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Scuba Diving on the Great Escape Southern California Live-Aboard Dive Boat


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Posted by Walt on November 25, 2007 at 21:18:07:

In Reply to: Re: Quicky Dive Report + Freedom Rave posted by Eric S on November 25, 2007 at 19:08:43:

I just finished emailing Eric with my compliments on his plate design and Otter told me about Walter's post. I must add my 2 cents, as this plate is amazing.

It was like diving witout anything on my back, yet I was able to remove six pounds from my belt. It kept me perfectly and effortlessly horizontal in the water thanks to shifting the center of gravity above my lungs.

On my second dive at Channels I decided to put it through a few paces in 20 feet to see how it performed at a safety stop. I easily ditched and donned the pack - easier than my plastic hard pack as the plate's sides come out just a tad wider. I found that I did not need a buckle to remove the harness, thereby eliminating a point of failure and snag place. Donning it was a breeze - both over the head and from the shoulder. Next test was to remove my weight belt and see how bouyant I was - I was just slightly bouyant, allowing an easy swimming ascent and with enough weight so as to not bolt to the surface.

My set-up consists of an Oxycheq 18# razor wing and 2 Dive-Rite stainless steel cam tank bands. The nice thing about the razor style is that it hugs the tank when not inflated.

Back to the diving! Like Walter said, we dove Anacapa in some of the better conditions I've enjoyed there. Little swell or current both sides of the island and a bright sunny day to warm up top-side. Vis was about 30 feet (could have been better, but there was a huge tide change that day). Water temps ranged from 55F at Landing to 59F at Channels and 57F at Underwater Island. The hot tub was a nice 100F which was really appreciated by the end of the day.

I saw my largest lobster ever on my last dive of the day - a good 7 or 8 pounder in a crevice. Surprisingly, that was the only bug I saw the entire day. We saw several masking crabs at Channels and some baby crabs (about 1/8 inch long, unidentified species) at Landing Cove.

Otter found three sizes of her favorite fish - the kelp fish, small to large. Thanks to not having to fight any swells of current, we wer able to really focus on finding critters we might normally have missed. Next time I'll take my magnifying glass along.

We had a great group of divers on the boat - lots of familiar faces and a few new ones to put the names with. Plus we lucked out and only had 17 divers so we had plenty of room to spread out.



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