Saturday, June 4, 2011

Dive report - Pt Loma Kelp Beds 5/1/11

Date: 5/1/2011
Location: Camel Head, Pt Loma Kelp Beds

#1
Time in: 10:11 am
Time under: 45 min
Max depth: 85 ft
Ave temp: 52 F
Vis: 15-20 ft
Waves: 2-3 ft swells
Mix: 33%
Buddy: Steve M.

#2
Time in: 12:24 pm
Time under: 44 min
Max depth: 83 ft
Ave temp: 52 F
Vis: ~15 ft
Waves: 2-3 ft swells, strong current
Mix: 32%
Buddy: Steve M.

Photos: http://www.underpressurephoto.com/Dive-Reports/20110501-Scuba-Pt-Loma/

Red Gorgonian (Lophogorgia chilensis) and Kelp Rockfish (Sebastes atrovirens)
Red Gorgonian (Lophogorgia chilensis) and Kelp Rockfish (Sebastes atrovirens)

As always, on the first dive I was shooting wide angle, just in case there was epic vis. I'd rather have one dive with mediocre vis on wide angle than miss the chance to have 2 dives on wide with epic visibility. We dropped down the anchor line and I started photographing the reef. Next thing I know, I'm getting hit from behind. I slowly turn around (trying now to knock into Steve) and he's waving and pointing frantically, making the shark sign (fin on head). I missed it. Steve had seen a large sevengill shark. We spent the rest of the dive keeping one eye open for a return visit, but alas we didn't see it again.

Red Gorgonian (Lophogorgia chilensis) on a reef in the Pt Loma kelp forest.
Red Gorgonian (Lophogorgia chilensis) on a reef in the Pt Loma kelp forest.

In between dives, I switched to a macro lens and the current picked up. After backrolling off the side of his boat, we had to pull ourselves hand over fist using Steve's new granny line up to the anchor line. I pulled myself inverted down the anchor line, trying to get below the current. It slowed down significantly about 20 feet under. I reached the bottom and waited for Steve to arrive, unfolding my camera strobes. Steve helped me find the Hilton's Aeolid he had found on the first dive, in addition to numerous tritonia festivas, three lined aeolids, an aegires albopunctatus and of course too many hermissendas and spanish shawls to count.

Tritonia festiva
Tritonia festiva

At the end of the second dive, I grabbed the anchor line to start ascending. Steve unhooked the anchor from the reef and the current immediately started Mr Toad's Wild Ride. :O I was hanging onto the anchor line at about 60 feet as the boat is being pulled by the current. The kelp was streaming past and I'm thinking that I better not let go of the anchor line, otherwise we're going to have a long, hard swim to the boat. Steve ascends and at one point is drifting along side me, but not holding onto the anchor line. The current was moving us at the same speed as the boat. :) We got back onboard with no issues and had a very choppy and slow ride back to the dock.

Diver Steve Murvine photographing in the kelp forest off Pt Loma.
Diver Steve Murvine photographing in the kelp forest off Pt Loma.

Another excellent day of diving in Southern California!