A magic day on the Magician.

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Posted by Jim on July 25, 2009 at 08:09:37:

Friday, July 24.

Margaret won a trip on the Magician (at an LAUPS raffle) and it was burning a hole in her pocketbook. Scott was working Fridays, so she invited me to come along and be her dive buddy; Dave N. joined us. There were only fourteen divers on the boat; should have been more.

Despite the big southerly swell that was pushing big waves up on beached to the south, conditions in the channel to Santa Catalina were good, long slow swell, no wind or chop. It was sunny when we left San Pedro, became overcast as we neared the island, and burned off in the late morning.

We did the first two dives at Ship Rock. Visibility was a good sixty feet plus, water temperature at depth was 58, and above the thermocline at sixty feet it was a balmy 68 degrees! A school of barracuda hovered near the surface as we photographers explored the kelp. Margaret spotted an octopus out hunting (she may have an image to share) while I was occupied by a little abalone that crawed up on my glove! It was a real treat to be able to stay and do two dives at Ship under such great conditions.

Jerry saved my day when the burst disc on my tank blew. He graciously loaned me a tank. Thank you, Jerry!

The third and last dive of the day was at the rock quarry. Jerry told us exactly where to look for the butterfly fish that have lived there since the last big el nino year when they came up with warm water from the south - "just under the right side of the blockhouse, in forty feet of water." Sure enough, I saw my first one, but it was too skittish for me to take a shot. Margaret was luckier and came home with proof that she had seen a couple of them.

It was a fantastic day on the Magician. Call in sick or take a Friday off work and get away to the island on the Magician; she's a great dive boat and you can't beat the captain and crew.

[Sorry, no pictures. I'm having issues with my server.]

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