|Dive Report - Santa Monica Bay - 12-28 - Suprisingly Good|
Posted by Patrick on December 30, 2010 at 20:10:20:|
The call went out from Commodore Andy that the good ship D/V Moby Kate would be making one last local dive foray before the end of the year. Given the wind and rain forecast for Wednesday, Tuesday was the only logical day for the trip. Given that, Tuesday morning, not too long after O'dark thirty in the AM, Dr. John, Commodore Andy and I were gliding out of del Rey on the Kate out on to a beautiful, glassy Santa Monica Bay. There was a slight swell from the west and a gentle, chilly wind from the south as we cruised toward the northern end of the bay. It was decided early on to make it a bug hunting day and the area of choice was to be the reefs and crannies north of Santa Monica.
Since I was dressed out first, I got to be the go-for, do the first jump and evaluate conditions on the bottom. The reef was just about 80 feet and on the bottom it was dark with 6-8 foot visibility and 53 degrees. As for the lobster population, I bagged my first as I reached the bottom and was clearing the down-line weight from the reef. There were other bugs in fair numbers, but most, that is to say nearly all, were on the juvenile side of legal. Throughout the course of the dive I managed to find two additional nice sized bugs and endured a couple of exciting, and unexpected sea lion fly-bys. They always seem to be able to produce a lot more adrenalin in the limited visibility situations.
John who had jumped before my surfacing with a condition report had optimistically taken his camera down. He managed to kill a few pixels but soon gave up and traded his camera for a game bag and was able to grab a couple of nice bugs. The Commodore's dive was about the same with a couple more fat legals coming aboard.
We went looking for greener pastures and moved the Kate to another nearby reef structure. After carefully placing our down-line marker on the site – the one sporting a Diver Down flag on a 6-foot pole – we made the discovery that such a flag has the miraculous ability to lure boats in from miles away.
These two fishermen followed us on nearly every move we made throughout the rest of the day. It's so nice to have friends.
Dives and locations two and three were similar as to take, though toward the end, visibility improved perhaps 10-12 feet and temp moved up to nearly 55-degrees. At the end of the third dive, all members of the Kate had garnered their limit of spiny crustaceans, so we called it a day and headed back to del Rey under wonderful topside conditions and snow-covered mountains forming a stunning backdrop behind the high-rises of Santa Monica as we motored in.
Back at the dock were were met by the local F&G rep who tallies count and take off the private boats. Today he had 5 lovely young trainees with him and was breaking them in on the correct method of documenting a catch.
After the catch was measured and documented, the Kate and her crew headed home through the most dangerous part of the trip – LA traffic – ending another great day of local So Cal diving.
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