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Playing at the island - great visibility


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Posted by Jim on September 16, 2012 at 12:31:03:

Margaret was hot to go to Catalina; she had heard the island water had been unusually clear. Since visibility in our local SoCal water had been really poor this past week, we agreed to meet at the boat, early Saturday morning, for a run to the island. Scott, Margaret, Theo, and I made the crossing in less than two hours and dropped anchor at a dive site called "Italian Gardens."

Near Goat Harbor, Italian Gardens is home to a number of large, black sea bass. Counting on good visibility and some large fish, I mounted my 8mm fisheye for wide angle photography. Sure enough, visibility was phenomenal, even for Catalina. The water temps were in the mid-sixties very comfortable in a 7mm wetsuit.

Below are some of my images from our dives:

Angel shark (Squatina californica)

Great visibility and blue water

Black sea bass (Stereolepis gigas) Once endangered by overfishing, BSB are now protected. Italian Gardens is also a Marine Life Protected Area, so no fishing is allowed. This fish is about five feet long and two-hundred pounds!

BSB can change color in a flash spots are often seen as well as the dark black display

Garibaldi (Hypsypops rubicundus) is the California State Marine Fish. This bright orange damselfish makes for great color in wide angle kelp shots



A couple of snails (Norissia norrisi on the kelp

What a wonderful day at the Island, playing in the kelp! I love SoCal.



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