Giants In The Haze

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Posted by Max Bottomtime on September 27, 2019 at 13:56:48:

Merry and I tried to beat the predicted rain by diving at sunrise during the calm before the storm. There were no swells and the wind was nowhere to be found. Our hopes were high until Merry watched our anchor sinking into the green cloud that is Hermosa Beach Artificial Reef.

We reached the bottom to find the worst visibility we've had this year. As I swam toward Spongehenge, it remained a fuzzy shadow until I was within five feet. I saw a California Wreckfish (GSB) cruising toward Merry so rather than abort the dive, we hoped for the best.

When visibility is bad, fish tend to hide, but today the large guys seemed used to us. They settled within a foot of our cameras. One of the nearly six-footers was being cleaned by Sheephead. It allowed me to shoot from mere inches for several minutes. After getting the shots I wanted, I swam over to the Wreckfish Rodeo where Merry was camped out. The big guy followed me over.

With the poor visibility, it was difficult to know how many fish we saw. I thought it was six or seven until I went through my photos and discovered twenty-one distinct fish. I look forward to diving here when the visibility is decent. I don't know when that might happen.

We swapped out our wide angle setups for macro and headed to Torrance Reef. Visibility there was almost as bad. My only highlights during the dive were finding a Navanax inermis laying eggs, a California scorpionfish too large for my lens, and bubbles escaping from the many patches of bacteria.

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