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Re: Trip Report and Photos! - Attempt 2 with all the photos included


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Posted by Elaine on July 06, 2008 at 18:56:43:

In Reply to: Trip Report and Photos! - July4 on the Great Escape - Olympic Wreck and OML posted by Elaine on July 06, 2008 at 17:51:19:

Trip Report and Photos
4th of July, 2008, on the Great Escape

4th of July on the Great Escape, Photo by Elaine Jobin

Story and Photos © Elaine Jobin, may not be reproduced in part or whole without advanced written permission.

The day began at 9am when we left the dock for two holiday dives - the first at the wreck of the Olympic and the second at Old Marineland. On our harbor exit we went past the fireworks barges that would carry the display for the Queen Mary/Long Beach show,
Long Beach fireworks barge, Photo by Elaine Jobin 4th of July Fireworks barge, Photo by Elaine Jobin
We went under the Vincent Thomas Bridge,
Vincent Thomas Bridge, Photo by Elaine Jobin
and into a blanket of fog. The fog slowed our journey to the Olympic.
Fog in the harbor, Photo by Elaine JobinFog in the harbor, Photo by Elaine Jobin

By the time we reached the Olympic, the fog had lifted and our dives began. A mild surface current made some divers give up during their swim to the anchor line. Underwater, visibility wasn't terrific. It did clear up nicely in the last 20 feet or so - giving us a wonderful view of the wreck. The photos were all created with my F100 and slide film.
Diver on the Olympic Wreck, Photo by Elaine JobinOlympic Wreck, Photo by Elaine JobinOlympic Wreck, Photo by Elaine Jobin
Although recreational divers regularly remove the nets from this wreck, the most impressive parts of the structure had once again become covered by a new crop of abandoned fishing nets.
Olympic Wreck, Photo by Elaine JobinFishing nets on the Olympic Wreck, Photo by Elaine Jobin 2008 Fishing Nets on the Olympic Wreck, Photo by Elaine Jobin 2008 Fishing Nets on the Olympic Wreck, Photo by Elaine Jobin 2008 Fishing Nets on the Olympic Wreck, Photo by Elaine Jobin 2008 Fishing Nets on the Olympic Wreck, Photo by Elaine Jobin 2008

Everyone back on board, it was time for lunch and to move to our next dive site - Old Marineland.
Divers on the 4th of July, Photo by Elaine Jobin 2008Divers on the 4th of July, Photo by Elaine Jobin 2008
This time it wasn't fog, it was the anchor that delayed our journey. It was trapped on the Olympic. Divemaster Steve, Capt. Tom, and Chef/Capt. Rod all had a lift bag dive to retrieve the tangled anchor.
Captain Tom on the Great Escape, Photo by Elaine JobinDivemaster Steve and Capt. Rod on the Great Escape, Photo by Elaine Jobin Captain Rod on the Great Escape, Photo by Elaine Jobin

With the crew and the anchor back on board we made our way to Old Marineland. Over the past year significant work has been completed on the new resort. The complex is much more enormous than I had envisioned. The adjacent underwater environment seems relatively untouched by the construction. Will it stay so pristine when all the people move in? I'm worried.
Will there be overfishing and marine life pilfering? Will the divers who come appreciate the wonderful ecosystem that exists here enough to respect it and contribute to protecting it? Will the nudibranchs survive as nubies play with them and fling them into the air for photographs? I'm really worried. This resort is so huge, I find it hard to imagine that high human traffic, inhabitancy, and usage won't degrade this wonderful marine life location..
Resort complex at Old Marineland, Photo by Elaine Jobin 2008Resort complex at Old Marineland, Photo by Elaine Jobin 2008
As usual,. the water at Old Marineland was colder than our previous dive and the visibility not as good. However, the creatures and critters that live in this area make it one of the most spectacular areas to dive in Southern California. I practiced with my little housed Canon SD870 IS point and shoot - I'm still leaning its strengths and weaknesses, but, I've decided that it is a terrific digital entry level camera. All of these photos were taken with only the internal flash.
Hermissenda crassicornis at Old Marineland, Photo by Elaine Jobin 2008Cadlina Luteomarginata at Old Marineland, Photo by Elaine Jobin Facelina stearnsi at Old Marineland, Photo by Elaine Jobin 2008 Flabellina iodinea at Old Marineland, Photo by Elaine Jobin Triopha catalinae, clown Nudibranch at Old Marineland, Photo by Elaine Jobin 2008 Diaulula sandiegensis, San Diego Dorid at Old Marineland, Photo by Elaine Jobin 2008 Short-Spined Sea Star, at Old Marineland, Photo by Elaine Jobin 2008 Giant-Spined Sea Star at Old Marineland, Photo by Elaine Jobin 2008 Warty Sea Cucumber at Old Marineland, Photo by Elaine Jobin 2008 Blackeye Goby, Corphopterus nicholsii at Old Marineland, Photo by Elaine Jobin 2008 Painted Greenling, Oxylebius pictus at Old Marineland, Photo by Elaine Jobin Sheephead at Old Marineland, Photo by Elaine Jobin 2008 Old Marineland, Photo by Elaine Jobin 2008
The dive at Old Marineland was uneventful except for a large lingcod that boldly approached myself and several other divers. He was aggressive actually. Perhaps he had a nest near by.
Lingcod at Old Marineland, Elaine Jobin 2008

Our two dives over, we headed back to Queens Wharf.
Lighthouse at Angels Gate, Photo by Elaine Jobin,2008
Captain Gregg of the Bottomscratcher gave us a big "welcome back".
Dive Boats at Queens Wharf, Photo by Elaine Jobin 2008
Divers not staying for the Fireworks/Dinner cruise disembarked and new passengers arrived. Captain Tim fired up the grill and preparations for the 4th of July feast began. Oh Goody - my second favorite part of the day. The food and the fireworks.


Family members of the crew got involved in the preparations too.

At 7pm we moved around to to pick out our parking spot for the Long Beach/Queen Mary fireworks display. What we saw as we waited was unbelievable. Speed boats came whipping through the harbor between the anchored boats - at top speed. It was dangerous and reckless. Calls from parked boaters began coming in over channel 16 requesting that the Coast Guard take action to stop the speeding boats. I didn't see enforcement occur. Finally, a call came over channel 16 that one of the speed boats had hit an anchored vessel. Those who were hit sounded dazed and confused. Evidently the nitwits in the speedboat left the scene after the collision. The picture below is not one of the big offending speed boats, but even he didn't have sense enough to slow down in the crowded harbor.

After the reported collision, things quieted down a bit and the terrific fireworks show began. My favorite was one that exploded into a happy face - I wasn't fast enough to get a picture.

When the display was over, we headed back to Queens Wharf and home. It had been another fantastic 4th of July on the Great Escape.

 




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