Sunday, July 25, 2010

Dive Report - 2 dives off Pt Loma 7/24/10

Date: 7/24/10
Location: Lazy Days Wreck, Pt Loma CA
Time in: 11:29 am
Time under: 51 min
Max depth: 81 ft
Min temp: 54 F
Vis: 15-20 ft on average
Waves: 1-2 ft swells w/ a little bit of surge
Buddy: Mikey, Z (Elizabeth), Julie w/ a NOAA Jim sighting

Location: Broomtail Reef, Pt Loma CA
Time in: 2:09 pm
Time under: 50 min
Max depth: 73 ft
Min temp: 54 F
Vis: 20-25 ft
Waves: 1-2 ft swells w/ surge
Buddy: Mikey

Black Sea Nettle Jellyfish (Chrysaora achlyos)
Black Sea Nettle Jellyfish (Chrysaora achlyos)

More photos:

Highlights: Many black sea nettles (a first for me), another McFarland's chromodorid, good conditions and great company.

Spanish Shawl (Flabellina iodinea)
Spanish Shawl (Flabellina iodinea)

I joined the Scuba Do for another great pair of dives off Pt Loma yesterday. Conditions topside were cool and overcast (our new summer norm) and it was cold at depth as well. The first dive was on the Lazy Days wreck. Before getting in the water, we spotted two different black sea nettles float by near the surface. I was rigged for wide angle and was looking forward to seeing one underwater. I followed the anchor line straight down to the wreck with Mikey and Julia. Soon after, Z joined us. As I was trying to find a good composition for wide angle on the reef, Z tapped me on the shoulder and motioned to follow her. She led me to a nice size black sea nettle floating in the water column. I spent the next 10 minutes photographing the black sea nettle. After that, I dropped back down to photograph the reef and gorgonians some more until NOAA Jim zoomed by. He motioned for help getting his flashlight unhooked, I helped him and he was quickly on his way again. Soon my time was up and I slowly made my way up the anchor line.

MacFarland's Chromodorid (Chromodoris macfarlandi)
MacFarland's Chromodorid (Chromodoris macfarlandi)

For the second dive, I switched to macro and we lost Z and Julie due to the cold. Mikey and I dropped down and headed east towards the pinnacles at Broomtail Reef. We spotted two more black sea nettles and I was able to shoot a hitchhiking crab on one of them. I waved Mikey off as I spent the rest of the dive one the closest reef structure. There I found dozens and dozens of hermissendas, many spanish shawls, a McFarland's chromodorid, a porters chromodorid, a couple of catalina triopha, a yellow spotted cadlina, a tritonia festiva, a large yellow edged cadlina, San Diego dorids, and white spotted porostomes. I also found a blue-ring topsnail to finish off the dive. Mikey let me know when he was low on air and I reluctantly followed him up, knowing that the rest of the group was waiting topside. The vis opened up a bit on the way up and it was actually somewhat blue in the 30-50 ft range in the kelp. A beautiful way to end a day of diving. On the surface, the sun was breaking out through the clouds and the waves were getting a bit choppy. It was time to head home.

Red Gorgonian (Lophogorgia chilensis) and kelp (Macrocystis pyrifera)
Red Gorgonian (Lophogorgia chilensis) and kelp (Macrocystis pyrifera)


Sunday, July 18, 2010

Dive Report - Shaws Cove, Laguna Beach 7/17/10

Catalina Triopha (Triopha catalinae) aka Clown Dorid

Date: 7/17/10
Location: Shaws Cove, Laguna Beach
Time in: 7:51 am
Time under: 84 min
Max depth: 28 ft
Min temp: 57 F
Vis: 10-12 ft
Waves: 1-3 ft
Buddy: Graham


Christmas tree worm

Highlights: An abundance of life in shallow water. Saw a (single) hopkins rose, one clown dorid, one zebra goby (no pics), a couple of rockpool blennies, a moray eel deep in a crack and lots of garibaldi eggs.

Urticina mcpeaki anemone

It was beautiful above water, but cold below! Graham and I dressed for summer - thin gloves and Graham with no hood. Even though we stayed shallow, my hands and Graham's feet ended up numb. We still had a fun time exploring the outer reef, while large groups of students stayed in the shallow sand. There was a bit of surge that made taking macro photos all the more exciting. Graham stayed lower on the reef while I ventured up higher where there was more life. We stayed down as long as we could, but in the end, the cold got to us and we had to return to the warm sun.

Shaws Cove, Laguna Beach:

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Monday, July 12, 2010

Dive Report - Woods Cove, Laguna Beach 7/11/10

California Moray Eel (Gymnothorax mordax)

Date: 7/11/10
Location: Woods Cove, Laguna Beach CA
Time in: 7:40 am
Time under: 83 min
Max depth: 26 ft
Min temp: 65 F :)
Vis: 10-15 ft, lots of surge and particulate
Waves: 1-2 w/ occasional 3+ set
Buddy: Graham and Brad


Highlights: A California moray eel. This was my first diving wet since Bali and it was a lot of fun cruising the reefs in Laguna Beach.

I joined my OC scuba buddies for a dive at our old stomping grounds - Woods Cove in Laguna Beach. Weather was overcast and conditions were mixed. There were occasional 3-4 footers, but they were long periods of calm in between. Underwater it was surgey, but clear considering. You could see the surface from 20 feet under water, though horizontal vis was about 10-15 ft. I was hoping to photograph a moray and Graham delivered near the end of the dive. I also found a red gorgonian that was covered in skeleton shrimp. Click to see the larger version:

Skeleton Shrimp (Caprella sp.) party on Red gorgonian (Lophogorgia chilensis)

I was plagued with camera issues throughout the dive and is something I need to resolve before diving again. With the Ikelite TTL housing and strobes, if the primary strobe isn't working the camera won't fire. However, even after turning off both strobes, for periods of time the camera wouldn't fire. I tried turning on each strobe individually and no luck. Just about when I would give up, suddenly they were working again. This happened about 3 times during the dive.

Woods Cove, Laguna Beach:

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