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Dive Report: Cortes Bank and Santa Barbara Island


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Posted by Chris on March 22, 2017 at 22:10:31:

Chris Grossman with a 12 lb. California spiny lobster (Panulirus interruptus) at Cortes Bank
Chris Grossman with a 12 lb. California spiny lobster (Panulirus interruptus) at Cortes Bank

Last Saturday and Sunday March 18-19, 2017 I went out on the Peace to Cortes Bank and Santa Barbara Island for the last weekend of lobster season.

We departed Ventura on 9PM Friday March 17 for the 11-hour ride to Cortes Bank.   When we arrived on Saturday morning there was no wind, no swell, and sea was glassy calm.   When I jumped in the water for the 1st dive the visibility was 100 feet+ and temperature was a very comfortable 57°F at all diveable depths.

On the third dive of the day I was swimming through a valet at about 50 feet and saw a very large bug in front of a very deep hole.   I instinctively grabbed it immediately before it had time to move back.   When I went to put it in my bag I realized just how large it was, because it just fit in.

When I got back to the boat and weighed it is was just (2 ozs) under 12 lbs.   I put the bug in my large cooler that had fresh seawater flowing through it.   On the last dive of the day my bug, and several other large ones were returned to the reef not far from where they were captured.

map of Cortes Bank
Location of Cortes Bank

That night just after the last dive we headed for Santa Barbara Island.   When we started diving on Saturday the visibility was about 50 feet, and again the water temperature was 57°F at all diveable depths.

At both Cortes and SBI there was no one spot where everyone did well.   On every dive there were a few divers who saw nothing, a few who did well, and some who saw some and got none, and some who only got one or two.   However at the end of the trip everyone had caught bugs, many of which were very nice.   It was an excellent Spring bug trip to Cortes Bank!

©2017 Chris Grossman, diver.net, all rights reserved



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