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Dive report: Santa Rosa and Santa Cruz Islands aboard the Peace : January 26-27, 2013


Great Dive Trips at Bargain Prices with the Sea Divers


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Posted by Chris on February 04, 2013 at 22:22:35:

On January 26-27, 2013 I went on a two-day lobster hunting trip aboard the Peace. Although everyone else on the boat was there for bugs, I used about three of my dives to take pictures.

On Saturday we went to the back side of Santa Rosa Island, the water temperature was 53F, and the visibility was 40-60 feet.   The visibility was so good I dissembled my preassembled macro rig I had brought with me, swapped cameras, and set up for wide angle.

The first dive with the camera was at 60-75 feet on an offshore reefs seperated by sand,   There were many Urticina Columbiana (Sand Rose Anemones).

Urticina columbiana (Sand Rose Anemone)
Urticina Columbiana (Sand Rose Anemone)


Urticina columbiana (Sand Rose Anemone)
Urticina Columbiana (Sand Rose Anemone)


Urticina columbiana (Sand Rose Anemone)
Urticina Columbiana (Sand Rose Anemone)


Urticina columbiana (Sand Rose Anemone)
Urticina Columbiana (Sand Rose Anemone)


Urticina columbiana (Sand Rose Anemone)
Urticina Columbiana (Sand Rose Anemone)

There were other anemoines as well; Urticina mcpeaki, Anthopleura sola (Green Anemone), and many Urticina lofotensis (White Spotted Rose Anemone).

Urticina mcpeaki
Urticina mcpeaki


Anthopleura sola (Green Anemone)
Anthopleura sola (Green Anemone)


Urticina lofotensis (White Spotted Rose Anemone)
Urticina lofotensis (White Spotted Rose Anemone)


Urticina lofotensis (White Spotted Rose Anemone)
Urticina lofotensis (White Spotted Rose Anemone)


Urticina lofotensis (White Spotted Rose Anemone)
Urticina lofotensis (White Spotted Rose Anemone)


Urticina lofotensis (White Spotted Rose Anemone)
Urticina lofotensis (White Spotted Rose Anemone)


Pyrosoma (pelagic colonial tunicate) being eaten by a Urticina lofotensis (White Spotted Rose Anemone) with a Ophiodon elongatus (Lingcod) swimming by
Pyrosoma (pelagic colonial tunicate) being eaten by a Urticina lofotensis (White Spotted Rose Anemone) with a Ophiodon elongatus (Lingcod) swimming by

There were also large Tethya californiana (Orange Puffball Sponge) with Pachythyone rubra (Sea Cucumber) living on them.



Tethya californiana (Orange Puffball Sponge) and Pachythyone rubra (Sea Cucumber)
Tethya californiana (Orange Puffball Sponge) and Pachythyone rubra (Sea Cucumber)


Tethya californiana (Orange Puffball Sponge) and Pachythyone rubra (Sea Cucumber)
Tethya californiana (Orange Puffball Sponge) and Pachythyone rubra (Sea Cucumber)


Tethya californiana (Orange Puffball Sponge) and Pachythyone rubra (Sea Cucumber)
Tethya californiana (Orange Puffball Sponge) and Pachythyone rubra (Sea Cucumber)

There were also many interesting invertebrates including Echinoderms, Crabs, Sponges.



Loligo opalescens (California Market Squid) Eggs
Loligo opalescens (California Market Squid) Eggs


Dermasterias imbricata (Leather Star) and Asterina miniata (Bat Stars)
Dermasterias imbricata (Leather Star) and Asterina miniata (Bat Stars)


An Octopus hiding in a crevice.
An Octopus hiding in a crevice.


Dermasterias imbricata (Leather Star) and Acarnus erithacus (Red Volcano Songe)
Dermasterias imbricata (Leather Star) and Acarnus erithacus (Red Volcano Songe)


Antho karykina (Encrustng Starburst Sponge)
Antho karykina (Encrustng Starburst Sponge)


Loxorhynchus crispatus (Moss Crab), Strongylocentrotus franciscanus (Red Sea Urchins), Asterina miniata (Bat Stars), Urticina lofotensis (White Spotted Rose Anemone), and Corynactis californica (Club-Tipped Anemones)
Loxorhynchus crispatus (Moss Crab), Strongylocentrotus franciscanus (Red Sea Urchins), Asterina miniata (Bat Stars), Urticina lofotensis (White Spotted Rose Anemone), and Corynactis californica (Club-Tipped Anemones)


