Smooth As silt. Diving The FS Loop And White Point Outfall Pipe (1/15/12)

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

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Posted by Max Bottomtime on January 17, 2012 at 14:16:24:

Catalina Guerra joined us this morning as we headed to San Pedro to pick up Kevin Lee. We left early enough so that Kevin wouldn't wait in the Cabrillo Beach boat launch lot too long. Soon after leaving King Harbor we spotted a pod of small Common dolphin. We spent several minutes photographing them as they rode our bow wake. We hastily continued on our way until we found a pod of Risso's dolphin near Rocky Point. A few more minutes of fun and we were back on course. Merry called Kevin to let him know we would be a few minutes late. After hanging up the phone Catalina spotted a Gray whale. A few more minutes passed...Kevin must be very familiar with the parking lot by now. We finally arrived and loaded Kevin's gear onto the boat. He didn't seem to mind the extra half hour sitting...fuming...
Our first dive was on the wreck of the FS Loop off the Los Angeles Breakwater. The wreck sits on a silty bottom and visibility is rarely more than three feet. I told Kevin and Merry to look for Tritonia festiva and Doriopsila spaldingi nudibranchs. I had seen a few of each here before. As we neared the bottom the first surprise was the fifteen feet of visibility. Second was that the entire wreck was littered with Tritonia festiva and Doriopsila spaldingi. I looked like I knew what I was doing.
I was shooting wide angle today, which was a blessing, and a curse. The good visibility allowed me to get some decent shots of the wreck, but I had to shoot nudis at 35mm through an eight inch dome port.

We motored to the White Point outfall pipe for our next dive. Visibility was about ten feet, which is plenty for the small fish and snails found here. Blue ring top snails were the dominant feature of the dive. They seemed to be on every substrate.

We dropped Kevin off and fueled up the boat. On the way home we came upon the largest pod of dolphin I had seen in more than twenty years. Several were leaping high out of the water, usually just before we could get a photo.

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