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Nudi Fest and a first at Marineland


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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.

Serpulid worm
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Dendronotus iris eggs on tube anemone
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Dendronotus iris on tube anemone
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Tritonia festiva
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Hermissenda crassicornis
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Spanish Shawl, Flabellina iodinea with tiny Flabbelina trilineata under its mouth
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Sea Lemon, Anisdoris nobilis
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Triopha catalinae
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Acanthodoris hudsoni
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Diaulula sandiegensis
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Doriopsilla albopunctata
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Cadlina luteomarginata with two Cuthona divae
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Cuthona divae
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