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

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Posted by jim on January 13, 2008 at 17:04:19:

In Reply to: 4 Dolphin shot in San Diego posted by Roger on June 20, 2007 at 04:20:18:

The SoCal marine forecast for this weekend wasn't good; the national weather service called for 5-7 foot swells along west facing beaches. After talking it

over Saturday night, my boat buddies (Scott & Margaret) and I decided to go to breakfast Sunday morning and then drive by the water to check conditions.

After a wonderful breakfast at Eat-at-Joe's, we drove the short distance to Vet's Park in Redondo Beach. As often happens, the forecast was totally wrong -

knee-slapping waves, an offshore breeze, and bright sunshine were the order of the day. We quickly separated to run home to assemble cameras and pack dive

gear, meeting back at the boat about an hour later. Leaving King Harbor, Scott decided to drop us at the wreck of the Avalon, a favorite dive site, located

in deep water off the Palos Verdes peninsula. The ocean's surface was smooth, with long rolling swells out of the west - air temperature was about

seventy-warm degrees, a beautiful day on the water!

We dropped the anchor at the gps coordinates for the bow of the wreck, finished putting on my drysuit, donned the rest of my gear, and did a back-roll over

the side. Scott handed down my camera and I made my way to the anchor line, then followied it down to the bottom at eighty-feet deep. As I descended, it

got darker and darker and I never did make out the bottom before hitting it! Visibility was a poor five feet and I was being pushed to and fro by the swell.

With crappy conditions, I reluctantly retraced my path up the line to the boat and told Scott and Margaret to "forget it!" We took a quick vote and opted to

fall back to the wreck of the Barge, off Redondo Beach, hoping for cleaner water.

Conditions on the barge were only marginally better, with 10-12 feet of visibility, but heavy swell even at a depth of 80 feet. Since this was the first

time we had been out in 2008 and it wasn't that bad, we stayed and took some pictures. I had mounted my 50mm macro lens and I have to say it was challending

to do macro while being thrown from side to side by the movement of the water. I didn't take very many pictures, and there weren't any new critters for me

to shoot. Here are a few of the better efforts. Water temperature was 56 degrees F.

Chestnut cowrie (Cypraea spadicea,/i>)

Orange gorgonian (Adellogorgia phyllosclera)

Painted greenling (Oxylebius pictus)

Sculpin - "You can't see me!"

California sheephead - female (Semicossyphus pulcher)

Urchin shrimp (?)

Tritonia festiva nudibranch

Even though conditions weren't what we had hoped for, it was a great morning and our first outing of 2008. Just thought I would share.

DSAO (dive safely and often),


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