Sunday, June 27, 2010

Dive Report - Early dive at La Jolla Shores 6/27/10

Blue-Ring Topsnail (Calliostoma annulatum)

Date: 6/27/10
Location: LJS, Main Wall
Time in: 7:17 am
Time under: 68 minutes
Max depth: 72 ft
Min temp: 53 F (cold!)
Vis: 10-15 ft, thermocline w/ better vis below 35 ft
Waves: 2-4 ft, easily timed
Buddy: Marla

Octopus on Sand Dollars (Dendraster excentricus)

More photos:

Highlights: Lots of interesting small creatures - a couple triophia maculata, a trio of hermissendas, a small blue-ring topsnail, a tiny juvenile lobster that I thought was a copepod and a juvenile cabezon.

Marla and I met up at LJS early this morning and took a chance on the swell. Fortunately, it sounds like it was much smaller today than yesterday - 2-3 ft w/ an occaisional bigger set. We made it out through the surf without any problems and only had to duck under a few waves. We started out a bit north and never really made it to Vallecitos, but that was just as well. On the way down the hill, there was a thermocline at about 35 ft and the visibility opened up a bit, probably helped by the incoming tide. We both noticed that there wasn't much surge at depth, but it sure got cold. We were both on the look-out for fried egg jellyfish, but unfortunately we didn't see any. We took our time slowly meandering south along the slope, with Marla helping me find interesting things to photograph. I found a tiny lobster on a blade of kelp that looked like a copepod with long antenae and Marla spotted a juvenile cabezon hiding amongst the detritus. I signaled to head back up the slope at about 1500 psi and was happy that the temperature quickly picked up to the high 60's F in the shallows.

My pictures from LJS never turn out quite as nice as the ones from Pt Loma. The conditions are a lot more challenging and the creatures always seem to be flat on the sandy bottom (which I always manage to kick up). But practicing at LJS sure makes all the other spots that much easier to shoot at. :)


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Dive Report - 2 dives off Pt Loma 6/19/10

A Giant Spined Star (Pisaster giganteus) on a kelp holdfast.

Date: 6/19/10
Location: Pt Loma Kelp Beds, Lazy Days wreck
Time in: 10:44 am
Time under: 44 min
Max depth: 81 ft
Min temp: 54 F (Uwatec)
Vis: 15-20 ft
Waves: 4-5 ft swells, a bit of surge even at depth
Buddies: Mikey, Ruth Harris
Setup for Wide Angle

Hermissenda crassicornis

Location: Pt Loma Kelp Beds, Broomtail Reef
Time in: 1:16 pm
Time under: 55 min
Max depth: 67 ft
Min temp: 53 (Uwatec)
Vis: 20-30 ft
Waves: 4-5 ft swells and surge
Buddy: Mikey
Setup for Macro

The Lazy Days wreck off Pt Loma at 80 ft.

Highlights: 2 great dives off Pt Loma, which always provides great subjects. I got my first photo of a MacFarland's chromodorid, even if it's not the greatest photo. At the time, I thought it was a Porter's chromodorid, as it looked more blue than purple. In addition to all of the nudibranchs seen on the second dive, I also saw one of the most beautiful red anemones I've ever seen, but unfortunately, I wasn't able to capture a photo that I thought did it justice.

Macrocystis Kelp (Macrocystis pyrifera) and Proliferating Anemone (Epiactis prolifera)

I also finally got to meet and dive with Ruth, after a previous failed attempt. She was kind enough to lend me her second tank after problems with mine. For the rest, I'll defer to Mikey's writeup on his blog with about the excitement with the sea urchin diver that we assisted:

Mating White spotted porostomes (Doriopsilla albopunctata) surrounded by a Giant Spined Star (Pisaster giganteus).

The rest of the photos:


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Dive report - 6/5/10 La Jolla Shores

Date: 6/5/10
Location: La Jolla Shores
Time in: 8:05 am
Time under: 64 min
Max depth: 67 ft
Min temp: 53 F (Uwatec)
Vis: 10 ft
Waves: 2-3 ft w/ occasional 4-5 footer
Buddy: Rob Johnson

More photos:

Highlights: Getting through the waves without getting pummeled. Going diving!

Waves were 2-3 ft with an occasional 4-5 ft. Visible thermocline at 60 ft, with pea soup above and 10 ft vis below. A bit of surge at 60 ft and a south current, yet somehow we ended up exiting north of where we entered. Definite potholes on the way in.