March 1st Sea Bass trip to PV

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Posted by Walter Marti on March 02, 2008 at 11:57:23:

I personally chartered the Sea Bass for a trip for the budget conscious photographer/diver. AKA cheap-ass divers, and rightfully proud being so. My inspiration were the similar trips I did last year, chartered by Scott Gietler. Half the spots were quickly taken by OCUPS members. The remainder were snatched up equally by my old Sea Sabre friends and OC Diving.com divers. It was a good gathering of old friends and new ones.

The Sea Bass has moved up the road a bit. A quieter location and an easier ramp. Upon arrival on Saturday morning, tanks were filled with nitrox. It was cool and overcast all day, until we surfaced after the last dive. The sun appeared for a smooth ride home. Our first dive was the wreck of the Avalon. As we anchored we had a quick visit with Scott & Margaret Webb, and Jim Lyle on their boat. I did notice that there was plenty of room for me on there boat! They felt the vis was uninspiring and headed for the Redondo Barge. The Sea Bass’ anchor was dropped right in front of the bow. Vis wasn’t the best. I made a nice long swim along the junk pile of wreckage. I was surprised to see so much exposed rusty plates. From previous visits I recall most everything being covered in algae. The winter storms must have cleaned the algae off to help accelerated turning the Avalon into just a rust stain on the bottom.

Our third dive was Hawthorne Reef. Vis was worse, about 6 - 8 feet. A big thanks to the diver who tied a strobe light to the anchor. It made finding it possible. This was my second trip here and the first for most. This is an amazing reef, lots of macro subjects, a large variety of nudibranchs, lots of rainbow topsnails. Many of the divers were commenting how there is more macro life here than at Catalina. The fish weren’t spooky. This definitely is not a well visited site. Sad note on this dive is, as we were leaving a fishing boat took our spot. So much for the friendly fish we saw.

The gang decided to hit Old Marineland. Doesn’t ‘Old Marineland’ imply there is a new one? Here the vis was even worse. A sandy area with intermitting rocky reefs. Again, great macro stuff.

Overall surface conditions were nice. I picked this day because of very small tidal changes, which should minimize currents. Which was very minimal throughout the day. Visibility could have been better. This day still beat sitting on the couch eating Cheetoos and watching sports. It was a nice day on the water with great company and great crew of the Sea Bass. There were plenty of snacks available throughout the day and good burgers for lunch. We were back at the dock at three.

Walter Marti

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