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Green, green water off Palos Verdes


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Posted by Merry on February 16, 2015 at 13:33:27:

On Sat., a strong phytoplankton bloom produced extremely green water from Redondo Canyon, all around the peninsula to the L.A. breakwall. We hadn't expected an algal bloom so soon. Bloom formation is complex and many factors contribute: physical features of the ocean, water temperature and density, salinity, availability of nutrients, available sunlight levels, the amount and species of algae that's present, and the type of zooplankton grazers.

After motoring around for more than an hour on Sat., we couldn't find a spot to dive that looked half-way decent. In desperation, we said what-the-heck and dropped on the White Point Outfall pipe to see if there were any Corambe nudibranchs left in the kelp. Oh joy! Not only was vis ~3-4 feet, but we encountered brisk bottom current coupled with wicked, miserable surge. It was pretty comical, and neither of us could get off a shot. (57 degrees).

By Sun. noon, the water color looked less ominous at Golf Ball Reef. Phil and I weren't very hopeful in the face of white caps and substantial surface current, but desperation drove us to jump in. Somehow, we didn't have a terrible dive. Vis had increased to ~10 ft. on the bottom, and continued to improve above 30ft to a nice 20 ft. horizontal. (59 degrees).

Yet another (!) new and unexpected find on Golf Ball Reef was a species of squat lobster, the red pelagic crab or tuna crab. Margaret and Scott Webb saw a flood of these on the oil rigs recently.

Tuna crab, Pleuroncodes planipes, all by its lonesome.

 photo Tuna crab DSC_9832_zpsqlxvyz6i.jpg


 photo Tuna crab 2 800 DSC_9839_zpsi9oybpxj.jpg




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