Saturday I took 2 of my dive buddies out on my boat and we decided to dive Colby
Reef, which is 1.5 miles north and 3/4 miles out from Albion. Yesterdays weather
predicted 7-9 ft seas and 10 -25 knot winds. We decided to try it anyway. When
we got there the ocean was fairly managable and the wind was maybe 5 mph if that.
After we anchored over the reef, doned our gear and back rolled in. The anchor was set well and the first thing I noticed when I began to orient myself with the bottom was he abundance of strawberry anemones and fish. My god this place is fishy! I managed to poke a decent black and yellow right off the bat. Dale, a TDI tech diver who buddies with Larry and I once in a while, tied a reel off onto the anchor chain and we began our exploration. We found a deep grove that ran through the reef which was wide enough for a diver to get through which also had wide areas that opened up almost into ceilingless rooms with fish everywhere, fish fish fish! I saw a huge red and I tagged it as well. There were lincod everywhere. I counted 6, all of which were legal. Since I only had a pole spear I didn't attempt to get one. At one point about half way through the channel we found a cave. It reminded me of a lava tube in Hawaii. We penetrated it for about 20-25 feet in and you could see an exit on the other side but we decided to go back. Where ever the reel line goes you must follow back in the same path, and nobody wanted to try and squeeze back through that tunnel.
We came to the end of the 250 ft reel line so we turned around and headed back. The vis was a solid 30 feet but there was a ripping current, especially through that channel.
I think Colby reef is one of the best dives up there. I never fail to be impressed. This reef is very close to Vandamme by the way, so for those of you going to the big party this is a must dive!
Colby is at 39-14.983' N x 123- 47.797' W.
The vis seems to always be good there because it is a good ways off shore, unless there is a plankton bloom, then everything is fouled up. We anchored in about 85 feet and I would say most of the top of the reef is in 35 feet but in a sawtooth pattern. We stayed down in a crevice at an average of 75 feet.
Some of the views of the towering walls going up was quite impressive!