Trip Report - San Clemente Island East End Coves

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Posted by tleemay on June 17, 2012 at 21:54:16:

I was fortunate enough to ride along with Captain Tim and Ocean
Safari to San Clement Island this past SAT on the Great Escape.

We left 22nd Street Landing at 11:00pm. The crossing was a just
a tad lumpy between the East End of Cat and the start of shadow
of Clemente, about 3-4' every 20 seconds or so. The original
NOAA swell prediction was a much rougher ride, but it was no
where un-doable... in fact is was rather enjoyable. Lesson
learned; swell predictions are just that - predictions!

We made the island at our first stop, Little Flower - water was
like glass. It was about 5 am once the hook was set, perfect for
a night/pre-dawn dive. About half of the boat decided to get in.
Reports from the first dive were all raves! Clean water with
80'+ vis. Lots of fish to play with, including some juvinile BSB.

Chef Mike and Captain Tim provided custom omelets for breaky with
all the trimmings.

Dive two was at Ghost Cave Cove. This was a special location
because we were able to see and play with two BSB, excpt these two were not juvys, they were pretty much full grown in the 300
lb range. We had a world class free dive hunter on board who
cruised the outter kelp line for big fish. He did not bring any-
thing back, but he did reports LOTS of bait fish all around and
the sightings of a couple yellowtail pinging the kelp blind, but
not getting close enough to take a shot.

Dives 3 and 4 were at White Snake Cove, so named for the large
tree root that crawls down from the shore resembling a large
white boa constrictor sized white snake peering off the cliff
and into the water. Here divers were treated to a couple large
bait balls, large calico bass and extra large sheephead. My
favorite fish from the area, the reticulated butterfly scythe,
were also present. It was really nice to still them here 16
years after we first detected them on one of Esther and Odon's
infamous Labor Day weekend trips. Lunch consisted of Grandma's
World Class Meatloaf with all the fixins. The fresh green beans
were the bomb! Mike's hot brownies and ice cream almost
evaporated from the pans onc they were put out.

We fired up the engines, yanked the anchor and were back to the dock by 6:15pm. The crossing back was smoother than the crossing
out, but was a tad rougher once we hit the shipping lane about 5
miles from the LA Gate. While not a sunny day by no means, it
was really comfortable weather-wise.

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