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Dead of Winter


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Posted by Max Bottomtime on January 20, 2013 at 21:21:11:

Diving in Southern California in January can be tough. The snow was piled deep as we made our way through the slush that we call the Pacific Ocean.

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View of Winter from Redondo Beach

I even had to soak up what little warmth I could from the Sun. It was bitterly cold today, about 72. Fortunately there was no wind to create much of a chill factor.

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We stopped to check out the Humpback whale that has been hanging out just off Vet's the past week. It is probably stuck in the ice flows.

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The swells were nearly four inches high with less than an hour interval. We pushed on toward Haggerty's to test our thermal tolerance. The water was 51, so we had to get out after only an hour and fifteen minutes. There wasn't anything to see anyway.

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Sheepcrab with two starry hitch hikers


After scraping the ice from our toes, we made our way to the Landing Craft. It's a good place to find one of my favorite nudibranchs, Cuthona divae.
I didn't see one, but I found some eggs and clusters of their favorite food, hedgehog hydroids. When I uploaded my images I noticed a Cuthona hiding behind the hydroids. My eyelids must have been frozen shut to miss that one.

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This tiny tunicate was growing from the side of a tube anemone

By the time we surfaced, the air temperature had lowered to a bone-chilling 70. I may have to think about wearing long pants if it gets any colder.

After a day on the water like today, someone needs a hug.
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