Posted by Max Bottomtime on May 16, 2008 at 15:23:18:|
I once had a friend who worked for a private security firm drive my gear down to Cobble Beach. John Lee, the manager of the property also drove my gear down. I even had the L.A. County Lifeguards give me a ride on their boat from the point to the cove, but today was the best experience of all. One of the guys working for Turner Construction asked me a lot of questions about diving Marineland on Wednesday. Today he was there as I got out of the water. It was very hot topside, so he asked if I wanted a ride back up! I gladly loaded my gear into the back of his cart and rode all the way to the parking lot. I love making new friends. They were grading the road between the hotel and the beach today, so the walk should be a little easier from now on.
As for the diving, it looked pretty clear from the top of the hill and with no surf whatsoever. I knew I was in for a nice dive. By the time I got to the point the water was a muddy brown down to seventy feet. The water was a bit warmer today at 51F. With about four feet of visibility I knew the camera would stay in macro mode. Fortunately, Marineland is the nudibranch capital of SoCal beach diving, and it didn't disappoint. I found hundreds of Hermissenda crassicornis laying eggs everywhere as well as several species represented by a single nudibranch. A few were in crevices where I couldn't get a good shot, but many were cooperative. For the first ten minutes of the dive my lens was a bit foggy, so the images aren't very good, but you can still see the nudis.
I also found two abandoned lobster traps. One had two Sheepcrabs in it. I think someone tried to free one of the crabs as it only had a couple of legs. The second trap contained a large lobster. The door was wired shut and I was only able to bend it halfway. I couldn't reach the bug so I propped the trap on its side. Hopefully he can find his way out.
The visibility didn't improve until I reached fifteen feet in the Shell Zone. I slowly made my way back to the cove where my new buddy was waiting.
Dendronotus iris eggs on tube anemone
Dendronotus iris on tube anemone
Spanish Shawl, Flabellina iodinea with tiny Flabbelina trilineata under its mouth
Sea Lemon, Anisdoris nobilis
Cadlina luteomarginata with two Cuthona divae