Posted by FrankPro1 on September 09, 2012 at 23:52:48:|
With swell charts showing superb conditions for the south end of Palos Verdes, divers came out in droves today at Marineland. I knew Rev. AL and the rest of his Dive Vets parishioners would be in attendance for Sunday services, but was surprised to see the Pac Wild dive team and many other "non club" divers had filled the parking lot to the brim. Charlie and I got mixed reports of vis "10-30ft" from various divers but all agreed that the point entry was a waltz. By the time we got to the point, conditions had became a bit turbulent, but we still managed to enter without hurting ourselves or our camera rigs. Visibility was surprisingly mediocre "hazy 8-10ft" at the point, but as we headed towards the Garden vis opened up to a solid 15ft.
After the spectacular frenzy of life we witnessed at Long Point two weekends prior, I was a bit disappointed with today's selection of photograph-able critters. Thirty minutes into the dive I had still yet to fire off a shot, with most of the interesting subjects being to far deep in crevices or too skittish to frame up for a capture. That quickly changed when Charlie stopped to shoot some video of a particularly fast moving Sunflower star. While he focused on the star I circled around the adjoining reef. It was on the far end of the reef that I spied a Scorpionfish tail poking out the side of a kelp holdfast. I circled around, got down low and waited for the surge to blow the kelp fronds just right, exposing the Scorpionfish's "ugly mug". Quickly after that, I found my first Leafy Hornmouth Snail and an overburdened Hermit crab living in a Norris Top snail shell covered in barnacles.
Wanting to stretch out the dive as long as possible Charlie and I kept in the 20-30ft zone of the Garden for the latter half of the dive. This area consists mainly of a thin kelp forest attached to a scattering of small boulders. It was here that we found the 30ft of visibility reported by one diver pair. Lots of juvenile rockfish and bass take refuge in this shallow haven as well as a myriad of other shallow sub-tidal species. I was able to stretch my steel 100 to an eighty-five minute bottomtime with a SAC rate of .54 SCFM but I was no match for Charlie's tiny SAC paired with his gigantic 120cft cylinder. Pun Intended I surfaced at the final drain pipe with under 300psi, while Charlie continued to the Cove solo. Of course he spotted and filmed a giant sized specimen of my favorite species of fish "Cabezon" on his way back to the cove. Hopefully he will be kind enough to share his footage with us, once he compiles it into a video.
Captures of the day: