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2019 mercifully comes to an end


Outer Bamnks diving on the Great Escape Southern California Live-Aboard Dive Boat


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Posted by Max Bottomtime on December 30, 2019 at 17:43:57:

A disappointing year of diving came to an appropriate end yesterday. A heavy plankton bloom began in late April and persisted throughout the year. Periods of bad weather, high surf and mechanical issues with our boat kept us dry far too many days. In spite of high surf last week and rain forecast for later in the day, Merry and I needed to get in the water. We planned to make a single dive at Hermosa Beach Artificial Reef and get home before the surf picked up. We made it just outside King Harbor before our woes continued.

Our starboard outboard suddenly jumped into neutral. I quickly shut it down while Merry checked the propeller for kelp or plastic. Merry reported all clear so I started the motor, but it would not shift into gear. Since we weren't going far, I putted along on one motor to Hermosa Reef. Once there, Merry jumped in the water while I worked on the motor. I removed the shift cable and shifted the motor manually but it had no effect. The problem lies somewhere in the gearbox.

I put everything back together and jumped in to join Merry just as she was nearing the end of her dive. The lone bright spot of the day was that visibility had improved to twelve feet, about twice the visibility we had on our last dive here. Several Giant Sea Bass seemed to recognize us and allowed us to stick our dome ports within inches of them. A few of the large fish would rest under the Rodeo Bar while surge pushed them toward my camera. I had to pull my camera back several times to avoid making contact with the gentle giants. We found the remains of a triggerfish. I tried to offer it to our large friends but they weren't hungry. The smaller fish pecked on it instead.

After an hour of fun, it was time to limp home and begin the search for a new mechanic. I don't know how long we'll be out of the water this time, but it looks like 2020 will begin where 2019 left off.


A large hose made a mysterious appearance next to the reef


When you gotta go...Calicos and Sheephead look for scraps in the crap


Let the rodeo begin




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