Hawthorne Reef and the wreck of the Avalon

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Posted by Max Bottomtime on November 28, 2010 at 14:44:55:

Frank and Charlie joined us once again to seek out good conditions. The ocean has been flat for the past two days and was predicted to remain flat today. It was pretty flat, except for the four foot swells that beat us down. We bounced our way to Hawthorne Reef, hoping it would be calmer below the surface. The upper forty feet didn't look promising, but below that we could clearly see the bottom at eighty feet. We anchored in an unfamiliar spot so we had to explore the ridges and valleys of the reef. Rockfish, nudibranchs, sponges, gorgonians and tunicates overwhelmed us. We weren't used to being able to see more than a few feet in front of us. Merry tried to get a shot of a lingcod when a sea lion dive-bombed her, scaring the lingcod. It soon returned to its perch, so Merry began firing away.
Merry's computer read 50F, while mine showed a toasty 51F.

Charlie and Frank


Cuthona divae

Pseudoceros monterensis

We motored over to the wreck of the S.S. Avalon. The dirty water made for night dive conditions on the bottom. We couldn't see the wreck until we were a few feet above it. Once my eyes adjusted to the darkness I could find my way around. Frank, Charlie and I swam from the stern to the bow, hoping for better visibility. We didn't find any, but at least the swim warmed Frank up a bit. We're trying to convince him to get a drysuit by making him dive the coldest sites. :)

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