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Posted by Max Bottomtime on May 15, 2021 at 19:17:33:

We've had horrible visibility for weeks off Palos Verdes. The ocean has been relatively calm but plankton has clouded the water. Merry and I were going diving today no matter what. Expecting another low visibility dive, we each had our 105mm lenses on our cameras.

We left King Harbor at 7:30. Winds were light but coming from the direction we needed to go. Swells were two to three feet but manageable. We arrived at Halfway Reef just as the swells and wind began picking up a bit. Merry said she couldn't see down the chain much as I dropped anchor. I clipped my camera off and set it into the water where it instantly floated toward the stern. Great! We have current to deal with as well. Merry got in first as I stood by in case I needed to tow her back to the boat. She made it to the bow unassisted.

We dropped into dirty 53 water but much to our surprise, it cleared up around fifteen feet and the water was filled with juvenile pyrosomes. We stopped to snap a few photos before heading down to the reef. When we got there we were greeted by twenty-five feet of visibility. It was the best dive we've had all year. Nudibranchs, sponges, and tunicates dotted the reef, as well as dozens of pyrosomes that ventured too deep. Merry even found a lone squid egg capsule in the sand.

While making our safety stop we could feel the boat yanking on the anchor chain. We knew it was getting rough on the surface. By the time we got back onboard, the swells were over four feet. I had hoped to make a second dive but thought better of it.

After cleaning the boat and putting everything away, I decided to make a dock dive. Merry found some Bubble snails yesterday and I hoped to get a few photos. Visibility was three feet in some spots, less in others. I was down for an hour and a half but never found any of the bubbly guys. I did find a few flatworms while exploring the silty bottom.




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