Here are a couple of posts about dive trips by Chris Grossman. He is
a serious diver that gets to go to some great spots regularly. He gets
to see things that only very lucky divers get to see.
He puts his digital camera to good use and a lot of the pictures on this site were taken by him. If it's a clear pic, it was probably taken by him.
His style of writing is quite different from most of the stories on this site, but I liked what they said. He communicates... this is who we are and this is what we do.
Enjoy the read, seahunt
A few weeks ago I went with Sea Divers (http://SeaDivers.org/) to San Miguel Island on the Peace (http://PeaceBoat.com/),
It was so calm; you could hardly tell we left the harbor.
It stayed almost flat clam the whole trip.
On Friday morning when we arrived at Wilson Rock, we were the only boat there.
Fidel then moved on to Boomerang, and managed to find it this time.
The anchor chain drooped down, and lopped back up just above a small pinnacle, next to the main one.
The top of this small pinnacle was at 110 feet.
It was covered with large scallops.
We then moved on to the foul are, near Point Bennet.
There I shot several large Vermillion Rockfish.
Point Bennet is probably my favorite dive at Miguel because it is so rich with life.
There were spots there where the krill were so thick the visibility dropped from 60 feet + to less than 5 feet.
We did several more dives that day, but the first three would have made the whole trip.
The next day it was still calm, and we started the day at Richardson Rock.
It was as calm there as I have ever seen it.
Again there were thick clouds of krill.
From there we moved to Skyscraper, a pinnacle near Wilson Rock.
Clouds of krill too surrounded it.
Our final dive was to be Egg Rock, between Miguel and Rosa.
On the way there we came across a trio of blue whales.
Some thought it was a pair of males and a female attempting to mate.
Someone said it takes two males to trap the female, and depending which way she turns, determines the lucky suitor.
Bad C commented that he would not want to be "bumper boy."
We watched the whales for over an hour, at times that swam straight at the boat and under it.
When the whales spouted upwind you could smell their breath.
It smelled something like fish that has been in the trash for a few days!
When we got to Egg Rock, the water was a bit green, but still a pretty dive.
I took some pictures and you can find them on the link below.
I just came back yesterday from the opening four day trip on the Great Escape (DiveBoat.com).
On the first day we went to San Nicolas Island.
This is where almost everyone caught bugs; it was the overall most productive spot of the trip.
In one spot the bugs were just hunkered down in a some fat bladed sea grass.
The second day we went to Cortes Bank.
The water here had warmed up quite a bit from when I was there on Labor Day, from 53ºF to 61ºF.
Most of the bugs I found were deeper, 50-90 ft.
I went into the wreck, and the same spot that was packed over Labor Day now only had three shorts.
My personal best day was here at Cortes.
Thirty-three of the bugs we brought up at Cortes were females with eggs, as illustrated in the attached picture.
Everyone who brought up an egg-laden bug voluntarily returned it!
The third day we went to the backside of San Clemente Island.
Here we found many shorts, but plenty of legal bugs as well.
The largest bug of the trip came from Clemente, an 8¼ lb. bull.
On the fourth day we went to the backside of Catalina.
Here you could see many nice bugs, but they were back in the rocks were you could not get at them.
The pictures from the trip are on the link below.
On Tuesday October 9 I was at Cortes Bank on the Dr. Death trip on the Peace Dive Boat.
The last dive of the day was about 200 yards from the buoy.
It was an area of scattered large rocks and small rock piles, on a sand bottom.
As I swam I searched for a good bug spot.
There seemed to be nothing in the smaller rock piles, and the large rocks had no good spots for bugs.
Then I spied a rock with a large hole in the side.
I checked my air and had 2200 psi in my HP120.
I then dove down as far into the hole as I would fit, which was about five feet in.
About eight feet farther back of the hole there were three bugs, one of which appeared to be large, however I could not fit in there with my tank.
There was also another small hole about two more feet in, the bugs could crawl into, and I would not be able to get at them.
To keep the bugs from moving into the smaller hole I placed my flashlight in it pointing out.
I then backed out of the hole, rechecked my air, took off my backpack, unvelcroed my twenty foot regulator hose, and turned on the light on my mask.
I then crawled into the whole and grabbed the biggest bug, and backed out and placed it in my game bag.
While I was doing that one of the other two bugs bolted, but one stayed, so I crawled back into the hole, grabbed it and my flashlight, and crawled back out.
After replacing my hose in the Velcro, and putting my backpack on, I decided to get a heading on the boat and return.
So I surfaced, with a safety stop on a kelp stalk and took a heading.
I went back down and headed for the Peace.
On the way, I passed Captain Eric, just after I saw him, I saw another bug and swooped down and bagged it.
I then continued on to the boat and came up under the swim step.
Once back on the boat I weighed the bug, which was just under 7 ¾ lbs.
It was not the biggest bug of the day however.
Joe Schuller got one that was 9 ¼ lbs. and Bob Davis got one that was about 8 ½ lbs.
Carol Beck also got one very close to the size of mine.
However it was still a nice bug, and the largest one I've got so far this season.
... And if I may speak for him...
Enjoy the diving, Chris