Triopha catalinae, Peltodoris mullineri, Diaulula sandiegensis, Archidoris montereyensis (I think), and Anisodoris nobilis. Though there were lots ‘o nudies everywhere, the Tritonia festiva held the field for greatest numbers.

Camera? I had no stinkin’ camera. Who would have thought we’d have such lovely conditions after the first rains in so long? Obviously. not moi.

The day was capped with a “no wait” haul out at the ramp, and delicious carne asada tacos at Prontos.

A perfect day of Southern California diving – who could ask for more?

Stay wet.



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