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Condense Your Horizon


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Posted by Max Bottomtime on September 01, 2019 at 16:19:13:

We received a report yesterday of good visibility below the dark, murky green that has persisted this Sring and Summer. We rolled the dice and decided to try a dive at Torrance Reef. Rumors of a moral eel from Mexico residing on the reef sounded enticing, so I took my wide angle lens along with me. I shoot macro most of the time, so it was time to expand my horizon. After twenty minutes of looking at gorgonian and bryozoan, I'd had enough and headed back to the surface. I expected to see Merry any minute, as I found the reef to be less than exciting.

Forty minutes went by before Merry popped her hood above the surface. She was her usual animated self, the way she gets after finding something unusual. She said we needed to make a second dive. I was not enthused until she said she found lots of tiny Doto columbiana nudibranchs in the ostrich plume hydroids.

I switched lenses and followed Merry down to the low laying reef. Immediately, I saw what she was so excited about. There were hydroids everywhere, all covered with the little Dotos and their eggs. While trying to get a decent shot of them, Merry brought over a Trinchesia albocrusta, another miniature life form.

The reef rises no more than a few inches above the sand. There are several gas vents shooting a stream of bubbles toward the surface. Ther are also areas of sulfur-oxidizing bacteria that is common at White Point. We have found a few tiny patches around Palos Verdes, but not as much as today.

Torrance Reef is located in fifty-five feet 3/4 mile off Torrance Beach. The upper thirty feet was the usual ugliness, but we enjoyed better than thirty feet of visibility below that. Temps were 57 on the bottom to about 70 on the surface.




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