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Dive Report: Farnsworth Bank, Ship Rock, & Santa Cruz Island with the Sea Divers


Outer Bamnks diving on the Great Escape Southern California Live-Aboard Dive Boat


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Posted by Chris on August 06, 2009 at 02:31:19:

On Friday July 24, 2009 the Sea Divers were scheduled to go to Begg Rock aboard the Peace. Unfortunately the Navy decided to close Begg Rock and most of San Nicolas that day for exercises. Because of high winds at Miguel and the fact the Northern islands had had very poor visibility we headed for Farnsworth Bank Thursday at Midnight.
The water at Farnsworth was very blue, much cleaner than I had expected. The surface was smooth. There was a large South swell rolling through, but it had little effect at Farnsworth. However we could sew the large breakers hitting the backside of Catalina. When we went down for the first dive at the saddle the visibility was 50+ feet. I had a macro lens on because I was not expecting such good vis.

Pedicularia californica (California Hydrocoral Snail) on Stylaster californicus (California Hydrocoral)
Pedicularia californica (California Hydrocoral Snail) on Stylaster californicus (California Hydrocoral)


Diaulula sandiegensis
Diaulula sandiegensis (San Diego Droid)


Red Spotted Star
Red Spotted Star


For our second dive we moved to the 80 foot spot at Farnsworth. This time I switched to wide angle

Chromis punctipinnis (Blacksmith)
Chromis punctipinnis (Blacksmith)

Red Spotted Star
Red Spotted Star


Chromis punctipinnis (Blacksmith) over Stylaster californicus (California Hydrocoral)
Chromis punctipinnis (Blacksmith) over Stylaster californicus (California Hydrocoral)">


Stylaster californicus (California Hydrocoral)
Stylaster californicus (California Hydrocoral)


Kathryn Cody
Kathryn Cody


For our third dive we moved to the high spot at Farnsworth Bank. I kept the wide angle lens and of course found a rare nudibranch Phyllidiopsis blanca. I could not get as close in as I would have liked, but still managed to get a picture.


Scorpaena guttata (California Scorpionfish) on a ledge covered with Epizoanthus scotinus (Zooanthid Anemones)
Scorpaena guttata (California Scorpionfish) on a ledge covered with Epizoanthus scotinus (Zooanthid Anemones)


A pair of mating Phyllidiopsis blanca on a sponge surrounded by Epizoanthus scotinus (Zooanthid Anemones)
A pair of mating Phyllidiopsis blanca on a sponge surrounded by Epizoanthus scotinus (Zooanthid Anemones)


Diaulula sandiegensis on Stylaster californicus
Diaulula sandiegensis (San Diego Droid) on Stylaster californicus (California Hydrocoral)


Gymnothorax mordax (California Moray)
Gymnothorax mordax (California Moray)


For our fourth dive we want to Ship Rock. I kept the wide angle lens on. The visibility was less here, maybe 30 feet, but still blue.

A mutant Cadlina luteomarginata with only one enlarged left rhinophore
A mutant Cadlina luteomarginata with only one enlarged left rhinophore.


Muricea fruticosa (Brown Gorgonian) on the sailboat wreck
Muricea fruticosa (Brown Gorgonian) on the sailboat wreck


Chris Grossman
Chris Grossman


The fifth and last day dive was at Sea Fan Grotto. I spent my time a bit west of the grotto with my macro lens. Here the vis was a bit lest and the water had a bit of green in it.

A Lythrypnus dalli (Bluebanded Goby) with a full belly
A Lythrypnus dalli (Bluebanded Goby) with a full belly


Linckia columbiae (Fragile Star)
Linckia columbiae (Fragile Star)


There was a night dive after dinner, but Kathryn and I did not do it.
That night we headed for Santa Cruz Island for four more dives. For the first three dives I hunted for halibut, but did not see any. However Bob Davis got a nice one near Ruby Rock.

Bob Davis with his Halibut
Bob Davis with his Halibut


Becasue the water was green on the forth dive on day two at Santa Cruz Island I took my macro lens in and found a few interesting subjects.

Artedius corallinus (Coralline Sculpin)
Artedius corallinus (Coralline Sculpin)


Triopha catalinae on Clavelina huntsmani feeding on Thalamoporella californica
Triopha catalinae on Clavelina huntsmani (Light Bulb Tunicate) feeding on Thalamoporella californica (Moss Animal)


A juvenile Sebastes atrovirens (Kelp Rockfish) trying to hide in the Macrocystis pyrifera (Giant Kelp)
A juvenile Sebastes atrovirens (Kelp Rockfish) trying to hide in the Macrocystis pyrifera (Giant Kelp)


Even though we did not make it to Begg Rock this time it was still a great trip. We did three dives on Farnsworth and then Ship Rock on day one, and four good dive at Santa Cruz.
You can see all of the pictures from the trip by clicking here.
©2009 Chris Grossman, diver.net

P.S. If you would like to be part of one of the great Sea Divers trips you can check them out here!. We have a local wreck trip in a few weeks on the Sea Bass, a trip to the Pinnacles of San Miguel in September aboard the Peace, two two-day bug hunting trips in October aboard the Peace. The first to Cortes Bank, and the second to Talcott Shoals. There is also a Saturday-Sunday trip in early December to the Northern Channel Islands.



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