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4 islands and a bank


Scuba Diving on the Great Escape Southern California Live-Aboard Dive Boat


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Posted by Brad on October 18, 2010 at 13:34:34:

I just got back from a 3 night trip, left thursday around 11AM and ran straight out to the Cortes Bank. (how presumptuous of me~!) Buzzed around the east end of Catalina, then past the west end of San Clemente Island and 45nm out to the bank. It was a nice run on calm seas and a low ceiling with good visibility. The water was 63-4 degrees and very dark with only about 20ft vis--lots of salps and other stuff in the column due to the south swell. There were lots of small spanish mackeral foraging on the salps; very healthy- I went over to the wreck, but couldn't see it thru the window, so i stayed in the boat and just enjoyed the sights and sounds for two nights--no other boats all Friday and Friday night.

Back in the 90's you would hear the roar of tuna and yellowtail chasing the forage to the surface--thousands of gulls squaking on the outer edges of the bank. The last few times out there it has been quiet, no big schools of fish..

I got up each night and spent a couple hours just enjoying the sights and sounds at night on that incredible submerged mountain top. No lights, no generator, just the sounds of the critters.. Huge breathing in the distance, serious splashing on the surface, plaintiff whales by the pinnepeds. There were birds flapping, insects buzzing in the pitch black night, a bell in the distance and a flashing red light. Big huge swirls of luminescence right next to the boat and one fellow who clunked into the hull pretty hard. It was magical to be there and to be so secure at that wild place.

Saturday morning a boat motored over to the bank, i had seen the best that it had to offer so it was time to look for better water. I made the 50nm run to Nicolas on nice seas and overcast skies. I came into the island at the west end, backside. The water was 63 and about 20ft vis--the same content as was on the bank. I checked out a few places as i made my way back down the island to my favorite anchorage. Couldn't find any good vis so i stayed in the skiff and thoroughly enjoyed being there...

Saturday night was calm and warm and dry. Sunday morning I checked out a couple other places as i moved off the island, but same water everywhere.. The seas were so nice that i decided to swing into Santa Barbara Island to see if the south swell was making the la-boofadora put on a show. The swell was down and it wasn't as cool as i have seen it in the past.

I did not see a lot of life on this trip but it has been a strange year. I have faith that there will be a final surge of warm water this year.

Four islands, two nights on the bank and a night at Nicolas~

Brad

(loves the sea)



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