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Great White Shark, Wreckfish Rodeo and Chunky Soup


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Posted by Max Bottomtime on September 06, 2019 at 10:56:33:

Our friend Margaret Webb tells us she hears the Jaws theme when she's making a safety stop. Yesterday we had a god reminder of that. The surface water at Hermosa Beach Artificial was dark, green and chunky. Below that, we enjoyed twenty feet of visibility on the bottom. The visibility allowed us to see at least thirteen California Wreckfish, aka Giant Sea Bass, aka Black SEa Bass, aka GSB, BSB, GBSB, EIEIO, and George. They are not in the bass family, so Dr. Bill Bushing is trying to get us all to refer to them as California Wreckfish, or Stereolepis gigas if you prefer. I'll get back the the gentle giants, but first, lets talk about the other fish we saw.

After hanging for several minutes between ten and twenty feet, Merry and I surfaced. A few minutes later I said the magic word...shark. A juvenile Great Wite was patrolling the area, following a large school of anchovies we found as we arrived. At one point, he swam alongside our boat, close enough for Merry to get a few seconds of cell phone video.

An hour before that, we settled near a piling we call Spongehenge. A huge gray moon sponge has nearly encircled a six feet tall piling. California Wreckfish were all over us during the dive. After photographing several, I turned down my strobes to photograph a small C-O Sole. I turned my attention back to the giants but forgot to turn up my strobes. Most shots were dark and green after that, just like the water. I was pretty bummed as several of the large fish performed a Wreckfish Rodeo right in front of me, swimming in a tight circle while following each others' tails.

Not wishing to disturb the anchovies, we swapped out our lenses and headed to Torrance Reef for some macro action. We had over forty feet of visibility on our last dive hear. It was less than half of that yesterday with large surf predicted for the weekend. Visibility at each site was 18-20 feet with green surface water with zero vis near the surface. Water temperature was 56.


A mound of black sand created by gasses venting from below. There are small bubble streams occuring throughout the reef.




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