San Miguel Island, Dive Boat Peace,
February 5, 2000
walter @ diver . net
In the days leading up to this dive, all the wise weathermen were predicting high seas, rain and a generally miserable weekend. Many called me (I organized the trip for the Sea Sabre Dive Club) to ask, “If we were still planning on going?” “Don’t pay too much heed to the wise weatherman,” I told all, “After all Captain Eric is quite fearless in the face of storms. He has made peace with the waves so many times, that he named his boat the Peace.”
When we motored out of the harbor at midnight, I lied awake anticipating the rough seas once we passed the harbor. After all, the wise weathermen can’t all be wrong. I lied awake for almost an hour waiting to exit the harbor. I finally fell asleep, the harbor must have been bigger than I had remembered. Where was the rough water? When I awoke at 6:30, I still thought he must be in the harbor. I ventured upstairs and found that we were beyond San Miguel at Boomerang Banks. The Pacific was living up to it’s name, it was quite peaceful. I love diving these seamount, it was quite spectacular and beautiful. The hunters collected a lot of scallops and the photographers had a field day shooting the invertebrate life. The water was a warm 57°, visibility was easily 40 feet plus.
Our second stop was at Wilson’s Rock. Another, spectacular dive. Seeing as it was so rough, we were able to anchor tight up against the rock. The hunters gathered more scallops, the photographers took more pictures, the sight seers saw more sights and I decided to go off for a swim around the rock. The back side was quite incredible. It was a straight wall that went from 40 feet in depth to well over 150 feet deep. I swam up and down it to110 feet and there was no bottom in sight. This cruising was a treat for me. I normally have my video in tow, and find myself planted on a rock under the boat. Totally engrossed in the ‘slice of life’ I can find on that rock. But sadly, my camera was in the hospital on this day.
The third dive brought us nearer the island and to Castle Reef. It was like a castle, with lots of nooks and crannies to swim through and along. Many, including myself, seen absolutely largest lingcods ever. Four foot plus. Monsters, and out of season for the hunters. There were also some very large sheephead swimming around. The visibility was odd. We had 30 to 40 feet on the reef, beyond 60 feet deep it was pea soup.
This brought us up to lunch time. A very tasty and satisfying lunch was served. I must apologies here to the crew of the Peace. Breakfast and lunch was great, but I don’t remember what was served. I don’t go on dive boats to eat, I go to dive! If the food was crappy, that I’d remember and let you know. There were many aboard, that could recite exactly what was served. I guess, I should deputize them as a food critic next time we’re on the Peace.
During lunch we made a slow cruise to Santa Rosa and Talcott Shoals. We were looking for lobster. There were a few taken, I got two nice ones. Overall there weren’t a lot of lobster taken, nor seen. A big thanks to the crew of the Peace for a great day of diving,