Pycnopodia helianthoides (Sunflower Sea Stars)
Pycnopodia helianthoides (Sunflower Sea Stars)


Cancer antennarius (Pacifc Rock Crab)
Cancer antennarius (Pacifc Rock Crab)


Strongylocentrotus franciscanus (Red Sea Urchins)
Strongylocentrotus franciscanus (Red Sea Urchins)


Craniella arb (Tennis Ball Sponge)
Craniella arb (Tennis Ball Sponge)


Loxorhynchus crispatus (Moss Crab)
Loxorhynchus crispatus (Moss Crab)


Apolemia sp.
Apolemia sp.


Aplysia californica (California Seahare) on Macrocystis pyrifera (Giant Kelp)
Aplysia californica (California Seahare) on Macrocystis pyrifera (Giant Kelp)

The next dive was at the deep end of the reef on the East Point of Santa Rosa Island where I saw Oxylebius pictus (Painted Greenling) in Urticina lofotensis (White Spotted Rose Anemone) for the first time as well as more crabs, anemones, and nudibranchs.

Oxylebius pictus (Painted Greenling) in Urticina lofotensis (White Spotted Rose Anemone)
Oxylebius pictus (Painted Greenling) in Urticina lofotensis (White Spotted Rose Anemone)


Tethya californiana (Orange Puffball Sponge) and Urticina lofotensis (White Spotted Rose Anemone)
Tethya californiana (Orange Puffball Sponge) and Urticina lofotensis (White Spotted Rose Anemone)


Anthopleura sola (Green Anemone)
Anthopleura sola (Green Anemone)


Loxorhynchus crispatus (Moss Crab)
Loxorhynchus crispatus (Moss Crab)


Melibe leonina (Lion Nudibranch) swimming
Melibe leonina (Lion Nudibranch) swimming

Over night the weather changed and on Sunday January 27, 2013 the wind was howling.   For the first dive of the day Captain Eric went to a deep offshore reef.   Eric put the anchor on the reef and told everyone to go down the anchor.   I instead dropped under the boat into the sand at 110-115 feet.   In the sand there were scattered rock piles and every one of them was crawling with bugs.   Of course almost all were undersized, it was Santa Cruz after all.   However among the hundreds of shorts I found one that was almost three pounds and snagged it.

On the third dive of the day I choose to take the camera again.   This dive was on a relatively shallow area (15-40 feet) call Pink Ribbon.   I stuck with the wide angle lens form the day before, however although the visibility was still 20-40 feet, it was a chunky 20-40.   Here are a few from that dive.



Panulirus interruptus (California Spiny Lobster) in aLobster Trap
Panulirus interruptus (California Spiny Lobster) in a Lobster Trap


Lophogorgia chilensis (Red Gorgonian) and Pisaster brevispinus (Giant Pink Star, Sea Star, Short-Spined Sea Star)
Lophogorgia chilensis (Red Gorgonian) and Pisaster brevispinus (Giant Pink Star, Sea Star, Short-Spined Sea Star)


Chaetopterus sp. (Parchment Tube Worms) and Ophiothrix spiculata (Spiny Brittle Stars)
Chaetopterus sp. (Parchment Tube Worms) and Ophiothrix spiculata (Spiny Brittle Stars)


Strongylocentrotus purpuratus (Purplr Sea Urchins) and Muricea californica (California Golden Gorgonian)
Strongylocentrotus purpuratus (Purplr Sea Urchins) and Muricea californica (California Golden Gorgonian)


Pachythyone rubra (Sea Cucumber)
Pachythyone rubra (Sea Cucumber)


Lophogorgia chilensis (Red Gorgonian) and Muricea californica (California Golden Gorgonian)
Lophogorgia chilensis (Red Gorgonian) and Muricea californica (California Golden Gorgonian)


Codium fragile (Sea Staghorn)
Codium fragile (Sea Staghorn)


Muricea californica (California Golden Gorgonian)
Muricea californica (California Golden Gorgonian)


Obelia sp. (Hydroids) on Macrocystis pyrifera (Giant Kelp)
Obelia sp. (Hydroids) on Macrocystis pyrifera (Giant Kelp)

It was a great trip on the Peace.   Almost everyone caught bugs, a few people limited, the diving was outstanding, and I really enjoyed the trip.

Click here to see the entire set of photos (with species IDs) from the trip.

©2013 Chris Grossman, diver.net



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